Sunday, October 07, 2007
I was having breakfast at our usual spot today, and started thinking about this fitness and weight loss journey. I started on January 2, 2007; today is October 7, 2007. And in that 9 months and 5 days, I've lost 45 lbs. (Today made it the 45.) That's my halfway mark. And instead of thinking oh geez, another 45 to go - all I can do is marvel that I'm halfway there. 50% gone. Halfway to goal. Like a 50 yard play in football. Wow. How did this happen? It seems almost effortless. Not a big deal. I didn't go on a major diet. And yet, this is more weight than I've lost in my entire lifetime!
I was a chunky kid. By the time I was in 5th grade, I was taller than my teacher - but I was also in the "chubby" size of girls clothing. When I was 14, we moved 3000 miles from NY to WA, and I went from 140-ish to 180 (I'm an emotional eater). I graduated from HS at 180, where I stayed most of my adult life, give or take 5 lbs.
My last 2 yrs of college, I went on Atkins and in those 2 years went down to about 140 - I was a size 12, and while I now look back at those photos and realize how great I looked, at the time I felt I was sstill chubby. Mostly, I was still flabby in the middle. I was active, my arms and legs were shapely - but I'm built like women in Renaissance paintings, with the nice arms and legs and the fertile belly and hips.
I went off Atkins, and in 2 years I was back up to 180. Size 14-16. XL. I looked okay, not great - I could live with that. I exercised regularly, ate well, had great bloodwork and physical exams. This was just me.
Then I met DH. In 6 months, my cholesterol went up 60 points. I also gained 10-15 lbs. I struggled to lose it. Then, a few years later, I fell in Hurricane Lenny and tore everything in one knee. Two years and two surgeries later, I was up 40 lbs (after 4 consecutive months in a leg stabilizer). So there I was, 50 or so lbs larger than my usual adult weight. Up to a size 20W or so.
And in January, Notblushing convinced me to come over here to SparkPeople. I did. I slowly made changes in my life. Once a week breakfast at the coffee cart instead of more frequent visits. Banana bread (195 cals) instead of a scone (450+ cals). Skim milk instead of whole. Even mmore fruits and vegs than before (I've always been good about that). Smaller portions. Conscious eating. Cut out all fried foods (which meant mostly just no more french fries). Smarter choices at restaurants. Don't eat all the pasta in a restaurant serving. Be happy with two bites of dessert instead of stuffing down a whole slice of something.
And slowly I added exercise. Walk a bit. Then walk a lot. Then take a deliberate 2 hr walk, with hills. Or vacuum the entire house (takes 90 minutes). Just do something every day. I bought weights. I bought bands. I bought a ball. And I do something, every day, even if it's just crunches and yoga moves. Something.
And suddenly, here I am 45 lbs lighter. I have an entirely new wardrobe. I've never lost weight this quickly. Or this easily. And when I look back at these lifestyle changes, I realize that this WAS a big change - but it wasn't a dramatic lifestyle change. It was just tweaking in a lot of areas. It wasn't giving up whole food groups - it was just giving up things that I didn't eat much anyway.
I love chocolate. I think it's a basic food group. But I also know I'll eat a whole chocolate bar if it's there. So now, if I crave chocolate, I'll have a little and give someone else the rest. Or I'll buy a one-cup serving of ice cream, and eat it as two portions. Or I'll make No Pudge brownies.
I'm still eating. I'm just eating smarter.
And my body is so much happier with me! And my soul is so much happier with the mirror!
"How did you do it??????" acuaintances ask when they see me, such as at the party last night. "You look great, how did you do it? How much have you lost???"
I proudly answer, "I've lost 45 lbs, and all I've done is eat less and exercise more. And joined SparkPeople." And it really has been kind of easy!