I hardly even know where to start. Well, ok, you all know I DO know where to start. At the beginning. After all who starts at the end? Oh, wait…. yeah. Sometimes I DO do that don’t I? Like I mean today, I posted this picture on my Facebook account….. Yup…. THIS one. (The one showing my PENIS!) Ok not really my penis…. its a selfie of me in a changing room while I shop for new clothes with Todd, because I don’t F’ing fit in anything I own!!! For the record…. IT’S MY BELT OK????
So. I posted it on Facebook. That’s when it started. I LOVE comments. I’m kind of a comment whore. I post things sometimes just to see how much of a reaction I can get. I’m sure that any of you who know me personally would have never imagined that right? The comments initially focused on the penis/belt, but very quickly moved on to “OMG look how much weight you’ve lost!” and things like “Tell me your secret!!!” or “What diet are you doing?” and “I don’t believe that you haven’t been killing yourself exercising!” So I thought I should set the record straight (which I am NOT just for the record…. lol).This is me… not too long ago. Yup. I admit it I was pregnant. Thank god THAT’s over!! It was a long labour… most girls think 36 hours of labour is long…. try 6 months!!!!! (I’m not minimizing the pains of childbirth… really I’m not….. it’s called humour ok?). I had gotten so embarrassed by my body that I covered it with humour… learned o make the “baby” kick and everything.. no one can judge you when they are busy laughing (or so I thought….) But I could!!! And I did, quietly and to myself.
I was not happy with my shape. There were things I wanted to do (or have done to me) that had become difficult because really… with that much weight on my poor body I was not fit for much physical activity…. and sometimes even my breathing got hampered by the “extra adipose tissue” (that’s FAT to all you non-medical types). Of course, I was convinced that there was nothing I could do about it. In all fairness I have been convinced about a lot of other things as well. I spent a long time convinced that I had the “family disease” (colon cancer) but a colonoscopy at the age of 30 proved that theory wrong. I was convinced that if I WANTED something it would be completely jinxed and NEVER happen (but hey, Todd said yes…. so DISPROVED!). Above and beyond all else I was convinced that I had no will power. I was convinced that I would only be able to eat lettuce if I wanted to loose weight. I was convinced that not only would I have to eat only lettuce, but that I would have to go to the gym for 6 hours a day as well. I was sure it was hard. Impossible really. Yet, here you can clearly see, I have SUCCEEDED!! How is that even possible???
I have been asked the “secret to my success” many times in that last few weeks. I’ve been asked “what diet are you on” I have been asked what exercise regime I have started. I’ve had people do double takes. I’ve had colleagues I haven’t seen in a long time raise a worried eyebrow and ask “were you trying to loose weight?” (which in medical speak is code for “You don’t have cancer do you?). My responses vary based on time of day, person I’m talking with and my mood….. I have actually responded sometimes by saying “I simply stole sutured from work and sewed my lips shut!!” I usually get a laugh with that one. “What diet are you on?” usually gets the response “I’m not dieting, I’m Calorie counting… every time I get to 1000 I start again!” When asked about exercise I show my MedicAlert bracelet that clearly shows my “allergy” to the gym. I do Tell people that I have tried to walk a little more, but otherwise? No changes to my activities….To recap, in just about 6 months I have lost 45 pounds (approximately). I have gone from a 36″ waist to a 31″ waist. Can even show you my progress in graph form…. (there is a blip on the chart that represents our Mexican vacation in February, I’m sure you’ll immediately see it!) I have to admit that I am quite proud of this accomplishment. It has taken some work, but it has been well worth it. (don’t you just love a good app?). I have stated this before, and I guess it’s time that I stated it again. All I have really done, TRUTHFULLY if control my caloric intake. I have also become more aware of my activity level (thanks to my fitbit) but I have not joined a gym or spent countless hours on a treadmill. Really guys, I haven’t. On top of all that I still eat. Yes, Real food!! This weekend I even had red velvet cupcakes and Macaroons!!! (that was a treat I haven’t had in quite some time though!)
As proof that I haven’t been a terrible liar, look at these. Proof positive of my Caloric intake!!! I can’t say this enough, recording every single thing you eat is the biggest thing you can do to ensure success. RECORDING actually increases your awareness. It helps you understand where your calories come from. It helps you prioritize the things that are important to you (do you REALLY want that chocolate bar mid afternoon if that means you won’t be able to have your STEAK at dinner? It’s your choice in the end.) It’s only after you become aware of the patterns you have developed that you can break them. To my way of thinking that’s the key. KNOWLEDGE. Far too often it seems that as a group we are very happy to be ignorant on many levels. I think that’s why the media and advertisers can manipulate us so well!!! Breaking that cycle alone is HUGE in the fight to reach your weight goals!! The thing about knowledge though is that sometimes you have to work for it. No one is going to hand you the answers to the test. If you don’t study, you will fail. Funny how essentially nothing has changed since grade school eh?
Journaling, and keeping track of your intake is not the only thing that is integral to your success though. Motivation is also a factor. I won’t lie to you. I was carrying extra weight for a decade plus. I could have decided to find the necessary knowledge at any time. But I didn’t. Motivation is the key. People find their motivation in many different places. Some people wake up one day snd realize that “thigh gap” is not just an expectation for women… Other people find motivation in a picture of what they wish to become…. While still others look to what they WILL become if they don’t change their habits (anyone else watching “My 600lb Life”?). Other people simply decide on a physical target that is less “weight” based and more health based, making the choice to be more “active” or “get healthy.” The thing here is that the actual motivating factor doesn’t really matter as much as you might think. It is simply that you ARE motivated. That’s the rub. Sitting and moaning and complaining and wishing for change while sitting on the sofa eating a family sized bag of potato chips with ice cream will not change a thing, no matter how much you wish it to be so. It’s like that saying I have heard so often, that the internet seems to attribute to Albert Einstein (I’m not sure I trust the source on this one btw). Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. For me I simply reached a day where I was no longer willing to live in the condition that I had let my body get to. Thankfully that also happened to coincide with a day when Todd decided HE wanted to change things too, because that is another completely necessary component….. SUPPORT.
Without support you will not succeed. This is just a matter of fact. The number of people who can make a life change and stick to it without some form of support is extremely limited. The support can be a spouse or friend who shares your Journey (like Todd and I), or it can be a group like weight watchers. It can be a diet/meal plan like Jenny Craig. It can even sometimes be an app on a smart phone, or an online connection with a group. There are many ways to find that support, but it is important that you find some sort of support that works for you.
Once you have the knowledge, the motivation and the support, then there is still something more you need…. A PLAN! I think I have covered this in earlier posts, but in brief…. For us it was an app a fit bit and a wifi bathroom scale. Added to this were a few kitchen implements like a kitchen scale and some bins to organize our fridge. With these things we could pre-portion our foods and create a plan to reach our goals.
In the end you do still have to realize that there will be days when you will fail (I posted about a day when I attended a conference at a hotel where I just could not keep myself away from the food being offered…..). If you don’t let these set backs define you though, things will still move in the direction you want. Treat each setback as a motivation to do better next time. Also realize that you are human and allowing yourself times when you can eat to simply ENJOY rather than to just “add needed fuel to your body.” Pleasure is important and food is definitely one of life greatest pleasures!!! So, find a balance that allows you to reach your goals but also allows you to enjoy SOME of the pleasures that food brings.
In the end I just have to say it one more time. I’m not an F’ing liar. I haven’t done anything secret or special. I have no magic wand, no silver bullet. There is no special skill required. You just have to understand that in truth it is a simple relationship between the number of calories consumed and the number of calories burned that determines weight loss/gain. With only two variables to control it’s not as complex as most people want to make it. You either have to eat less or exercise more. You can eat 5000 calories a day if you like and still loose weight (as long as you spend your entire day on the treadmill walking at a brisk pace, non-stop), or you can simply choose to restrict your caloric as I did.
I have to say, thank you all for your compliments comments!! I am happy that I was able to make the changes that I have, and that they have become so noticeable so soon!! I only wish I could turn back time as easily as I could turn back the scale… If I could, THIS would be my goal… To Look like I did when I first met Todd (minus a few pounds of course!) Sometimes it seems a little silly to me though, since Todd has lost almost TWICE as much weight in the same time frame. In all reality HE’S the one who should be getting all the congratulatory messages at this point…. The only reason I could be successful at all was with his support and his encouragement and his organizational skills…. Oh. SNAP!!! I just realized something.. I DO HAVE A SECRET!!!! Todd!!! He’s the special magic that not only makes my life more fun, but also my waist line trimmer. So I guess you all need to find that!!! Back off get your own Todd!!! This one’s mine!!!!
Thanks For Reading!!!