Today is the one year anniversary of when I took the steps to become fit and healthy. A year ago I was very fat, very out of shape and had no energy. I was in a very deep state of denial of how bad I really was, but as I've mentioned before, turning 34 was a smack in the face. My Father was 34 when he was diagnosed with diabetes, and there I was fat and addicted to sweets and white bread and following very close in his footsteps. I made the choice to not carry on down that path - I could change things. I could be better.
I did not consult a doctor for advice due to my deep level of shame, but I found an online diet community and shared everything with them - these strangers who also have the same troubles, issues and struggles. Through them I found inspiration, strength and also courage not to follow the easy solutions of starvation and pills; something very tempting when desperate for change. Now, I'll admit, it is a Pro-Ana website but as I've discovered, not everyone there is anorexic, and no one could ever say I am anorexic. Actually, I'm a compulsive over eater. If anything, reading the very sad stories of some of these women and girls, how they suffer and struggle and despise themselves gave me the power to not make those same mistakes. I would like to think that by being someone who tries to eat healthy (damn my sweet tooth though, it always lets me down) and exercise, to accept the weight loss as it comes, even though it's very slow I could also inspire them. That this is not going to be a diet, but a way of life. To accept that it took me 10 years to get from a size 10 to a 22, so it's not going to be quick or easy to lose all that weight.
A year ago I took my measurements, here they are:
Height - 5'8" (okay, 7 and 3/4, but gimme a break)
Weight - 238 lbs/17 stone/107.9 kilo (size 22)
neck - 15
chest - 38
upper arm - 15.5
waist - 40
hips - 48
thighs - 28
calves - 17
And here's what I looked like:
Oh dear. Yup, I look like I was stung by a bee. Awful. The picture on the right was taken in December for our X-mas cards. I refused to post them. The jeans shot was taken in August 2003, I had recently bought those jeans, a men's 38X32, and as you can see they are extremely tight. I was also about 4 weeks pregnant with Shorty and miserable. By December 2005 those jeans were too small for me.
Six months of exercise and those jeans were falling off me. And today they don't fit me at all, but I keep them as a reminder. I also keep the big bum picture in my wallet as a deterrent for buying junk food.
I think the changes in my face have been very noticeable too. Here's a series:
The last one was taken this morning. (I need some bronzer).
Fitness wise I have progressed in such ways even I could never have imagined. Of this I am the most proud. I've gone from early workouts that lasted 45 minutes - 25 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of very light weights, to two hour sessions of 60 minutes of high impact cardio and a rotation of weightlifting exercises where I currently do 30kgs on legs, 20kgs on arms and chest, and I can squat 140lbs. I'll burn around 1000 calories per workout, 4-5 days a week. I can also run for three miles in just over a half hour and I'm training for my first 5K and 10K sponsored runs.
My measurements are now:
Height: 5'7" (Yes I've shrunk, I blame falling arches)
Weight: 203lbs (in a plateau since Oct. 05) (size 16)
neck - 13.5
chest - 36
waist - 35
hips - 40
thighs - 23.5
calves - 15.5
upper arms - 13
That may not look too impressive for a year's worth of hard work, but do understand I've gained a lot - a lot - of muscle over this time so the numbers will not look dramatic. I'll have to get the Hubs to take a picture of me in my gym kit so you can see the differences yourself. I admit I have about another 40-50lbs to lose, my goal weight has had to be changed from 130lbs up to 145lbs. This is because I used a body fat monitor a couple weeks ago and it showed that my base muscle weight is 130lbs, so I've had to increase my target.
I am in no hurry to reach those targets, I let my body tell me what it needs. Right now it's crying out for more exercise - my body loves it. It also likes to eat - a lot. I struggle with portions and cravings. It was far easier to quit smoking than to give up sugar. Actually...I've not really given up sugar. Bad bad Lyvvie. Thankfully, I don't have any sagging loose skin so I assume these plateau times are adjustment times.
So there. You now know my secrets.