Where the hell have I been, you ask? What the hell have I been doing? Well I'll tell you. And if I do say so myself, I'm pretty damned proud of what I've been doing.
So most of you (at least the people I know read this) know that I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, about 50 pounds. My heaviest weight was back in October of 2005. I got desperate enough to actually do something about it. I felt awful, I'd had my gallbladder removed, and I did just about anything to avoid having my picture taken. And so I joined Colorado Weigh, which is a basically a class which teaches you all about nutrition, exercise, and what you really, bottom line, have to do to lose weight. The things you think you already know, but it was there in black and white. With math. And I can say without a second thought that taking these classes was the best thing I've ever done for myself.
I took the classes (Phase 1 and Phase 2) for about 6 months, from October 2005 to May 2006 or so. I joined the Y near my work, and somehow got myself up and to the gym every morning before work. I walked on the treadmill and did some weight lifting. In that time I lost about 50 pounds, and everyone noticed and oohed and ahhed. After the classes I did ok for a while, but then the weight started to creep back on, and I got scared. Luckily for me, they had a "Graduate Class" starting up, which was supposed to be for maintenance, but I took it, as some other people did, for weight loss. And I lost all the weight I had gained, and I kind of danced around doing what I needed to do, what we all know works: log my food, count my steps, move more, eat less. I had given up my Y membership, and bought a treadmill for home, but there had been something about the effort, the ritual, that made it easier to go to the gym than get on that treadmill. Mostly it crouched in the corner while I watched tv and said I didn't have time to workout.
In May 2006 I started a new job downtown. I took the bus to work, and walked downtown at lunch to run errands. Mr. Bump and I started having lunch together and I began packing a lunch rather than eating out everyday. All these things, these "lifestyle changes" helped me not pack the weight back on. This went on for a couple of years. But I was no where near a healthy weight, and I wanted to change that.
In April of 2008 I went back to Colorado Weigh, to another "Graduate Class," which met once a month rather than every week or every two weeks. I didn't gain but I didn't lose very much, maybe four or five pounds from April to December. Then something happened to me. In truth, one bit of it was that for the trip to Africa we're taking, part of our travels will be in a light aircraft out to one of the safari camps. And somewhere in all the fine print it said that you had to disclose if you weighed more than 220 pounds. And I sure as hell wanted to leave that number in my rear view mirror before next September. It could also be that I got tired of disappointing myself. Maybe I was just ready. From October or so to December I kept having these restless dreams where I felt my weight, felt it weighing me down and pulling me down. In my dreams I became desperate to shake it off and tried to run from it. I would wake up and feel my tummy and be so unhappy. Then I would fall back to sleep and run again, over and over.
I had read somewhere about the Couch to 5K running program, and kept meaning to start it, but kept putting it off, not able to find the time to work out. And then I just did it. I got on that treadmill, and after a couple of days on it I started to run. I ran over Christmas where and when I could, my mother-in-law's treadmill, the trail in Loveland. I bought a pair of honest to goodness running shoes. I bought an exercise ball. I just kept going. I try to work out before dinner, but some nights I don't get on the treadmill until 9:00 pm. They say (whoever "they" are) that you shouldn't work out so late in the day, but I don't care. I get it in and I get it done. Since January, as of today, I've lost 18 pounds or so. I'm using SparkPeople to track my food and exercise. I wear my pedometer all day and my heart rate monitor when I run. All these things I've known all along that work. I've got a ways to go, I'm only on Week 4 of the Couch to 5K, but I'm determined to finish. And I'm signing up for an actual 5K race to keep me motivated.
My year-long class with Colorado Weigh ends in March, and I really do feel like I'll be graduating. I know all that I need to do to continue on my own. I get scared sometimes, thinking about injuring myself and not being able to exercise, or that I'll just go crazy and binge out. Most days I think that's gone, but then every once in a while I just want dessert. Or tortilla chips. Right now my fixation is on tortilla chips, for some reason. But I've had them, even in the last week, so I'm not depriving myself. Just saving it for some time later.
I get scared that talking about it, celebrating it, will in some way derail me. I'll get cocky and then be horribly embarrassed if I don't live up to who you think I am, or what I say I'm going to be. That scares me a lot. It's like I don't want to jinx it, as if it is some magical thing that is happening to me, without my input. I know it isn't, but I'm amazed every time I step on the scale and I see another pound gone. I'm amazed when my clothes are too big or I can feel my hip bone. I'm fascinated with those hip bones emerging. I fucking love those hip bones. And every time I feel it, I am so god damn proud of myself. People haven't really been noticing (except my mom, of course, who notices when I cut my fingernails), but I'm really ok with that. I'm noticing.
God, all this is boring if you don't know me or have never had a weight problem. But it's pretty much what I'm living and breathing for now. Hi, and welcome to my weight loss.
This blog often seems like a place to work out what I'm unhappy about. I started it when I was so unhappy with my work that I thought I would burst. But isn't that life's journey, working out the problems in our lives and moving through them as best we can? This story is far from over--I have a long way to go to be a healthy weight, a ways even to go to just be "overweight" rather than "obese" according to my BMI. But that really doesn't matter as much to me as being able to run that 5K. Believe me, you'll hear about it when I do.
**Oh, I forgot to mention, I haven't weighed this little since probably senior year of college, first year of graduate school. That's 1996, people! Oh damn, that's 13 years ago.