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.