Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting in Shape

Ok, the house was clean and the scrapbooks filled--not decorated, but filled.  What next?  I decided that maybe it was time to get in shape.  I must admit that 25 years of child rearing had turned my figure into something very much resembling Jabba the Hutt.  A dear friend started a weight loss/how to live a healthier lifestyle program in November of 2008 (just after daughter M's wedding.).  Due to the busy lives we lead, friend L and I have learned how to go weeks, even months, without seeing each other even though we live in the same town.  HOWEVER, we cannot go long without talking to each other.  So, it was no surprise that I didn't actually see her from January until March 2009, at which time I did notice a change but thought little of it.  Then, in May, when she and her hubs stopped by I not only noticed that she looked like a Barbie doll (well, a short one anyway- L is all of 5' tall) but I also decided that I wanted to do whatever it was she was doing (and not just because of how great she looked, but because of the healthy glow she was sporting and the energy she seemed to have acquired.).  That very week, friend L started me on a healthier lifestyle consisting of healthy eating habits and exercise--AFTER she made me go to my doctor for permission that is.  I made a lot of changes in our diets (yep, I brought hubby along with me although he doesn't have 4 tons to lose) including switching from white bread to whole wheat (only one way of increasing fiber); cutting down on the portions of protein; cutting out sugar;changing the types of fats used; cutting out processed foods; adding fresh veggies and fruits daily; huge decrease in salt intake and so on.  There was little snacking and, if I did snack, I had nuts or fruit.  I also had to get off my Jabba behind and do the exercising.

My initial exercise consisted of walking on the treadmill that had been sitting idle for over a year (ok, it was idle for 2 years.).  At first I was lucky if I stayed on for twenty minutes at the incredible rate of 2 mph.  In a few months though, I had worked my way up to 3 miles every day at 3-3.5 mph.  For a month or so, I even walked an extra 2 miles in the afternoons (and this was because Dr Oz said you should take 10,000 steps every day-- that may have been close to the time I stopped watching his show...).  By the time I stopped using the treadmill and walking outside with Tucker, I was up to the occasional jog (which was not enjoyable--I didn't like running in college when I was slim and trim so I certainly was not loving it at this point in time).  Tucker and I do enjoy our daily combination bike ride/walks every single day (once you start walking your pet, he will NEVER let you miss a day).

They say that tracking your progress is extremely beneficial to losing weight so, to track my progress, friend L told me about Lance Armstrong's website and suggested I use it to record my daily intake of food and output of exercise.  This was a tremendous help for about seven months (up until the Christmas season when I stopped using it because I did not like how it added up the Christmas goodies I was ingesting.).  It really is an awesome website though.  You register for free and use the My Plate section where it actually breaks down your meals into categories for you (protein, fat, carbs, etc.) and then tells you how much more of each you have left for that day all based on how many calories it calculates you are allowed each day (you plug in how many pounds you want to lose each week and the site calculates how many calories you can have daily in order to achieve the loss.).  It also records your exercise and calculates remaining allowed calories adjusted accordingly.  If you eat out, no problem.  The site can calculate and break down those calories as well.  In those first seven months I lost 72 pounds and was feeling pretty darn good.  It's been 15 months now and I am down 83 pounds.  I have to confess here though that Christmas brought some temptations that I did not resist (my dad's homemade oatmeal raisin cookies for one) and I got myself right back on sugar--cookies, ice cream, cake = YUMMY!).  I have not gained the weight back but I have hit a self-induced plateau from all the sugar so I had to increase some exercise (and maybe I'll get back to the healthy eating habits--I HOPE so because it sure hasn't happened yet!).  Since we had been cutting down tree limbs and gathering the debris in our yard, I thought hauling all the cut limbs from the backyard to the street and such would be excellent for adding strength training to my exercise regimen (the easy part was getting hubby to leave all the limbs so I could haul them.).  It was during the first hauling, my dears, that I completely remembered why I don't like yard work.  Holy Cow!  I was convinced that my arms and legs might never speak to me again (although they would talk ABOUT me!).  In the end, it was fine.  Once the soreness went away, hauling those limbs actually did help and I continued in the direction of slimming down.  Of course, since the weather has been significantly out of control this summer (I am referring to the heat), hubby has not cut any limbs down in a while (yes, the trees are all still standing.).  So, the question became, what to do now for strength training (other than lifting the spoon from the bowl of ice cream to my mouth that is) and the answer was YOGA BOOTY BALLET.  The only problem I have with the program is that the girls who instruct the workout cannot count (when you are counting and you reach 6, the next number out of your mouth is NOT 4!).  PLUS they have a habit of saying things like, "Let's do eight more!" You know, in those perky little 'come-on-you-can-do-it' voices.  Yeah, I really don't like that.  But I have noticed some inches coming off even with continuing to to lift the spoon filled with delicious ice cream!  I even considered trying Yoga Booty Ballet and eating the ice cream at the same time.  That way, when the girls say, "Let's do eight more,"  I wouldn't mind so much.

A word of warning:  There is a down side to losing the weight when it comes to carrying several heavy items all at once like gallon jugs of spring water.  Before I lost the weight I could carry 4 or 5 gallons with the help of the rolls in my midsection to keep them from falling.  The jugs would rest on top of a roll creating a 'fat shelf' if you will, preventing the jugs from sliding down and hitting the ground.  This is no longer available.  Now, the jugs just hit the ground.     


  1. YEAH for you. I've lost 28 lbs and have 17 to go. At least for my first goal. Just very slow going. I am impressed with all you've done. Keep it up.
    Okay, I'm off to read some more. Thanks for stopping by. Take care and Good Bless!!

  2. Newest follower! Great job! I love the warning!! ;)

  3. Great account of your progress... and that's too funny about the fat shelf. What an image that invoked!


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