Today I celebrate 1 year of maintenance! I was re-reading some of my posts and blogs and found some that bear repeating. I think this is one of them.
It's funny how subtle changes happen and we don't really notice it.
When I started Sparkpeople in August 2012, I weighed nearly 300#. I barely had the energy to walk to the bathroom and my knees hurt so bad, I could hardly walk and any stairs was really scary because I was afraid that my knees would give out.
I ate. A lot. Massive amounts. Frequently. Wake up in the middle of the night? Grab a sleeve of crackers and a couple of hotdogs or half a package of bologna. Of course, I couldn't eat that without half a (large) bag of chips. Oreos? Yeah you know the drill....if the package is opened, it's a serving, right?
And then there's the exercise, er um, I mean *lack* of exercise. I tried consolidating as many trips as possible. No sense in over-working my body, right? Take several loads of laundry at a time. Use grocery bags with handles so you can carry 100# of groceries at a time. Ask other family members to wait on you hand and foot.
When I started the Poundage Plan, I started working out first. I needed to strengthen my ancillary muscles so that recovery would be faster and easier when I had knee surgery. I went every day because I had an investment in the outcome. Within days, my knee pain decreased. Immediately I had better sleep. Within a week or so. I noticed that my diet was changing. I was craving healthier foods.
The first conscious decision I made regarding diet was to listen to my body. Before I could eat, I had to determine whether or not I was truly STOMACH hungry as opposed to 'head' hungry. If I was 'stomach' hungry, I would think about it for a few minutes to determine what my body was hungry for. Then I ate it without guilt, while gauging every bite as to how much I was enjoying it. If the taste went from 'delicious' to 'good', I stopped eating. When I was no longer hungry, I stopped eating.
Re-read that last sentence. "When I was no longer hungry, I stopped eating." Not when I was full; when I was no longer hungry. That is key. We have gotten so accustomed to eating until we can't breathe that we think it is normal!
More changes happened, a little at a time. I got sick and could hardly make it through my workout. Then I was in bed for 3 days. I could hardly wait to get back to the gym, but for the first week had to work up from 10 minutes to 30. It took 3 weeks to get back to my hour long workout and I was terrified that I would get out of the habit!
I also listened to my body about exercise. I knew that if I was going to continue, I had to have fun. If I started to dread going, I had to change it up, because I would quit. I took several classes and did cardio and the weight room. The first time I used the elliptical trainer, I *forced* myself to do 1 minute. I didn't try again for a month, then got through a tortuous 10 minutes. Over the next couple of weeks, I alternated the bike and elliptical and got up to half an hour. Before I knew it I was doing an hour. Yesterday, I was not ready for my hour to be up; I could have gone another 30-60 minutes! Some days, dd Molly and I play at racquetball. Some days, when it is warm enough (I am always cold!) Molly and I walk. In the summer we walk in to church, 6 miles over the mountain. This summer we plan on walking to and from for the fun of it!
I find now that I try to find ways to ADD steps to my day rather than save them. I will walk down stairs at work to check the mail, then up the back stairs. I leave my lunch or something in the car that I will need later in the day to force myself to get that extra walk in. I don't even THINK of driving to the corner store anymore!
This am I slept in (I have had a few late nights and no 'sleep in' days for 2 weeks. Sleeping in now means 5am. I thought about skipping my workout because it doesn't hurt to miss a day or two occasionally. Oddly enough, the thought of missing my workout disturbed me. I feel better physically when I work out. I sleep better. I am more stable emotionally because I feel happier with myself. I am healthier. Needless to say, I did my workout and just worked a little later today. It was worth it!
Yes, the changes are subtle, but the impact is dramatic. All these little steps added up to big changes.
I once weighed almost 300#. I now weigh about 155.
I wore a size 24, and some of those were pretty snug. I now wear a size 8.
I once looked for ways to save steps, but now I look for ways to add them.
I once lived to eat, I now eat to live.
I once was insecure and self-conscious about my appearance, I now speak comfortably in front of groups and cameras.
I once HID from cameras, I now occasionally take 'selfies'!
I once felt like a complete failure, I now *know* that I am a success!