Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ruminations on a year....

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??

TTFN, Michele


  1. Okay!! And happy anniversary:) I think you have accomplished a lot in the past year and, as you know, IMO your approach is much more likely to last. Heck, my own one year blogoversary saw me having regained again! Anyhoo - just imagine what the next year can bring:)

  2. Happy Blogaversary!!!! Taking small simples steps will lead to a lifetime of positive changes.

  3. Glad you made it through a year here. Your example and others will help me do the same. happy blogging and happy anniversary to you.

  4. You have come a long way, congratulations!

    I firmly believe in the small steps to obatian long lasting change.

  5. You have done a wonderful job sticking with "it". I too lost about 30 pounds the first year, which ended last December. Since then I have kept it off, but seem unable to move on. I lost both of my blogging partners (no one died, just moved on to new things) and seem to have lost my motivation at the same time.

    What really made me stop and notice your blog, was the picture of the grandchildren and your comment about the reason you are on this journey. I have a new grandbaby and want to get healthy to have more time with her. I am sorry about the loss of your father--it is hard to deal with death and stay on the path.

    Keep it up. Jo

  6. I think small steps are really "big" steps when all is said and done. Lots of learning and changing happening over the past year. You have done well, in my opinion, particulary as you have dealt with some losses and difficult times. I'm so glad to be on this journey with you.

  7. I am in it for the long haul.
    I think 5 years minimum.. to "prove" to haters
    that LC is good - healthy - and effective!
    And you won't die if you don't eat bread!!!

    I'm SOOOOOO glad you found the little button that says
    "delete" - that is what we do!

    No room for hate.
    No time for drama.
    No tolerance for bullies.
    I've got a life to live!
    Let's get at it! One little day at a time!

  8. Glad you are still here and still fighting. I'm a very slow loser too but I'm learning to be ok with that. I think the longer it takes to get off the more likely it is to stay off. I've lost it quick before but it came back on even quicker. Slow and steady is the way to go. Thank you! Rock on!

  9. I love following your journey and remember your the one that got me back on my bike :)
    My healthy attitude and weight loss has been mega slow but you know what? I'm perfectly o.k with that. I've learned a lot along the way and met some fantastic bloggers such as you!!

  10. What a great review, Michelle! Congrats on your success - I really do think that when it takes a bit longer to get into shape & health, it also lasts longer, because you learn as you go and have time to really forge those good habits into good, strong habits. My weight loss has been extremely slow also - I wish it were faster, but yah, it isn't and that's ME.
    Your attitude is great!
    You went through some pretty major life events over the past year - and you still maintained a great loss!
    One line really struck me: "He was not by anyone’s definition a good or great father, but he was mine." -- wow! I've been thinking about my own father lately and having a hard time expressing my thoughts about him (he passed away almost 21 years ago -when I was 24) but this sums it up. There is love, but it's not an easy kind of love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  11. The main thing is you are sticking with it and not getting discouraged. For us, food addicts, this journey never ends and every day brings new challenges. Those big events times make it even more challenging, trust me I know.
    I admire your attitude and honestly believe that with it you will succeed in achieving your goal.
    Happy Anniversary, Michele!

  12. Brilliant post..what a year...what a lovely review of it, the positives, the challenges and the progress.
    This has got to be a life change hasn't it, you are celebrating a year en-route but our goals have to be for a LONG time or we will slip back.
    I am soooo happy to say to you too....Yes! Let's stay together for the long haul, no matter how long it is. Okay! ....yes its very much OK with me
    Well Done

  13. You have definitely encouraged me throughout my topsy-turvy adventure since last fall and for that I thank you. But more than that, I want you to know you inspire me because of what you share here about your own adventure. You have a kind heart and I am glad to know ya via Blogger!

  14. What a wonderfully thoughtful and well written post. I did not remember your dad dying and wonder if I had not yet found you. I believe I would remember as it must have around the same time my FIL died. Tough days!!

    I've said it before, but never take for granted that joy of hopping on your bike and riding so many places directly from your house. I am so envious of that. I have nice places to ride, but have to transport the bike to a safe place to start.

    We have much in common. I hope we are able to meet in "real" life someday.

  15. Great post Michele, and congratulations! I like the Marion Nestle piece. I will have a very similar post coming up about more fruits and veggies, less junk food. Actually today started a new plan (that I made up, of course!) that reflects that logic. I was finding I just couldn't follow the calorie approach and eat junk food at the same time. The junk food threw me into a tailspin and pretty soon I was eating more than my allotted calories.

    Glad you're sticking around for a while!

  16. Michelle, I am so very glad that I found you and over the last year we both have learned so much about ourselves. You have done an amazing job and your positive attitude is wonderful. I am amazed at the way your life is so active now. The past year has been a true adventure and I can't wait to see what the future holds. Slow and steady wins the race!

  17. Hey girl. I might be slow at getting to your blog and reading, I might be even slower are commenting but I am reading and I am very proud of all that you've done. You are amazing, your an inspriation to so many and you are always there with a work of advice, something great and encouraging. You are a terrific friend and commrade in all this let's get healthy. I love it and I love you!!!
    Keep up the great work Michele and if it takes 2,3,4,5 years to get to where we all want to be, so what really. We're doing it and doing it well. Take care and God Bless!!

  18. Thanks for sticking around and for your support and honesty this last year. I am in for the long haul too and I WILL BE A SUCCESS STORY and so will you!

  19. Happy anniversary :) Consistency is the key thing that many people struggle with, so the fact that you're still here is fantastic.

  20. Happy anniversary! I always love to read your posts because you are so level headed and real. It has been quite a year for you and I'm so glad to be able to share this journey with you. As I've said before you inspire me. I even included stairs in my workout over the weekend because I thought of you. We will overcome our old lifestyles and forge a new and healthier body one day at a time. Blessings my friend.

  21. Michelle, Your story sounds so much like mine. I love your attitude and your willingness to stick to the journey. We are not done yet and probably never will be! We just need to keep pushing forward and stay focused on our goals.

    You are doing great my Friend! Keep it up!

  22. Trying to get caught back up after being out of touch for a week.

    My first year went great, my second year was up and down to where I got and ended up a little on the up side. Starting my third year, I am heading back down and hope to get to my goal weight by the end of the year. Still a ways to go. Like you I realize this needs to be a process to a better life style, not an end result. Keep up the great work.