So it’s a new year, and along with that we make resolutions, goals, all of those things that we start fresh with each and every year. For my entire adult life it seems, weight loss was on the top of the list every year. Since my early twenties, I have battled with my weight over and over again. I have always been fortunate enough to be in good health, but excess weight has been my constant companion all my life. Until 2018 that is …
Now, first, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means thin now, but I think I’ve FINALLY come to grips with controlling it. Maintaining my weight will be a life-long challenge. I am choosing to use the word “challenge” rather than “struggle” because I finally get it. My 2020 resolution is to NOT struggle with it at all, just MAINTAIN it.
In 2018, a lifelong friend of mine, (Ann), started a program called Optavia and I watched her over a period of about 6 months drop 60 pounds. To say she jumped on the bandwagon of this program is an understatement. She was so excited about finally dropping her excess weight and getting healthy that she joined the company as a “Health Coach” and still does it today, as well as being a brilliant artist and motivational encourager. I love her to death and if you have any questions about this particular program, contact her at https://wellnessjourney.optavia.com/wellnessjourney. You can read about Optavia and if you have any questions, she can sure answer them.
Being pretty active, I always felt if I could just take off 50 pounds, I could probably maintain it. But every time, every different diet, every different program, it always crept back on. When Ann pitched this program to me, I had every excuse in the world as to why I couldn’t do it. My work schedule, my meetings, the expense, I don’t like “shakes,” literally every excuse there was, I used it. This sweet friend of mine and I have battled weight all our lives, in between children, reunions, parties, tragedies, weddings, blessings and sorrow, we were always struggling with weight. But when I saw it come off of her, I thought …”maybe this is how I could do it.” There was also the gargantuan BRICK WALL of turning 60 in January 2019 that had me saying to myself, I’m not going to turn 60 weighing 200+ pounds. So, with Ann’s help and confidentiality, I jumped in and tried it. I didn’t tell anyone except my family that I was doing it, I didn’t want it posted on my social media, I didn’t want to be a poster woman for any weight loss anything. But it did work. In summary, it is based on fueling your body 5 times a day vs. eating 3 big meals. I stalked the Facebook groups, I searched for “fueling hacks” and I tweaked this program to work with my life, and boy did it work! In about 6 months, I dropped 50 pounds and my life shifted to what I will look back on now as a very healthy change.
My husband is a weight lifter. He pumps serious weights at the gym every single day. He is a big strong guy but has incorporated exercise into his daily schedule every day. I wanted to do something like that, just didn’t know what to do. As the weight started coming off, I was getting really nervous about the loose skin I was seeing. I needed to incorporate exercise into my day. I started this journey in July of 2018. July in Texas is HOT, so I thought to myself, “I’ll swim!” I’m not a fan of sweating and I thought, you won’t sweat while you swim, right? I did love swimming and started getting up every day and walked to our neighborhood pool and swam. The swimming,however, soon began to take a toll on my skin and time restraints in the morning prior to work. I enjoyed it but my natural ? blonde hair did not. So begrudgingly, I started walking. Our house is located on a circle and 3 times around our circle is a little over a mile. I started slow, but got up and did it every single day, rain or shine. As the weight started coming off, my stamina increased and I would add another lap around the circle. I eventually was walking 2 miles a day and in combination with my diet, lost 60 pounds and happily got myself into a size 10 pair of jeans, which I had not done for decades.
As I weaned myself off of the program, I started “trotting” instead of walking. I didn’t want to do anything to hurt my knees. So many of my friends have bad knees and I wanted to be oh-so-careful. The trotting turned into jogging and I’m happy to say I now run 2 miles every morning. My husband got us an elliptical machine and I will on very cold or rainy days swap my outside run for 30 minutes on the elliptical, but I’m convinced that making exercising a part of my daily routine is the reason I’ve kept the weight off. I think of it now like brushing my teeth, it’s what you do each and every morning. I like to exercise in the morning but if something happens and you can’t, you do it when you get home from work – every day. At least this was my mindset.
A few pounds have crept on over the holidays and I know WHY they did and exactly WHAT I need to do to get rid of them, and I’m doing it as this new year starts. My advice to anyone unhappy with their weight like I was is to START. Start moving. Start something. Walk to the mailbox and back. Walk to the end of your street. If you can’t walk in your neighborhood, go to the mall and walk. Believe me, I had every excuse in the book and some that weren’t even in the book. I’m so glad I did what I did to take off the excess weight. I look at all these different programs that are available today and speaking as a non-doctor, non-professional, non-authority, I feel STRONGLY that it really all boils down to 2 things. Cut sugar and MOVE. I’ve heard really fit people say that you can exercise all you want, but it is what goes in your mouth that accounts for 90% of your weight control. I’m not completely sure I agree with that, but I know that the exercise helps me, helps my brain, helps my heart, helps everything.
In 2017, my friend Ann and I were lucky enough to join a group of our high school friends on a once in a lifetime trip to Italy. As embarrassing as this is, here is a picture of Ann and I in Italy in October, 2017. I made a bunch of justifications of what a bad angle this was shot at, yadda yadda yadda, but it is what it is …
And here we are last March.
And here I am today with my husband, my best friend, my partner, still running, still working on it every day!
If you have excess weight to loose, do it … get it off, let it go. I promise you’ll feel better. Happy 2020!