Two Years and 200 Posts! What I’ve Learned (Sort Of)
Posted Apr 12 2010 9:26am
It has been 199 posts since I began blogging in May of 2008 and then seriously in July of 2008 in an attempt to chronicle my transition from “fat girl” to “fit girl.” I can honestly tell you, that writing this blog and the people I’ve met along the journey who have supported me have been key to any success I’ve had. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Blogging has kept me accountable, given me an outlet for my frustrations and a place to share the positive changes I have made since I turned 49. In a month I’ll be 51. The blog started as a tool to help me reach my goal of losing 50 pounds by my 50th birthday (met!) and going from a sedentary blob to triathlete (met!). I had never run a day in my life, and while I was athletic when I was younger, it had been a very long time since I had taken any kind of training seriously. Now, after almost two years— I’ve lost 63 pounds, although I’m fighting with a couple that keep creeping back on— I can’t imagine my life without exercise; I can’t imagine my life without running.
It’s been an amazing journey for me. Not only do I look and feel better, I have more confidence and I am happier in my skin than I had been in a long, long time. When I started, I was on beta blockers, had high blood pressure, acid reflux and lingering pain from a torn rotator cuff. Now, I’m medicine free, my cholesterol is normal and as long as I’m exercising, my arm doesn’t hurt. I felt so tired and old before. I feel so young and alive now.
I thought I’d share five things I’ve learned along the way in honor of my 200th post.
1. Losing weight is a lifetime proposition and if you don’t go in with that attitude, lasting success is unlikely. I have days where the last thing I want to do is exercise or worry about what I’m eating— and believe me, there are days when I don’t do either— but I’ve learned to counteract those days with weeks where I do everything I need to do to stay in shape. If I lose sight of how hard I’ve worked to come this far, I’ll end up back where I started, and that’s not an option.
2. The last 20 pounds is harder to lose than the first 20. Our bodies become more efficient as we eat healthier and become more active. I have to run a lot farther now than I did in the beginning to get the same results. I still think this is unfair, but it’s the way it is! Instead of being annoyed by it, I look at it as a way to keep challenging myself, since the challenge is the part of this journey I’ve come to enjoy. I have also found that after a substantial weight loss, that famous plateau did a number on my motivation. I’ve let some of my good habits slide because I haven’t seen results I’ve wanted. Just like exercise, 90% of the weight loss battle is mental because we have to constantly remind ourselves that even though we’re stuck, eating the right foods and moving are good for our bodies.
3. Support is essential. Having family and friends supporting your fitness goals is so important to being successful. I love that my husband comes with me when I race! Sometimes he’s outside when I’m finishing a run too. It makes me work harder. I love that my family and my friends let me rattle on incessantly about this run and that swim. It has to get boring, but they listen and I do appreciate that so much! It’s also great to know I have a place to share my successes and my frustrations here, with my blogging buddies!
4. 100-calorie snacks are only effective if you don’t eat the whole box! In the beginning, 100-calorie snacks saved my life. I don’t know that I would have been successful if I had to give up treats completely right away. 100-calorie snacks allowed me to give in to tempation without throwing the diet. As I’ve evolved in my food choices to healthier fare, I’ve left many of those 100- “empty” calorie snack packs by the wayside in exchange for nutritional foods. Don’t get me wrong. I still indulge in those treats, but I try to balance my foods a little better now. Sometimes it works, sometimes, not so much. (refer back to tip #1!)
5. If I can do it, anyone can. I can’t tell you how many times when I tell people what I am doing, the response is “Oh, I could never run.” “I could never do what you’re doing.” I’ve got news for you. I said those words for a really long time too. I was never a runner. I never pictured myself crossing a finish line after swimming, biking AND running. So unless you have a medical issue that prevents you from doing these things? You can do them. The only thing stopping you is that little voice in your head telling you you can’t. If you don’t WANT to, that’s a different story. I respect that. But lose the word “CAN’T” from your vocabulary. Start slow enough and have patience and you can do anything!
So that’s it. My advice. And my 200th post! By the time I hit 300, I will have lost this last 20 pounds and I’ll be back on my racing agenda.
Toe Update: Still in pain. Planning to walk a little tonight. But I did cancel my April 24th race. I don’t think I’ll be running for another week or two. I’m bummed but I will be volunteering that day, so not all is lost. Before you know it, I’ll be back in action!