|August 27, 2010||Posted by Carrie under about me|
This journey began on June 1, 2009. I was 37 years old and for most of my life I had been overweight. Since high school, I had probably been anywhere from 15 – 40 pounds overweight. For as long as I could remember, I’d been close to the same weight and wore a size 10 -12. I am 5’3″ tall (if I stand up really straight).
I have 2 children. When pregnant with my first, I gained 40-50 pounds. Right before delivery, I remember seeing the scale go over 200 pounds for the first time ever and I was horrified. That was short-lived and after her birth, I got back to my typical weight. Same thing when I was pregnant the second time, although I gained slightly less weight and didn’t hit the 200 mark again.
Fast forward to the summer of 2009 – my daughter was 8 1/2, my son was 6 1/2. I went to the doctor for my annual exam and discovered that I had gained 8 pounds in a year. No pregnancies, no illnesses, no nothing as an excuse. I wasn’t happy with that. I read somewhere that the typical adult gains a pound a year. I was headed in the wrong direction.
I wasn’t quite a couch potato. I exercised, not strenuously, but I’d walk, take an occasional pilates class, stuff like that. I felt the big 40th birthday looming in the distance and heard people muttering about how their bodies change at 40 and I decided it was time for a change.
Before I knew anything, I decided to start my journey with one of those cookie diets. I felt the need to force myself to prioritize my food choices in a healthier manner. I followed that plan for about 18 days and lost a few pounds.
While I was examining this cookie diet, a good friend of mine pointed out that the cookie diet wasn’t a way of life and asked what I was going to do at the end of the 3 weeks. That got me thinking…. what was I going to do?
I am a gadget junkie. I have an iPhone and love it to pieces. That’s where I found my answer. I used the Lose It app (free) on my phone and started tracking my calories. Those first pounds just kept coming off. I loved to see a bar graph of my day. I had a goal to lose a pound a week.
By the end of the summer, that same friend (who had just had a baby) was inspired by my loss of 15 pounds or so that she encouraged me to start going to the gym with her. Thank goodness I have a competitive friend that would push me to go. We started out small, I remember our early workouts were about 30 minutes long.
Then we started to mix things up. We hopped on the fancier elliptical training machines at the gym and slowly built up our workouts. After a short while, our workouts were 60 minutes long. We set a goal over a 2 week period to go to the gym every weekday and we did. During that time, I lost 4 inches off my hips!
My original goal was a loss of 20 pounds. I had achieved that by September, and I was feeling great. Then, became the next problem. I started to get too restrictive. I was having success seeing the number go down and down and into territory I hadn’t seen in forever. I was developing some serious disordered eating behaviors.
I’m a voracious reader. That’s been helpful on this journey – I read so many articles online, follow different people on Facebook, Twitter and all of that. I feel like I’ve read so many things that sound like things I could have written. So many people ask me how I’ve lost weight and I’ve told them my story. Now I feel like sharing it with other people who may be interested.
The philosophy I’ve developed is this: I don’t believe in diets. I’ve never once announced to anyone that I’m on a diet and I never will. I made a conscious decision to live a healthier life, to take care of my body and teach my children how to take care of theirs. I’ve learned how I feel when I eat well, compared to how I feel when I don’t. I count my calories. It works for me. I’ve learned that the same 300 calorie lunch of lean protein, veggies and grains makes me feel a whole lot better than a meal of 300 calories at a fast-foot place filled with grease and french fries. I eat frequently – many times every two hours.
I’ve taken up running. I love how running helps me to compete against myself and helps me keep focus on taking care of all aspects of my body – nutrition and exercise. I’ve now completed 2 half marathons and have several more planned for next year.
I hope to use this blog to share what I’ve learned and to help myself sort through all these things I’ve learned. There’s so much information available, so many knowledgeable people in the world. I want to be a part of the discussion.
Welcome and stay tuned. Life is a journey, this is just one phase of it.