Tuesday, February 03, 2009
I have always been heavy. I wore a women’s size 14 in the 6th grade. Going through school as a chubby girl was not fun, luckily stretch pants were in style! By the end of a stressful graduate program and my first year working in the schools, I was in a size 24. I groaned when I stood up, and my body ached. I felt like an old lady, but I was only 27!
One day in June, I was getting ready for a wedding. I got out a pair of khakis I hadn’t worn since school got out in May. The ice cream had finally taken its toll, they wouldn’t zip. I was frustrated, and disgusted with myself. I had gained a size in less than a month! I looked into my future, and saw myself getting bigger and bigger. It was unacceptable. My weight was getting in the way of my life.
My best friend lost weight with Weight Watchers, so I decided to give it a try. I hoped that the meetings would help me stay on track. Walking through the door was very hard, but I liked what I heard. It sounded like just what I needed, sensible lifestyle changes.
I must have been ready for a change, because the first few months were easy. Four weeks after joining, my husband and I went on a cruise. I watched my portions, did plenty of walking, and took the stairs instead of the elevator. I enjoyed dessert every night, but was down 6.8 pounds when I got home. We did a lot of walking, and it had never been so easy to keep up with my marathon-running husband!
At certain times in my life, I had flirted with exercise, but never established a long term relationship. As the weight fell off, I became much more active. One day, my husband and I were hiking, when I felt like breaking into a run. I could only run for about 30 seconds, but it was a start. Five months later, I ran my first 5K. I have finished a triathlon, a 20K and two half marathons since then. In high school, I couldn’t even run a mile!
This journey hasn’t always been easy. There have been times I wanted to give up. I’ve come to realize that the secret, for me and maybe for a lot of people, isn’t staying on the wagon or the horse or whatever metaphor you like. Everyone falls off. The secret is being able to climb back up.