Jaynee, thank you for sharing your story! I remind myself of the saying "The journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step". We have to start somewhere and build on what we learn, then results come over time with better choices. Exercise too has be something you start small with and can do more over time. Thank you for the advice and congrats on such a good job on all the healthy changes you have made in your life and for yourself.
Pounds lost: 14.0
Fitness Minutes: (73,789)
5/1/14 12:37 A
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!
Jaynee-Pacific Time Goal reached with 130# loss, 138# total loss
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