Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Well, I made it! 101 pounds in 6 months.
I have said it before but this whole journey started the day I had knee surgery. I had torn the meniscus in my knee last fall and sort of struggled through therapy for a couple months. Then when it wasnít getting better they decided to perform the surgery. I had not stepped on a scale for a long while and with pain all the time I wasnít being very active. And things sort of exploded on me. The day of the surgery I went to the hospital. It was the day after Christmas and I stood on the scale for the pre-surgery physical. I was staring at the number 346! I knew I was big, but not quite that bad. 346 pounds? Really? I was so shocked it was one of the first things I thought about when I woke up. That and how much better the knee was. I could walk without crutches and actually put weight on the knee without it hurting!
Still, I went home and while I was thinking I need to do something, I didnít go home thinking this is the start of losing weight. So, I went home without crutches and sat on the couch. Iced the knee and followed all instructions. A few days later I started therapy. Now that it was almost totally pain free therapy felt pretty good. Yes it hurt, but the good kind of pain. The kind of pain that says you are actually doing something good for the body, making it stronger. So, about a week total went by. I stepped on the scale and was down 2 pounds. Wow, I hadnít done anything really different. Yes, therapy was new and working out. But therapy isnít really working out, working out. If that makes sense. Notice, I havenít said anything about diet? I wasnít really consciously watching what I was eating.
So, another couple weeks go by and I went to all the therapy sessions. I kept stepping on the scale along the way and it kept going down. The knee was feeling better and better and the therapy was drawing to a close. So, I go for my final follow-up with the surgeon. I step on the scale and I am down about 10 pounds! So I ask what I am cleared for. He says mainly low to no impact exercise like the bike and the elliptical. If I use a treadmill, no incline. So, I had a gym membership gathering dust. I had been using the bike to warm up at therapy, so off I went to the gym. I love riding my bike. So, I climb on the recumbent and 20 easy minutes later I had a good sweat going and hit the cool down. I am talking level 3 at the most. It was just an easy cardio session, nothing major.
A week goes by. It is about the beginning of February and I have lost about 18 pounds. I have been a member of Spark for a long time. Well, we can more accurately say I had a user name and password. I hadnít been on for a long time though. So, I get all signed back in. Now, I am finally deciding it is time to start watching the food intake. So, I track my food for a day. I notice that just by doing that one thing, putting down all the food I ate, it made me pay attention. That was sort of the wakeup call. So then I start looking up all my favorites and trying to see how bad things actually were. That was when things finally kicked in to gear so to speak. I was finally feeling like the cardio work was actually doing some good. I started paying closer attention to what I was eating and suddenly I was losing about a pound a day it seemed, sometimes 2 pounds or even 3. So then I started thinking about prior times I have done well and why I still slid back. I started reading more and more on Spark and figured the big reason wasnít so much that I couldnít watch what I eat as that I didnít. It was also that I would totally cut out some of my favorite foods or places to eat. That is when I decided to look at favorite places to eat to find something that would work. It may not fill me up, but I found stuff to eat.
And that I think is the big reason I am sticking with it so well. I have not really deprived myself of food. I work it in, I get a smaller portion, and while I donít feel stuffed, stuffed isnít a good thing. One big thing, and still working on this, stuffed and satisfied arenít the same. I still struggle with this. I am not sure I will ever not struggle with this one. For 45 years it seems that I have made them synonyms. That has been the struggle of my life actually. Portion Control. The one thing I hope I gained out of all this losing is to learn what normal portions are. It hasnít been easy nor do I really expect it to get easier. But 5 months of training on what portion sizes really should be is helping make better choices no matter where I eat. Recognizing a cup of this, or tablespoon of that, helps no matter where you eat. Especially on those foods where things are mixed and you canít get a good calorie count from anywhere.
So, this has been an incredible journey so far. I havenít been below 250 pounds for probably about 5 years. And that time I was right about 245 if I remember right. I will never say I have all the answers. I will never say I have this beat. I will say I have worked my A** off to lose almost 1/3 of my total weight. I still have about 50 more I would like to lose, I doubt the next 50 will be as easy as the first 100. But hopefully the work I have put in so far will keep me motivated to put in the extra work the next 50 will require.
On another note, I went to my youngest's tennis camp last night. Luckily the track was open and I started walking. I would walk 2 laps, and jog one. I did this for almost 4.5 miles. If I calculate right, I jogged 1.25 miles of those 4.5 Not long ago I would not have been able to jog the straight away let alone a whole lap. The legs and my lungs whined and I had that nagging voice in my head saying you did one full lap, the next one just do three fourths. Instead I pushed the second jog about 10 yards further. Same on the second I went a little further than the first. So, by the last jogging lap I did about 100 yards more. So, the last jog was about 500 yards as opposed to the standard one lap. The legs feel great today and I had hoped to walk home, but storms rolling in today made that not very desirable. So, tonight will be at the gym on the bike. Which is probably smarter anyway. But I did run to Walmart to get a fanny pack with a water bottle for those 5.4 mile treks home from work. Too long and too hot to do that without something to drink in there.
Well, I think this is long enough. Hope you made it through and I need to say thanks to all those who have supported me this far along the way. The journey is 2/3 of the way to the first goal which is to get under 200 pounds. The next one is to maintain that for 1 year. There are other goals in there and they may change, but for now, I am a happy and content person. And I am not going to celebrate the accomplishment with food. 3 months ago I thought donuts would be a good treat for getting here. Now, I think a trip to the gym would be the most desirable treat I can have!