Sunday, March 16, 2008

THE JOURNEY: Part 6 of 6 - Gaining Perspective

I hit plateaus several times over the years. That can get very frustrating. The trick is not to give up. When you do hit a plateau - and everyone does at some point - you have to change up your routine. Add a new element or increase the length of a workout.

Overall I lost 100 pounds in 32 months (3/15/2000-11/15/2002) and went from a size 22 pant to a size 7. I maintained that loss for a year. I went through some personal and family issues through the winter of 2003/4 and I regained about 25 pounds and now wear either a 9 or 11 depending on style. (sizes are based on clothing from "Cotton Ginny") I have maintained the 75 pound weight loss since spring 2004. Even with the healthy eating, I'd have gained back a lot more without my exercise equipment and especially the Gazelle.

Alas, with low metabolism. chronic fatigue and the early stages of menopause, I have been unable to loose those regained 25 pounds. I am still a little pudgy, but that is okay. When I was at my thinnest, and within the healthy weight for my height/age/gender, I was often told that I had lost too much weight for my body's' frame.

As of March 15, 2008 I have worked out for the last 2923 days - that is 8 years and one day! Have I skipped days? Of course, I take a day off every week to ten days BUT I make up that day with a double workout before or after. I was off almost two weeks post eye surgery in December 2002. but I made up every one of those days! I don't have air conditioning, so if it is really hot/humid in the summer, I will get up at 5 or 6AM and work out or do extra on a cooler day. I've worked too long and too hard to let this old body get out of control again.

I rarely eat fast food or take out. There aren't a lot of sweets or fatty foods that tempt me. When I am tempted thought, I consider whether the fat, sodium and calories are really worth the temporary taste sensation. For the most part the answer is no. I also recall seeing a documentary a few years ago that showed what 5 pounds of fat looked like. It was a large clear plastic bag that was squishy and looked like a combination of congealed fat, butter, lard and chicken fat! It was truly disgusting!

I never used diets - I don't believe in denying myself foods. Denying yourself only creates cravings. It is all about portion control and healthy choices. For some really fabulous healthy, flavourful recipes, I HIGHLY recommend; "Looney Spoons"; "Crazy Plates" and "Eat, Shrink and be Merry". All three recipe books are written by Janet and Greta Podleski and are put out by Granet Publishing. These books are full of creative recipes, tons of useful info and lots of humour!

Many women are concerned about "bulking up" if they do resistance or lift weights. The reality is, that you would have to do several hours/week to look even remotely like a body builder. 20-30 minutes, 3 or 4 times/week will help tone and maintain the muscle that you have built up and allow your body to burn calories more efficiently. This is critically important for healthy living as we grow older.

I've gone through a lot since November 1990. I've learned some hard lessons and put my body through hell. It has taken me a long time to except myself and it took loosing most of my sight and becoming obese to finally kick some sense in to me! It has been a difficult, but necessary journey.

I am a happier, healthier person who has found an inner peace that I never believed existed. I still miss being able to go for long walks, but I have the next best thing.
I have family and friends that support me, love me and make me laugh. They have believed in me, but knew better than to push me into taking better care of myself. They knew that I had to make that realization, decision and commitment on my own. If I hadn't done it for myself, it never would have worked.


No comments: