Most of you have no idea what I look like- which is just fine by me. But growing up I was always the short thin athletic one. I guess I always assumed that this would be fact. After college I really let my activity level drop. It happens. I still hiked with the dogs and did some bicycling but nothing major. One year ago I weighed 123 pounds. I realize that I was recovering from two major surgeries right on top of one another and that I may have lost weight in the months previous from those ordeals.
In early April I got on a scale and was horrified. Absolutely embarrassed with myself. I knew my body was changing and I wasn't happy with it but I hadn't realized that the number on the scale was going to be so frightening. 150. I had gained 27pounds in less than a year. I could attribute this weight gain to lots of little things- being comfortable in a relationship, not being as active as I used to be or making a real dinner every day since my boyfriend lives with me. But I really didn't think those things added up to 27.
I decided to go to the doctor to see if it was something medical causing my weight gain. Thyroid conditions run in my family. Maybe my thyroid was out of control and making me gain weight. My doctor noticed that I did indeed have an enlarged thyroid and sent me to get an ultra sound and some blood work. The results came in: I am perfectly healthy. I still find it odd that I do have an enlarged thyroid and am healthy but it is possible.
So when my work announced that they were doing a biggest loser competition I decided to join. I needed something to motivate me to lose all this extra baggage. The competition started May 14th and I weighed in at 150.2 pounds.
I decided to change up my lifestyle a bit. Nothing too drastic but definitely changed. I joined a website- everydayhealth so that I could monitor my calorie intake as well as my calories burned. Oh goodness! When I first joined I didn't have a plan to count calories. I figured that I would just increase my exercise and leave my diet alone. I was taking in nearly 2300calories a day and only burning about 300. I am not an exercise/weight loss genius here but I knew that couldn't be good. So I decided that until I get to my target weight(120 pounds is what I have it set at but the number isn't magic. I think it's more about how I feel looking at myself. If I like the way I look at 130 then I will maintain it. I would just like to be in a healthy weight range again.) I am going to account for everything that I put into my mouth. I have managed to bring my calorie intake down to about 1300calories a day. I thought I'd be hungry ALL THE TIME. But really, I'm not. I have chosen to take in healthy filling calories instead of empty ones. The only thing I really really miss is chocolate. So I allow myself to cheat once in a while. I figure that if I don't allow myself chocolate at all, ever, then I am always going to crave it and it will eventually be my downfall. Willpower is something I never thought I had much of. I am proving myself so wrong right now.
Portion control. I never paid much attention to the amount of food I ate. The portions I was eating before were often double and sometimes triple the normal size portion. I spent a little extra money and separated all my snack foods into portion sized bags. It's amusing because right next to my little portion bags are my boyfriends portion bags. His portions are triple the recommended serving size or more. He works manual labor and burns a ton of calories a day and needs to take in extra calories just to maintain his weight.
Exercise. Valkyrie is LOVING the new exercise plan. I take her for more walks than before and we are going out for longer periods of time. This is the perfect time of year for me to start losing weight. The weather is perfect for hiking with Valkyrie. I plan on getting a bike so that I can take Valkyrie biking with me. She enjoys running and I am not yet ready to start jogging. Hopefully in the next couple months I will feel physically ready for jogging... But not yet. I started going to the community center gym with my mother. I mostly use the elliptical but sometimes use the stationary bike. I push myself hard to do it and it does feel good. I also got a few workout videos to do at home(Jillian Micheals) for the days I can't find the time or energy to leave the house. My sister and I just signed up for a zumba class and I am ridiculously excited for those to start in a couple weeks.
So the results are in. With just a few adjustments to my lifestyle I am losing weight and feeling good.
May 14- 150.2
May 24- 143.2
May 28- 141.0
June 4- 139.0
I still have a long way to go to feel comfortable in my own skin again. But I am proud of myself and so much happier overall with the way my life is heading. I only need to lose another 4pounds(before August!) in order to have lost the 10% required to win the biggest prize for my works biggest loser competition. I definitely think this is doable. I am awesome.