Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday—The Beginning

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the first installment of a new weekly topic here at Idle Chatter.  As you have likely deduced from the title, it has to do with weight loss, namely, mine.  I’m hoping to add an extra layer of accountability to my currently flagging efforts, and this seemed like a good way to do that.

Before we get started, let me give you a little bit of background on me.  I have considered myself overweight my entire life.  Now, let me say that I’ve never consciously felt demeaned or pigeon-holed by the constantly perfect female bodies that populate the public face of our society.  However, I can now look back objectively at photos of younger me and realize that I was not quite as horrific as I always imagined myself to be, so it is possible my expectations were unrealistic.  Not that I have ever been a perfectly fit specimen, mind you, but I would gladly trade my 25 year old body for the one that almost-50 year old me now inhabits.  But now I’ve got a more realistic picture of my weight, and I know for really and truly that something needs to be done about it.  

That reality sank in for me in the spring of 2010, when I saw a snapshot of myself taken at my former place of business.  I wish so badly that I had a copy of that picture, but I think I must’ve left it behind on my work computer the day I was unceremoniously asked to leave.  Too bad, because the photo was a galvanizing moment, bridging the gap between believing I was too fat and knowing it.  Let’s put it this way: had I been trying to button my pants in that snapshot, it would’ve looked a lot like this.

overweight 1-1613
 So, I did what any self-respecting yo-yo dieter would do: I lost about ten pounds and called it good.  But then, months later, toward the end of the year, I ran across that photo again, and come January of 2011, I was determined to get myself smaller, and thereby healthier.  That was the first New Year’s resolution I ever managed to stick with all year.

                 Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn at

When I began my weight loss journey two years ago, I had a goal of losing a total of 80 pounds; by December of ‘11, I had dropped 55 of them and was on a roll.  I was exercising regularly, eating more sensibly, and feeling better than I had in years.  Of course, the pounds were dropping really slowly by that point, but that was okay; I was determined, and I was working a successful plan. 

Then, in March of 2012, the rug was pulled out from under me when I was fired from my job of twelve and a half years.  I didn’t lose too much weight after that.  Oh, maybe a pound here or there, but nothing too drastic.   I lost a total of 62.5 pounds before I allowed myself to give up.   At first, I was determined not to let my job loss ruin my plan, and I maintained my weight for a little while, but by June it started inching back up slowly, and by October, it was out of control.  Really, I can trace back to the exact moment in my fruitless job search when I gave up entirely; the moment when I felt like it was all just pointless.  But I know now that wasn’t a real reason, it was just an excuse to get lazy again.

So, at the beginning of this year, I began my journey again, and now I need to lose 52 pounds.  It makes me sick with myself that 35 of those pounds have come off once already and now I have to do it again, but I just keep reminding myself that I know how to make it happen.  I’ve done it before, and I will do it again.  Does it seem harder this time around?  Without question.  But I am determined.  I know how much better I felt thirty pounds ago, and I can imagine how much better I’ll feel fifty pounds from now.

So, my goal with this weekly entry, is to report my workouts from the week before, hoping, as I said, that the need to report to the world every Wednesday will help me stay focused on what I know needs to be done.  I’m not following something pre-planned like Insanity or P90X or anything like that.  I’ve got some DVDs that I work out to, an exercise bike and an exerglider as my primary pieces of equipment.  Plus, an iPod full of good dance music when I really just want to move.  I am hoping to replace the glider with a treadmill sometime soon, but what I have now served me well before, so I know it can again.

Also, this month, I am participating in a daily plank challenge with a fellow UBC participant, Wendy, over at One Tough Mother Runner.  The idea there is to do one plank each day, increasing your time throughout the month.  I’d been doing pretty well at first, increasing from barely 15 seconds the first time I tried (not quite two weeks ago) up to 48 yesterday.  Sadly, today was a backsliding day, and I only managed 31.  I think I might try it again before I hit the sack, but if that’s all I can do today, I’ll just get up and do it again tomorrow.

So, that’s my story.  I hope you guys don’t mind serving as my virtual accountability partners each week; I know that I appreciate it.  Also, I’ve read other blogs where folks are doing similar posts periodically, and I know that it always helps me a little to know I’m not the only one struggling, so maybe some of you can get some of that benefit from me, as well.  I’d like that.  And, please, if you’re on a similar journey and would like to share your triumphs and tribulations, tell me about it.  Leave a comment, or drop me an email, whichever you prefer.  Like I said, I like to know I’m not alone.

Are there any big changes you’re determined to make?