201, really? That was my first thought after that dreaded number popped up on the scale at my first pre-assessment for WoW! Boot Camp in late February. It just couldn’t be right. But I knew deep down that it was. I also knew that I was truly going to flunk all of the cardiovascular stuff—I mean two minutes of stepping up and down, whoa. You see, I have always lied to myself about not being in as bad of shape as I really was. I still went hiking, took long walks with the dogs, and road a bike occasionally. But the truth was, I wasn’t pushing myself at all, and I wasn’t paying attention to my body and what it really needed and desperately wanted.
Something happened this past Winter– I hit that wall. I knew I needed and wanted to make a change, but I also knew I couldn’t do it on my own. That gym membership just wasn’t motivating enough for me. My friend had been going to Boot Camp for several months—so I thought it sounded like a good idea. Who wouldn’t think waking up at 4:30 AM three days a week to run and do push-ups isn’t a great idea? With a bit of apprehension, and not knowing what to expect, I laced up my newly purchased running shoes, threw on some not-so-flattering spandex pants and headed to my first day of class. It was hard. The warm up even made me ache, but I did it, and I felt good about myself for doing it.
And here I am two months later and 17.4 pounds lighter—don’t forget that .4! Not only am I lighter, but less out-of-breath, less self conscious, less envious of those runners on South Milledge Avenue, and just overall more “ME!” I am in better shape than I was two months ago that’s for sure.
Just exercising alone wasn’t all that helped me get to this point. I also had to take a good look at my diet and make some changes. That was the scariest thing for me because I love to eat. I mean, if you really could include eating as a hobby or talent, I would. I fancy myself quite a good cook, and I enjoy food and its place in my life—meeting friends for dinner, hosting parties, pizza and beer before a show at the 40 Watt, whole milk mozzarella, half and half—you get the picture. I didn’t know where to start. So, I started with the dreaded food diary.
When April handed me that thing, I didn’t want to use it. I thought that I knew what I ate and when. And to top it off, I was supposed to write down how I felt—come on. Well, I have to say that there is something to writing down what you eat on a daily basis. I was never able to keep up with the calories because I cook most all my meals—so it was just a pain. I was also really bad at writing down how I felt—oh well. What writing it down made me was more aware of portions, what I was actually eating, and when I was eating. I started noticing things like if I didn’t eat snacks during the day at work that I would come home ravenous and want to eat a whole plate of spaghetti. I noticed that I was getting most of my bad calories at lunch from eating out too often. And, I noticed that I like to have something sweet in the evening—who doesn’t, right? All of this knowledge helped me come up with my plan which is, 1. Snack, 2. Watch my portions, 3. Eat out lunch only once a week (if possible), and try to make it healthier, and 4. Sweet is not your enemy—just choose the right sweet! I also have to say, I do treat myself every now and again to something decadent, but now, I am aware that it is really a treat.
What you don’t see in my list is—Don’t eat this, Don’t eat that, Buy lowfat/no-fat, watch every single calorie. Those were things that I couldn’t/can’t do at the moment. It doesn’t mean that I won’t make those sorts of decisions as I move along on this road—but for now, I am sticking to my plan because it is working for me.
I just want you all to know that there really isn’t a magic recipe for this. It takes a bit of effort and a bit of self discovery to figure out what your plan is; what you need to do to reach your goal. We are all wired and put together differently. I will say, though, that is nice knowing that you can teach an old dog new tricks, that it is ok to “fall off the wagon” every now and again, and that, yes, Emmeline—I can be a runner.
I also want to say that I have further to go and that I really appreciate everyone at the 5:30AM YMCA Boot Camp class. You are funny, motivating, and just plain fun women.
I’ll finish this saga with this little anecdote. Last week, I went to Target to buy a curtain rod and some dog rawhides–exciting huh. I decided that I also needed to look at their summer dresses. I picked out this cute little black dress from the rack. There wasn’t an XL, so I picked up the L. I wasn’t too confident that it would fit. I mean, the arms were those skinny kind. What do you know, it zipped right up. My husband told me it fit me like a glove. I was so happy that I wanted to shout out that it was an “L;” that there was not one single “X” on that label anywhere. I am now looking forward to hiking trips in the Smokies and sun tanning at the beach this summer. It is truly amazing what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.
Thanks everyone, and see you on Friday.