Friday, September 4, 2009

The Weighting Game

Right now, anyone who reads this blog knows I'm a dog trainer. You know I'm married to a great man, that I love living below the Mason-Dixon line, that I abhor the cold, and that I thrive in humidity. I think it's time, however, that you all heard of my prolonged activity on the weighting game. How did it start? When will it end? What are my goals?

For those of you who haven't known me that long, you'd never know that I used to be overweight. However, you only need to know me for about 5 minutes to know I have an obsession with food. I live and breathe for a good meal. You'd might not know, however, that at my heaviest I was over 200 lb. You also may not know that I'm not at my goal yet. You may not know that I started working towards my goal years and years ago, but only recently was my goal in sight. So, here's my story so you can be filled in:

I wasn't always overweight. As a kid I was really active. I played soccer, I swam, I rode bikes with friends. I was supremely active. The joy of being that active, however, is that you can eat whatever you want. Plus, the joy of being a kid is that you never really think about weight. Sure, you may notice that some kids are larger than other but you never think, "That kid is FAT." My main activity was swimming. In the summer, I'd swim every morning for 1-2 hours, play tennis for an hour, and then hop back in the pool for the rest of the day. In the winter I swam Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for 1-3 hours. To make up for lost swimming practices, I'd come in early for training (crunches, push-ups, extreme stretching). Trust me, I was one of the most toned ten years old you'd ever meet. That changed when I turned 12.

Of course, puberty will do a lot to a kid. Other than feeling awkward about myself (noticing how I looked in a swimsuit, etc) I really just got tired of it all. I had school and my interests had turned from sports to choir. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have stayed in shape just for choir, but, alas, I was not that wise. I quickly rose from a size 8 to a 12 and to a 14 within a few short years. While 14 isn't large at all, for a pubescent kid it's a nightmare. At 14 I was the second largest girl in my class (small, private school). I was too embarrassed to go shopping with my classmates because I often couldn't shop in the same stores (kids departments a.k.a. CURSE YOU AMERICAN EAGLE). So, I started weight loss plans.

I sent away for "magic formulas," I tried tons of diets (and I do NOT recommend Atkins). I responded well to Weight Watchers, but I couldn't make it last long. I just didn't have the will power. Somehow, I managed to almost maintain my weight all through high school. I'm sure I inched up a bit, but I really don't remember it. I gained a lot of confidence in high school and I think that helped. I actually gained so much confidence I felt I was ready for college...1200 miles away.

I was ready for college. College wasn't the problem. It was college in the the treacherous cold. I knew before I left I wasn't great in the cold, but I figured I'd throw on a few extra layers and be fine. The night my eyes froze is was made me realize I wasn't cut out. I ended up spending most of my time in either my or Hans' dorm. I'd barely even go outside for food. Pizza was the main part of my diet, and I figured I needed the extra energy to keep me warm. Yet, as badly as I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to stay inside more.

By my third year of school I'd gone from a size 14 to a very snug size 18. I probably would have looked better and been more comfortable in a 2o, but NY and Company didn't sell 20 and I really didn't want to have to leave that store. I knew my size, but I didn't know my weight. I knew it wouldn't be something I'd be happy with, but I also knew I'd have to face facts sooner or later.

I'll never forget the day I stepped on the scale. I'd expected 180, maybe even 190. Imagine how I felt when I saw 210. 210?? How did that happen? I ate salads for the next 2 weeks, and I really am not a fan of salads. I know that there are a lot of numbers worse than 210, but it certainly wasn't a number that was making me happy. I decided something had to be done. I spent the rest of the school year trying to get on track, but there weren't any real changes until the next summer.

Mom and I joined a gym. VLF was a great gym...women only and very friendly. There were weights, group classes, treadmills, and ellipticals...all favorites of mine. I'll never forget how at the beginning of the summer I could barely last for 2 minutes on the elliptical, but by the end I was going a whole 30 minutes on level 4, 5, or 6. It was so empowering. Plus, I started running. My goal, run a mile. I did succeed, but I haven't maintained.

As for diet, I can't say that really improved by choice. It would be more accurate to say that financial restraints limited my food intake. I tried to keep things nutritious and baked potatoes, yogurt, and oatmeal were staples of my diet. The weight melted off.

By senior year of college, I'd shed about 20 pounds (a lot for 3 months time, but I enjoyed it). I tried to keep losing during college, but work, stress, and a bit of depression limited that. Plus, I was still FREEZING. Whoever convinced me MN winters were easy was a big, fat liar! So, when I came home, I kept trying. Ten pounds later I hit a bit of a plateau. Actually, the plateau hit me.

Well, less plateau, more SUV. It was a minor fender bender, but I was taken off running for awhile (my preferred exercise). I ended up not exercising at all. So when I went back to working out, it ended up being much less enjoyable than I remember, and much more excruciating. Who knows, maybe I pinched my exercise nerve and just haven't gotten it back, but I just don't have the drive that I used to.

I did lose another ten pounds when my wisdom teeth were removed. A liquid diet will do that to you. At the start of this summer, I thought I may end up losing some more, but whatever was lost was quickly gained back when birthdays started cropping up.

So, where am I now you ask? I am about 25-30 lb away from goal. I'm trying to focus on my diet first this time. I figure if I'm well energized, I'll be able to work out more. I'm hoping I can lose the weight by next spring (in time to show off toned arms) but I'm not making any promises. I do have other goals, though, instead of just losing weight. I think that's healthy because it's not just a numbers game anymore. It's more of a health thing. I want to run a marathon (a full marathon). I also eventually want to do a triathalon, but that may take a better-fitted bike. At this point, I'd love to be able to run enough to wear out Cody. Woot! Either way, there's still a lot of work to be done.

Anyway, I know I've blabbered on for a while now. I hope I haven't bored you to tears. I just thought I should share with you what I've been thinking about for the past 10 years. I hope you enjoyed!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you. You have been inspiring and I know how hard it is to lose (I have a LONG way to go myself)