Growing up, I was one of those skinny kids that never gave a second thought to what I was eating. I loved my vegetables, but from a young age I learned to like them best the southern way--fried okra, fried squash, and mashed potatoes being at the top of the list. For most of my life, right up until the last six or seven years, it was no big deal. I could eat all my favorite things without worry. Even more than that, I could take exercise (in the form of sports or walking, usually...nothing too strenuous!) or leave it, without a difference in my body or weight.
When Jeremy and I met in 2002, I was at one of the lower points of my college weight, just under 100 lbs. (Yes, I spent most of high school and some of my college years being just plain skinny.) While that weight is under where I need, or want, to be, it is far past time for the pounds that have crept on over the years to GO.
As I have aged and my metabolism has slowed, my habits--or lack thereof--have caught up with me. My weight has settled between 140-145 lbs (yep, just putting it out there!)...which seems to be where I stay without working to do anything about it. I was at this point when I got pregnant with the girls, then dropped down to about 128 after they were born. Obviously, over the last four years I didn't change much and it added up again.
So what to do about it? I am finally at the point where I am really, really ready to change my habits and take control of my weight and my health.
My eating habits are already so much better than they used to be, and they continue to improve. I am still running on a fairly regular basis, with plans to continue that and finally get to a regular three times a week schedule. Now it's time to put the two together...and I have a plan.
Some friends at work and I started the Weight Watchers plan in the last week. (I confess: we are cheating and not signing up for the actual program. All of them except me have done it before, so we have the guidelines and food values we need, just not the monthly fee.) I have also joined an online group, the Biggest Blogging Loser, coordinated by the fabulous Jennie. It's just an encouragement/competition sort of thing, with each of us doing our own method.
Having never tried the Weight Watchers program, I was pretty excited to start. It has gone well so far (admittedly, it's only been a few days...but I'm on track to lose at least four pounds this week!), and it feels very manageable. I make my choices and technically eat whatever I want, as long as I fit the points in to my daily allowance. I realize just how much mindless snacking I was doing, and I'm learning to let myself be hungry for mealtime, instead of shoving tortilla chips in my face while I'm cooking because I feel like I'm starving. I managed to eat out over the weekend and enjoyed my meals, while still making pretty good choices overall.
The key to my progress so far seems to be the combination of the diet changes with my running. Instead of the 170 calories I burn on my evening run cancelling out the brownie I ate in the afternoon, it's coming off my much more reasonable daily intake. And it's actually making a difference! Who would have thought? Seeing progress is a huge motivator for me, so I hope I can keep up the enthusiasm. Then, by the time I meet my goal weight (around 125, I think), the idea is that my habits will have changed enough that I no longer feel like I'm "dieting". This will just be how I eat and how I exercise, forever and ever, amen. (We've all heard the "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle" spill, which I know is true.)
One more thing that's making all this feel much more manageable... As of this week, Jeremy is home in the evenings!! Yes, for the first time in our nearly seven-year marriage, he is now working normal daytime hours, at least most of the time. It couldn't have happened at a better time, as it's just been in the last few weeks that it has gotten absolutely too hot to run after work. And the idea of me getting up before work to exercise is just laughable. Give me 9:00 at night over 6:00 in the morning anytime. Not only can I make the workout happen, I can actually cook a meal for someone besides myself. The girls are good to eat most of the things we do, but sometimes it's just so much easier to throw down a bowl of cereal and call it dinner. I am just thrilled in general to have him home at night, in case you can't tell. (We'll see if that holds true after a few weeks of losing my evening alone time and having to share the remote....)
So there's what's going on around here. Lots of salads, skinny ranch, and grilled chicken, basically! But it will all be worth it, I am confident.
What's going on with you this week??