With my luck, one of the prizes will be a fried chicken platter from the local Publix. Not that I'd turn it down.
This journey of weight loss began back in November when I got on the scale in the doctor's office and was mortified. I have been slowly gaining weight through the years...and then I'd take about six months and beat it back down...only to have it creep back up again. I'm one of those people who can talk about food and gain weight. Probably because I translate all of that talk into actually attempting to make something I want...grazing through the pantry until I'm either eventually satisfied or so full that it requires a crane to remove me from the couch.
Many Sundays are spent in this manner. I'll admit it.
So, back to the scale. I hopped up there and immediately knew that I was "running out of real estate" as they say on the upper end of OMG! I had actually crossed over into weighing more than 90% of the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team.
And I don't mean the scrub team. I mean the starters.
Now...you folks probably know that I've been here before. I started Weight Watchers at age 14...only to end up with a bit of an eating disorder and so many more trips back to Weight Watchers that I began to refer to it as "rehab." Seriously, Lindsey Lohan has nothing on me. She has her problems...and I have mine.
I've sat through so many hours of lectures at rehab that I honestly believe that I could teach the class. And yes, once I actually attained my goal weight.
Once. I don't think I ever made it past the six weeks of maintenance.
I'd listen to people talk about their struggles with food, how their hearts were broken, and how angry they were at themselves. I'd see other people prop them up with encouragement and clap enthusiastically when they lost 1.2 pounds after eating nothing they wanted all week. I listened to the lady who had lost 95 pounds jump into every conversation as the resident expert, and I'd see other people roll their eyes along with me. I have bookmarks, ribbons, gold stars, and more paraphernalia than you can possibly imagine. Yet...I couldn't find success.
Not for long anyway. And putting myself and my wallet through that numerous times was just more than I could continue to do. So the problem grew...literally. The last time I was at rehab, I was sitting there with my iPod listening to music when the song "Heavy" by Collective Soul came on. It was entirely too hilarious.
Oh, come on, you know you would have laughed too. So, I endured the rest of the meeting about how to get through Thanksgiving with your relatives pushing food on you or some such nonsense and then I never went back.
I just couldn't.
I believe that Weight Watchers is a wonderful program. But it is designed for people who have already made the decision to get the weight off...not for the "I'd like to drop a few pounds" crowd. You have to really stick to the program, write down everything, and drink a lot of water. And then there's the whole focus on exercise which is referred to as "moving." Frankly, the only exercise I was getting at the time was walking back and forth to the bathroom to pee.
Sorry for the TMI.
Anyway, I finally got sick of myself again and tried not eating carbohydrates and stuck to a plan of very limited foods with good success. And had I been able to stay away from sugar...I might have made a success of that program. In fact, right now I am doing a modified version of that plan. And it is still working. Just more slowly.
But the weigh-in last November showed me that I had achieved a new frontier in weight...and that I needed to take matters in hand so that I'll actually be able to walk in 20 years instead of being put on my side and rolled around the mall. Because that was where I was headed.
Not that my son hadn't been trying to get me back into the gym. Not that my daughter hadn't asked me if I knew anyone who would be a good gym partner. Not that I didn't face my closet every day dreading the attempt to find something to cover my massivity. (I know it's not a word...but it should be.) I was all kinds of in denial. And shame. Let's not forget that.
One day in late November I walked into Hogan's Gym and walked by the mirrors in the big room and I didn't die from embarrassment. On the contrary, everyone was and still is extremely supportive. I've had one person who told me that maybe I should wait until the summer to try to do more...but I think that she was just trying to be encouraging in a roundabout way. She saw me struggling through the Pilates class...and since she'd been heavy once herself, she was probably remembering how embarrassing it is when your brain tells your body to move a certain way, and the body is stopped from responding by something blocking its path.
I refer to that as my "abs." (Or lack thereof.)
Since that day, I have tried to be faithful about being at the gym at least three days a week, most often four times, and when I can five or six. I never go on Sunday. But then again...I am trying not to do my pantry diving on Sunday afternoons either.
I've learned that I can have pretty much what I want, but the sugar has to be very minimized and the carbs as well. I am as happy with a bowl of cut up strawberries (Big Dave just brought me some) than I would be with a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Okay, that's primarily because I don't like their politics...but whatever.
I now do an hour of cardio, do weight machines, and although I've been slacking in March due to my birthday, a stomach virus and oversleeping...I love my classes on Saturday morning. I love the people and how wonderful, funny, amazing, and encouraging they are. I can have a bad day...but if I walk through the door of the gym...I'm better. Well...unless someone is a horse's behind and won't turn the TV off of NBC News...because I go all Towanda over that.
In fact, that happened tonight. But let's not dwell on the negative, shall we?
Jill works out with me...which means I get to see her most days. Brian works the front desk several days a week. I've gotten to know a lot of people who I wouldn't have gotten to know had I just gone home and curled up in front of the TV with a bag of Lay's. In fact, I now know what it takes to burn 400 calories. It takes an hour of my life. Which at least makes me think twice before I go to cramming something in my mouth that I don't need, isn't good, or isn't good for me.
I'm down 27 pounds so far...and have a long road ahead of me. But I ran into a girl at the gym yesterday who is running the Boston Marathon soon. She's down 70 pounds and looks fantastic. Good for her! I saw pictures today on a guy's phone of the half-marathon that he and his wife ran last weekend. He is always on the stairmaster when I'm in the cardio room. He's also shed a lot of weight and is running his first marathon later this year. You know what I think about that? I think that's fabulous. And if by osmosis I am able to catch their enthusiasm and stick with it...then yay for me.
I don't know what your story is right now. I don't know if you are like my Facebook friend, Jodi, who is doing a bikini/figure/fitness competition this year and looks amazing. Or like my friend, Sue, who joined a gym where she lives and she is rocking her new and improved sassy self. Maybe you are like me who is just proud to be hanging with the big dogs. If you are...be proud. Be proud for anything that moves you a little closer to where you want to be. I don't care if that is surviving a Pilates class or running a mile. Just do it. Seriously.
As for me, I'm going to spend the next few months trying to fine tune my exercise routine and pick up some more good habits. Yesterday, one of the trainers, Jimmy, told me to just go up and down the steps four times to see how I feel. There are seventeen steps...and I did it.
I. Did. It. Without an elevator. Or oxygen. Rock. On.
If you are trying to figure it all out...just start with a small change. Give up diet sodas and drink water. Give up candy bars and eat fruit. Give up your TV time and go for a walk. Just do something. Anything.
I have to admit that I was really excited to go to the doctor's office this past week when I found out that my weight was down. Not that I'm proud of the number that it is now, but I know that if I stay faithful...this too shall pass.
Get up, get out there, and do something positive. Join Weight Watchers or join a gym. Maybe do both. You can do whatever you set your mind to do...just pray for the strength to get through the time when your effort turns from a duty into a habit. Today I thought I might take the night off...but when 5:00 came, I went on to the gym and did my cardio. And I'm tired. But I'm happy knowing that I did something positive for myself today.
And that totally rocks.
Wish me luck at the weigh-in tomorrow. I think I've lost the ten pounds required...and if so...I'll have that to celebrate as well. And who knows, we may be winners! But even if we aren't...we still are. So there's that.