Something clicked in me a year and a half ago. If you were to ask me what exactly about my mindset changed, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I wish I could share my "ah-ha" moment, where suddenly I knew I couldn't continue on the same path I had followed most of my life. But my realization of needing to lose weight was so anticlimactic, so not-dramatic in any sense of the word. I set a New Year's resolution to lose weight in January of 2011. I didn't think much of it at the time, because it seemed every year came and went with the same resolution, and yet nothing to show for it every December.
I decided to begin my diet on January 10th, 2011- the Monday after returning home from a trip to Florida (and let's face it- diets really can only start on Mondays). When I began my diet, my road to my goal weight was incredibly long. I had 146 pounds to lose to hit the weight that I ultimately wanted to be. 146 is a big number to swallow. It was overwhelming for me to look at. Having that much weight to lose has made me a believer in baby steps. The only way to reach that goal was to focus on one pound a time, and celebrate every small milestone on the way to reaching it.
I didn't have a plan of action when I set my resolution- I just knew I wanted to lose weight the old fashioned way (slowly, and sometimes tortuously, but effectively). I wouldn't look for a quick fix by trying a fad diet where you live on cabbage and water. I wanted to be able to eat real food, not restrict myself completely from the foods that I loved (mainly, ice cream- which I have had every single night since my diet started).
I searched through my phone's app store and downloaded the first calorie tracker that popped up-Myfitnesspal. To this day, over a year and a half later, I still devotedly use Myfitnesspal to keep track of my daily caloric intake. For me, losing weight began as simply as entering my foods into a calorie tracker and not going over my daily limit. It's a program that has been so unbelievably effective for me, as it lowers my calorie intake as I continue to lose weight. For anyone who doesn't know exactly where to start, no matter how large or how small the weight loss journey that you have ahead of you- writing down your food intake daily is a simple and effective way to start.
The last year and a half of my life have been devoted to bringing about a healthier me. Writing down my food and calories daily is a large part of that journey- but there have been many other changes that I've instilled along the way as well. In the beginning, the pounds were coming off quickly. As my body began to adjust to the calories that I was putting in everyday- I had to find ways to mix it up and never let it settle at the weight it currently was. In January 2012, I started Jillian Michael's "The 30 Day Shred". Sadly, I only lasted 28 days. And where I didn't lose much weight on the program, I did notice a drastic change in my strength and endurance (But I better have after abiding by her twenty minutes of the most intense workout I've ever put my body through). After the shred I began Zumba- a cardio intensive, dance exercise program. I believe that the only reason why doing an hour of Zumba didn't completely kick my butt every workout was because of the endurance that my body built up doing the Shred. I have always hated exercising- that's been the main downfall to most of my diets. However, Zumba is different. Zumba doesn't feel like a workout- which is probably why I still take two classes a week. It is fun, energetic, keeps you moving nonstop for an hour. I enjoy it- and it's helped me lose a lot of weight since the beginning of the year. On Saturday, I decided to also begin the couch to 5K program. I'm not a runner- I walked the mile every year in gym class. But I see many of my friends and family who have started running and gotten completely addicted to it. That's the kind of exercise program that I need- one that addicts me. If I'm addicted, I'm guaranteed to keep going at it. I only have two days of it under my belt, so it's a complete work in progress- but I'm excited to see how running changes me- not only physically but mentally as well.
I guess by now, the big question is how much weight have I lost...As I'm sure it's obvious (as the title of this post gives it away), I am currently at 99 pounds. 99 is a big accomplishment, but it is also such a frustrating number. It's like turning 15, you want to simply fast forward that year and skip right to 16. I have been wanting to reach 100 pounds for over a week now. But as with everything else in my diet, baby steps. I know that pound will come off, and I will have hit a tremendous milestone in my weight loss journey. Where it's no where near over, I'm closer to my goal.
Losing such a drastic amount of weight has been one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. Weight has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember, so to finally feel like I am in control of what I put into my body is an amazing feeling. I'm not tempted by food that doesn't fit into my daily plan anymore- that's not to say that I don't have cheat days. I am a big believer in cheat days- a day to indulge in whatever it is you have craved for the entire week. For me, my cheat days mostly involve pizza. This time, dieting has been different for me. I have stuck with my diet because I haven't completely cut out all foods that are deemed to be unhealthy. I incorporate ice cream every night and pizza once a week- I'm sure those are two things nutritionists wouldn't recommend- but for me, it works.
This blog will continue to document my weight loss journey- every battle with every pound and every bowl of ice cream along the way. And if I hit the big 100 pound milestone by my next blog post, I can guarantee that bowl will be a little bigger that night.