I've had my eye on the 30 pounds lost mark for a while, and hit it this morning. I started at 236 in January and now am at 205.5 - 30.5 pounds gone. Yesterday at the gym I picked up a 30 pound barbell and tried to imagine carrying that around all the time on my body - wow.
So I thought I'd take a minute to share my story since I've hit this milestone. I grew up overweight, with overweight parents and have been in the 200s pretty much through high school, college, and post college. I have insulin resistance and take 2000 mg of metformin every day, and I also have an underactive thyroid (which causes slower metabolism and a host of other issues) and take synthroid each day. Though I've been obese for pretty much my whole adult life, I was never someone who drove through the McDonalds drive-thru for lunch 4 days a week, or someone who sat in front of the TV on the sofa eating pints of ice cream and bags of chips. Nor am I an emotional eater or a binger, thank God.
Through a lot of hard work, I lost weight after college while I was doing a volunteer program and got down to about 185, but gained it back rapidly when I was prescribed zyprexa, even though I had joined a gym and was working out regularly and watching my eating. Zyprexa is notorious for causing 'massive weight gain' (read the fine print, folks) and exacerbating insulin resistance. Anyway, I got myself off that but the damage was done. A few years later, I lost some weight on weight watchers and got close to 200 pounds. I was doing the points program and could only eat 20-22 points a day and none of my extra 30 points a week, plus work out in order to lose. I was hungry a lot of the time, and when I got to the point that when I looked at an apple, I didn't see an apple, I saw 'two points,' I decided things were getting a little crazy and that the program wasn't healthy or sustainable for me.
Two years ago, in order to take part in a medical trial for people with PCOS/insulin resistance, I, under my dr's okay, went of my metformin temporarily and almost overnight gained 30 pounds. Needless to say, I got back on the metformin pretty quick, but the 30 pounds didn't just disappear.
Life rolled on, and while I continued to take dance classes at a local gym and maintain healthy eating habits (choosing the whole foods salad bar over the fast food when I had to work late) - I was stuck in the 230s. Part of my problem was that I was stressed out and unhappy with my work situation. I kept hanging on telling myself that things would change, but when they didn't, I had to make the painful decision to leave my position, which I had held for four years. I took a leap of faith and quit my job last September, without knowing what my next step would be. Two weeks after I quit, the economy crashed. Thankfully, I landed in a new position which I started the middle of last December. I wanted to take advantage of the change in my life situation to commit to getting healthy.
That's when this journey began. It's now been 10 and a half months, and I've lost 30.5 pounds. After losing about 15, I joined 3FC because I realized I needed some companionship and support. My weight loss has been pretty slow, people: about half a pound a week on average, with a good number of weeks of no loss at all. But slow and steady wins the race. I shoot for about 1500 calories a day, and try to always balance carbs with protein in my snacks and meals. Lots of water, lots of fiber and no eating after dinner. I work out 5-6 days a week: elliptical, treadmill, swimming or dancing as well as strength training.
I now run 6-10 miles a week, and have vindicated my memories of being the fat kid in gym class who couldn't run a mile without walk breaks: my PR for a mile is now a speedy 9 minutes, 30 seconds. I plan to run a 5k race this summer, and a four mile race over Labor Day 2010. My waist is under 40 inches for the first time in memory. I've gone from a size 18/20 to a 12/14 - with one skirt that is a size 10! I'm permanently out of plus size clothing. I feel confident, energetic, strong, capable, and optimistic. There's other NSVs that I could share, but you get the picture.
This all grows out of the fact that I had the guts to leave an unhealthy, dysfunctional work situation and take a leap of faith. I've landed in a job an a community that is functional, meaningful, beautiful and supports me living a balanced life with healthy habits. I know some of you might not agree, but I don't think it's all about calories in/calories out. Emotions and the mind play a role. I believe being stressed and unhappy chronically impacted me in such a way that I wasn't going to lose weight, no matter what. Taking control of my life by leaving a bad employment situation and finding a good one was the first step to being happy and healthy, in a holistic way.
Onederland is just around the corner, and once I'm there I'm only a few pounds from my half-way point, and then close to being out of the 'obese' BMI. I am confident I am going to maintain healthy habits, and continue to be assertive enough to keep myself in situations where I am treated with respect and dignity, and in which I feel happy and fulfilled.
Okay, I know this has gone on super long. Thanks for sticking with me and reading my story - just wanted to share it as encouragement, especially for those who battle conditions like hypothyroid or PCOS/insulin resistance, or anything else that provides an extra challenge. It's harder for us, but that doesn't mean we can't do it! We may not be able to lose as quickly as others, and may need to be more strict - but that's no reason not to do it. Our conditions might give us an excuse to throw our hands up in the air and say it's impossible to lose weight, and throw a pity party for ourselves, but we can make the choice every day, every moment, to live our lives to the fullest: healthy, strong, confident, and joyful. Thanks to all my friends at 3FC (not even going to try to name names since I know I would leave people out) and best wishes to you on your journeys to health in ALL areas of your lives.