I have been attempting to share my experiences with getting back in decent shape since January. I began increasing my mileage in running in an effort to run the Indy 500 Mini Marathon next weekend, and have tried various ways to lose the extra 20 pounds I had gained over the past two or so years. I share this on my blog for personal accountability and to show others who might read it that most of us struggle at some point. I also firmly believe that what works for one might not work for another. I have found this to be true as I have worked to figure out what will work for me.
Running…while I was able to increase my mileage somewhat, I realized in the past month that there was no way I was going to be able to run 13.1 miles. I was okay with walking a portion, but it became pretty clear that I would likely be walking more than running. My daughter, who was also going to do the race, had long ago determined that she was just going to walk the course. She has been focusing more on strength training and had not run at all. I had a Saturday long run a couple weeks ago, and although I had done everything right in preparation, the run sucked. I walked a lot, and just didn’t enjoy it. After talking with Bethany, I decided I would not run in Indy. The weekend would end up costing over $500, and it just would not be worth it when I knew I would be disappointed in myself in the end. I am still working on running, but not stressing out when I just want to walk. I have also been going to the chiropractor for a hip issue, and he agreed that running that distance might not be wise. I was able to defer to next year, so MAYBE I will try again. Meanwhile, I feel great relieved that I am not running and can focus on all of the other activities that May brings.
Weight loss…I know that I am very fortunate to have lived many years without having to worry much about maintaining my weight. If you know the women in my family, most are naturally small — at least until menopause hits. I began gaining weight in 2018 when I was 51. I remember because I was shopping for a dress for Andy’s college graduation, and ended up in tears in the dressing room because nothing fit. That was a fun shopping trip for my husband! The following fall, I was able to get back on track and lose most of the weight. Fast forward to the past two years, and the weight just kept coming on and my clothing size kept going up. I teetered between being depressed about it, and not caring because I just don’t want to live the rest of my life “dieting”. I tried counting calories, and then I tried intermittent fasting because it seemed to be working for a lot of people. It did not work for me. I gave it time, but even after a few weeks, I was hangry in the morning until I could eat, and I saw no results. So I gave up on that. I did continue to workout at least five days a week, but was seeing no progress.
Then one day when I weighed (Wednesday, April 5 to be exact), I weighed more than I did when I was nine months pregnant with my last child. That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I was not happy with myself, and it was affecting other aspects of my life. I was grouchy because I was unhappy with myself. I was obsessed to the point that I felt like I needed to acknowledge my gain when I saw people out, “I’m sorry; I know I have gained a lot of weight since you last saw me.” As crazy as it sounds, that is how my mind was working. I wanted to let others know that I was aware of how I look before they talked about me to other people. Did I actually say those things? No. But my mind was cluttered with that kind of negative talk. In reality, NO ONE CARES. I don’t care what anyone else looks like, so why did I think that anyone would care what I look like? I felt like people would think less of me; afterall, I was a runner and a group fitness instructor not that long ago. How could I just let myself go? I know this is a terrible mindset, but my mother and grandmother were very conscientious about weight, and they both could be very critical. It’s difficult to let go of the mindset when it is all I have ever known.
On April 5, after seeing the scale, I went straight to work, got on my computer, and signed up for Weight Watchers. I felt like that program has been around a long time, and it isn’t just a quick fix or a gimmick. I will have been on the program four weeks this Wednesday, and I have lost 9.6 pounds! I have never been able to lose weight consistently, but I am staying dedicated to the point system, using my app to track everything that goes in my mouth, and it is working. To get to my goal, I need to lose seven more pounds, but I already feel so much better, and I can see the difference. What I love about this program is that the points are not just based upon calories; they are based upon nutrition as well. For example, Gary and I have always gotten Quacker Chewy Granola bars to snack on. They are 100 calories, so we thought it was a decent snack. In WW, they are five points! To put that into perspective, I can have 23 points a day, so five points is substantial. I believe they are high in points because of the added sugar.
I have cut out almost all added sugar, which is huge because I loves sweets (and my daughter owns a bakery). The first two days I had a headache due to cutting back so suddenly, but now the cravings are gone. When I can see progress, I have an easier time sticking with something. I now know that even if I hit my goal, I can never go back to the way I was eating before. Is it going to be difficult at times? Of course. Is my health worth it? Absolutely. We have lots of graduation parties coming up, and I will have to eat before I go. I have two vacations in June, which will be challenging. WW does give extra “weekly” points that I can use for special occasions, but I have been trying not to dip into those too much. Vacation might be different because we will be trying new restaurants. Hopefully I can make good choices and not fall back into bad habits.
I hope that next time I write, I will be closer to my goal. While the first six pounds came off quickly, losing is slower now, but that’s okay. It isn’t a race; it’s my health. I have a goal and I have a plan to support that goal. Right now, that is all I need!