Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Finally, Less of Me

I've been accused of burying the lead before, so:  I've dropped nearly twenty pounds over the past six weeks.  Huzzah!  This doesn't mean that I have a normal BMI yet, but I'm inching closer to it.

My sources (a.k.a., the interwebs) tell me I'm trimming down at a good rate, because if you lose any faster than that, you (a) are probably going to gain it all back, and (b) may end up resembling a deflated balloon. Slack latex is not a trend this year according to Vogue, so I'm trying to avoid that particular look.

Anyway, I shifted my intake and exercise on May 14, 2012, the day after Mother's Day. I mean, why would I want responsible menu choices hanging over my head on a day that's all about me? Plus, it would have meant I had to cook, and that's just silly talk.

But the pants... The pants were so tight. Not just my regular pants either. My scary-size pants. My work out pants. My pajama pants. Do you know how ridiculous it is when your pajama pants are tight?  Anyway, I was dangerously close to officially hitting the 'Obese' BMI category, and a number popped up on my scale that I hadn't seen since I was heavily pregnant.


I know why I put on weight.  I've never been super-careful about my diet, so I've always carried a few extra pounds. Things ramped up, though, when the Little Guy was six months old, because that's when my mother was diagnosed with terminal brain and lung cancer. 

During the six months of her illness, I chose to stop breastfeeding (enormous stress + much time away from baby = weaning).  So, I wasn't getting rid of a couple of hundred calories a day, effort-free, anymore.  Add to that a whirlwind of hospital visits (where they serve ironically unhealthy food), dinner in the car (i.e., fast food), eating unending comfort food given by neighbors, and ordering in because I was too exhausted too cook. 

And then, she died.  Repeat the above, for another year.  These aren't excuses.  I think everyone asks themselves, "How did I get to this point?" You must do that in order to figure out how to deal with life, and the things about it that can suck, better.

This past spring, I knew things were not good, and that I had to change.  And thus, after a decadent Chinese swan song of kung pao chicken and cream cheese wontons (I know, I know), I decided to cowgirl up and deal with my sponginess.  I'm not doing a program; no Weight Watchers, no Jenny Craig, no South Beach, no Atkins.  None of that.  I mean, that's group work, to an extent, right?  And we all know how I feel about group work.

Basically, I'm doing what every phys. ed. teacher, article in 'Cosmo,' and episode of 'The Biggest Loser' tell you to do:  eat better, move more.

Rocket science, eh?  But it's working. Pants are loosening. Buttons have stopped popping. A hint of a waist is appearing. People at the office have even asked me if I'm losing weight (*pumps fist in air*).

Okay, so, in case you're interested, here are the specifics of what I've been up to:
  1. Downloaded the LiveStrong Daily Plate app to track every horrifying thing I was eating. I generally know what's bad and what isn't, and those are the easy things to cut out.  Like, of course I'm not going to get loaded nachos. But yikes, there's a lot of calories and fat in those little Mini Moos that I was liberally dumping into my coffee.  So I brought in my own.  Easy.
  2. Regarding the app, the nutrients pie chart the app offers has been especially helpful, because I'd never really paid attention to trying to keep to a balance of 60% carbs, 20% protein, and 20% (good) fat in my diet. Anyway, this has resulted in me swapping out junky for healthy, because, seriously, unless it's nirvanalicious, most pizza is just not worth it.
  3. Stopped dining out like I was the Sultan of Brunei.  I couldn't adequately account for what I was eating. Extra bonus is that this saved me some money as well.
  4. Cut out most booze.  Not all.  Just most.
  5. Hit the gym regularly.  Regularly = more often than the quarterly, "we miss you!" e--mails from the YMCA. Joking aside, I go to the gym or track every day, run for 30 minutes, and then do some weight-training.
  6. Committed to drinking water. Lots and lots and lots of water.  Liters.  Seriously, I hit the ladies room every 90 minutes.  Before, I drank lots and lots of coffee.  I made a deal with myself that I would only drink a cup of coffee if I preced it with 20 ounces of water.  This has dramatcially cut down on my coffee intake.
It hasn't been a really big struggle, believe it or not. The toughest parts for me have been balancing the workout regimen with family time, and not appearing rude if I eschew (ha!) the unhealthy items on the menu at a party.  With respect to the former, as wonderfully supportive as my husband is, I don't want to abandon him with the kids every night, so I'll try to go to the gym before he leaves for work at 7:00 a.m., or at night after I put the Little Guy to bed.

Ultimately, it's like anything:  you actually have to want to do this.  Like, if an addict is forced into rehab, most of the time, the clean living doesn't hold.  And I wanted to do this.  I wanted my pants to fit.  I wanted to avoid the kindhearted 'you need to lose weight' pearls of wisdom during my physical.  Forty years down the road, I don't want my children to worry about me because I'm suffering from some ailment that I caused by living like a dope.

But mostly, I wanted my pants to fit.

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