Sure Meg. I've posted the story I sent to Prevention below. However, to add to it something the editor asked me...what motivated me to start. For me, it was the area I live in to some degree. I was cursed with a family that pretty much always kept me down, down about myself, down about life in general. And lived in an area that has a general mindset of the couch potato. I learned from my own dad how to sit on the couch with my face in the TV and my hand in the Ruffles bag.
And in childhood, with my mother who was afraid to let me do too much, as I was born with heart problems and had open heart surgery at age 12. If my face got too red, she made me sit down and stop having fun with the other kids. So exercise wasn't big on the list of learn to dos.
I actually met my hubby on the internet and moved 1,000 miles from family in order to give our relationship a chance. It was the scariest move I've ever made. I've never been this far from home. That was in 1997. And we married in 2000. He's a great self-esteem builder, and being so far away from the claws and clutches of the clan, there were no setbacks.
And the area we live in is big on exercise, organics and just all over fitness. I'd never seen so many joggers in one area before. And all the offices have showers because people jog for lunch. At some point, with my esteem ever higher, I decided I could do this.
I got stuck at the 150 mark since June until I talked to the doctor. She suggested I add some of the saturated fats back into my diet and eat more foods with protein, since I was trying to wipe out sat. fats altogether. So for the last week, I've had eggs every morning, instead of my multi-grain cereal, and I've had lots of fish, and I've dropped to 146 and a size 8 ladies/9 juniors.
Prevention story - 5/31/04:
It seems like I was always on “a diet”. I’ve gone through phases of eating salads and vegetables and depriving myself of everything I ever enjoyed to the point of feeling as if I was starving. And they’d work. I’d lose weight. But the moment I stopped “dieting”, all the weight would come back. Worse. It would bring a friend along. I ended up gaining more weight than I’d lost after each and every diet. At one point in life, I decided that if I dieted again, I’d eventually reach a point of not being able to fit through a doorway.
I was constantly upset with clothing manufacturers making what I thought of as “fat people clothes”. The shorts legs looked like they were designed for elephants. I felt like I was wearing a skirt rather than a pair of shorts. And tank tops? Tanks were fine, if you didn’t mind showing your 42D bra through the three sizes too large armpit holes. Then it hit me, it wasn’t the clothing manufacturers I should be concerned with. I could lose the weight and be wearing those junior sized hip huggers I always imagined myself in, until I looked in a mirror. But it couldn’t be another diet. And it wasn’t.
I began researching online, asking my doctors, saw a dietician even. I started eating right and exercising. In the past year, I’ve gone from feeling like I was going to pass out after a quarter mile jog, to running 5K local races. The best part is coming in with ten-minute miles to show for my efforts. Next year I intend to drop that down to nine.
I first changed my diet. Not that nasty word “diet”, which means you eat like a rabbit, give up anything and everything sinful, and pretend you don’t want it when you know you do. No, I changed my daily diet. I started eating natural sugars found in fruit and cut out the artificial sugars. I began watching the sodium content and looking for high fiber content. Most of all, I started avoiding saturated fats in everything.
I looked for alternatives. I didn’t give up the cheeseburger. I gave up the “daily” cheeseburger. I realized that I could treat myself and not eat it as a regular staple of my daily diet. And even further, I could substitute that hamburger with turkey burger, or the cheese with a soy-based cheese substitute. I’ve experimented with hundreds of brands and recipes until I’ve found the ones that work for me.
I was somewhere around 240, although I couldn’t say for sure as I never bothered to look at a scale at that point. But once I began my diet, I purchased a scale. The weight started dropping, and I was soon at 230, then 220. Eventually, I was 210, but it just wasn’t fast enough to suit me of course. So a little under a year ago, I decided that I had to exercise. For this, I began with a morning walk before work. I thought about a morning jog, but the first tenth of a mile left me feeling that it was the stupidest idea I’d ever had. So I cut it down to a walk and built up to a run. However, I found myself in an internal debate every morning…Is it too dark? Is it raining? Am I too sleepy?
As I began seeing my exercising slacking off, I decided I had to keep it going, but how? I changed my time. Instead of each morning “before” work, I went each evening “after” work. Before I’d go home, before I’d sit down, before dinner, before anything to take my mind off the task at hand, I would head straight to the gym and the treadmill. No rain, no sleepiness, no darkness to keep me from my goal. As that began to get boring, I added a CD player with my favorite music to run to. The faster the beat, the faster I ran. As I got better at it, I began going back outside to run. No longer ashamed to “jiggle” at the passersby.
I’m now 151, have bought my first two-pieced bathing suit since high school, am wearing those junior sizes, and I’m in a size ten as opposed to a size twenty-four. The added bonus is people say I look ten years younger. I was in my twenties at one point feeling like I was forty. Now I’m almost forty, feeling like I’m twenty. Feeling so great in fact, that I’ve started taking night classes in addition to a full-time job. It’s as if I’ve discovered a huge reservoir of energy that was just hiding.