I’ve always had to watch my weight, until the time came that I stopped. I’ve got plenty of excuses, marriage, desk job, babies, stress, tragedy… life happens to us all. I got to a very unhealthy weight of 229 pounds (at least, that’s what I was in April, almost a year after having my last baby) and I knew I really needed to fix that. I never thought medically I had unhealthy numbers – I just didn’t like being so big. I was trying to talk to my older son about being healthy and he, innocently, said “But you’re fat Mom.” He was right, and I didn’t like that he was noticing. My kids depend on me, I can’t just throw caution to the wind with my health. On April 25th 2007 I took charge and headed into the gym.
At first it was embarrassing to be in the gym. I felt like people were staring at me, this HUGE person, as I walked through the machines. I did it anyway. I started with the elliptical and stuck with that for most of my journey. I’d do 20 minutes, then up it to 25, keep upping the intensity, now I’m at 30 minutes and I burn about 525 calories according to the machine. I feel totally at home at the gym now. In fact, there’s a large part of me that wants to go up to all the overweight people I see at the gym (and seriously, the place is NOT populated by just skinny people so I don’t know why I was ever so paranoid) and tell them, “You CAN do this! I was bigger than you!” Lately I’ve been adding/changing things at the gym to keep from getting bored. I now swim laps, go to classes, and run the treadmill in addition to the elliptical. Every time I’d change the routine my weight loss would see better results so it helped to get unstuck.
Losing weight is a big change. It is not hard to do, it is hard to KEEP doing it. Persevering when you are not seeing a change, being healthy when people around you are not, finding new ways (and not feeling guilty) about getting ‘me’ time for the workouts, all of it is hard to go alone. Thankfully for me, I’ve got a great community of friends and family and everyone has been a huge help.
I am now in ‘maintenance mode’. Technically, I’ve claimed to be here since day 1 since I have just changed my lifestyle to being healthier and whatever my weight does is just what it needs to do for my body to find its new ‘set point’ based on this lifestyle. I eat healthy, I work out, and, well, I’m not a saint. Treats are far from out of my life now. Wherever my weight settles at this point, I will be happy. I’ve gotten below the 25 BMI point so that I am no longer overweight and that feels spectacular! My blood pressure and cholesterol and all my numbers are awesome. I have achieved my goal of being healthy! My lifelong goal now is to keep it up. I’ve got people counting on me… including myself… that I just can’t let down. BTW – I had recently gotten some paperwork from a previous pregnancy and I learned that my cholesterol was much much too high back at that time. I had never known this and it made the accomplishment of having the blood work come back so incredibly healthy that much more important to me. Being overweight is unhealthy, even if you don’t know just how unhealthy you are. Everyone deserves to take care of themselves.