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In the beginning...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I have had problems with my weight since the start of puberty (those darn hormones!). I have gone up and down, gone through two pregnancies, and become more and more complacent as I have aged. My highest weight, non-pregnant, was 190 lbs in 1990, one year after the birth of my oldest child. After seeing video of myself at his first birthday party, I freaked and actually started to do something about it. Within a year I was down to 145 and was feeling great. A new relationship that year, a second pregnancy, and the eventual melt down of that relationship had me hovering between 150 and 160 for the next few years. I didn't mind, because I was blessed with a body that distributed the extra pounds pretty evenly. No "saddle bags" or apple shaped body for me. I was still wearing misses sizes, and every one figured I was 15-20 pounds lighter than I actually was. Then several things happened. I suffered my first back injury at work in 1996. A severe strain in my mid-back that had me out of work for a couple of weeks. This has left me prone to re-injury, especially since my activity level out side of work was low. I have had several other strains, and one pinched nerve since. I am prone to spasms, and they can be severe enough to cause my knees to buckle. I know core strengthening exercises can help alleviate this, but it was always such a bother. I do them right after an episode for a few days then stop. In 1999 I stared working the night shift exclusively. It made me more available during the day for my kids, but left me pretty sleep deprived. I turned 30 a year later. I still expected my metabolism to be what it was when I was 20. The pounds slowly crept up on me. My varicose veins started to bother me, and I actually had the ones in my left leg stripped in Sept. of 2006. My weight was up to 179 lbs. Then right around Christmas of 2006, my left foot started bothering me. Bad enough that I blew through most of my PTO being out sick, before I finally sought out a specialist. I found out I had ruptured a tendon, and I had to have it repaired. It was almost torn completely in half and was the one that supports the arch of your foot. The surgery was done in April of 2007, and as the one year anniversary approached, I am still bothered with pain. Hovering between 175 and 180, I know that dropping weight will help, but the motivation is still not really there. I know a lot of people find their "a-ha!" moments in a doctor's visit or some innocent comment (or not so innocent) made by a stranger or family member (especially one made by a small child), mine was printed on a piece of paper. "Let's Get Healthy Together T9DH" (T9DH is the unit I work on.) Just a glance and I was caught by the words "Cash Prize". So I read the whole thing and thought, what if? I waited to talk to the others, and this is what it came down to: Every one who participates chips in $50.00. It would go from March to June, it was broken down into a 55%-30%-15% three place prize. The three people who lose the most percentage of body fat are the winners. I wanted the first place. My sister, brother-in-law, and their 5 kids are coming this summer, and the things we could do with the extra money! Initial weigh in and measurements was on March 7. I was 174.2 lbs. My upper arms were 14"; Chest 41"; Waist 36.25"; Hips 44.875"; and thighs 26.5". I checked my weight again two weeks later (3/22/08) and did a little boogie, I was 167.8 lbs! almost 6 and a half pounds in two weeks! I'm on my way. My sister emailed me about this site on March 26, and on March 27, I signed up. I used my weight from 3/22 as my starting point, and started using the tools. Talk about an eye-opener. I didn't realize I was taking in so few calories until I really started to track them. As for exercise, I am still not real disciplined about a routine. It shows on the last weight check, yesterday, 166. My bubble is very deflated. I know there is improvement, because my clothes are looser, but I was shooting for another 4-5 lb weight loss. So now the real work starts. I started riding my bike at the start. A week in and I was taking it to work. Since I don't have a car and took the bus, and the buses have bike racks, I can ride 4 miles from where you would normally turn if you were driving, rather then sit on the bus through the longer route the bus takes. I get home at about the same time, since I can take an earlier bus that doesn't go to my stop and get off at that point, rather than waiting a 1/2 hour longer for my bus. I forgot about the hill though. There is a 1/4 mile section of the highway that is a 20% grade, minimum. I found out how out of shape I am. I have not been able to ride all the way up that hill, even in the lowest gear. I have to get off and walk my bike up. My goal is to ride over that hill. I am getting close, I have made it 3/4 of the way, but the day I top that hill will be a big milestone. I am working on my diet, meeting the standards on the nutrition tracker. I find it hard, because I feel like I am eating plenty, but I have added a lot of veggies to my diet, and they are so much lower in calories then the chips and other junk food I would have eaten a month ago. I know if I cut my calories too low, my metabolism will slow back down, so that has become a priority. I write in a journal at least every other day to keep track of what I am thinking and feeling, and to be able to look back, and see my progress or lack of. Through this whole thing, I stared to realize I was headed down the path of so many of the Patients I take care of, as well as many of my family members. Mom is diabetic, as well as some of her uncles. My father is gone, a ruptured annuerism, not helped by the fact that he suffered from high blood pressure for years, along with his mother and sister. He was barely 50 years old. I want to see grandchildren, but don't want it to be because my own children start families very young, as I did. I want my sons to tease me about qualifying for the senior citizens discount, like I do my mother. I don't want them to have my fear of how long she'll be healthy enough to enjoy it. So that's my beginning. I am hoping I can learn to not have an end, but an ongoing journey to better health, and a longer life.
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