|That's me on the end- the chubby one in the flowered dress.|
Okay everyone, it's time for me to get real. I mean really real. I blog about lots of things (infrequently these days due to a high stress job and a crazy life to boot), and I've blogged about my insecurity about my body and my weight before. But now starts my journey to getting back on track.
First things first. I don't do diets. Don't talk to me about Atkins or Paleo or Mediterranean or South Beach or even Weight Watchers. I just don't do them. I don't follow them and I fall off the wagon and I get mad and frustrated and give up. In the past, when I have wanted to lose weight, the only things that have worked are exercise and portion control. I will not put butter in my coffee, I will not consume coconut oil or whatever other latest fad is going on. I'm not knocking it for others if it works, and I do have a great respect for the Weight Watchers program because I know it works well for many, some of my family and friends included. But for me, I have to eat reasonably, while still eating what I want, and to do this I must control my portions. Easier said than done, judging from past experience.
This isn't my first time wanting to lose weight, but it is certainly the most uphill battle I've faced with my weight. I had my daughter Sabrina in November of 2013, just a few months after turning 30. I swear, between the two of those life (and body) changing events, my metabolism, my body, everything changed. I lost the weight quickly after having Sabrina, but I put quite a bit back on once I went back to work (mostly because I actually could sit down and eat a meal without a crying baby in one arm). By last fall, I weighed just under 140 pounds. Come wintertime, stress, depression, and lack of exercise, I went up to 144 pounds at my highest, using my home scale. Doctors office scales are far meaner and I hate them and refuse to acknowledge their existence. I'm sticking with my home scale to gauge my measurements.
Yesterday, I had a sobering experience. My daughter was napping, so I went to the basement and pulled out my spring and summer clothes to hang up in my closet, in the hopes that the weather will finally take a springlike turn. I was so disheartened to see that all of my capri pants from last year (post-baby me, mind you) are a size 6. The pants I am wearing now are a size 10. 2 sizes!! And I can't even blame baby weight, because last summer I was 6-9 months postpartum, so that ship had sailed. How is this even possible? How did I let myself gain this much weight? I don't even know when or how it happened. It wasn't sudden, it must have crept up on me, a pound or two there, with no exercise done to prevent it.
Living in the Northeast is brutal for exercise unless the treadmill or elliptical are your thing. For me, they just aren't. The elliptical confuses me to no end- it's like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time, something I am not very good at if I'm being honest. I can't force the upper half of my body to do something different than the lower half. Bad things will happen. The treadmill is okay but it is SO BORING and I do not have room for one in my home, not that I'd probably use it much anyway. That leaves me with walking outdoors for exercise, which just honestly didn't happen this winter. This winter was either the coldest on record (recent record anyway) or the second coldest. Most days had below zero wind chills. Sorry, but I'm not signing up for a 3 mile jaunt through sub-zero temperatures. Not gonna happen.
Like every other mother out there, time is another huge factor in my weight gain. Life is so hectic, working full time with a toddler, a teenager (my stepdaughter), and just a normal life to live. I do a pretty good job of meal planning, so I'm not left scrambling at the last minute for what to have for dinner, because that is when you give in to take-out of the unhealthy persuasion. But Chinese take-out and pizzas from Sam's Club are certainly part of my reality, because sometimes in the interest of time and sanity, those are the easiest way to get everyone fed reasonably cost effectively and in a timely fashion. That's just life.
But it's time to start changing my mentality. Not to one of obsession with calories, because nothing annoys me more than someone who flaunts their healthy lifestyle in your face, but to one of making smart choices most of the time, allowing for the occasional indulgence in bread and ice cream (my favorites!!!). To a mindset where exercise, some way, somehow, isn't something that can easily be disregarded. Knowing that there will surely be days where getting my walks in just won't happen, due to working late or weather or illness or whatever, but not letting that derail me in the long term. Making my health, my weight, my family's health a bigger priority.
I wanted to share this journey with those around me, because no matter if you are a mother (or father) of little ones or if you find yourself in a totally different place and time in your life, we all have struggles when it comes to diet and exercise. It is so helpful to be able to share your struggles and your successes with others. So today, I am officially kicking off my weight loss and fitness challenge. I challenge myself to walk my goal of 10,000 steps 5 out of 7 days a week and to get to my goal weight of 135 pounds (or less!) in the next 3 months.
I will check in periodically during the coming weeks to update my progress. I know I will have setbacks, and I know I will struggle. But hopefully at the end of this challenge, my own personal challenge to myself, I will come out at the healthy weight I want. If you have had your own successes and want to share something that worked for you, or share your story, I would love to hear from you. Just like when it comes to raising a child, fitness and weight loss takes a village too!