I did it.
I reached my goal.
I am now at a healthy weight.
I need to shop for clothes that fit me right…lol
I’m still in shock. I don’t want to lose weight. I mean I was probably like a little kid the last time I thought that, and I’m 46 years old now.
I didn’t spend my whole adult life as big as the posted picture, but I did for the last couple of years. I had always battled my weight though, and probably spent most of my twenties around the weight I am now +5 or 10, and then packed on 20 or so pounds in my 30’s and then 30 or 40 pounds in my 40’s.
I figure now is a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned and why I was successful.
All About the Math
No matter what diet you follow – and I don’t mean diet as in losing weight I mean diet as in what we consume is called a diet – It will eventually come down to calories put into your body vs. calories you burn.
Yeah, some calories will keep you full longer, some have more nutritional value, and some might make you bloat up like a balloon but there is one thing for sure:
Math. Don’t. Lie.
The way that you control that number is a very personal thing. You have to find the right help, and you best make sure it’s something you can live with for sure, because if you just go back to your own habits the minute you get close to where you want to go, you’re toast.
Speaking of Numbers…
I’ve learned to not dread the scale. Far to many people. myself included, have used that little contraption to judge their self worth. It is simply a tool to gauge your progress, and sometimes it’s a stubborn little bitch that doesn’t give us what we want. Hell sometimes it doesn’t give us what we deserve.
A salty dinner, hormones, a full moon….So many things factor into what we weigh. I had weeks where I stayed the same even though my nutrition and exercise were on point. Then I’d stay the same the next week. Then I’d lose 6 pounds the third week. It will eventually show up, because as I said before….
Math. Don’t. Lie.
While the scale isn’t exactly my best friend, I have learned to appreciate it as a valuable (if sometimes unreliable) tool in my quest to become healthy.
It’s Been All About the Health
I’m not going to lie to you all. It feels good to get compliments, to feel better in my clothes and my skin. When I joined Weight Watchers or tried very unsuccessfully many other diets it was because weight would creep up on me and I didn’t want to go from chubby to fat.
Then I got fat and it was even harder. So much has changed in my life. If you’ve read my About section you know I’ve suffered a lot of loss in the last 5 years. Seeing that loss, and maybe a bit of feeling my own mortality has flipped the script for me.
I want to be healthy. I could give a damn about fitting into a bikini. Hell I didn’t even wear bikinis when I had what society would deem “acceptable”. No, I wanted to feel better. I wanted to move better.
I wanted to not be so damn tired all the time. 59.6 pounds ago I was seriously tired. Working constantly, my life had become a continuous loop of working and sleeping and not much time for anything else.
When I was younger I had a false positive reading on a diabetic test. My Mom flipped out. You see my biological Grandma died at 54 when I was very young. She became diabetic in her 30’s and did absolutely nothing that she needed to do. She was addicted to Pepsi and was very overweight.
By the time she died she was bedridden for a long time and had her leg amputated. My Mom was terrified I was on the same path, and drove me absolutely crazy about what, when, why, how much I was eating.
The women in our family and our relationship with food is a whole post in itself, so I’ll save that for another day. My point is I could very well have been heading for that future and I did not want that.
I have not worked so hard for so long to not be able to enjoy the second half of my life. Seeing a few of my friend’s parents that have so many problems now, many due to their own weight issues, really made me look at this in a whole new way.
Screw the bikini I want to be strong and healthy.
And That Brings Me Back to the Numbers…
I run now, and even when there isn’t danger! I don’t run every day. I don’t even run all in a row. I kind of do a walk real fast 5 minutes, run 5 minutes, walk real fast 5 minutes – wash, rinse, repeat.
I exercise this way 3 days a week. All in all I’m on that damn treadmill about 40 minutes with warming up and cooling down. I used to exercise to lose weight, but this time around I do it because I want to be strong. I want to be healthy, and you must move your body to make that happen.
I hate it though. I do it, but I hate it. Now give me a trail or a bike or really anything outside and I’m good to go. In the warmer months I really don’t need a scheduled activity because I already get a lot of exercise, but I’m trying to discipline myself for when Fall hits and I turn into a couch potato.
I also love yoga and practice that every day, even if just for 10 minutes when I wake up. I want to start strength training, and I don’t mind that near as much as the dreaded cardio.
I’m sure y’all don’t want to hear about my exercise practices or how much I hate it, but I have to include it in things I learned because before I would go gang-busters when I was trying to lose weight.
Then I would fail miserably when I couldn’t keep that pace up. Again, for me it is all about what I am willing to do the rest of my life.
Weight Watchers has a social media site called Connect, and I remember this one lady on there said “Oh, I’m just not feeling it today so I only walked for 4 1/2 hour on the treadmill.”
What the heck does she do when she is feeling it??? Seriously I would be okay with being overweight and unhealthy the rest of my life if I had to walk on a treadmill for 4 1/2 hours to stay at my goal weight.
Like I would be a completely happy fat ass.
No, I exercise because it’s good for my heart. It’s good for bone density. It makes me able to run around with my little nephews and do penny drops off the monkey bars at 46 years old.
I want to be able to do all those things. I’m not going to exercise to have ice cream or pasta. I exercise to improve the quality of my life, so even if Weight Watchers gives us extra points for exercise I do not count them or use them, because it’s all about the health, not what I can put into my mouth.
I’ve Learned that I Want to Be Strong
One of the most exciting things that has happened for me since really getting my weight loss on had nothing to do with how I look, or even the health benefits really.
My little three year old nephew was having a discussion about monsters. He denied being afraid of them. When asked why he said “Because if they tried to hurt me or my Mommy or my Daddy my Aunt Kelly will Take. Them. Out.”
Strong. I run around the playground with him, hang upside down on the monkey bars, fly kites, you name it. And he thinks I’m strong. I couldn’t be that person last summer.
I’ve Learned to be Humble
It’s super easy to get all cocky when you lose weight. Hell I’ve been one of those people that shouted from the rooftop how Weight Watchers was THE BEST THING EVER AND WORKS IF YOU JUST WORK IT.
Then I gained my weight back. Not all of it mind you but a significant portion. I’ve been told on several occasions how this would never work because I ate this or that or I should just be eating like organically grown grass from a pasture in the upper UP or whatever.
If that works for you, rock on with your bad self. This works for me, and everyone needs to find what truly speaks to them.
But it’s easy, so easy to fall off. I know this so I also know I need to be humble with my success. I need to respect it and care for it.
I’ve Learned to Give up the Fairy Tale
One thing I know for sure – there isn’t a magic pill out there that will take away the extra pounds. There is no crash diet that will give me lasting results.
I think a lot of us just want something, anything out there that will tell us this isn’t our fault. Once you truly embrace that while there are many factors in this complicated journey it really is up to us.
Losing weight is hard. Being fat is harder.
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