Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Long Journey... A Never Ending Journey!

When I look at the calendar and  think about when I started this weight loss journey, I realize how long it has been.  March 22, 2012 is when I decided to click on that link at work for a weight loss challenge.  After reading what you could win, I was encouraged--- but scared.  I didn't want to be in this competition & loose (which I was sure would happen since I have tried over and over again to loose weight in the last few years & failed miserably each time!)  But I read on and realized that I could use the site privately - and so my interest was piqued.  But I thought again about my failures and clicked back to my emails - I was at work after all & probably shouldn't have been spending that much time looking at a weight loss program online. 

Click, read, respond... Click, read, respond...Meeting...Click, read, respond...Meeting. That went on for a while - but something was gnawing at me...Could I really loose weight and get back into all my old clothes again?  I'd be happy with getting back into some of them! I was so tired of the stretchy clothes I had bought & while they fit, I hated what I saw in the mirror. 


I'd tried many things in life & failed at some and been successful at others.  But at least I had tried.  And so I thought some more about this weight loss thing.  And I thought about failing - and what that would feel like AGAIN... but then I thought about me.  About what I have accomplished over the last 25 years....


Single parent, raised 3 wonderful men who weren't so wonderful when they were boys (LOL), put them through private school (we ate a LOT of macaroni and cheese out of a box - Kroger brand, not even Kraft to pay tuition & make ends meet), got them into college with minimal loans- we ate potatoes & Ramen noodles to make this work! No wonder I gained so much weight! LOL. 


I excelled in my career beyond what most people thought would occur - including me -  given that I work with politicians and attorneys all day & I am neither :-).  


Probably my biggest accomplishment was that no matter how hard the prior years were, I didn't give up. 


No matter how many mistakes I made, I didn't give up. 


I just kept going.  So...


I decided that dieting was going to be the same thing.  I was just going to keep going, no matter how many times I failed, every day would be a new day.  I had overcome some significant hurdles in my life - so really, being fat should not be the one hurdle that I can't overcome - or at least put a dent in.  So on that day, with plenty of emails still to be answered and reports needing to be completed, I went back to that web page & clicked the link...My journey began.


I entered in all the requisite information.  And the next day, I began entering in food as I ate.  The first 5 pounds came off quick.  Then l came to a halt.  I was still entering information into the program, staying under the calorie goal, but that scale wasn't moving.  After a few weeks of being discouraged, I called my sister-in-law, Kitty, (an RN).  She told me to keep doing what I was doing & to give it 12 weeks.  According to her, it takes 12 weeks for your stomach to begin to shrink & for your body to adjust to the fewer calories so the weight loss can kick in consistently.  So, I gave it a try, and she was right.  The weight came off.  Not all at once, not necessarily at 1 or 2 pounds a week.  Some weeks 0 came off, other weeks 3 pounds came off!  But slowly over time, the scale moved - sometimes not in the right direction, but move it did...


And within the first year, I had lost between 47 and 54 pounds!  AND!!!!!  I could fit into about 1/2 of my closet!  This - all while going on a cruise, surviving the holidays & holiday parties!   I was thrilled - especially since we are paying for our wedding, there is no money in the budget for new clothes, even if I wanted them!


It's now July 2013 and the journey is not over... I've lost a total of 64 pounds since the beginning of this journey, give or take 3 pounds... And I feel immeasurably healthier!  Stairs aren't a challenge, I sleep better, I'm more active, and when I went for my last fitting, they had to take the wedding dress in AGAIN!...


All that said, the journey is still not over. 


I have another 29 pounds to go before I am no longer considered "overweight" by BMI standards. Since I started out firmly planted in the "morbidly obese" category, the fact that I am now in the "overweight" category is actually quite pleasing to me--- amazing what time does to perspective! 


I have another 10-15 to go before every stitch of clothes fits me - although my wearable wardrobe has increased exponentially!  I am wearing all those clothes I purchases as I was getting fatter - while telling myself, it's such a good deal, I'll get into it 'soon'.  Here I am 7 or 9 years later - hmmm.... I'm going to need to reevaluate my use of the word 'soon' LOL. 


Now, throughout the first 13 months I was patting myself on the back... but then the scale seemed to have come to a screeching halt.  And while I was discouraged, I knew this meant only one thing... I had lost as much weight as I was going to loose without exercising! 


So to help me get closer to the end of my weight loss journey I have started walking.  And while at first, I HATED it - ABSOLUTELY HATED IT!!! - Did I say I HATED IT?... Now I look forward to my walks.  I've been at this consistently for just 2 months now & while I haven't lost much weight since I started walking in earnest, I have definitely lost inches - a significant reward to me!    


SURPRISINGLY, I am enjoying this part of the journey.  I love the breeze on my face. I love hearing my Nike+ app tell me the distance and time I've walked every quarter mile.  I love WALKING through my neighborhood & admiring all the beautiful gardens that we all work so hard to create.  You miss this at 25 mph in a car.  I love putting on shorts that 11 pounds ago were just way too tight to wear out of the house - or even in the house with anyone but my honey!  Those same cotton shorts are now loose!  I love listening to the birds sing.  I love watching the new moms and dads with their toddlers.  I love running into my little neighbor who just this year has permission to ride his bike away from our court so when he sees me, his 'Hi!" is the brightest "hi" of my day!  I love watching the babies play on the swing sets as I walk past the parks.  I love seeing all the dogs being walked.  And yes, I absolutely love hearing my Nike+ App say "Congratulations!  You've reached your goal off XX miles in XX minutes and you've walked XX more than  your goal!"  Instant gratification- what's not to love? 


While I have lost inches, my weight loss has slowed & at first I was upset - but what I've come to realize is that this is the Never Ending Journey!  I will get to that ideal weight and BMI for me.  I will get into all my clothes & perhaps one day even buy some new ones - LOL.  


My journey won't end.  I will probably forever be counting calories or minutes walked or something... And that's okay.  I will have days that I eat tons of junk and days that I eat so little that my Honey keeps saying "what's wrong? You need to eat something!".  There will be days the scale goes up a few pounds (to remind me to stop eating chocolate; or that salt is not my friend!)... and there will be days the scale will go down (to reward me for carrots and the 5 mile walk).  And there will be days the scale won't move - no matter what I do... & I have no logical reason for that - it just is.  But that's how it is on a good journey - full of stops and starts, ups and downs... Variety.  And the longer the journey, the longer the variety...    


I love variety, so my journey continues... I'm so excited to see what is next!