On food, weight, and exercise.

I recently came across this blog.

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/my-exercise-history/

I find this woman’s weight loss story to be the most honest, realistic and refreshing weighloss story I’ve heard (at least on the internet). Because what she struggled with is what I’m struggling with now. And until now, I couldn’t find anyone else who felt the same way as me.

How do I feel? Well, in the last year and a half, I have lost 30 pounds. Half of that was weight I gained after I got married. The other half has brought me to a weight that I can’t remember ever being.

And I have been TERRIFIED of gaining it back.

Let me start from the beginning.

My weight loss journey began about a year and a half ago. David and I bought a scale for the first time, and I remember stepping on it and seeing a number flash that I’d never before seen when I weighed myself. I knew I’d gained weight, because I had a lot of clothes that had become tight on me, as well as quite a few that I could no longer wear. But seeing it on the scale brought it home.

I was in my friend Adrienne’s wedding last June. I went jogging for the first time in my life, with David, at a park near where we live. As I ran, wishing every moment that I was laying in my bed instead of out there embarrassing myself in front of strangers, I had to keep telling myself, “This is for Adrienne’s wedding. You do NOT want to weigh this much at her wedding.” By the time her wedding occurred, I had lost 10 pounds.

At the end of August last year, the woman I work for had her (third) baby. She went on maternity leave, so I went on maternity leave too. I only worked a few hours a week for her and there was a month where I didn’t work at all. With all that free time, I started exercising. I started out by doing Leslie Sansone walking DVDs. When we signed up for cable TV, I used exercise TV programs. Eventually I started doing Jillian Michael workouts, then Insanity and p90x.

I also began to cook healthier for David and me. I learned to count calories. I taught myself self restraint and discipline. I learned portion control – if you can master portion control, you can eat whatever you want. I never cut any one food out of my diet. I love french fries. I still eat french fries, and I ate them while I was losing weight too – I just didn’t eat them every day, or even every week. Instead of giving in to buying that bag of frozen fries at the grocery store, I’d resist and wait until we went out to dinner somewhere. Then I would enjoy really delicious fries, instead of wasting calories on sub-par frozen ones.

Now, I would be lying if I said I loved to exercise. Or even that I want to exercise. When I was losing weight, I liked to exercise because I felt accomplished when it was done and because I knew it was burning calories, but I was always so glad when it was over.

In December of last year I had to go back to work full-time. I spend 9 1/2 hours a day with 3 small children who are not mine. They are 5, 3 and 10 months. And they wear me OUT. The baby never sits still and can move at the speed of lightening when she sees an open refrigerator, dish washer, cabinet, closet, bathroom, or even just an opportunity to try and climb the stairs. The 5 year old and 3 year old are at an age where they want to be out and about doing things. I rarely stop moving during the day.

And then I come home and fix dinner for Dave and me, clean up, pack our lunches, and whatever else needs to be done, while trying to be in bed by 10.

So after I went back to work, I could no longer get myself to exercise every day. I could usually manage 3-5 times a week: Monday night, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and/or Saturday. I don’t work on Fridays, so that does help. I was still doing Insanity for most of these workouts.

But after awhile, life got busier, schedules changed, and I was no longer working out 3-5 times a week. A good week was getting 3 workouts done. Now I consider one workout a week to be an accomplishment.

You’re probably wondering why I’m sharing all of this. I’m sharing it because over the last six months, as the frequency of my workouts has diminished, I’ve become guilt ridden over it. Every night when I come home from work, I think “I should exercise.” When I don’t, I spend hours mentally obsessing over whether I’m going to gain back all my weight. I’ve convinced myself that I am going to gain 30 pounds over night because I didn’t get insane with Shaun T.

Looking at weight loss blogs didn’t help either, because they are all women who are super toned with a great tan, perfect hair and makeup, cute clothes, and they exercise for at least an hour every day. They don’t eat pizza, cookies, cake, french fries. I pull my hair into a ponytail every day, put on the bare minimum of makeup, and wear clothes I don’t mind getting baby food on. When I was in Peru, one day we had pizza for lunch and I ate six slices. Every time I read those blogs, I ended up feeling discouraged and wishing I could find someone like me. Someone who lost the weight, but who doesn’t love to exercise. Someone who isn’t burning 500 calories a day, but is just eating healthy on a regular basis and exercising when she can. Someone who still eats cookies and pizza and s’mores.

And then I found her.  Let me post the link again. http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/my-exercise-history/ Her story is in 3 parts. I encourage you to read it if you struggle the way I do. She quit running five years ago. She doesn’t do any form of exercise other than walking. She hasn’t gained back her 135 pounds. After reading her journey, I no longer feel scared that I’m going to gain back my 30 pounds. Instead of a guilt ridden conscience that pushes me out the door for a 30 minute run of which I hate every minute, I am resting in the confidence that I made a change in my lifestyle, and that is what will keep me here.

I exercise when I can. Sometimes I do want to go for a run. I like running with my husband – mostly because I run faster than him. :) Sometimes on Fridays when I don’t have to work, I go for a run in the morning. We live in a great apartment complex where I can do a half mile loop. I love to go for walks in the evening with David. I take the kids out for a walk, or play soccer with them for ten minutes. Right now though, I am suffering from bursitis in my knee so I can’t run at all. And it’s okay.

On a day to day basis, I cook pretty healthy. I pack lots of fruits and veggies in my lunch. I still practice portion control and self discipline. But I still eat what I want.

In fact, tonight for dinner I had a McDouble, a small fry, and a hot fudge sundae from McDonald’s.

I am at a weight that is good for me. I am healthy. I am happy. And I am tired of worrying about food and weight gain. So I’m not going to. And you shouldn’t either.

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3 thoughts on “On food, weight, and exercise.

  1. great post Bekah! I’d noticed in your more recent pictures that you’d lost weight. And you look great! Anyone (especially women) would be inspired by your commitment and self-control. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t work out all the time! Alot of it is just what you’re already discovered, eating healthy and portion control. So proud of you!

  2. I LOVE THIS! :) You have been a huge encouragement and support in my life. Before I got pregnant, I lost 13 pounds and was thinner than I was at my wedding–I attribute that to your steady friendship. You have helped me stay focused and kept me in a realistic weight-loss mindset. I have never felt more proud of myself for losing those 13 pounds-because I know i did it the right way. THANK you for your decision to help other people and be an example of healthy living. :)

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