Attempting to Regain my Lost Spark
Monday, April 28, 2014
So, the last time I wrote a blog was in April 29, 2012...almost exactly 2 years ago...and my life has done a total 180 since then. At the time, I was teaching 7th and 8th grade science, but had become really dissatisfied with the administrative changes at the school. I had also earned my Master's in Education in Middle Grades Science in December 2011. So, at the urging of my advisor and one of my professors, I decided to apply to doctoral programs and was accepted back at my alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill for the Fall 2012 semester. My last blog entry was around this time and I had reached my lowest weight in my adult life of 163.8!
Summer 2012 was the greatest time of my life. I celebrated this change in my life, as well as the last year of being in my 20s! The weekend prior to my 29th birthday, I went to see New Edition in concert; for my birthday weekend, I celebrated with my two best friends and went to the Fresh Fest to see SWV, Guy, and Keith Sweat in concert; the following weekend, I went to Saint Simon's Island, Georgia and did a mini photo shoot; the following weekend, I went to the local high school graduation to see the 3rd group of students that I had taught graduate; the following weekend, I got on a plane with my best friend and traveled over 5000 miles to Maui. We spent 4 days in Maui and 4 days in Honolulu before I returned home on July 4, just to turn around and go to Wrightsville Beach with my family for my mom's birthday on July 7 (from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 72 hours)!!!
These trips were followed by a trip to Washington DC in early August and moving 120 miles from home on August 15. So needless to say, I was very busy during this time. However, I was still maintaining my weight. I had been walking when I was at home, but this all changed with grad school.
Suddenly, there I was...without the routine schedule that I had had as a teacher. The Freshman 15 found me again at age 29....With classes that lasted 3 hours and countless hours spent reading and studying...and snacking as I read and studied....my weight started to increase.
I tried to join a couple of group exercise classes on campus, but as a much older graduate student, I felt somewhat out of place exercising with 18 year olds...plus I had trouble finding parking and getting to the classes on time. The other classes that I was interested in didnt fit my schedule, so I just quit going.
In October 2012, I started having minor menstrual issues...but both my doctor and I attributed it both to my stress from readjusting to college life and from my small weight gain. However, a few days after I turned 30 in May of 2013, I started having major problems. I was still gaining weight and was working two jobs to make ends meet for the summer. I was often grabbing a bite to eat and changing clothes at fast food restaurants to get from one job to the next on time. My health issues escalated and then my grandmother passed away. Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. I've been anemic for years, as well as low B-12...with hemoglobin levels on the low end of the normal range, but my levels dropped significantly and I had very little energy. When I finally met with the specialist in November, they couldn't schedule me for surgery until February....so even though I managed to maintain from day to day, the thought of attempting exercise was out of the question.
I had also signed up with a weight loss research study...and had to be obese to qualify...so as I teetered at the edge of my 170s, I wanted to actually be as close to 180 as possible. I figured once I got in, I'd have incentive to lose weight...both monetary, group support, and tools for success. Unfortunately, I was wrong. We were assigned a certain type of diet...but no caloric values. I was used to tracking based on SparkPeople and having caloric ranges and certain aims for carbs, fats, etc... I found myself floundering and the nutritionist provided didn't seem to help. I just felt that she was rubbing me the wrong way and instead of trying to adhere to it, I did all I could to avoid her and say that I could do it my way...getting back on SparkPeople...but I never did.
I had my surgery in February...and everyone told me to take it easy..no exercise or strenuous work for 6 weeks, etc....Even when I was trying to get up and go, people would tell me I was doing too much. Plus, I thought the operation would cause me to lose weight....the weight of the fibroids, plus I assumed the excess estrogen production was causing weight gain. Instead, by the first of April, I hit 191.1. I was appalled at myself. As winter edged back into spring slowly, I found myself struggling to wear the clothes that I had worn just last spring and summer. My dress pants that I had worn regularly as a classroom teacher in 2012 no longer fit....I squeezed into shirts and blouses.....and I was just so dissatisfied. My friends and I decided we would work together and created a group chat on fb called Fit Kick. Still, despite the encouragement, I haven't really gotten on the healthy living wagon the way I should have.
The semester ended on Friday...and I don't know what the summer holds for me...but I do know that on this first day without classes, I have worked to eat healthy and plan to exercise this evening. I weighed in at 188.8 today. My goal is to get back to my original starting weight by the end of summer....163.8 (25 pounds) and from there, lose about 15 -20 more pounds in the next year.
I'm holding myself accountable with the restart of this blog....and hope to check in at least biweekly with good news!