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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

32 down, 18 to go

Pounds, that is. I started out roughly this time last year at 200 pounds. On a 5’4” frame, that’s not such a good thing. So I told myself that I was making a conscious effort to lose weight and get in shape.

I have never been good at follow-through on anything. I stick with something for a couple of weeks, maybe, and then I slack. This pattern goes back and forth constantly. I also have issues with fairly severe PMDD and when that ride hits the downhill spiral, I turn to food for comfort. Heck, I turn to food for comfort for just about anything – rough day, no money, rainy weather, hangnail…..

One thing that I’ve been able to do since I got my hip replaced is walk. And I love to walk. I load up the kid(s) in the stroller and we’ll go hiking through town for a couple of hours, easily. The problem is, once again, sticking to it. I usually do really well for a couple of days, and then I get lazy again.

I have discovered a few things that have helped me. There are apps that I have downloaded onto my phone that track how far I’ve walked using the phone’s GPS or that count the calories in the food that I eat. Sometimes just tracking these things can help with the motivation issues – “Oh look, I walked one mile yesterday, so maybe I can go 1.5 today” or something like that. Or, “Holy crap, I’ve eaten HOW MANY calories today???” which is the more common reaction.

I’ve even found that just posting things on Facebook has helped – posting when I’ve taken a walk or when I’ve hit a weight-loss milestone – the moral support from my friends has been phenomenal to say the least.

Right now, my main motivation is this half-marathon. I am both looking forward to it and dreading it. I really want to do it – I want to be able to say that I finished it, regardless of how long it takes me. I know that I have just over 3 months to prepare for it, and that I’ll never be able to finish it if I don’t get myself into better shape before then. There are 6 of us that are hoping to be able to do it (so far, but anyone is still welcome to join us!), and so we’ve been cheering each other on in our workout efforts – but it’s hard because none of them live close enough to me that we can just get together at the spur-of-the-moment and work out or walk together. And while I’m looking forward to it, I’m kicking myself in the butt for ever mentioning that I was thinking about doing one, as that idea has now snowballed – but that’s a good thing.

I have always found that if I have a specific goal in mind, I do better. And it can’t be a made up goal, like wanting to just lose ___ pounds by ____. It has to be for an event – in 2002, the last time that I weighed this much or less, it was my 13 year class reunion. I survived on meal replacement shakes and diet frozen food for 6 months in order to squeeze my butt into that particular pair of jeans, and by God it worked! Until the reunion was over, and then well…..yeah. Back to the old habits, had a few more kids, and the pounds just kept accumulating.

At this point, I know that I have until May 1 to get ready for this half-marathon (keep in mind, I’m WALKING it, not RUNNING it). I would like to get down to my goal weight of 150 by that time, but I don’t know if that will happen or not. If I focus, it can. Unfortunately for me, stress usually wins and so I have to teach myself to make better choices as to what goes into my mouth when I am stressed – and I also have to remember that a candy bar and a diet soda is NOT a meal (even though it is one of my favorites)…. I have to force myself to workout, whether it is getting out and walking or doing an exercise video or whatever. I am going to try to get a bunch of healthy food made up and stock my freezer so that when I’m in a hurry, I can just grab something and heat it up. There are so many little things that I can change that will add up to some huge differences, but it is just a matter of doing it and sticking with it. And now that I’ve thrown it out here publicly, I have a few more people than just myself to be accountable to. *smacking self on head for going this public*

Another reason that I really need to do this, besides the fact that I’m now single and I want to look my best (shallow much?) is that with no health insurance, I really need to make an effort to be as healthy as possible. I need to eat better and stay in better shape. I can’t afford to go to the doctor unless it is an absolute emergency, so I need to do what I can to avoid it. I know what I need to eat to help with the joint pain, and if I can get my body to be stronger as a whole, the joint pain should ease up. At least that sounds good in theory….

So there it is. It’s not a big secret, I don’t have a secret weapon, and I’m not SuperWoman. It’s taken me a year or more to get this far with some wild ups and downs with my weight, but I think that I might be at a point where I can start to focus on it (along with everything else that I need to focus on) and maybe make some permanent changes and be healthier in general. At least, that’s my plan (stupid p-word). I still have that pair of jeans that I wore to that reunion – I bought them before I had my first kid, and I haven’t worn them since that reunion. But they are still hanging there with my other jeans, and at some point, they will fit again. And I’m not talking about the laying on the bed, sucking everything in, fighting with the zipper and then not being able to stand or sit kind of fitting – I’m talking about putting them on like a normal human being and zipping them without a struggle. That is my *other* motivation right now.

Oh, one last thing – I know for a fact that dropping the 150 pounds of dead weight 2 weeks ago helped too – amazing what that has done for my mental state. Yep, I went there. So sue me.

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