I am still here after a year…
I am still here. To me that is already a huge accomplishment. A year of moving forward, albeit slowly, to better health and fitness, including of course weight loss and chronologging that journey here in bloggyland. The fact that I am still here after one year, moving forward, including regularly blogging is evidence for me that this trek to become fit and healthy is here to stay, no matter how long it takes. Ruminations are in order. Don't you think?
When I started last year on June 26, I thought I would need a year to get healthy. Boy, was I wrong. I am definitely healthier, but, now I know that I will need at least another year to get to my goal or target weight and to become fitter. I think after all the years of being in denial about my weight and obesity, I was initially still convinced that I could lose a couple of pounds a week and be done with all the “weight loss” stuff. Wrong. I now know that what I am doing now is for life.
Which brings me to where I am today: I acknowledge that I am a slow weight loss loser. I probably always have been; I just did not know that until this past year. After one year I have lost just about 30 pounds, which means I have lost .57 pounds a week. I admit that I do get frustrated at times because my weight loss is so darn slow, but, that is how my body seems to work. The way I see it now is it took me over 25 years to get to the weight that I was when I started. I am guessing it will take me a full 2.5 years (or 10 percent of 25 years) to be at a normal weight for my body size. As much as a “quick fix” seduces me, at times, I know there is no quick anything in my case.
I believe most everyone reading this blog knows that I am taking extraordinarily simple measures to get healthy and fit by following the advice and mantra of nutritionist Marion Nestle. I adopted her adage: eat less, move more, eat plenty of fruits and veggies and go easy on the junk food. The first 20 pounds or so were honestly easy to lose. But every since that first 20 pounds came off, it has been harder and harder for me to lose. I started to track my food and water every day about 6 weeks ago. I learned that for me to lose weight I need to eat about 1200 calories a day or 1500 if my exercise is heavy.
I am moving more. Much more. You all know that I have become a cyclist over the past year. I started out slowly with maybe a 1-3 mile ride and slowly increased my stamina. By the end of last summer I was doing 8-10 mile rides. Now I can ride 20 or more miles at a time, and often do 15 or 16 a day. I find, too, that I rarely use my car in the city. I can easily go to the store or do most errands on one of my bikes. I have made it a habit to bike downtown when we take in a concert or a sporting event. Cycling is away for me to challenge myself in the space that I enjoy the most: the outdoors.
I definitely eat more fruits and veggies: It is a habit now for me to cut up apples or take grapes with me, everywhere using a lunch box with a cold cube. I have learned to love carrots (raw, too!), eat salad, and enjoy other veggies more often like cauliflower and broccoli.
Junk food: I eat little junk food now. I do allow my self sometimes those 100 calories Keebler snacks. Sometimes it is hard to stop at one package, so I do not do this often. I do allow myself treats, or things that I think are treats, but I budget them in, most of the time. Like an In and Out burger or a DQ ice cream cone.
Like many of us as this first year progressed, I learned more about myself and why I eat, or overate. I did over eat and regularly, my new tracking habit was hard evidence that I overate for a long, long while. I have learned portion size and that having a bite or two of something can be enough. In short, over this past year I slowly cultivated some good habits and made changes that are moving me forward to my goals of being healthier and fitter.
I know the changes are for good, too. Here is why: Like many of you, I had two significant events this past year. My father become ill and died last August. He was not by anyone’s definition a good or great father, but he was mine. His passing brought out front and center many difficult conversations with my siblings. The passing of a parent is never easy especially with one so provocative as my father. Second, on March 22, just three short months ago, we lost our long time hobby farmhouse to fire. It has been a process of grieving, acceptance and now , I think, making plans for "what's next." During both of these events, I ate more calories than I needed to lose weight, but did not gain any weight. I maintained what I had lost. I now know that I can weather big life events and not eat my weight though them.
I traveled quite a bit this year, too. Most of you know that I am on sabbatical, which made it possible for me to have the time to travel. Again, I ate more than I needed too to lose weight, but maintained what I have lost on each and every trip. I never brought a scale with me, but did weigh before and after I returned from a trip. I practiced my better eating habits most of the time when I traveled and found ways to exercise by walking, taking stairs or even biking.
I do not share often my frustrations with my slow weight lose on this blog. But, you can bet I am frustrated and discouraged at times, just like we all can be. Yep, I too, just want to be done with “this” sometimes. But, more and more, I know that is wish full thinking. I know that if I do not continue to become more fit my health will suffer in ways that I do not even know, and so will my family because of my ill health. That is unacceptable to me. Most days I accept the fact that my body if very finicky about shedding pounds. I wish it wasn’t, but that is who I am. I am in this for life, my life. I want this one life to be as healthy as possible.
So after one year, I am here to stay: on this journey and documenting it through blogger. Blogging can be time intensive, but it is a tool with many benefits. For one, I never feel alone. Never. Because of all of you. Because you are the folks that really get this weight loss thing and what it takes to DO it. We are in this together and together we can kick our tushies, butts, buns
caboose, taillights, derriere, what ever you want to call our collective rear ends, toward better health.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for stopping by and spending some of your day with me. Thanks for your support. Thanks for taking care of yourself and being an example for me. Thanks for making a difference by blogging about your journey to better health. Thanks for your camaraderie. Thanks for your humor. Thanks for your tips and recipes. Thanks for your friendships. Let’s stay together for the long haul, no matter how long it is. Okay??