Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My 365 day journey

This year has been filled with lots of wonderful things.  An abundance of happy memories and blessings that showered my sweet family of 4 during these past 12 months quickly come to mind.  Trips, game nights, garden tending, academic accomplishments...the list goes on and on.

But this "wonder" will be all mine.  Something that occurred because of me and no one else.  Something that I alone accomplished and has, most literally, changed my life.  Almost exactly 365 days ago, I began down the path of better health.  In just shy of 365 days, I have dropped 41 lbs.

I'm not going to chalk my weight gain up to health issues (although fertility drugs do have a way of packing on the pounds long before the baby weight arrives).  If I get to take credit for the weight loss, I need to hold myself accountable and take credit for the weight gain too.  The truth of the matter is, I simply ate too much.  I was eating junk food all the time.  Eating 3 or 4 helpings at dinner.  Stuffing my face with every sweet in my office at work.  I barely exercised.

After I delivered my beautiful surro-babe, I dropped 20 lbs or so of pregnancy weight.  After that, putting absolutely no effort into my health, I was stuck.  I had never weighed so much in my life, but still saw myself as relatively thin when I looked in the mirror.

That all changed last July when I was visiting my parents in Missouri.  We had just rafted down a river in southwest Missouri.  As we were pulling off onto the beach at the rental shop, we noticed a local news reporter and cameraman.  They approached us, wanting to interview me for a story they were doing on the low water levels of rivers and lakes in the area.  I declined, but my dad offered to help.  We watched the newscast that night and, you guys, I kid you not, I thought I was going to cry.  In the background, I saw someone sitting in the raft beside my mom.  This girl was facing the river, her back to the camera, and I could not understand who that really, really fat girl was with my bathing suit on.  Then it struck me that the super fat girl was me.  I was embarrassed, shocked, tearful, and struggled to breathe.  I vowed to myself - right there on my parents' bed - that I would lose weight.

I purchased a scale and weighed myself for the first time when I got home.  I had an appointment with my doctor where I learned that I was pre-diabetic (diabetes runs heavy in my father's family, so that was fun news to hear).  My BMI put me in the "obese" category.  Yep, it was that bad.  Not only did I look bad, but I discovered that day that my body was in bad shape health wise. 

I started slowly.  I scoured the internet looking for tips to lose weight in a healthy manner.  No diet drinks.  No quick fixes.  No weird stuff for me, please and thank you.  I began logging in every.single.calorie that I consumed into an online program.  I started walking on my lunch hours.

I began to lose weight.
I began to see a difference in the way my clothes fit.
I began to gain self-confidence again.

Fast forward 365 days.  I am 41 pounds lighter than I was a year ago and I am so proud of my accomplishment.  I hear compliments from friends I haven't seen in a while about how good I look.  My coworkers are inspired.  In all honesty, I hate the attention.  Instead of saying "thank you" like I probably should, my canned response is, "Well, it's been a lot of work."  I still don't know how to handle the compliments, I suppose. 

The best part, however, is that I feel great.  My BMI is now in the "normal" range and I am no longer knocking on diabetes' door.  I still eat sweets and not-so-good-for-you stuff, but only in moderation.  I eat tons of fruits and veggies, drink at least 64 oz of water per day, and chew gum like a mad girl to keep from mindless snacking.  I do interval training, walk with weights, do yoga stretches, and core exercises.  Jas gifted me a fitbit for my birthday in January and I wear it religiously.  In fact, I think I may be addicted to it, but it's a good thing!

It hasn't been an easy road to travel.  There have been so many ups and downs along the way, but my gosh, I've stuck with it.  I am grateful for the unending support I received from Jas.  I am grateful that my girls finally have an example of healthy living in their lives.  I am grateful for the free gym I have access to here at work.  And, if I have to be, I'm grateful for that stupid newscast that shed light on my issues in the first place.

1 comment:

G Love said...

Although I cannot believe you had that much weight to lose - I have noticed that you look fabulous in your pix lately. Like, back in the college days fabulous. Congratulations, I know that can't have been easy!! Good for you!