In today’s post, I’m going to lay out what I’m doing to lose weight (hence the method and madness), my numbers, and how I’m getting through periods of doubt.
Once I had my epiphany in February that I needed to make drastic changes, I told myself I was going to join Weight Watchers. Then I looked at the price to join online. Seeing that it wasn’t in my budget, I did what any person in the 21st century with a smart phone would do – I went to Google’s Market to find a free app to do the same basic thing. What I found was an app created by about.com called Calorie Count. It helps me track my food, water, weight, and activity. I’ve heard there are others, but I’m partial to this one. It works for me and what I need it to do.
Once I found that, I started making more conscious choices about what I put in my mouth. Rather than indiscriminately shoving food down my gullet or choosing what I ate based on how I felt, I started thinking about how the food I ate would help my body get the nutrients it needs. I also thought about what my diet would look like once I reached my goal weight. I wanted my food choices now to reflect what I see average-weight people eating on a regular basis.
In response to the madness of making changes, I cut out soda and sweets. I haven’t had cake, cookies, or pie since I began my journey at the end of February. I’m not good at doing things in moderation or estimating, so it is just better for me to say no to everything. I do have a sweet tooth, however, and I sate it by eating a Fiber One bar in the morning. I have either the oats and peanut butter or oats and chocolate variety, and it’s sweet enough that I don’t feel like I’m deprived. I did, one time, go to Orange Leaf to treat myself to some frozen yogurt topped with granola. Other than that, no sweets in a month and a half. And no, I don’t miss them.
Now comes the part that is most humbling and hardest to discuss. But if I’m going to share everything else about my process, I might as well be honest about the numbers. Once I reach my goal weight, it’s going to come out anyway, so I might as well do it now.
The highest weight I recorded for myself was 376. However, I suspect that I may have been in excess of 380 at one point. I didn’t get on the scale then, so I can’t be sure. But this last summer, I did weigh in at 376. When I started this process at the end of February, the scale read 358. As of Friday, I was down to 338. Since last summer, I’m down almost 40 pounds, and since I started actively trying to lose weight, I’m down 20. My goal is 150, which is a little above the prescribed idea body weight for my height, but it’s where I think I can be comfortable.
Now for the doubt. I tend to get complacent once I start hitting goals and can feel the difference, which is happening now. I start to think I’m good, that I can do it, but that I don’t need to. But the fact is I do. It’s unhealthy to be this heavy, and it’s uncomfortable. Not only that, I got this heavy because I was so unhappy. If I’m happy now, then why would I want to carry the reminder of my lowlier days? I don’t!
Yesterday, one of my oldest friends and I took a walk on the same track where we graduated nearly 16 years ago. We hadn’t seen one another in person since that blustery day, and it was so nice to catch up. It was nice to catch up and hear about her life. We were there for an hour and a half, chatting the whole time. We walked two miles on the track, eight laps if you don’t remember how many that makes. I was quite proud of myself for going two miles without stopping, though I did wish I could have picked up the pace. Not that it matters; what counts is that I did it.
Because we walked two miles on a flat track yesterday, I decided on I would walk two miles on my hillier (for Kansas) home loop. For those that are unfamiliar, I live on 17 acres in the country. By walking the perimeter of the property and the neighbor’s property, I cover a half-mile. So four laps around the property today made two miles. But as I was walking up the driveway to finish lap number three, doubt started setting in. My feet were aching, and I was tired and thirsty. Did I really need to walk that last lap? Would it really make a difference?
I knew I needed to keep going, so I did. But I knew I needed some internal motivation, so I thought about what would push me to keep going. I found it. I won’t give the details of my motivating thoughts here, but it was enough to revitalize not only my resolve in finishing my walk, but it also renewed my vow to continue with my new lifestyle to lose weight and take control of my life. One thought, one goal, one determined woman.
I have had three friends, one of whom I hadn’t spoken to in more than 10 years, reach out to me through this process. Two have asked what I’m doing, and one tells me that I’m her motivation to lose weight. That was another thought I had during my walk today. There are people who are watching me do this. As a teacher, I’ve always believe in being a role model for kids. But I guess I never really thought about being a role model for my peers. If I can change others’ lives as I change my own, then I will feel doubly blessed.
To all those who have reached out with words of encouragement, support, and advice, I want to publicly thank you here. It has made a huge difference for me. Even those who have only liked a status, thank you. Though we like to think we can do things through internal motivation alone, having external support helps, too.