Friday, January 8, 2010

Monday Project #1 - Full Circle

Wow, what a doozy to start with. I've been randomly thinking about what I was going to write in the post and I honestly have no idea where to begin. I guess that's not entirely true. I know where to begin, I'm just not thrilled to go back there.

Before I talk about 2009, I need to talk about the summer of 2000. This was the year of my big "ah-ha" moment when I decided I needed to do something to take control of my life...and my weight. My kids were turning 3 and I was turning 30 (gack!). I was tired, my knees hurt, I couldn't get up and down off the floor to play with the kids, I'd get winded chasing them in the yard, and let's face it...I looked like crap. I had gone on a hiking/camping trip with a bunch of my husband's friends from work. We hiked a couple miles a day (on pretty easy trails) and it kicked my butt. When we got the pictures back, I wanted to cry. I look happy, but I also look huge. This is the most I've ever weighed (aside from when I was pregnant with Thing 1 and Thing 2). 189 lbs.

I decided I couldn't go into my 30's looking and feeling like I did. I joined Weight Watchers and started taking community-ed aerobics classes. After a few months, we bought a family membership to the YMCA and I started doing group exercise classes (step, double-step, kickboxing, strength training classes-you name it). Funny thing-I found out I'm actually pretty coordinated and picked up on the routines quickly. Imagine how my different life could have been if my parents had encouraged sports when I was a kid. (My dad is very obese, over 300 lbs, and has all the health issues to go along with it. My mom died of skin cancer at 42, but was also overweight-15 to 20 lbs.) Exercise and outdoor activities were not really a part of our life. I wish they had been.

One of the questions posed by our wonderful sisters was...What did work? Well, the combination of Weight Watchers and exercising for 45-60 minutes 4-5 times per week REALLY worked. In one year, I lost 50 lbs. I'd managed to get down to 139 lbs and was easily a size 8. Wow! Through generally watching what I ate, going to Weight Watchers every month to weigh-in (I was a lifetime member at this point), and continuing to exercise, I stayed at this weight for about 6 years. This picture was actually taken in August of 2003 - 2 years after hitting my goal. This hiking trip was easy.


Now, we get to the part of the post where I think about what didn't work. Laziness and getting sloppy is what didn't work. Getting wrapped up in my kids lives and activities and not making time for myself (selfish as that sounds) didn't work. Larger portions and less working out didn't work. Reverting to old habits, like snacking in front of the TV at night, didn't work. I think you see where this is going. I feel like my downfall had been building all of 2007 (I'd gained back about 5 lbs-the "danger sign" from a Weight Watchers standpoint), but really solidified in the summer of 2007. We went to St. Lucia to a beautiful Sandal's resort with all the food and booze you could consume. Needless to say, I was on a very slippery slope. I had received my SCUBA certification before we left and I dove every day, but it wasn't enough exercise to combat all the calories. I gained another 5 lbs or so that week. Things have really snowballed since then. I'd managed to put on a total of 25 lbs and was back up to 165. My clothes didn't fit and I was horrified to need to buy some new pants in a size 12. Depressed doesn't even begin to cover it.
I'd had my 2nd "ah-ha" moment. This summer I decided I needed to get back on track. I linked up with the Sisterhood and started counting points again. Only, this time, it didn't work. More specifically, I didn't make it work. I was burned out on points and felt horribly deprived by the limited number of points I was allowed each day. I'd do well for a few days, then I'd fall off the wagon. I was exercising again, too, but definitely not at the level I had in the past. My husband and I were training for a 5K (my 4th, his 1st). We ran it in July 09 and crossed the finish line together, with a time I'm not proud of, but a finish nonetheless. Except this time, the weight was not coming off like it did before. Here I was, turning 39, and weighing 165 lbs. Since joining the sisterhood, I've managed to lose 5 lbs. But I was hoping for so much more.

Turns out hoping you'll lose weight doesn't work either! I've decided to bring my A game. I've been exercising daily since mid-December and have been counting calories using The Daily Plate at livestrong.com. I'm feeling more energized and optimistic. We'll see how the scale responds, but like this challenge says, it's not just about the scale. This is a journey. One I've been on really all my life. I need to be realistic. I am never going to weigh 120 lbs, I'm never going to have a 6-pack (hello-twin skin!). However, I can strive to be fit and be the wife and mother my family deserves.
This is me today. I've really come full-circle. 10 years ago, I embarked on a serious journey to lose weight and get healthy. I've hit some bumps in the road, but I haven't been completely derailed. I've just gotten a little lost, but I'm back on track. I'm ready to head into 2010 (and my 40th birthday this summer) as One Fit Momma. "Fabulous at 40" is my goal.

4 comments:

  1. It is not selfish to make time for yourself too. You are a much better mom when you are happy and fit. It is hard to do though, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your story. I can tell you are back on track You can do it. Think about how far you have already come.

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  2. first of all, whatever time it was, you finished the 5k and you SHOULD be proud! keep running sister! i'm so glad you switched plans when you saw the burnout from counting points! it's important to be flexible when something's not working and you're doing the right thing! congratulations on coming so far, i know you're gonna be fabulous at 40 because you're already fabulous!

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  3. sounds like you've had quite the ride.

    i've been using daily plate about a year and love it.

    you'll be leaving the 30s right as i'm entering them. :P

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  4. You have come such a long way...and I know that 2010 will be no different! Here's to keeping the motivation and remembering anytime you start to slip that you will do this. For yourself first...and your family second. You all deserve to have you happy!

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