Thursday, December 27, 2012

End of the Year Confession

I've debated for weeks whether or not I should write this.  I feel like no one reads my blog so in the end, it's probably more an exercise in catharsis for me than anything really revelatory for a happenstance reader.

{Deep Breath}

I've spent the last 5 months working on my health and fitness.
And I've had some success.
In fact, I'm down 25 lbs.

Let me say it again, because I can hardly believe it:

I wish I had a better visual, but this is what I came up with:

(Boy, do I wish my abs looked like that!)

I cannot remember a time when I haven't either struggled with, been unhappy with, or thought about my weight.  After having kids, I simply assumed that I would never be the same, and I viewed those "skinny" moms as having been blessed with a naturally fast metabolism, an amazing personal trainer, or  a talented plastic surgeon - things I certainly did not have.  

Did I know about the uber-secret formula: Eat Less and Move More?  Yes, I was aware.  But I just couldn't seem to put both the pieces together. I've started many exercise programs, but always been reluctant to track my food. And I firmly believe that food is 80% of the equation.  Anyone who tells you that losing weight is simple or easy is lying.  Anyone who tells you it is worth it is being honest.  

Part of me sometimes wonders what took me so long to figure this out, but that seems a bit defeatist.  Instead, I am trying to appreciate the benefits here and now.  

I don't feel the need to share my tipping point, but I will say that once it happened, there was no looking back.  I began by joining Weight Watchers, plunging in with a full 12 week commitment.  I'll be frank - I didn't love it.  I bear the blame for some of that.  After the first few weeks my schedule became really busy, and I wasn't able to attend meetings regularly or for the full amount of time.  I also resisted having to convert all the foods into points.  The Type-A in me kept thinking "What makes Weight Watchers so special that they can't just count calories like everyone else?".  I know, I was sort of doomed from the start.    

But I did have success and I lost each week.  

After the first few months, I switched to an iPhone app called My Fitness Pal, and it has been a huge part of my success. I set a calorie goal based on my desired weight loss, and I can track my food, water, and activity.  It allows me to track what I eat using a database of thousands of foods.  I can also input my own recipes and it will formulate the breakdown of calories, fat, protein, etc.  I use it multiple times a day.  I now eat between 1300-1500 calories per day, and I do eat back my exercise calories.  I record everything I eat, but I don't deprive myself.  If I want some ice cream, or I know I am going out to dinner, I make sure I have the calories to enjoy myself.  It can be done!   

And to make this post even more illustrative, let's look at some embarrassing pictures!

                             Then                                                                             Now
As for exercise, I started doing the 30 Day Shred (again).  After I finished I moved on to Ripped In 30 (also a Jillian Michaels program), which I completed but hated.  I feel like the circuit training formula has contributed to my success.  Although I have slacked off since Thanksgiving, I am still working out 5 days a week (currently 3 days of weights, 2 days of walking or cardio).  My goal for next year is to work up to running by completing the Couch to 5K program.  I want to run a 5K in the Spring/ early Summer.  Do I love working out?  Nope.  But I love how I feel afterwards.  I love feeling like I am ready to run when I go for my walks.

I also appreciate that I did this without a gym membership, a trainer, or any expensive equipment. All I had was a smartphone, a DVD player, some handweights, and a decent pair of sneakers.  Would I love a treadmill at home?  Sure, but it's just not realistic right now.  I used what I had, and again, it's working.  It CAN Be Done.  

This has been a long journey, and it is not over yet.  I was surprised at how mentally exhausting it sometimes was.  But the benefits have been awwwwwwwesome.  I always thought that the saying "Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels" was a bunch of crap.  But after 5 months, -25lbs. and feeling better than I have in 10 years, I am totally on board.  There is nothing better than hearing my husband say "You look amazing."  But if there's anything that's a close second to that, it's being able to pull on my old jeans without even unbuttoning them.  I love having my flexibility back.  I love setting a better example for my kids by exercising AND enjoy treats in moderation.  I love buying clothes that are two sizes smaller than before.  And I love not being afraid to pass by a mirror.

See, now aren't you glad you stayed to the end of this incredibly self-centered post? I mean seriously, what is more boring than reading about someone blathering on and on about weightloss?  Crap, I just bored myself to sleep, and I am both the writer and person in question.  Yawn!  Go do something!  Read a book (because I certainly haven't in the last 5 months)!

Here's to a great 2013!



Ashley said...

Nothing self-centered in the least - You ROCK. You look amazing - and what a fabulous post to read to kick off the new year! :) Seriously - what hard work losing weight is and keeping it off, and you have every right to brag! :)

Hope you had a great Christmas!!

Kelly said...

Way to go!!! You should be proud! For the record I read your blog regularly. I'm just terrible about posting comments. You look fantastic.

sarita said...

I'm still reading and still loving the way you write! What an inspiration you are, Amy! You look fantastic, and I'm glad you feel fantastic too. happy new year to you!

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

You look great! Congratulations, losing weight is hard work :-)

Matt and Erin Pitcher said...

Congratulations! Thanks for posting this. You are an inspiration. And you look fantastic.

Chrissy Jo said...

Way to go, Amy! I'm so glad that you feel good. More important than any number is how you FEEL. I am impressed with your dedication and hard work. I hope to copy it in a few months after this baby boy is born. :-)

Robyn said...

Amy! You look amazing, way to go!! I too love hopping on your blog, but am terrible with comments.

Very inpsiring post. You rock!!