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A renewed commitment

Even though I finished the year down 38 pounds, I can’t help but feel disappointed that I did not make it to One-derland before 2021 began. When I weighed in at 202.4 on December 18th, I thought it would be no problem to achieve that goal, since I still had over 2 weeks left in the month and I had the My Fitness Pal app set to lose 2 pounds a week. But I had no idea how much 4 days of overeating in celebration of the holidays could sabotage my plans.

On the weekend of Dec. 19th, my family went to Fargo to see family and friends. We enjoyed meals and snacks together. I decided not to worry about tracking but I thought I kept the binge eating down a bit. Then during Christmas itself, I let my guard down more than I should have allowed. On the morning of Dec. 27th, the scale said 211.something (I jumped off of the scale like it was on fire so I can’t remember what the number was). It was disappointing but I thought I could really fight hard and see what happened.

So I increased my exercise level and duration each day. On Monday, I did a body building class, walked for about 15 minutes and then did a step class afterwards, which resulted in over 1,000 calories burned. On Tuesday, I did a 50 minute dance class. Wednesday was another intense day with a body building class at noon and then a long walk after work.

But even more importantly, I was extra careful about how many calories I consumed.

Starting Sunday, I made sure to leave a few hundred un-used calories on the table – literally! There were 884 un-used calories on Monday, 389 on Tuesday and 726 on Thursday.

Each day I weighed in, the scale dropped a few pounds, so I knew it was working, but on Thursday morning, the final number arrived and I wasn’t even able to get to my lowest weight to date. It said 204.8, which was about 2.5 pounds heavier than I was on Dec. 18th, 202.4 pounds. So after all of that hard work and sacrifice, I was still unable to reach my goal.

But as I was lying in bed last night, I realized that I still have a chance to reach my goal of staying under 200 pounds all year long in 2021. What if I pushed myself again this week and waited to weigh-in until Friday morning? I let myself have yesterday (New Year’s Eve) but I got right back into tracking today, which was a piece of cake (just less calories). What I don’t know can’t hurt my goals, right?

Another realization set in as well. This is not some short-term plan. I want my new habits to be a life-style change. I am going to eat healthier and exercise this week, like I have for the last 6 months and like I will for the next 12 months and longer. While I will make a full-force effort to hit One-derland in one week, with a renewed commitment to myself, I will get there eventually. There is no doubt about it.

Because here I am STARTING a new year, and already just a few pounds away from a place that always seemed like a fantasy. For the last 25 years or more, I would make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight but my starting weight was always well over 240 pounds. My resolution for this year is no different, except that now, it’s a resolution to continue the habits I formed almost 6 months ago that have already lead to a weight loss of 38 pounds! Therefore, my dream of entering One-derland is not only realistic, it is just days away! What I need to imagine is the possibility of hitting my ultimate goal of weighing 150 pounds or less, putting me in the “normal” weight range (set by the National Institute for Health).

So with all of those thoughts and goals in mind, I got my tired butt out of bed this morning and headed straight to my dance class that started at 9:30am. I worked hard, even though my body was pretty sore from all of the extra work-outs this week. As class went on, I remembered that in the past, I would get serious body aches this time of year – when the weather changes from fall to winter – because it usually coincided with my return to the gym after a few months of hiatus. But because I started this journey months ago (and stuck with it!), I do not have to wean my body back into the work-outs! Another big win!

With my sister and her two big kids here for the weekend, I will serve and eat regular meals, rather than getting my favorite protein shake for lunch or skipping meals. That being said, I will still track every calorie and make the healthiest choices.

Breakfast was on your own, so I stuck with my lightly spread peanut butter toast and a Weight Watchers protein shake. Lunch was chicken fajitas with low-carb/calorie tortillas, shredded cheese and light sour cream. We all went to my daughter’s work-place for supper, which is a 50’s style burger joint, where I had a chicken wrap and some knoephla soup (a cream-based, doe and potato-filled German favorite … along with one of mine – yum!).

All told, I ended the day over my calories by about 350, which means I will not lose weight today, but I am not going to gain either. Tracking calories has become so easy and even second nature to me. I just love My Fitness Pal, but I imagine any calorie tracking app would become quicker and easier once you have used it for a few weeks. The second nature part comes in after you have been using it for 6 months. (HOLY CRAP – I can’t believe it’s been 6 months!)

The best part about a controlled day like today is that I get to put on some warm, fuzzy jammies, snuggle up with my black cock-a-poo, sip on a 70-calorie hot chocolate k-cup and watch a movie with my sister (and possibly husband if the movie doesn’t bore him), while our children rummage around the house, laughing and playing games with each other. Isn’t life grand.

I wouldn’t have life any other way anymore. I am in control of my health and the positive effects are countless. It wasn’t even a question as to if I would keep following the healthy habits I established in 2020. The real question is “will the benefits ever end”, or “why didn’t I start this a long time ago?” But there is no time for regrets tonight. I will enjoy my evening and get to bed right after the movie so I can get up tomorrow and make the same smart choices again. I am so proud of my progress and unbelievably excited for my future. 2021 is going to be one of the best years of my life. Cheers … TO ME!

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