Even after 217 days, I need to keep reminding myself WHY I track calories, limit or even pass up my favorite foods and then spend 1 to 2 hours at the gym every day. After 7 full months of living this new lifestyle, it’s easy to get complacent and forgot how hard it was to change many of my unhealthy habits, like eating big bowls of ice cream every night and stopping for Micky Dee’s (McDonalds) whenever I wanted. It’s also easy to forget how big and uncomfortable I was around people, although I currently have piles of clothes on the floor that remind me. Now that I have lost 40 pounds and I feel much better about my body, I need to be careful not to slip back into old routines.
I began this new lifestyle on Jan. 29, 2020 because I had had ENOUGH! I was literally sick and tired. Period. I would eat junk food until I was sick and I would get tired so easily from just a little exercise. I was DONE being the biggest person in the room. I did not want to shop in the PLUS size sections of the store – if they even had my size – and I was done asking for shoes with “wide width” only to find out that they did not have them. I was tired of feeling so full when I went to bed at night and hated getting dressed in the morning.
But I was also sick and tired of diets too! In recent years, I had some success with Keto and Weight Watchers but nothing stuck. I would do well until an event or vacation and then the pounds would come right back on. The roller coaster ride wasn’t even fun anymore because it was the same one every time. I found myself at one of those hopeless moments in life when you know you are at a crossroads.
Now there are just so many reasons why I want to continue following my new routine. I have not been to a doctor since I lost weight. (Frankly, I wanted to go after I was safely living in One-derland and I am not quite there yet.) But when I do go, it will be fun to see the surprise on my doctor’s face (or at least in her eyes) and hear the positive ramifications of lower blood pressure, less fat cells surrounding my heart, lower cholesterol numbers, etc. I’m hoping that my doctor can quantify how weight loss can positively affect life span and it’s abilities to stave off illnesses like cancer and diabetes. I have no doubt that those things are true but I am a numbers girl, as you know, so hopefully she can give me some statistics.
Another interesting reason why I want to keep doing this is because it’s easier. YES, I said EASIER! After eating the same meals for over 200 days, I have established some routine habits so now I do them without even thinking. I can make my one (over-easy) egg and toast breakfast in 2-3 minutes and tracking it in My Fitness Pal is just a matter of swiping right! My lunch usually consists of a salad, a protein shake, or a cup of soup, and all three of them are also pre-loaded in My Fitness Pal and are easy to track. I always grab a couple of fruits and a fun dessert, like 2 Peppermint Patty THINS before I leave for work. Then the evening meal can be anything, since I have kept my calories low all day, but I still have to watch my portions and track them so there are no surprises.
With my recent back pain, I have had to adjust my exercise routine but one part has not changed – walking every day. Unless I am bed ridden or hospitalized, I will not stop walking. I can modify the length of my strides and the speed with which I travel, so there really is no excuse. Plus, when you make time to walk 3-4 miles a day, it means you will be pre-occupied for another 1.5 hours of your day. That’s another 1.5 hours that you cannot binge on chocolate covered chocolate ice cream cones (my favorite Dairy Queen treat.) Sometimes you actually need to fill your time as a way to keep you OUT of the kitchen. It’s elementary, my dear Watson.
But the biggest reason for my continued efforts is that being “skinny” or perceived that way is my Ultimate Dream! I already have a loving family with children, a good job, plenty of “stuff”, a track record of fun vacation destinations and good health, so if you asked me what else I could desire out of life, it’s to be thin! I’m not sure what that number is yet. The doctor will give me an idea but it will be amazing when I am no longer considered “obese.” (I just looked on Chrome and I need to weigh less than 175 before the doctor will drop the word “obese” and I will need to weigh less than 150 to have a “normal" Body-Mass-Index. Wow. It’s gonna be a while.)
Even in high school, I never considered myself thin. I was always on the higher end of the scale and I remember feeling that way too. I look back now and I regret thinking I was overweight. A few of my friends were very small so I considered myself overweight compared to them. One of my gym teachers spoke to us about body types and that made me feel better but then a different gym teacher told me – in front of the entire time – that I should start wearing track bras. (He happens to be in prison now. Too bad karma’s a bitch!)
When the weight started coming on in 1996, I did not notice at first, since I already considered myself overweight. I had a new boyfriend, who later became my husband, and I knew he would always love me, no matter what size I was, so I’m afraid I went “hog wild!” I suppose my lifestyle became more sedentary, too, after I stopped waitressing and got a desk job. Then the babies started coming and there was no stopping the weight-gain-train.
There were times throughout the years when I could devote attention to a new diet, but the minute that my focus was diverted to a new pregnancy or stress at work, the weight would creep back on again. It’s such a vicious cycle.
Who knew that 2020 was going to be the year that I had ENOUGH!?!
Have you seen the movie “Enough” with Jennifer Lopez? She is motivated to do different things for different reasons – namely, she decides to kill her husband before he kills her – but in any case, much of the motivation is the same. There is a scene with her and a personal trainer who asks her “how do you win?” She says, “I attach.” He says, “What do you do after you attach?” and she says, “Nothing.” He says, “Why nothing?” and she says, “Because I never stop attaching.”
Now picture me saying those words in regards to my weight loss journey.
What? Losing all of this extra weight!
When? From now until I die. I WILL NEVER STOP fighting for good health!
Where? Everywhere I go.
WHY? Because it would be a Dream Come True!