Saturday, September 1, 2012

Final Check In: The Last Five Months

First, I want to thank you all for indulging me as I have checked in with you via the web over the last five months regarding my progress with getting stronger and losing some weight. It's probably not what you come here to read about, but it's been quite beneficial for me to have some accountability. I've done my best to keep it to a minimum, posting follow ups only on the first of each month (with one exception), however, this is the last of my check in's for my five month project.  I have to say, it's both a little strange for it to be over, and a little sad. Five months can go by incredibly fast! Five months ago, I was preparing for the "big art show," and was stressed beyond belief. Five months ago, I was living in a pit of despair, realizing just how large I have become. And, five months ago, I pledged that I would lose 25 pounds over the course of these five months. So, how did it all go?

I very intentionally started the five month project on the first of April. I didn't want to spend another birthday feeling the way I had been, and since my birthday is today, I wanted it to be one that I would remember for accomplishments, rather than failures. In truth, I had started this project about three weeks prior to my announcement here, and I felt I had a good jumpstart with losing some weight to carry it on for a more extended period of time. Ultimately, I was feeling confident that I could make some life changes, and just needed a place to see it in black and white. I started out with mini-goals for each month and set out to achieve them, most of which I accomplished (though perhaps not exactly in the time frames originally specified).
 This is about as close of a comparison from the start to current date I can find.
Left was about a month and a half after starting all of this (hard to believe I'd already lost about 20 pounds in the 'before' photo - oh yes, it was worse than that), and just a few days ago at the Venus de Miles ride.
And another - because one just isn't humiliating enough
Since the announcement here on April 1, I have lost 30 lbs, but in total since March 9, I have lost 48 lbs. Although I've been working extremely hard to get to the 50 pound mile marker, the last few weeks my body has not cooperated at all. Despite the fact that I couldn't quite get there in the time frame I wanted to, I know it will happen, and I'm trying to be patient with myself and realize that not everything happens when and where I decide.  I know that I've built muscle, and someday, I'll actually be able to see it when it's not covered by the fat that still needs to go.  I cannot express how much better I feel. Not necessarily because of the weight loss itself, but because I am doing better things for my body. Although I wasn't doing anything so dreadfully bad to myself prior to starting this experiment/project, I wasn't doing anything really great for my body either. As I've stated before, I have never been a person to lose weight quickly, but I knew that I needed to do something or it would simply continue to go up. I was absolutely, without a doubt, unwilling to accept that as an option.

There have definitely been a lot of ups and downs with each day (sometimes, each hour). I went to try on some pants about a week ago because those I have currently are large in the waist. Unfortunately, everything I tried on was absolutely absurd. It varied from super tight in the legs and huge in the waist, to flat out not fitting even well enough to get over my thighs. I couldn't help but think, "I must be the only person who can lose this amount of weight, and still not be able to find things that fit...or better yet, still be wearing the same clothes." It's frustrating, to say the least.  I know I have to not allow these types of things to get to me, but it can be challenging. Beyond the clothing, there are just mental happenings that tend to mess with me on a more routine basis, but I'm slowly trying to work through it.

I am nowhere near my ultimate goal, but I do think I have learned a bit over the last several months - some things the easy way, and others, well, not as easily. I'm a bit hard-headed at times, so some things take time to sink in. A few of the things that have stuck with me that seem to have helped:
- It doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" kind of mentality, and I don't have to cut out every food. Moderation in everything is key, and making this a change in life rather than viewing it as a diet (which it's not) has been so beneficial.
- Finding an activity that I love to do was extremely important. I love to ride, and was doing so throughout, but I just seemed to need more. For me, kickboxing was that "thing." I honestly don't know what I would do without it now (but never fear - bicycles and cycling abound in the E.V.L. household).
- Having a support system is absolutely essential. It doesn't matter who or where it comes from, but having someone to vent to/cry with/join me on the journey has been a godsend... and I'm very lucky to have many "someone's" to talk to.
- Perhaps the biggest lesson has been to not focus on the weight loss itself. It's definitely tough when all I want to see is my body shrinking, but being able to find other little things to distract me has been extremely beneficial.

I am not even close to the end of my journey, but this has been a great start. I feel stronger than I have in a very long time (maybe even in my life), and I feel confident that I can keep moving forward, even if it's not at breakneck speeds. Although this will be my last update here, I may throw something up once in awhile just to check in, but I promise to keep it to a minimum.  If anyone is interested in starting up a new challenge, feel free to send an email, and if there's interest, I'm happy to put something together.

Again, thank you to all for tolerating my updates over the last several months. If you've been silently participating in a self-project, I'd love to hear how you've been doing as well, so feel free to leave a comment or drop me a note.

18 comments:

  1. Girl, you are looking FIERCE!!

    <>

    Very inspiring!

    BTW, I have started a blog called The Rubenesque Cyclist at rubenesquecyclist.wordpress.com and have linked to EVL (as well as Lovely Bicycle!, thus far) on my page.

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    1. Thanks, Iris! Love the new blog and have linked to you in the sidebar. I'm sure many, many folks are going to enjoy it, and I'm personally excited to read more about your riding. :O)

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  2. Happy Birthday and a big congrats on your lifestyle change.

    BTW, I wrote an e-mail to my HR dept. about why I bike. In my e-mail, I added a link to this 5 Tips post
    you wrote.

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    1. Thanks so much, Maggie... and thanks for the link back! I hope it was helpful. Happy riding! :O)

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  3. Happy birthday, and congratulations on all your hard work!

    p.s. I also have to psych myself up to shop for pants. They're the worst. You're definitely not alone!

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    1. Thanks, Trisha... and it's nice to know I'm not alone in the search for pants! :O)

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  4. Happy Birthday!! And, congratulations on all that weight loss. You're doing great! Just give it time. It didn't go on overnight, and it won't come off that way either. Stick with it and it'll pass in no time.

    Lastly, today is my birthday too. You're the only other person I know (sort of) that has the same birthday as mine.

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    1. Aww, that's awesome!! A very happy birthday to you as well!! I hope it was a beautiful day! :0)

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  5. Happy birthday, strong, super, inspiring lady!

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  6. Happy birthday! Great progress. Stick with it!

    August 28 was the 18th anniversary of the day I started to change my life. I lost over a hundred pounds in the first 2 years. Both the people who were part of my support circle also lost the weight they wanted and made the changes in their life they set out to make. And kept the changes for the 18 years. What I learned was that my passion for what i call exertion activities totally changed my life. I love my bikes!

    Happy birthday, and happy journey!

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    1. Marsha, Thank you for taking the time to share this info with me. I think as a culture/society we are obsessed with losing quickly, and it's so nice to hear stories from others who have kept it off over the long term. I do believe that slow and steady wins the race, and your story just reinforces this, I think. I have no desire to put it back on at all. So again, thank you!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes too. I'm believing it's going to be a great year! :0)

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  7. Wait a minute!!! I totally forgot to wish you a happy birthday! So, alles gute zum Geburtstag! Bon anniversaire! オ誕生日おめでとうございます。

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    1. No worries, Iris... But thank you so much for the very international birthday wishes! :0)

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  8. What a fantastic transformation! I hope that you are proud of yourself; you can see that your adoring fans are proud of you. :) Won't it be exciting to see what another five months brings?

    Happy birthday! I know you'll enjoy this great gift you've given to yourself. =)

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    1. {Giggling: "adoring fans" - love it!}
      I am definitely excited to see what the next 5 months will bring, Melanie. I think I am most proud of the fact that I've made life changes (and, I'm sure will continue to do so), more so than the weight loss itself. I still have things to work on (but who doesn't), and I am interested to see how all of these changes continue to affect my body. :O) It's been a fascinating five months, certainly!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, too!! Hope you're enjoying a relaxing and long weekend. :O)

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