I weighed myself this morning, and it wasn’t pretty. The number on the scale said 204.2. I haven’t weighed over 200 pounds since I was pregnant with Charlotte over 3 years ago. I had a few thoughts after seeing this number:

Thought 1: “I can’t believe this. I feel disgusting.

Thought 2: “I have to change this.” 

This is not new territory for me. My weight has been on a steady increase for the past year. In the back of my mind, however, I thought that things would turn around. I thought these extra pounds were just some sort of wacky fluke, as if by thinking that I could absolve myself of all responsibility. But the fault is all mine. I made the choices that led to weight gain. I chose to eat unhealthy foods. I chose to feel sorry for myself and wallow in self-pity. I chose to ignore the warning signs and kept heading down a path I knew would only lead to seeing 200 pounds on the scale again. 

But I’m through with all of that. No more feeling sorry for myself. No more making excuses. No more eating junk and hoping it won’t negatively effect me. I have treated myself poorly and set a bad example for my daughter long enough. 

I am hitting the reset button. I am going back to the basics. Here’s the plan:

  • I am counting my calories on SparkPeople.
  • I am limiting sweets to fewer than 200 calories a day.
  • I am not going to keep any soda (diet or regular) in the house.
  • I will not eat out of boredom or after 8:00 p.m.
  • I will exercise at least 3 times a week. 

These things work. I know because they worked for me before. Despite the fact that I have this little voice in my head that says that I will never get back into the 160s again, that I am just destined to be a fat girl, I have to believe that I can do this. I have my own past experience to prove it. 

I can do this. I can do this. I WILL do this.

Waking Up

I feel trapped. Stuck in this body. I hate it, and yet I am too lazy and apathetic to change it. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I am getting fatter every day, and yet what do I do about it? Nothing, except continue doing the same thing I’ve been doing: eating too much and exercising too little. I look at myself in the mirror or look at the number on the scale, and still sometimes I can’t believe that person is really me. Have I really let myself gain this much weight? How did I let this happen?
I remember the beginning of the weight gain, last summer. I remember thinking, “Well, it’s only 5 pounds, and I knew I wasn’t going to stay at 167 anyway. No big deal. If I just stay at this weight, I’ll be fine.” Then 5 pounds became 10 pounds became 15 pounds. After I routinely started seeing 180+ on the scale, I started thinking, “Okay, I have to do something. I’m getting into the danger zone. But I can still fix this. As long as I don’t get above 190, I’ll be fine.” So I’d make a few changes, half-heartedly track my food for a few days, then not see any results (!) and go back to what I’d been doing—eating too much and exercising too little.

Then one day, I saw it on the scale. 192 pounds. Just to be sure, I weighed myself again, but there it was, no mistaking it. Those 5 pounds from last summer morphed into 25 pounds, and then 30 pounds. Earlier this week, I weighed 196 pounds. The last time I weighed that much was after I had Charlotte. I thought I would never see those numbers again, and yet there they are. Here I am.

In a way, I feel as though I’m observing this happening to someone else, not me. Surely this is not MY body that is reverting back to its old ways, not my weight creeping back up. Even though I never reached my goal weight of 160 pounds (except for when I was in the middle of an ulcerative colitis flare), I always thought I’d be one of the success stories, one of the people who lost the weight and kept it off. After all, it took me 2.5 years to lose 90 pounds, so it wasn’t like I did it overnight. I did it gradually, allowing enough time for habits to develop and stick around. But I never really found my dieting groove again after I had Charlotte. I managed to lose the weight again and got back down to 167, but it was a hard-fought battle, and I was never fully committed. Other things had taken the place of weight loss, and I was happy to let them. I was sick of thinking about numbers—whether it was the number of calories in my breakfast, the number of calories I burned on my run, or the number on the scale. I was sick of them all. When I literally got sick and was only able to focus on things like sleeping and dragging myself to the bathroom, I finally just let it all go. I couldn’t think about my weight because I was just trying to think about feeling well again.

When I finally did feel well again, you’d think I would have taken my new-found health and run with it, literally and figuratively. Instead, I wallowed. I tended to my wounds—the emotional and spiritual wounds left after being sick for months on end. I stopped trying, and so the weight came back.

Now here I am, heavier than I’ve been in years, more defeated than I’ve felt in a long time. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know if I’ll lose the weight. I want to, but what does that mean? I’ve wanted it all my life. What I have do now is take the desire and turn it into action. No more pity parties. No more wallowing. No more excuses, only results. One day at a time, one choice at a time. I owe it to myself to live a healthy life. This body is all I have. I don’t get another one this side of heaven, so it’s time I stop treating it like a garbage can and fill it with good things.

It’s time to wake up. It’s time to change.

All Challenged Out

I’m the lamest blogger ever. How many other bloggers do you know who start a new blog, barely post at all, and then disappear for weeks at a time? And yet I just can’t stay away. Blogging helps me process things, and even if no one is reading, it’s cathartic for me to write.

The last time we met, I was 2 weeks into my 30 day challenge. Well, my 30 day challenge has come and gone, and I was honestly so relieved when it was over. It was harder than I thought it was going to be, and I approached it very halfheartedly some days. I did finish it, sort of. If you’ll recall, I had 3 goals for the duration of the challenge:

1. Exercise a minimum of 10 minutes each day.
2. Drink NO soda.
3. Eat sweets only on the weekends.

I am proud to say that I went the entire 30 days without a drop of soda, but it nearly did me in. Y’all, I am clearly an addict because going without my Coke or Coke Zero fix was HARD.

Me love you long time.

Me love you long time.

At the beginning of the challenge, I didn’t think that goal would be the hardest, but it was definitely the hardest to fight mentally. I found myself wanting to give in on a daily basis.

However, I did really well with the exercise part of my challenge, until day 28, when I realized it was 9 pm and I hadn’t exercised and decided I was too tired to do it, so I didn’t. I fully own the fact that throwing in the towel on DAY TWENTY-EIGHT of a 30 day challenge is the height of lameness, but this is coming from the blogger who never blogs, so it’s kind of apropos, right? 🙂

As for the sweets part of the challenge, I stuck to this, except that I did cave on Valentine’s Day (which was a Friday, so almost the weekend, right?). Stephen and I recreated the meal we had on our first date (pulled pork sandwiches, Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips, grapes, and cheesecake). I could have skipped the cheesecake, but I opted to indulge, and it was tasty. And for the record, that meal also originally included Cherry Coke, my favorite beverage, but I decided to forgo so I could keep my streak alive.

So my 30 day challenge wasn’t a rousing success, but it definitely helped me reestablish the habit of exercising, for which I am grateful. I exercised more in those 30 days than I did over the past several months, and that’s a win for me!

I had lots of other things to say, but this post is already too long, so I guess it will have to wait. See you in 2 weeks. 😉

30 Day Streak: Week Two

I may as well call it the “Weak Week Two” because that’s what it was. I stuck to all my goals, but I felt like every day was a struggle. Here’s the breakdown of my exercise:

Monday: 10 minute ab workout on YouTube
Tuesday: 10 minutes of marching in place while watching Parenthood
Wednesday: 20 minutes of “dancing” in my living room
Thursday: 25 minutes of YouTube workouts (Zumba and lower body toning)
Friday: 20 minutes walking around the track at the gym
Saturday: 10 minutes of walking
Sunday: 10 minutes of marching in place along with ab work
Total for Week 2: 105

This total is not even half of what I exercised last week, but honestly, if I hadn’t been working on this 30 day streak, I wouldn’t have exercised at ALL several of those days. But I have identified the problem, and it’s this: I didn’t wake up early to exercise (except for one day), which meant that I was having to exercise in the evenings after Charlotte was in bed (after 8:00 p.m.). I don’t know about you guys, but my energy levels are virtually tapped out by the time 8:00 p.m. rolls around, so it’s no wonder I could only manage to eke out pitiful numbers each day. Today I got up earlier and did a 20 minute Jillian Michaels kickboxing workout, and I felt great and so glad that I had already completed my exercise for the day.

Jillian doesn't mess around, y'all.

Jillian doesn’t mess around, y’all.

I hate getting up early in the mornings because I am not a morning person and probably never will be, but I have seen time and again that it’s the best way for me to make sure I have time to get done the most important things, like exercising or reading the Bible. My goal is to wake up by 6:00 a.m. every day, which isn’t even that early. I may not get in tons more exercise minutes with this plan, but I feel like the quality of my workouts will be much better because I will feel more energetic and will therefore be more compelled to work harder at a workout.

I hope you all have a great week and are working on your goals as well. Now tell me, are you a morning person or a night owl?