February 1, 2013

How to Lose 50lbs the Hard Way

I finally made it!!!!!!!!!!  I reached my first big milestone.  I weighed this morning and I’ve officially lost 50lbs (Actually, it’s 50.1, haha). 
It feels so good!!
So, I feel like I have to say something significant about it and I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, but in thinking back on the last year+, I realized I DO have something to say.  Forgive me, but I’m about to get philosophical (hey, I’ve earned it, right?)
Lots of times over the last year, I’ve seen people who don’t see me regularly and their question is always the same, “Wow, tell me how did you did it?”  I always say the same thing:  “Just what I’m supposed to be doing; eating right and exercising.  The old fashioned way.”  That’s about where I lose them…they get that smile on their face that says something like, “Oh…”  They kind of lose interest and aren’t usually as curious at that point.  Most people don’t want to hear that it wasn’t easy…they want to hear that it was some magic thing that just happened…but it doesn’t just happen.  It takes work…every single day.  Lots of people don’t want to work for it…I didn’t either, believe me…Oh, how I wish it could have been easy!  Because I have to say that even though I feel amazing - I’m indeed so incredibly proud of myself - I’m honestly physically and mentally exhausted and just plain beat up…Yes, I got here, but it definitely kicked my ass. 
In case you didn’t catch my drift:  it was hard.
I answered another question recently about which diet fad I’d like to see disappear.  My answer was that it’s not really a fad, but the misconception that losing weight successfully can ever be a quick and easy fix.  It’s just not true.  When will everyone realize that to be healthy you have to BE healthy?
Losing weight has never come easy for me.  Now, if you want to talk about what’s easy, let’s talk about GAINING weight…that I’m an expert on.  But losing, is a whole ‘nother story.  I’ve spent the last 14 months waking up & spending most parts of every single day thinking about food, planning meals, planning workouts, worrying about obstacles (both real and imagined), planning for said obstacles, doubting whether I could do this (do I have another day left in me?), and stumbling around trying to figure out what is going to consistently work for me…lots of thinking…lots of working out, and pushing, pushing, pushing.  14 months…approximately 420 days…10,080 hours…604,800 minutes…you get me??
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the tears.  Lots of tears.  I’ve cried a lot out of frustration because it’s just so freaking exhausting to do this day in and day out.  I’ve literally teared up standing on the scale…it has ruined a few days…made me crabby to those around me (poor Hubs), and in reality that effing scale has controlled a better part of my adult life, honestly. 
And working out?  For most of the beginning of my journey, I spent 7 days a week working out…and I’m not talking 30 minutes here or there…I’m talking hours… ß with an “s”.  It’s still a huge part of my everyday life.  When I don’t feel like doing it, when it’s the last thing I feel I can physically do…I get up and I do it anyway.  Only recently I’ve learned that I need to relax a little bit with my workouts.  I did a lot of research and even though it’s great for my cardio system, too much exercise is not entirely good for you.  Our bodies need some rest.  And I’m learning that, for me, losing weight consistently is 80% food, 20% exercise.  All that working out was actually a roadblock to me losing weight regularly.  Weird, but damn if losing weight isn't SCIENCE??!  Go figure.
I’ve spent weeks and most recently, months, in plateaus.  Imagine this:  take everything I just wrote in the above paragraphs, cram it into 7 days of feeling good about what you’re doing, and then hop on the scale to see no loss…even gains now and again…it’s really, truly enough to break a person…most people DO feel defeated and some even quit.
So somewhere along the way I find this thing called Determination; and she’s pretty cool.  I don’t know where she came from but this new chick just showed up one day and decided to kick my ass into gear.  And she’s not letting me quit.  I’m NOT quitting.  There is no way in hell that I’ve gotten this far and worked this hard to turn back now.
On top of trying to live a healthy life, I’ve also started this this fun little huge side project, my blog.  Planning healthy meals is in and of itself time consuming, but I’ve also added another level by constantly trying to come up with new ideas of healthy recipes to share.  It’s researching, planning, shopping, chopping, picture taking, research on healthy statistics to share about the ingredients, writing the post and sharing it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I WANT to do this…it’s more work, but I LOVE it.  I love to cook and I love trying to make things that were previously “off-limits” into yummy eats that I can have guilt-free.  It has made the eating part of this journey a whole lotta fun.  The biggest aspect of my blog is that it’s another way to hold myself accountable.  Who knows if anyone is really interested in the recipes?  I’m not entirely sure anyone cares about my weight loss…but the thought that someone MIGHT is enough to make me think about what I’m doing…it’s more pressure to keep going.
So, I do it.  I keep on going.
My perspective about life in general has changed so positively. When you are overweight or obese, the simplest things and thoughts can take over your life.  Things as simple as sitting comfortably into a restaurant booth, maneuvering a crowded room (I took up a good bit of space), buckling your airplane seatbelt, or partaking in physical activities that most people don’t think a thing about; they consume you.  I still think about these things…I’m getting on a plane on Sunday and for a fleeting second, I felt my old anxiety hit me.  Even though I don’t have to worry about these things anymore, they are there.  I’ve thought about them for so long, and they were such a part of my life, they are ingrained in my brain.  I’m still learning to let these things go.  And each time I encounter something I wasn’t able to do before, I do it, and I hope those old feeling and thoughts go and stay away.
But here’s the best part…I’m happy…I’ve always been a happy person, but I’m talking deep-down-so-incredibly-proud-of-myself happy.  I have lots more confidence.  It’s a good, good feeling.  And although I spend lots of time worrying and planning and doing what I need to do…there are lots of things I’m not worried about anymore.  Physically I used to worry that any little pain I had could be something more…now, I know my body like I’ve never known it.  I know what it’s capable of.  I used to be afraid of stairs…now, I climb mountains.  And the space I used to take up?  It’s a little less now.
Still, I have SOOO very far to go.  I would like to lose another 70lbs.  That’s a lot.  And maybe some people aren’t even impressed with 50 (point 1) lbs…Maybe they think, “Oh sheesh, Big whoop!  What’s 50lbs?  LOTS of people have lost LOTS more than that.”  And that’s SO very true!  It’s just that for me, it’s a pretty big (pun intended, ha!) deal.  I didn’t have the strength to lose before…I had no idea that I could do it and get here,  I bet anyone who knew me didn’t think I could do it, either…and that’s okay because if I didn’t think I could, why would they?  But I did get here…
So, there you have it…my answer to how I lost it:  it was hard, but it is WORTH it. 
Go me.

EDIT:  Pic from our vacation

17 comments:

  1. WooHoo! Congratulations on hitting this big milestone! :)

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  2. Truly inspiring, Jenn!!! You should be extremely proud of yourself for putting in all the hard work! And losing 50 lbs is a HUGE deal!!!! Heck losing 25 lbs is a HUGE deal! So glad I stumble upon your blog and can't wait to try some of your wonderful recipes!

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    1. Thank you so much, Ann!! I'm just as glad that we found each other!!

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  3. This brought tears to my eyes! YOU amaze me and 50 pounds is one hell of an accomplishment. I have walked this journey too, my friend and must say, you have hit the "nail on the head" with this entire entry! Congratulations and yes, I did indeed know you could do it. I'm soooo proud of you girl!

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    1. Thank you my dear friend!! YOU inspired me, you have no idea but you truly did!! XOXO

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    1. Thank you SO much for your message and for stopping by!!

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  5. Congrats, Jenn! I'm definitely going to save this and read it on the days that I'm feeling down or convince myself that I don't HAVE to work out today...you're proof that pushing through the lack of motivation and keeping at it WILL help you achieve your goals! Congrats and keep up the amazing work!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim!! We are in this together and it does get hard, but it's so helpful to have buddies for encouragement!!

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  6. This is a great post, congrats on losing 50!!! That is awesome! It isn't an easy journey, but you are doing so great! Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Congratulations beautiful lady!!! I knew you COULD do it when you wanted it! Hugs!! Amy Jo

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    1. Thank you so much beautiful, Mama!!! Xoxo

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  8. So, looking thru pinterest I came across one of your recipes for the creamy garlic spaghetti squash...Im so glad I pinned it and took the time to look at your blog! You truly are an inspiration for those of us that are going thru the same thing. 50 lbs. is HUGE as my grandmother likes to put it that could be 5 big babies! I too have started to eat better and walk, I'm fighting a kidney disease that literally stopped my "living" for a whole year, very depressed etc...and food became my I don't care...well I have kicked my I don't care to the curb and am taking my very own life back! I see my Dr. regularly and kept making excuses for getting on the scale...One day it hit me and holy crap I looked at myself and didn't even know who I was! But now everyday is better and so far I've lost 16lbs. and I feel so much better...everyday is HARD but like you I'm giving it my all and doing this for myself!! Thanks again for the inspiration and Keep on keepin'!

    Stacie

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    1. Stacie, your message means so much to me, thank you and I'm so glad you are on the mend!! 16lbs is wonderful and should be so super proud of yourself! Go you!!

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