It's like a side-by-side after/before ad for Jenny Craig.
I was mortified by how I looked. However, it went far beyond looking fat. I felt sluggish and unwell. I couldn't do a lot of things that I wanted to because I just didn't have the energy or stamina. I decided to make a change.
I was nervous about such an undertaking. I knew it would be challenging, but I could also see where I was headed if I did nothing. One side of my family tends to be overweight and I was told from an early age that I would likely follow the trend when I got older. I worried that maybe that was truth; maybe getting fat was unavoidable for me. Maybe I was fighting a losing battle.
Fortunately, the other side of my family is
stubborn tenacious. I was not going to Fatsville without a fight. I began simply. No fad diets. No pills. No supplements. Just careful calorie and activity tracking. I got a new Fitbit and started using the MyFitnessPal app. I really became more conscious about what I was taking in and how much activity I was doing on a daily basis.
My job is largely sedentary, so I set my Fitbit to give me hourly reminders to get up and move. I started going to the gym regularly. At first I just walked on the treadmill or rode the bike. After a while I added in some classes: PiYo, some yoga and even kickboxing. I gradually added in some weight training as well.
My diet has never been really terrible, but I did have a portion control problem as well as a penchant to snack a lot at night. I cut down my meal portions but added in regular healthy snacks during the day so I never feel overly hungry. I cut out late-night snacking by instituting a 10pm Unplug for myself. By 9:50pm all my electronic devices are turned off and I am in bed (away from the kitchen) with a good book.
Since the end of the summer last year, I have gone from a size 12 with achy knees and ankles and some serious gut issues to a size 6 with knees that can hold up for a run and two back-to-back weeks of VBS. My energy is great and I feel better than I have in AGES.
But this is the most important part: There is no end in sight. I'm not going to get to a certain weight or dress size and say, "Ok, I'm done. I can go back to what I was doing before."
This is a lifestyle change for me. This is the way I will be from now on. And I'm happy. I love going to the gym. I enjoy the foods that I eat. I allow myself a treat now and then, but I am not interested in letting this go. It's not that I'm just afraid of gaining the weight back. I love how I feel now. I didn't realize how bad I felt before. Even my anxiety issues have gotten better thanks to regular exercise and cutting a lot of the crap from my diet.
I was almost 40 when I started. I had a lot of bad habits and a family history of weight issues. I could have said, "Well, everyone in my family is fat" and felt perfectly justified. But I want to be a good example for my children. I want to be healthy for myself now and for my future self. I want to be able to hike Cinque Terre or climb the Tor at Glastonbury when I'm an older lady. I don't want to be a burden to my sons when I'm old because I didn't take care of myself.
So there it is. My "Yay Me!" post. I won't apologize for it. I worked hard for it. I'm still working hard.
*I could not have done this without the awesome support of my husband. He's been on this journey with me and is such an inspiration to me. He looks amazing too!