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.

 

Advertisements

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 Importance of Workout Buddies

BC, Before Children, I had a great workout buddy.  Her name was Mary Lynn aka Wild Blond.  She and I would walk daily in the spring, summer and fall, and workout indoors during the winter.  She was one who would be sitting in my driveway waiting for me so I couldn’t use any excuses not to go.  She would talk non-stop and sometimes we would even end the workout at the local pub for a beer, a light one of course.  She was the best workout buddy, and I was in the best shape of my life since graduating from high school.

When I met The Captain, he and I would workout together.  He liked going to the gym and on the treadmill.  When I would get him to walk outside with me, he insisted on bringing my hulking golden retriever, who enjoyed sitting periodically on the journey.  This did not make for a real walk, more of a start/stop, pull the dog sort of expedition.  Not quite the motivation of having Wild Blond honking in my driveway.

BC it was easy to find time to workout.  AC, After Children, not so much!

BC it was fun to go to new classes.  AC I am too tired.

BC I was vain and searching for a husband to have children with.  AC, well, yeah.

Sadly, I have not had a workout buddy since my youngest, Squishy, was born.  That was seven years ago.  I think I am in desperate need to get a workout buddy, but I don’t know where to find one because most of my friends have kids, activities and busy lives, too.

I have a friend who teaches workout classes.  She is a workout guru.  Recently, as in two summers ago, I attempted to have her as my workout buddy.  It didn’t go so well.  Instead of Wild Blond honking in the driveway, my workout goals were reduced to guilt.  I was afraid of not doing what I was supposed to do.  It was as if all of the family obligations were overtaking me, and I felt bad about not being able to make a good effort at the gym.  So, I ended the workout buddy relationship, and we are better friends today without it.

The Captain and I were chatting in the kitchen and I was explaining my workout buddy woes.  I asked him to teach me how to run.  I have this fantasy of doing the Princess Half Marathon at Disney, mainly because I want a bag of goodies, cute t-shirt, character autographs and a crown.  Disney, ah.

“I want to learn how to run.  You are a runner, can you teach me?”

“There is no way to teach someone to run,” The Captain replied, already appearing as if this conversation was one he wished to avoid.

“You run.  Who taught you to run?”  I wasn’t letting this go.  No way.

“I am not sure why we are even talking about this.  You have had a gym membership for three years and you have only gone three times.  Maybe you should just go to the gym,” he said, and then picked something invisible off of the floor.

My eyes glazed over, red as the gates of Hell.  My lips quivered, like the impact of a tornado.  My body shook, with the strength of a nuclear bomb.  The wrath was coming.

“Wow.  Really?  When am I going to pencil that in between working, your rehearsals, running kids, helping with their homework, grading papers?”

“You forgot about sitting at your computer for hours,” he mumbled as he went to take out the garbage.  Exit The Captain.  Obviously this was the end of the discussion.

Grrr.  So, I am now reevaluating.  To The Captain’s sheer excitement, I dragged him to the running store and, with his superior running guidance, bought new running shoes.  Now, I just need to find some poor sap who wants to be my workout buddy and make it happen.  Maybe I will increase my gym attendance to double digits.  Maybe…

Anyone want to be my oh-so important workout buddy?  Honking in the driveway is a must.

My new kicks. Time to get going!