***Disclaimer*** I highly encourage anyone with a history of ED to please skip these posts as you may find them triggering.
Hi Bloggers! As some of you know, my goal for this year was to continue getting healthier. I read an article in Cooking Light recently, called 12 Healthy Habits, and they are going to introduce one new healthy habit per month in 2011!!
I thought, what a brilliant plan and in perfect time!! I had the idea to share this “personal challenge” with others, but since I don’t blog regularly, Low and I thought it would be a good idea to have updates from me to post on her blog (I’ll
shoot for every other week). And you all can take part in the challenge too!!
Jan/Feb is a combined issue, and the first two recommended healthy habits are to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily and get 30 minutes of exercise in 3 times/week (5 times/week if you are already exercising).
Since I loved Low’s December Salad Challenge so much, I decided to make a monthly personal challenge to myself to try each thing Cooking Light recommends over the next 12 months. A little competition never hurts if it keeps you on track of your
goals!! I’m going to try for 5 exercise sessions per week (note: TRY).
First, I need to share a little background so you know where this is coming from…I remember exact numbers. I can actually define moments of my life by how much I weighed at the time. Oh, cheerleading sophomore year, you ask? I was 117 solid. I had the body of Brittney Spears (pre-baby, although the woman is looking damn fine these days too).
When I wasn’t cheerleading, I maintained about 135 pounds very easily and looked great and felt great (That’s me in the pink and Katie in the dark green at Prom 1998- aren’t we hot??).
Then, I went to college. I completely quit working out and eating right during college. I was a science major, and I literally had to spend every waking moment studying because even though I love science and math, I’m not very good at either subject. It took me nearly twice as long to learn what others picked up in seconds.
The “freshman 15” were more like the freshman 25…it continued to get worse each year- harder classes, more studying, less “me time”. By graduation (May 2003), I had gotten up to 183.
How did I let myself go, you might ask? I don’t really see it that way. My studies were more important than looking like the hot cheerleader I was in high school- priorities people, priorities!! Not to mention, I was in a major that is completely male-dominated and I was fighting for top grades to obtain scholarships and grants. I got out of undergrad virtually debt free so my hard work paid off.
Then I moved to Oklahoma to pursue my master’s (which ended up working well for me since I met Low’s brother- my hubby- through a classmate!!). I had never been exposed to fried foods before except maybe once or twice at KFC. We just don’t eat fried food up north like people do in the south.
I think I remember my mom making fried shrimp once a year for Christmas dinners. I found FRIED OKRA and I continued to eat it and other southern delicacies in POUNDS (then my Husband introduced me to Eischen’s). OMG- It may have been all downhill from there. I’m a Sagittarius, we have no self control.
From school, I went to a full time job where I literally worked well over 60 hours a week. I know it’s only a 20 hour difference from a normal work week, but trust me, those 20 hours are precious when you could be exercising or planning healthy meals or cooking at home. I ate out almost every night because the last thing I felt like doing at 8pm was cooking. Not to mention, I was on-call 24 hours when I had a rig under my control, so there were nights (sometimes for weeks straight) where I couldn’t get one night of sleep without interruption.
Even worse, my husband does the same thing as me- if my phone wasn’t ringing, his was. I was constantly drained.
Then, after a few years of working, I got sick…I was very sick for a long time and didn’t know what it was. It ended up being my gallbladder being completely out of whack (found that out in Jan 2010). It caused me to feel sick every day, the pain in my chest was un-bearable…I thought I was having heart attacks and here it was this little tiny organ causing such horrid gas and pressure that everything got messed up.
Everything I ate was making me sick so I lived on bread, pasta, pancakes and potatoes for about the 6 months leading up to my gallbladder surgery because that was all I could stomach. Not very healthy… eventually, I ballooned to 212 pounds (I’m only 5’2”). Let me tell you, cellulite doesn’t just grow on your ass either. It can form ANYWHERE…like your arms.
I went in for my surgery on March 8, 2010 weighing 208 (I lost 4 pounds of “water weight” b/c I wasn’t allowed to eat the day before). Directly after the surgery when I woke up, I knew something was different. I knew it immediately. I had not felt that good since maybe the beginning of grad school. It had been YEARS. I do not joke or exaggerate here- even with the pain from the surgery, I felt better. Stupid diseased little gallbladder!!
With gallbladder surgery comes some problems- we’ll call them side-effects. For instance, you can no longer process fat. Even though fish, avocados, nuts, etc. all contain “good fat” it’s still fat. If you decide you want to eat fat in large
amounts, you are going to pay for it royally. So, this caused me to start researching healthy foods I could eat.
After being sick for so long, I honestly didn’t want to mess that up. Low even found a gallbladder diet website for me and it helped more than anything!! They are not kidding when they tell you to avoid certain foods…chocolate being one of them- sniff, sniff…I still sneak a bit of chocolate here and there, but it’s really only a bite because if I eat a whole candy bar, I’m sick for about 2 days afterwards.
So, I began to track my food in a journal on-line (I like using Weight Watchers online b/c it’s cheap and easily accessible, but there are many other food journaling programs), and as soon as I was given the “ok”, I started walking again.
I LOVE to power walk and I had missed it dearly (the last time I had a walk/run session was in 2008 when I tried to lose weight for my wedding). Fast forward to August 2010, and I’m down to 179 pounds (pics below are 212-Dec. 2009, 191-May 2010 and 183- July 2010). My waist line is back!! Best compliment to date? My engineer’s husband asking me, “Are you shrinking?” He meant it as a compliment and I took it with gratitude. Yes, I am shrinking, thank you!
The weight came off SUPER fast at first- that happens when you have a large amount of weight to lose. Then in September 2010, I hit my first wall. Every month since then has been a struggle for me. November and December didn’t help with vacation and the holidays. So, here we are today. I’m 180 (as of 1-12-11) and I’m going to really pay attention to the food I’m eating and making sure to get some exercise in everyday (I’m shooting for cardio, strength training and yoga).
If you do workouts you really enjoy, you will make time for them- that’s what I learned anyway. I’m really proud of myself for how far I’ve come (30 pounds!!), and I want to lose another 30 (to get in the 150 pound range).
I want to be in healthy again (much better than seeing “morbidly obese” on your doctor’s notes). If you’re questioning my weight number motives, the United States Air Force weight limit max is 150 pounds for someone my height (and I have a REAL sweet spot for USAF)…if it’s good enough for the military; it’s good enough for me. I’m not really worried about BMI because that too will go down as the weight does. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/airforcejoin/a/afmaxweight.htm
Any weight I lose beyond 150 pounds will be icing on the cake for me. I figure if I can get within 10 pounds of my high school weight, I’m a champion!! I will have lost the equivalent of a small child when I reach my goal.
So, Blogging Buddies, I share with you my most highly embarrassing numbers because I know that trying to maintain health isn’t always easy, especially when this little thing called LIFE gets in the way, but I hope that someone finds this next year’s journey of mine helpful (if not downright hilarious). Trust me, I will have my moments…stay tuned!