Friday, August 20, 2010

The Best- and Worst - Summer

I quit my job for the summer. It wasn't really that big a deal, just some part time work to bring in some extra cash. John provides AMAZINGLY for us, so I am blessed to be able to focus on my health this way.

Speaking of John, he has been the most supportive husband I can possibly imagine through the summer. I am so blessed. From the start, he's said that whatever resources I need to succeed, we'll make the sacrifices necessary to get them. He's encouraged me, taken off of work to console me or hold me while I cried, gone to the gym with me, dealt with my experimental cooking as I completely re-learn to cook, accepted that he had no idea what I'm going through, and then tries his darndest to understand everything I'm feeling.

So, without telling too many people, I auditioned for The Biggest Loser in the spring. Who knows if it's because I barely had enough weight to lose for the show, or who knows what else, but I didn't even get a call back. Maybe it's because I lost some of my vivaciousness and confidence when I gained the weight, and they'd like my personality more once I'm slender. haha. So, I said..... "whatever, I'm going to do this on my own! I'll make my own 'Biggest Loser experience'!"

And thus it began.

I started reading. Researching. Checking out gyms. Running numbers and goals. Looking up nutritionists.

One thing to know about me is that a lot of my problem has been lack of knowledge. I frankly, had no idea how many calories I should be eating in a day, let alone how many grams of fat, protein, salt, etc. I've now turned into something of a health fanatic, though a still-overweight one at that.

Another thing that shaped how I chose to go about this summer was the fear of giving up. I've been very proud of myself for never buying into all the fad diets, or really any "diets" at all. I wanted to do this the healthy way. But that being said, all the other times I've tried to do it the healthy way, I find an eternal list of excuses for failure. You know the ones --

"I have too many things on my list today, guess I can't get to the gym--darn it!"

"I didn't sleep well, and well, being well-rested IS part of being healthy!"

"One scoop of icecream won't make a difference..."

"Nobody will know I actually had more than just 'one scoop of icecream'!"

But really the biggest one was my excuse on the scale. I've always felt like my weight fluctuates a lot, so if I would lose a pound one week, instead of seeing it as a victory based on choices I had made, I would see it as a fluctuation. This led to me not really getting anywhere, because any headway I would gain I wouldn't see as that so then I wouldn't think what I was doing was worth it.

This is why I wanted my summer to be as Biggest Loser-esque as I could get. So that I could work my little tail off and see drastic enough results that I couldn't excuse it away.

So that I could push super-duper hard, and then actually SEE that my work was paying off.

So that at the end of the week I could say "that was AWFUL, but worth it, and I can DO THAT AGAIN!"

So that's what I did. At the beginning of the summer, I emailed my family with my goals for the immediate few months. Here they were:

1) Stay within my daily calorie allottment (it will be changing approximately bi-weekly to reflect my weight loss)

2) Spend 4-6 hours, 5 days a week working out

3) Do something active with John 1-2 hours on Saturday

4) Record daily both my food and exercise

5) Lose (on average) 4 pounds a week

I am happy to say that I pretty much achieved all of those the whole summer except the last one! Instead of 4 pounds a week, I've lost 2, which is still pretty good. I'll get into that in another post, because though I'm happy with that, with everything I've done, my body hasn't responded as well as it should.

I joined the medical wellness center that's a mile from our house in the beginning of June. I bought new shoes, some workout clothes, and a heartrate monitor. I met with a nutritionist and set some goals and learned about realistic calories and such. I started training with a trainer. At the beginning it was 5 days a week, then 3 days a week, now it's just once a week.

I started going to every class the gym had to offer (except spinning and kickboxing--still WAY too intense for me!!)

I did Step classes. Yoga. Zumba. Pilates. Ab workouts. Cardio classes. And that was just my mornings. Then in the afternoons, after a 2 hour lunch break, I would go and meet with my trainer, then do my own work on the elliptical, bike, rowing machine, treadmill, etc.

And do you know what? It worked. This girl who had convinced herself it was impossible for her to lose weight, who had gone through every excuse in the book, lost 6 1/2 pounds in the first week.

In just under 3 months, I have lost 22 pounds. I can't explain that away as "fluctuation".

I've grown SO much this summer, starting to break that shell that I'm not supposed to have, becoming more confident and happy again, and starting to see my waist come back. I've had to readjust my expectations and goals, and I will have to keep doing that, but there's one thing that I've become even more resolute in--

I CAN do this. I WILL do this. I WILL finish this journey, and I WILL live the life I want to live. This is the point of my life where I take it back and don't let my body hold me hostage any more.

Okay, I promise that all my posts won't be this long. Though ask anyone in my family and they'll tell you I do tend to be long-winded. Kudos to you if you stuck it out this long. ;) But now that I've relatively caught you up to speed, I'll be able to just blog about my day to day stuff. Which will be more fun, cause the details are always more exciting.

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