I am not a quitter.

Not quitting.

Today I came super-duper close to quitting P90X. Seriously, rolling up my yoga mat, putting my weights in the closet, good riddance Tony Horton, slam-the-door, quitting.

Today was the first day of Phase 2. For those of you who don’t know what that means, basically it goes a little something like this: 30 days down, 60 more to go, weakling.

The last few times I have done the Core Synergistics workout, I have really struggled for some reason. Two times ago, I felt like I was going to throw up about halfway through. Last time, I felt like I was going to throw up about halfway through, and I actually skipped 12 minutes of the workout because I seriously needed to keep myself from throwing up.

I was super frustrated, because…well, shouldn’t I be getting more and more in shape, over here?

Then it hit me. I AM getting more and more in shape, and therefore I am doing the exercises with fewer modifications, and in many cases, no modifications. I am doing the exercises with greater intensity, and really working myself hard.

But I still wanted to quit P90X.

What made me put my shoes on tonight and decide to stay on this road? I am not sure. Maybe it’s thinking about my increased flexibility. In that photo above, I am standing comfortably with one leg on the foot board of my bed and the other leg on the floor. I can basically fold myself in half at the waist, I can control my movements when I sit up and sit down, when I get out of bed or off the couch there is no groaning or repositioning or pushing off. I just sit up and get up. I just go, now, where I used to kind of creak and lumber around.

I don’t want to creak and lumber anymore. Not now, that I know what it’s like to have a little bit of balance and a lot more muscle control.

I don’t want to do P90X anymore. But lots of life is about doing things we don’t want to do, right? Anything that gets you to a massive goal is probably going to take a lot of work, a lot of hours of dedication, a lot of saying no to the couch.

I don’t want to be on this road. But what other road is there, now that I’m here? I’m not hurting myself, I’m just working hard, many days a week. What’s so bad about that?

So I did Core Synergistics tonight. I gave my inner perfectionist the cold shoulder and I paused the workout quite a few times to catch my breath and lower my heart rate so I could keep going to the end. And I finished.

Because it’s not enough to just start it, is it? Some things are only worth starting if you are going to finish them.


I lost 100 pounds.

I’m still afraid to write about it, still afraid to talk about it, still afraid to put it down as a record, still afraid to show off the mind-boggling before and after photo of the last 50 pounds I have lost, for fear that maybe it will stop, or go away, or I will wake up tomorrow and it won’t be real.

The last time I decided I was going to try to lose weight, I took a good, hard look at myself, my weight, my life, and all of my previous failed attempts at weight loss. Most of them were just 20 or 30 pounds down, then right back up again. But one of them hurt more than the rest – the time I lost 80 pounds. And then, over the course of four years, the time I gained 80 pounds right back. Plus another 15, just to keep things interesting.

So, in June of 2010 when I started to mull over whether or not I was ready to leave the 300 weight century, it took me some time to decide. I knew I could not endure another 80 down, 100 up fiasco. My confidence in myself was shaky. I declared that I would begin again, but that this had to be the last time. I knew I had ONE MORE start in me. I knew I had one more brave face to look down that long, 200-pound road, but no more. I had a distinct moment of “now or never” and so I jumped in.

It has been slow. If you average out my loss over time, I average about 5 pounds per month down. That is less than 1.5 pounds per week.

Slow. But that’s the wrong word, isn’t it?

What matters is that the weight, over time, has gone down. And since July 2010, it has gone down 100 pounds.

What matters more is that over all that time, I have had time to develop healthy patterns and habits. I started exercising in earnest in October 2011. By that time I had lost about 50 pounds. I started with a plan from a fitness specialist. It was a graduated walking plan that started me walking 3 minutes twice a day for three days a week, and one day a week I was supposed to walk 5 minutes. That plan was 12 weeks long, and believe it or not, in the beginning those 5-minute walks were actually a challenge. By the end of it, the 48 and 58 minute walks I was taking were no problem at all.

Then I started working with weights sometime in January 2012.

The first weights I used were a 2.5 lb set of dumbells, a 5 lb set of dumbells, and a 5 lb weighted ball. I mostly held the ball and moved around it, slowly. I was proud of doing lateral raises with 2.5 lb weights. By March of 2012, I was beyond the 5 lb weights and I had to order some adjustable weights so I could do more.

My fitness specialist kept giving me workouts, and I was supposed to do them 3 times per week.

Was my exercise habit perfect? No way. There were plenty of weeks where I missed one, two, or even all three workouts.

Was my diet perfect? Hardly. There were times where I got derailed by sweets, cheese, dip, cheese dip, booze…you name it.

But the key in everything, the one thing that made me reach such a cool milestone of 100 pounds lost…was to keep going, no matter what. Every day I got up and tried again. Every week I tried to get all of my workouts in and stay within my calories/points/exchanges. Every weigh in I tried to remind myself that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Every week I reminded myself of how far I have come with new and positive behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs.

And now, I have about another 100 pounds to go. I don’t feel flip or cavalier or like because I did it once it will be easy to do it twice. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life – maybe even the hardest. It’s difficult to keep toiling and not get immediate positive feedback. It’s frustrating to know that I still have so far to go, frustrating to know that it might take another 2.5 years, heck, it might even take 3 or 4.

But I am still moving. I am still growing, still challenging myself. For instance, this past Monday, I started P90X. And I have been doing it. Doing better than I thought I would. Sure, I modify where I have to, I put the weights down when I have trouble with balance, and honestly, there are parts of me that are odd-shaped and large and inhibit certain movement paths. I still can’t do one full situp or one full pushup.

And actually, after today’s workout, I am not completely confident that I will be able to pull up my pants tomorrow.

But I will keep going. Pants or no pants. OK, not really no pants. There must be pants.

I have a support system the likes of which I have never seen. I have friends who believe in me, who challenge me, who know exactly how much I weigh. I have a husband who loves me right where I am but cheers me on to the next big goal that I’m chasing. He, also, knows exactly how much I weigh. It’s just a number. It’s not almighty, it doesn’t control me or define me.

Hopefully it won’t be that number for too much longer, anyway.

And now, here goes nothing. It’s real. I will wake up tomorrow and it will still be real.

November 2011/January 2013