But first, let me take a selfie…
Every first of the month I change my profile picture on Facebook (except this June, no idea why). The first thing I noticed when creating the image above was how much I favored close-ups before. Around the 4-month mark I started to show a little more face, some shoulders and even one very flattering side picture (Jan 1) which made a lot of people misjudge how much weight I had lost at that point… and yes, I let them be confused. 😀
As I read my journals and took note of the journey I realized how much of a learning process it has really been. Many friends and family members are still surprised and I realize that what they fail to see is just how much time it’s taken to make the progress I have made. A year passes by really fast but you can accomplish a lot.
On Monday, August 19, 2013 I walked into my local Y and took my first Zumba class. I weighed myself that morning at 225.4 lbs. As I dragged my supersized body to my first fitness class in years, I held my head high although I could feel my mother’s gaze behind me and the worry in her eyes. I stood in the back and struggled through the 55-min class. I didn’t speak to anyone but I felt good. I wish I had taken a picture then but I didn’t because while I felt committed I wasn’t sure I was going to follow through.
That first month I went to the gym 3-4 times a week and started tracking my food some. I was sore and tired but I discovered that I really enjoyed Zumba. I would take a day in between workouts citing that my body needed to recover (not sure it did). I cheated a lot on my diet, and yet, so little compared to how bad I had been eating before. The first week I lost 2 lbs., the second 1.4 lbs., the third another 2 lbs., and then 3.8 lbs. on week 4. I lost 9.2 lbs. that first month and I felt amazing. I had a long way to go but I was 9.2 lbs. closer. This was a game-changer. In the past, 30 days of work for a 9.2 lbs. lost would have felt like a failure but for some reason this time it felt like a win.
During my second month I upped my game and started going to the gym more often; sometimes taking two Zumba classes in a day (morning and evening). The cheating became less and less and I could practice better self-control (so long as I didn’t go to a pizza or Chinese buffet restaurant). I lost another 9 lbs. and 7.2 lbs. in month three getting me to exactly 200 lbs. I was so close to ONEderland I could burst.
It is true… it takes 4 weeks for you to see the difference, 8 weeks for friends and family to see it (thanks mom), and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. On Nov 7, I posted a picture on instagram and facebook with the hashtag #25lbsgone. I wish I had had a before picture but my friends and family’s likes and comments were proof that I was in fact changing.
I kept working on building better habits. I took online free classes on fitness and nutrition and worked on my cooking skills. I started to feel more comfortable at the gym and became a regular, made some gym mates, and the pounds kept melting away.
Happy New Year – I received the New Year at 185 lbs. and signed up for my first Dietbet. It was an amazing feeling to declare that 2013 was the last year I would be over 200 lbs. I decided to add a weights class per recommendation from all the many articles I had read that suggested building muscle to avoid sagging skin. A month later, I got injured. L I spend the entire month of February and half of March in bed and/or crutches. I still managed to lose weight yet upon returning to the gym and getting back in gear I hit the worst plateau to date which also means I did not win the Dietbet.
The Plateau – Between March 13 and August 11 I was stuck in the 170s. I reached my lowest (171.4) on March 13 and did not see that number again until early-August. Without changing too many things in my diet or exercise routine I would go up and down and up for four months. I searched high and low and asked everyone on what I could do to break the plateau but all the usual suspects were under control. I couldn’t figure it out.
Breaking through – One of the recommendations to break through a plateau is changing your exercise routine. I didn’t think that would work and I still don’t know if it did but in late April I agreed to participate in a MudRun and as a way to prepare for it (it’s in October) I decided to do the Couch to 5K program. I started on June 9. On July 7 I gave myself a 7-day challenge and completed one week of good choices. I was all the way up to 181.4 lbs. and lost 4.2 lbs. before starting my latest Dietbet. Since then I have been consistently losing and I finally escaped the vicious 170s just a few days ago. I am now at 168.6 lbs. making my one year weight loss total: 56.8 lbs. NO, My head did not grow larger. 🙂
Year Two – I’m starting this new year in a very different place. I am now much more confident. I take measurements now, which I failed to do at the beginning (big regret). I am very good at keeping track of my workouts and food intake. I now crave salads and fruit, and you know… the healthy stuff. High-sodium is something that I tolerate a lot less now because I am more used to seasoning with herbs and such. I’m a runner now. WHAT! I can run for 30 minutes straight and I am even enjoying it quite a bit. I go to the gym six days a week because I force myself to take a rest day… yes… I FORCE MYSELF TO TAKE A REST DAY. I do zumba, weights, a little yoga, and some running and I am less afraid to try new classes. I’ll be trying Barre next month. This is the year.
The big lesson here is that…
THERE IS NO ONE GIANT STEP THAT DOES IT. IT’S A LOT OF LITTLE STEPS.
… and I couldn’t have done this without the encouragement of friends and family. Going public forced me to stay accountable. Blogging helped too so thank you too!