Tuesday, August 28, 2012


This is a post I’ve been waiting years to write.

Most people would rather die than announce their weight for anyone to see. Do you see that number? It may just be 2 measly tenths under 150 but I don’t care. My weight is in the 140’s for the first time in my adult life. EVER. I couldn’t even tell you when I last weighed this much (or little!) because I don’t even remember how much I weighed in high school but it sure as heck was higher than this. By a lot. I know because I remember what weight I lied and said I was on my first driver’s license. No more lies here.
If you’re like me and have struggled with weight all your life, you know there’s no quick fix. It’s been said a million times before that you need to make a lifestyle change if you want to achieve your goal. I am now down 50.2 lbs from my all time high. It was not easy. In fact, for the last 25 months (that’s over 2 years, folks), I have only lost 15 lbs. And that was me gaining and losing the same 5 lbs over and over. Extremely frustrating. Counting calories, 6 days a week of exercise. That’s what it took for me. If you’re struggling too, that’s what it may take. I’m warning you now.

Here’s what worked for me (and again, none of this is new information and it's what worked for ME, you need to find the right balance of what works for you)
  1.     I chug water like it’s my job. In fact, all day long at my job, I’m drinking water. Yes, I go to the bathroom more than the average person. You get used to it. Your body will love you for all the water you’re drinking. It can help curb your appetite until that next meal or snack and it helps ensure that you’re not drinking your calories. I hear you people saying diet soda is calorie free, and I’m ignoring you.

2)      You have GOT to move. Walking? Probably isn’t enough of a calorie burn if you want to lose a significant amount. It might be in the beginning, especially if you were pretty inactive before. But over time, your body becomes far too accustomed to workouts. If walking is your thing, be sure you’re pumping your arms and adding time/distance to the routine. In this entire journey when my workouts got stale and I plateaued, I switched it up. I plateaued a BUNCH. For whole years even. Somewhere in there I was dubbed Queen of Plateaus. You know how when I started running I could only go for 45 seconds at a time and now I run for over an hour? There’s a reason. Also, please add in some weight bearing exercise days too. I didn’t buy into this before and thought cardio was the only way to go. It’s not. Pick something you'll stick with. I've also taken zumba classes for the last 5 years, various dance classes, countless workouts through TV and DVD, etc and so on. If you'd rather bike or swim or hike. Do that! I do not love running. I love finishing my run and I love what running has done for me. There's a difference. I would thank my lucky stars if one day I could be one of those people who could think of nothing more fun than lacing up and hitting the pavement. So far, that's not me. But I do it anyway.

3)      Getting the right amount and right kinds of calories for your body. PLEASE use one of those handy online calculators to figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This will give you a better idea of how many calories you should be consuming each day. Starvation is not the goal here. You’ve got to fuel up for that burn (see #2). It took me a long time to learn this. And not all calories are equal. That took me a long time to learn too. Protein is not the enemy I used to think it was. It’s crazy important! Track your food. This is probably the biggest pain and I don’t do it anymore but after one of my first plateaus, I tracked everything and really learned what a proper portion size was. Portion control is your friend. I still use a measuring cup for cereal, rice, etc. I want to make sure I'm not eating more than my fair share. Do I still let myself have a juicy burger at a restaurant? You bet. Do I still get cravings for calorically dense sweets? All the time. It's a choice. Everything in moderation.

That's it! Easier said than done, right? Another important factor is to try not to get discouraged. If you have a bad weigh-in, there is no beating yourself up about it. If you had to skip a workout, get back at it tomorrow. You cannot go into this with a defeatist attitude or you'll never make it to the other side. There were plenty of times early on when I forgot to stay positive. You don't gain anything from negativity, except maybe more weight.

Some day you won't have to wear the biggest size available in the regular stores. And you won't be shoved on kitchen duty during your sorority's rush events with the other chubby girls. You won't have to lie on your driver's license out of shame. You won't be called 'large' to your face. 

Someone will refer to you as skinny and you'll turn around thinking they're talking to someone else. You will hold back tears of happiness in a dressing room when you try on your first single-digit size piece of clothing. You won't hold them back when you reach your goal. That's okay. You deserve those happy tears. You worked hard for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I want to hear what you have to say. Really!