To Tone in Private: A Personal Weight Loss Journey

In August of 2012, I had a realization.

It was one of those epiphany moments where music played, the camera zoomed in, and someone with an incredibly deep voice began narrating in my head. “It is time.”

It was the start of my journey to lose weight.

We had just returned home from a Vegas vacation with our amazing friends, and we had celebrated my upcoming 40th birthday there.  I wasn’t turning 40 until September, but it seemed like a perfect “excuse” to go to Vegas and have some fun.

My friends came over bringing photos – printed out ones (amazing, right?!) – documenting our trip.  I was ecstatic to see the pictures.  We had had such a wonderful time, and the pictures were actually printed! Rock on!

I wasn’t prepared for the shock of seeing myself in photos.  Now, understand me when I say that I see myself daily, but it is easy to “hide” from my appearance in the mirror.  It is easy to “see” exactly what I wanted to see when I put on make-up.  It is easy to “convince” myself that I looked fine.

But photos tell another story.

I looked on them in horror.  After our friends left, I said to The Captain, “Why didn’t you tell me I looked just plain awful and disgusting?!”

“I think you look fine,” he said.

Fine. Hmph.

About a week later, my oldest, then ten years old, gave me a bear hug and proceeded to say, “Mom, maybe you should go on a diet. I can’t get my arms around you.”

The Captain, trying to spare my feelings, said, “Apologize to your mother right now.  That isn’t nice.”

String Bean looked at me and said, “Sorry, Mom, but really, maybe you would like to exercise sometime. You may feel better, ya know?”

He was right.  I had avoided being healthy.  I had avoided looking – really looking – at myself.  I had avoided it all.

I made a decision.  I didn’t share it with anyone.  Not my husband, my kids or my friends.

I made an appointment with a dietician.  And it has changed my life.

Walking into a new atmosphere can be daunting.  Walking in knowing that I was more than 80 pounds was downright frightening.

It took some time, but the weight began to come off.  And the new habits of eating right and exercising became commonplace to me.

It took a lot of time.

But now, two years later, I can safely say I have changed (and I am still changing), not only in body, but in spirit and mind.

I will write more about the transformation process soon, but, for now, I will end with this:

No one can decide what time is right, it is personal; a personal journey.  I had to make the decision to make a change, others could not make it for me. And I am still on the journey…

It literally makes me cringe posting this picture.  The left is 2012 and the right is this fall, exactly two years later. Wow.

It literally makes me cringe posting this picture. The left is 2012 and the right is this fall, exactly two years later. Wow.

 

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Rationalize It

Last January, I was going to go on a diet/exercise regime.  By the time April rolled around, I realized something. I had actually and successfully poorly rationalized three full months away.

Yeah, these cupcakes do contain calories.

Yeah, these cupcakes do contain calories.

What completely cracks me up about my behavior is that I act as if I am a person who does not rationalize poor choices.  There was a guest speaker at a previous Etech conference (a big technology conference for educators) and he spoke all about how humans rationalize things.  Feeling sick?  It will probably be OK tomorrow.  Eat the cupcake?  Sure, I can work it off.  Another glass of wine?  Heck yes, I deserve a fun night.  And so on.

Sitting there, I thought to myself, “I am not this person.  I don’t rationalize like that at all.”  Then, I looked around at all the suckers who, I thought, probably do over rationalize.  Poor souls, I thought, they are rationalizing their lives away.

Even Jim from The Office rationalizes.

Even Jim from The Office rationalizes.

Hello pot, meet kettle.  Crap.  I was one of those suckers.

I never realized until hearing this speaker and really pondering about it how much I actually rationalize things.  Here are some examples:

If I don’t write on my blog for a few weeks (hello blog, nice to see you again), I rationalize this by saying I have a lot on my plate right now, or I want the blog post to be good, or I am too tired/sick/cranky/silly to write.  Sadly, my last post was before Christmas.  I have rationalized almost a full month of blogging away.               Bad, bad girl.

I also rationalize people’s sometimes poor behavior.  Someone was rude to me earlier this week and instead of just sucking it up and being OK that they don’t like me, I rationalized it by thinking maybe they were having a bad day.  When I saw them in the hallway at the end of the day and they were laughing really hard, I realized they weren’t having a bad day.  They just don’t like talking to me.  Oh well, it happens, right?

Work out? In the cold? Sure! (Not!)

Work out in the cold? Sure! (Not!)

I rationalize other things, too.  My checkbook is one.  Oh, sure, I think to myself, I have money in there, and I really, really need it so it is OK if I go ahead and buy the flenderfloozle.  Not a good plan. And exercising, need I say more?  I am Scarlett O’hara sometimes with this.  I rationalize that the next day is a better day to exercise.  Then I think the next day and the next day until it becomes a vicious cycle with absolutely no exercising.

So, for my one and only New Year’s resolution, I am going to stop rationalizing things.  I am going be honest with myself and know that I am not going to walk outside in 28 degree weather and, instead, opt and read the latest YA novel on my Kindle.  I am going to pass on the gurligeezles and flenderfloozles because I really don’t need them and, if I eat the cupcake, I may not work it off later.

Glad to be back, and I will do my best to try and not rationalize another month away!

The (Extremely Short) Case of the Chocolate Easter Bunny

There was a chocolate bunny filled with wonderful peanut butter.  He sat on my kitchen counter for over a week.

He stared at me.  His chocolate, lifeless eyes would bore into my soul every time I passed by.  He would not relent.

My diet said that I was not to go near him.  I was not to make eye contact with him, and I was not allowed to check on his whereabouts.  I had to stay away.

Believe me. There is nothing fluffy or cuddly about this bunny.

But I couldn’t.  He kept taunting me with his knowing smile and his perky ears.  He would not leave me alone.  He was a demon bunny encased in a glowing, glittering pink box.  He was relentless.

I had to ignore him.  I needed a strong dose of willpower stat.

He kept staring and I began pacing the room.  Homework took over.  I didn’t have to look over and see the glaring, evil bunny, only help with homework.  But I could still feel his magnetic pull like a moth to a flame.

The next thing I knew, he was gone.  He had disappeared and I was happy, oh so happy.

I went about my day relieved until The Captain asked me to look in the trash can.

Glancing into the round bin I noticed the glowing, glittering pink box sans bunny.

“Do you know who may have eaten this bunny?”  The Captain asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I don’t know for sure,” I answered coyly, “But I am positive he is in a better place.”  And with that, I licked my lips and left the room.

Goodbye, bunny from Hell.  I win.

New Year’s Resolutions are for the Angry Birds Part 1

Resolutions = Never stick.  Angry Birds = never ends.

Why am I saying this?  Because it is totally true.  Here is the story:

Last year, I decided to write a blog.  I wanted to write every week – which would be a smooth 52 entries by the end of 2011.  Well, it didn’t work out that way.  Things happened.  I had too much grading to do, I was traveling over the summer, I was running children to the ends of the Earth and back.  I got busy.  A measly look back on this and I found that I didn’t reach my resolution, I only grazed over it.  I have 24 entries for 2011.  Hmmm.  I guess I (almost) halfway achieved my resolution.  I will work on that this year.

Another resolution I completely broke last year was to lose weight.  Well, that was ruined with the fun-tabulousness of a gall bladder surgery.  Then, it was regaining the balance of what to eat.  Then it was eating and not feeling horrible.  Then eating became fun again.  Then I didn’t lose any poundage at all.  I will work on that this year.

The last resolution I had for good ol’ 2011 was to not waste time.  Whoa.  That was the stupidest, dumbest resolution ever.  My husband got me an iPad in May and it became the coolest waster of time ever.  Angry Birds – yeah.  I have all of them – Rio, Seasons, etc. I feel like the pigs are laughing at me with this brilliantly silly, never-ending resolution.  Oink oink oink.

Mark Twain said it best indeed. “New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”  Where is my cement mixer?

To be continued tomorrow…