Today wasn't going to be the day... that I revealed my starting weight... Or that I made my weight blog public... Or that I talked about how ashamed I've been of myself for the last (many???) few years. It wasn't going to be the day that I talked about being obese... or how I carry my weight well... or how it feels to drop several sizes in jeans in less than 4 months. It wasn't going to be the day that I looked back over the pictures from when I decided I needed to change at the end of September through the holidays and today. It wasn't going to be the day that I shook my head and said "How did you get to this point?"
But it is. It's going to be the day. Over the last few months, I've had a number of emails or FB "emails" from blog readers and folks I've had the privilege to meet IRL also, who've asked me when I'm going to share my private blog and talk openly about the last few months. I've told everyone "February 1st", Nicholas's third birthday. The day that I marked as my first big goal. But, I've hit that goal. And, this week, I've had three more requests. So, I've decided. Today's the day.
Yesterday morning, I saw 199.5 on the scale. From 240. (I can't believe I just typed those numbers and, honestly, it is all I can do not to erase them). Even seeing them, I still can't believe them. September 9, 2009, I weighed between 250 and 251; that was my last weigh-in prior to Bobby and Maya's birth. In a year, I'd lost about 10 lbs. It's embarrassing, really. I trained my ass off for the triathlon last year and didn't drop a single pound. And, as much as I wanted to blame it on something- PCOS, Hashi's, grief, whatever- it was the fact that I ate enough for a offensive lineman (one of those BIG football players). I love to cook and I love to eat, and those two things combined with a lack of portion control did me in. And, in spite of talking to Peter about it in my weepy moments and hearing him try to tell me that maybe, just maybe, one helping instead of (I dont know... 4) might help, I just wasnt ready to listen.
I am a firm believer that when the student is ready, the teacher comes. It just took me until last September to be ready to make a change.
For me, it couldnt be a diet that I could fail on. I dont have the best will power and I knew that, if I went on a diet or a weight loss program, and then fell off of it, then it would be the excuse to down a bottle of soda or eat a box of chocolates or tear into a bag of chips. It would only take one time and then I'd beat myself up over what I'd done, bury my guilt in more bad choices, and then loathe myself even more. It wouldn't be pretty. And God knows, I didn't want that to be something Bobby and Maya saw or, worse, thought was the way to be. When I looked myself in the mirror that day and told myself that I was changing and life was going to be different, I committed to a new lifestyle, similar to when I took my vows to Peter those eons- I mean, years :)- ago. It was a choice to be a new person... a better person. A person I could smile at when I saw her face. A person who was healthy and strong, both physically and emotionally. Who didn't beat herself up for her choices- no matter what they were- but simply saw them for what they are: "this moment, today". It couldnt be a diet or a short term solution, and it sure as hell couldnt be a resolution of some sort. The goal weight couldnt be some sort of "Now, I'm skinny- let's party"; it needed to be something realistic and healthy for my body. It couldnt be a throwback to myself 15 years ago, either. (Which, sometimes, I think most of us are trying to escape back to some perceived "ideal" us from long ago, in some way)
I'm 30 years old; at 5'7, a healthy BMI for me is, about 23.5 (or 150 pounds). That would put me in the "normal" range. In high school and early college, I weighed between 140 and 155, so I suppose, that brings me back to that "ideal" spot in some ways. But there's no way I could live like a teenager again. (When Peter and I made our commitment to one another in 1998, I was about 150, so it would take me back to about that size, I suppose, but I think the new, healthier me will still look better. :) That girl may have worn a string bikini, but this one has birthed a few babies and will stick to the tankini, thank you very much!)
So, for me to hit that weight and BMI, I had 90 pounds- or a person- to lose and, estimating a healthy 2-3 pounds a week, I set February 1st as my goal for 200 lbs. As of this morning, recovering from being sick, I'm at 201 lbs, but, as I saw that special 199.5 on the scale yesterday, I think it is time to share why Less of Me... Is More. This has been the place where I have recorded my measurements, weights, pant sizes, and every morsel (excluding water or Coke Zero because, at zero calories, I got tired of writing it down) that goes into my mouth. It's the place that let me rejoice that, even though I ate whatever I wanted over the holidays, I still lost weight. It's the place that, every week, I sit down and record my Week In Review and talk about what I liked, didnt like, and how I felt the week went. I take time around every meal to log my food and calorie content. I look up food choices before I go to restaurants so that I can go in armed knowing what my choices will run me. I try to keep myself under 1700 calories a day, but it's just an idea. Some days, I'm over 2000; a few days, over 3000! Most days, I'm somewhere around 1700. And, although I was skeptical, I am being completely honest when I tell you that I'm not hungry. I eat when I am and I stop when that goes away. It may mean leaving a little on the plate. It may mean going back for a second helping. Sometimes it means bypassing dessert, while other times it means having a slice of pie. I dont try and figure out how much I have to exercise to try and "work off" what I eat; instead, I view food as my fuel for the day. How many calories do I need to get through the day? To clean? To play with the kids? How many calories satisfy my morning hunger? (It's between 250-300). How many lunch time calories do I need to get through the early afternoon? (about 300-350 usually gets me to 4pm before I start getting hungry). I grab a 100 calorie snack pack if the hunger pains hit or a 120 calorie granola bar. I usually eat a fairly high calorie (180c-240c) bar after I work out. Dinner could weigh in as low as 400 calories or as high as 1200- it all depends on what I'm cooking or where we happen to be eating. But, the one thing I dont do, is lie to myself. I've done that too much for too long. If my meal logs in at 1500 calories, then that's what it was. Why tell myself it was something less?
Some nights, I eat a yogurt before bed because, it's 11pm and I'm hungry again. And that's okay. Some nights, I dont have dinner because I'm just so tired, but I wake up really hungry and end up having lunch way close to breakfast because my body needs more fuel. And that's okay, too. I've learned- and am still learning- that a healthy relationship with food means listening to my body. Not my eyes or my taste buds,alone. But my body. What do I need to function well? I'd stopped listening a long time ago; and now that I've given myself a voice again, it's telling me what I need and when.
I still have moments where I have to ask that age old question- Are you hungry???- and, depending on the answer have to tell myself "THEN GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!" I still have the times where I look at the M&M bowl and want to eat the whole thing, simply because something didn't go my way. But I'm in a better place. I can walk by it and have one or two, and be done. I can have a slice of cheesecake and not need the entire thing. And it doesnt hurt (well, for the most part!).
I was wearing size 20 pants, and barely fitting into some of my bigger 18s; I just bought some pants at Target and they were 10s. I can no longer fit into the Lane Bryant pants; they are just too big and they dont go below a size 14. I had to buy new bras (down from a 44DD to a 42DD- I've always been chesty... I dont see that going anywhere in the near future!). My workout pants are no longer XL or XXL- they are L and those are slightly loose (just slightly... not ready for mediums yet!). I dont try to elongate my neck in pictures anymore so that the camera looses sight of my double chin. I smile and I mean it. I'm not focused on getting a better angle. It's just me; and this is me, today. As I am. I'm getting comfortable in my skin again. Finally.
There has been so much shame. I never talked about it, much for the same reason I couldnt talk about my infertility. I was just so ashamed. I'm still gunshy, I'll admit it. And I'm not some health guru or some "real woman" in the pages of a magazine who lost X and kept it off for Y years. I've only been living my new life for less than 4 months, but it feels like forever. It feels like I have a new lease on things- no, not a lease... a mortgage. A mortgage that, one day, will be paid off, and I'll be able to live with forever. I'm good with that.
You'll notice a new page on this blog, one that links to my weight entries. I know that many people struggle with weight and acceptance of themselves- something doubly hard when it is paired with infertility and/or loss. But we can all do it with the help of one another. One day at a time. One breath at a time. And, yes, sometimes, one bite at a time. Whether it is with the help gained from a book or through meetings at a weight loss center or just what you find in your own kitchen, it's possible... It's doable... But it cant be about being skinny or being pretty or anything close. It has to be about being you. Being a healthy you. A you that is here for the future, but, more than that in a lot of ways, a you that is here for you. It has to be about being okay in your skin- no matter what. Comfortable. Complete, in spite of the shame or the emptiness or the hurt.
I'm not there yet. And, honestly, when the scale hits 150, I dont know that I'll be 100% there either.
But this is a start.
Click here to see 2010 in Review, from a weight loss standpoint)