Today I begin a week of sweet R&R vacation. I love to take a vacation in the autumn and spring because those are the prettiest times of the year around here. I love to spend time outdoors and in Virginia, spring and autumn are the best times to do that. I particularly like an autumn vacation so I can take time to reflect as the year starts it's downward slide into the holidays - and if there is something I'd still like to do before a new year rolls around, there's enough time to at least get started.
Four years ago I did just that - took a vacation to NYC where beloved friends, Native Guides extraordinaire, took us everywhere and fed us everything. I came home feeling as bloated as a dog tick and determined to Do Something About It. I was more than 25 lbs overweight and Not Happy with it. A girlfriend told me about Spark People and within days, though I don't remember the exact day, I had joined and begun blogging. In fact I wrote my first blog on October 17 ... which at least tells me I waited till after our anniversary (first date, not wedding) to begin the program.
A lot has happened since that bloated October day - most notable of all - I reached my goal at last. It took all the help I could muster to get there and the effort required to maintain is every bit as much a part of my life as the losing was. But I did get there and I feel the urge to note down some of the transformations that have happened along the way.
2009 176 lbs
2013 150 lbs
2009 Loved exercise but often had to make self go to gym
2013 Love exercise and now it's really not an option. I never have to wonder if I should go – I know I should.
2009 Not too fond of beans but would eat them
2013 80% of my diet is plant based and it's full of beans.
2009 Often had insatialbe cravings – sometimes for sweet, sometimes for cheese – NEVER for nutrition
2013 Often have urges for sweets and cheese but always feel the desire for NUTRITION weave through the urges and if there isn't any nutritional value ... the urge goes away!
2009 Had to make myself stay in the group when photos were being taken and made sure I was in the back. I always hollered “No Tummies”
2013 Don't mind standing in front in group photos. Still think about those tummies but don't say anything.
2009 Didn't think I was an emotional eater and hadn't a clue how much the thinking side of me could war with the feelng side
2013 Realize that DU-UH, of Course I'm an emotional eater – heck – I'm an emotional being and my thinking side (Left Brain) and my feeling side (Right Brain) get along much better
2009 Figured I could lose the weight but doubted that I could keep it off
2013 Know I can keep it off 'cause I don't mind intervening as soon as I gain a few pounds. I'm not ashamed of the slight increase – even expect it now and then. Not turning my head away, pretending that it didn't happen. You know – it's easy to do the right thing once you see what the right thing is. So – just look for the right thing.
What's funny, to me at least, is that I don't have any good photographic evidence of the progress I've made. No dramatic before and after shots.There are pictures, but they aren't dramatic enough to demonstrate how dramatically different I feel. That's why I wanted to write this down – because for sure – this October vacation in 2013 FEELS different from past ones – and that's something to reflect upon.