I don't think I have ever been totally happy with my body, but looking back at pictures from the past, I am amazed at how good I did look. It's funny how we can have such a skewed view of how we really look, I felt huge in those days. Now I would be thrilled to look as I did.
The last year or so has been very hard on me physically. I have entered into full-on menopause with all the hormonal circus that comes with that. I left a relationship and moved out, which was stressful on many different levels. The biggest change though was quitting smoking. I have quit before in the past, but every time I did, I would gain huge amounts of weight. I don't understand why, I changed my eating habits, got tons of exercise, definitely had a healthier lifestyle but the weight crept on relentlessly. The last time I quit, I gained 80 pounds over an 8 year period. Finally in despair, I started to smoke again. I lost the weight in about 7 months.
This time though, I don't have a choice. My lungs have become so congested that my body is making more hemaglobin than usual to try and grab whatever oxygen it can. That was the wakeup call I needed. The next day, I put the smokes away and haven't had one since. That was March 3rd, 2010 for anyone who is counting.
Suddenly around the two month mark, my weight suddenly jumped up 5 pounds, on top of the 35 pounds that have crept on over the last year or two. I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I'm so over wearing all black baggy clothes every day. It's time to make a concerted effort to get back the body that I know is under all this excess flesh.
I have two challenges to deal with as I consider how best to do this. One is my lung capacity which restricts how hard I can push myself, the other is a problem with my neck. As a result of poor posture related to ligament damage and scar tissue from an old car accident, I have 2 bulging discs and osteophytes(bony growths on the vertebrae) which cause unbearable pain when they impinge on the nerves.
Too deal with the neck issue, I have been going to see a physiotherapist who is going to design an exersize plan for me that seeks to avoid aggravating the neck issues while simultaneously strengthening various muscles to support my back and neck so hopefully I don't have to deal with inflammed nerves anymore.
So here I am about to embark on another life changing journey. The last few days, I have been busy doing research on food choices and exercise options. As I am quite overweight and out of shape, I figure anything I do to get off my ass will be a step in the right direction. My schedule is all over the place at work which makes it difficult for me to attend classes and meetings, so I will be doing this on my own for the most part. I have to wait a few more weeks to get more specific instructions on what exercises I can safely and effectively do, so in the meantime, I am implementing different small changes in my lifestyle each day.
I would like to lose 50 pounds. I would be thrilled to lose 40 , I could live with a 35 pound loss. I am 5'2" and currently weigh 175 pounds. I would love to be 125 but anything below 140 would be acceptable. I think the Weight Watchers point system model would work the best for me. I don't want to be on a diet per say, I want to change my lifestyle. This means not restricting things but moderation and better choices. I doubt I will be able to attend meetings , so you my dear reader will be my witness and cheering squad.
My other goal is to be able to go the distance in a mini-triathalon. I am not competitive and don't really see myself in an actual race but would love to be able to complete all the distances involved in a reasonable amount of time. To begin with, I will see if I am even capable of going the distance. If not, then I will work at being able to. Once I can, I will attempt to better my time at each discipline. I will also be doing a flexibility program and exercises to target specific muscles. ( Mini triathalons don't have a specific distance, they vary from place to place. I will be aiming for a 750 meter swim, 20 km bike ride and 5km run...I can't actually run per say but will be speed walking)
Today I pampered myself to remind me that I am worthy and beautiful and to cheer myself on. After an informative session with the physio, I went for a 90 minute massage, a fascial and pedicure. On Monday I have an appointment with the hairdresser for a perm and so I will be starting off on a positive note , feeling as good as I can about myself under the circumstances.
Tommorrow I will take some before pictures and measurements so I have baseline to measure against. My goal for the next week is just to move for an hour a day. I will walk, ride my bike, dance in my room,whatever it takes to just get moving on a regular basis.
I am starting to drink green tea and will attempt to have 2-3 cups a day. I will be eating breakfast from now on. I never have in the past, usually I don't have my first meal until around 2 pm. I know this is bad but I just don't have an appetite in the morning. Apparently eating too late in the evening causes this, so I will try and not have really late meals anymore. Today I bought some Whey powder protein which I will add to my cereal ( Rodgers 9 grain hot cereal). I will be using soy milk to get the estrogen benefits and adding antioxident rich berries and cinnamon which blocks sugar cravings.
I know it is best to eat a large variety of food but I don't have alot of storage space for tons of stuff and at this time, I feel a routine will be easier to stick to. So with that in mind, my breakfasts will consist of the hot cereal and green tea. Lunch will be a salad with lean protein such as tuna,boiled egg, pulled chicken etc. and soup if I am really hungry. Supper will be lean grilled meat( mostly fish) with grilled or steamed veggies, more salad and an occasional starch. Snacks: fruit, nuts, popcorn, veggie sticks,smoothies, and low fat pudding cups. Cinnamon hearts are my secret treat. They are low in calories for a small handful and the cinnamon cuts the cravings for more decadent calorie laden treats. A quarter teaspoon of cinnamon sprinkled on a tapioca pudding cup, tastes like apple pie for a low calorie treat as well.
I will be posting weekly updates to keep myself motivated. If you have any tips or encouragements, I would love to hear from you. Wish me luck, I can't wait to have some "after" pictures so I can post them together and show you what I am really capable of.