Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How I got here.

I'm not really sure how it happened to be honest.

One day I paid attention to how much I ate and what I weighed.

And one day...I just didn't.

When I was in college, my senior year, I went on Weight Watchers. I lost about 25 pounds and was the thinnest I'd ever been. Thinner than HS even. I think my lowest was 117.

I stayed there for about 5 minutes.

The ironic thing is that the weight I started at then is the weight I'm trying to get to now.

Maybe it's not ironic. Maybe it's karma kicking me in the ass.

I used to be that obnoxious girl who ate a pint of Haagen Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip while sitting on my friend's porch in the summer, who used to order fries with mozzarella and gravy at 2 am, who drank sickeningly sweet drinks containing peach schnapps and cranberry juice, who cried dramatically when Coke decided they wanted something new and made her father stockpile the old version.

Who practically threw a party when Coca-Cola Classic came back.

You see what I'm saying.

I gained back what I'd lost but I wasn't overly heavy for a long time. Sure I wanted to lose weight but it wasn't emotionally crippling and physically uncomfortable.

About 8 or so years ago a weighed about 10 lbs more than I do now. It was about the time of my brother's wedding. Those are the last pictures I can remember being able to look at without cringing.

I also think that about that time I got the brilliant idea to order some sort of weight loss drug over the internet. If whatever was in them wasn't raising my heart rate the thought that I'd drop dead one day because I was taking them certainly did.

Not the smartest decision I ever made - but I looked pretty good then.

It didn't last long though.

I gained...and gained....and then I gained some more.

I gained steadily for the last 8 years or so until I finally maxed out in the mid-200s. I pretended not to notice that I could barely walk up a flight of stairs. I pretended not to notice that I couldn't really shop in regular stores anymore. I bought nearly everything I owned on line and spent tons of money trying to hide what I really looked like.

As if no one else noticed.

Moral of the story? It basically sucked.

They say you really can't be successful at losing weight until you are ready and I think that's true. I lost about 20 lbs over and over throughout the last few years but it never stayed off. I don't know what clicked this time around but something definitely did.

Maybe it was going to the spa and having to ask for a men's bathrobe so I wouldn't be flashing the world in the waiting area.

Maybe it was going to the doctor and finding I'd gained weight from the year before. And having her tell me that if I didn't get a handle on it eventually I'd be on blood pressure medication.

Maybe it was being tired of freaking out every time someone dared capture me on camera.

Whatever it was - it worked.

I lost 2 lbs before I even got to M's office. The doctor who did my physical gave me her card and I am so glad she did. I'd thought about going to a RD before but there were a whole slew of reasons that this seemed to be the right time.

It's been great - mostly because M is just the most encouraging person.

She helped me realize that exercising all week doesn't mean I can go to a party and eat my weight in pigs in a blankets. She made me examine what I ate and how I ate it. She constantly asks me if I have anything challenging coming up so we can plan around it.

But now mostly she just says "Great job! I have nothing to say. You know what you're doing."

Exercise is definitely something different this time too. I did not exercise a bit when I lost those 30 lbs in college, unless you count raising a glass to my lips in a bar.

Which is how I used to use all my WW Flex Points to be honest.

Weight Watchers was great - but more importantly than counting points I really just wanted to learn how to eat (and live) better.

Throughout the last few months I have stopped drinking wine at dinner at home. Don't get me wrong - I still drink plenty (responsibly of course) - but I used to waste so many calories that way.

Plus it's more fun to drink with other people.

Now I'm at the gym about 3-4 times a week and Zumba class 1-2. I sometimes use a DVD (The Biggest Loser Cardio Max mostly).

I'm bad at strength training. I want to start doing yoga and plan to take a series of beginner classes in September.

When I'm at the gym I walk (on the random program on level 20 starting at 3.8 and ending at 4.6 mph for 40 min or so) or run (2 miles w/walking in between about a 12 min mile).

I always take a day off - sometimes two if I need it.

My gym is literally across the street from my apartment. It couldn't be closer if the treadmill was smack dab in the middle of my living room.

That is...if I had a living room.

As of this week I'd lost 51.8 lbs since October 2008. (Yes. The .8 counts!) The picture above is Feb 2008-Feb 2009. It's not exactly accurate, since I've lost 30 more lbs since then. I average 1-2 a week which is the way it's supposed to be. I eat things (like salad) that I'd never eaten with any consistency before. I've dropped 5 dress sizes.

And I did it all while still having the occasional pigs in a blanket, (more than) a few fries, and full fat ice cream.

The difference is I know how to eat them now.


  1. Hello there,

    I just discovered your blog today and as I read it I felt like I totally connected to what you were saying. I am getting married in April and the time has come for me to really do it. I have been trying to drop the college pounds since I graduated in 2005 and the exact opposite has happened - I have gained. I am now on what I feel is a really good track of eating healthy and working out. I am losing the weight slooowly, but I know that that is much better than just crash dieting and having it all come off at once. Thank you so much for your post!

  2. You are so welcome! Thank you so much! I was kind of nervous about posting this because I'm kind of afraid to say anything. Like somehow if I talk too much about it something will change and I'll gain it all back.

    Irrational I know.

    I really do eat differently now though. I eat the same things but I eat them in a whole new way.

    Slow is definitely better. The first 10 lbs took forever but I have found that stepping up your exercising is definitely the key. Not only that - it's practically the only time of day that you can be completely alone with no one to talk to or bother you.

    Congratulations on your wedding! Even though I know that's a great motivator it sounds like you're doing it more for you now which is great. Trust me. I was absolutely sure I couldn't do it either but you just have to keep at it!!

  3. I found your blog...and absolutely love how you told the truth. I can relate! I plan to follow your progress! Way to go so far!

  4. Thank you!! I have a feeling these last pounds will come off reallly slowly (I hope not - but I'm not expecting miracles either). It helps to know that I have to be held accountable somewhere you know?