So I meant to do the whole “Introduce myself to class” thing as my first post, but what happened was all the frustrated stress kind took over my brain and my fingers and yesterday’s post came out instead. I’m kind of glad that it did, though, because I’m so touched and encouraged by the responses that I got. So, in return, I thought I’d do what I should have done yesterday and start this thing properly.
I am a singer, with my ambition to be a full time opera singer (yes this is very hard, no it does not pay a lot, yes you have to have the ambition, passion, and denial of an insane person to pursue this). I attend a Very Uppity Prestigious Conservatory, and am going through the process of auditioning for Very Uppity Prestigious Grad Programs as well as Very Uppity Prestigious Summer Programs (please note that I am not a Very Uppity Prestigious Person) and all this adds up to my life being full of Very Uppity Prestigious Stress.
I can talk and talk and talk about Operas and Classical Music (and I probably will other occasions) but for the purposes of this introduce myself post, and seeing as this is a weight loss (weight maintain) blog, I thought I’d talk a bit about my weight loss (and gain and loss and gain) history and goals.
I was a heavier teenager in High School, but a combination of moderately physical activity (dancing in Color Guard and musicals and such) and living in my parent’s moderately healthy house meant that I was never too overweight. After I graduated I moved out and lived by myself while putting myself through Community College and gleefully did no working out and ate whatever I wanted. Three years of this put me at my highest weight of 249 lbs at 21 years old.
I decided to change my habits with Weight Loss Attempt #1 when I got my Associates Degree and started attending my current school (VUPC, if you recall). Basically it contained a complete 180 turn from my previous practice of wanton laziness and overeating. I worked out at least an hour every day and wrote down everything I ate (which was never enough). I kept this up for several months and was able to lose about 65 lbs, reaching my lowest weight record of 184 lbs, which is kind of incredible but totally unhealthy.
Of coarse, I totally burned myself out doing this and a combination of stress, the holidays and my first opera role ever (the Old Lady in Bernstein’s Candide. AWESOME!) led to me falling off the wagon in a major way. Ever think to yourself “Is it possible to gain 30+ lbs in a semester?” It totally is, trust me. Really, if we lived in a world where overeating and not moving were admirable traits, I’d be like Gandhi and Mother Theresa combined.
These habits continued through that summer and the following semester of school, until my next bitch-slap from reality. I got my second Opera and first Leading Role (Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito. TOTALLY AWESOME!), and the director told me, very nicely, that I should lose some weight for the production. (He was actually very great about the whole thing. His actual words were “I want you to be healthy, first and foremost. There are ten weeks until production and I recommend you lose a pound a week.”)
I lost weight more slowly and healthfully this time (about 15lbs. If you’ve been paying attention this leaves me at about 215lbs.) mostly because the nature of learning and getting an opera on stage is really time consuming and stressful, but more on that at a later date.
This past summer I was lucky enough to be able to participate in a Music Festival. For those of you who don’t know, think of this kind of thing as a Music Summer Camp for Adults. This means a lot of bad summer food and beer. I’m proud to say that I didn’t gain too much weight, but it was not a healthy way of living.
So now we are finally at this current Fall Semester of school. Without a current Opera Role I have been able to lose a good amount of weight (I am currently at 186lbs). The problem is that this has been lost mostly using tactics from Weight Loss Attempt #1, which I already know is doomed to fail. I’ve read enough blogs and articles to know this.
So now to my goals. Here is the main one - I AM NOT DIETING!!!!. I will continue to (hopefully) make (mostly) healthy eating decisions and am still writing down what I eat, but for I resolve to never count calories or have “forbidden” foods again. I want to read the Intuitive Eating book and see if this is a style that can work for me (anyone out there have thoughts on this? I’d appreciate it). Also I need to eat something for breakfast every morning. I’m so guilty of skipping it to keep calories low in the past.
Goal number two is that I want to be strong, not thin. I want to be able to do an actual sit up (not a crunch) and an actual push up (not the girly on your knees type, which is all I can manage now). I want to run things like 5ks and half-marathons, and do strength training with 10lb weights. I want to be more proud of what my body is capable of than what it looks like.
So here is the plan for now. I will continue to write down what I eat and try to make mostly healthy decisions in my eating. I will also not berate or punish myself for the occasional less than ideal decision. I will continue to work out every day, if I am able (I just finished the Advanced Turbo Jam schedule and am currently in my second week of TurboFire. I love it, and will write more about it later.)
My life is crazy stressful, but I really do love it and wouldn’t have it any other way (well, I’d probably like it more with a little more pocket money, but que sera). I am incredibly blessed to be able to do and study what I love and truly have passion for. My ultimate goal is to to sing (with all the wonderful stress that comes with it) and be healthy at the same time.
And I have to believe that I can do it. Thanks for listening, guys!