A Work In Progress

It’s the middle of January and yes, I’m posting about weight loss…. surprise, surprise.  While I’d like to think I’ve been working towards this prior to the New Year, let’s be honest: there’s something about this resolution time that makes a person re-evaluate certain aspects of their lives, and for many Americans, that has to do with losing weight.  I’m definitely not void of this cultural phenomenon, but I’m really not ashamed of this either!  Even though I’m going along with what everyone else seems to want, it’s a pretty good thing to work towards in my opinion.  Weight loss isn’t the only thing that I’m aiming for here, but for the past year or so I’ve been slowly living a healthier lifestyle.  And let me tell you, from just this past year alone, that lifestyle has really paid off!

On January 1st, 2014, I weighed in at 158 pounds… (yes I publicly gave you that number, and no I’m not cowering in humiliation either.  Say what!?!?)  Anyway, on December 31st, 2014, I weighed in at 131 pounds.  So I lost 27 pounds over the course of the year.  That’s a pretty big deal for me!  I may not have reached my original goal to get to 125 by New Years, but I came kind of close! I also know some of you might not have any problem at all with your weight, or could even lose that amount or more in a shorter period of time, but the fact that I was able to make this change really means something for me.  So I’m rolling with it 😉

I have to say that it’s been wonderful hearing from multiple people that they’ve been able to physically see the changes I’ve made.  Keep it coming people, I love it!  I’ve also heard things such as “oh you don’t need to lose weight, you look great, etc.”  and I greatly appreciate those comments too, more than you all know!  Here’s what’s interesting and not all surprising though: until I got down past 133 pounds, I was technically considered “overweight” by BMI/doctor/health standards.  Ouch.  Granted, I try not to read into that too much, due to varying body types, muscle weight vs. fat weight, etc.  But it’s still there looming over me.

Plus, it’s been extremely embarrassing when on a weekly basis I’m asked by patients “Oh when are you due?” or “How far along are you?” or “Congrats on your upcoming baby!”  I’m not kidding.  Even though I weigh less NOW than when I got married, sometimes it’s a bummer when people think that I’m pregnant.  There have been a couple times when I didn’t even correct the person.  Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be for them?  But seriously people, I’m telling you now: DO NOT ASSUME THAT A WOMAN IS PREGNANT.  That is all I have to say on that pet peeve for now…

Yes I still have a “mummy tummy,” or what I believe to be diastasis recti (a separation between the left and right side abdominal muscles, which covers the front surface of the belly area).  I hear that pregnancy can cause this (add in a C-section too), and sadly it gives that bloated-belly look… But I am working on it and am holding on to hope that there might be a chance for me to rectify this!

To give you a better idea of what looks like.

To give you a better idea of what it looks like.

It should also be said that while it can be irritating to be asked if I’m pregnant, I’m NOT ashamed of my body.  This body (and belly) housed my beautiful daughter for 40 weeks, and she is now as happy and healthy as can be.  There are many days when my girl will randomly poke my tummy and other “wobbly bits” (as Bridget Jones would say), or lift up my shirt to see my belly button, etc… all the while having a huge smile on her face!  She sees my body as it is, and in a wonderfully innocent way, isn’t scared away by the fact that I have stretch marks or that my tummy isn’t tight and so forth.  She isn’t tainted with society’s image of what is considered beautiful, but instead just sees her mom who loves and adores her with all of her heart, body, and soul.  I’ve come to accept and love my body for every stage it has, was, and will be in.  Obviously I’m trying to make healthier choices and improvements for myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with where I’m at in this moment… because it makes no sense to be unhappy with who you are, physically or not, as we are ever-changing human beings!  I want my daughter to love herself as unconditionally as I love her.  The shape of her body is NOT dependent on her worth, and the best way to show her that is to practice it myself, so that’s what I’m doing—happily!  Something to keep in mind ladies.

Seriously though, look at that face!  I will never fail to tell this girl how beautiful she is, inside and out.

Seriously though, look at that face! I will never fail to tell this girl how beautiful she is, inside and out.

Alright, back to my weight-loss/healthy lifestyle stuff…  Here are a few changes I made in 2014 that have made a heck of a difference:

  • I got a gym membership for the 1st time EVER.
  • I started working out, which besides taking various fitness classes throughout college, I’ve never really done this on my own before.
  • I cut out soda completely (not that I ever really liked it to begin with).
  • I cut way down on junk food, processed foods, sugary stuff, red meat, dairy, etc. (Let me tell you, giving up ice cream was HARD).
  • I started eating much healthier; i.e. more veggies, whole grains, fruits, high fiber foods, etc.
  • I drank TONS of water (and honestly, that’s the majority of what I drink besides tea and the occasional cup of coffee when I have to pull an all-nighter).
  • I started recording everything I ate.
  • I started recording every workout.
  • I started RUNNING (which I’ve never really done before, like ever).
  • I started rewarding myself for each minor goal I made (motivation in any form is a good thing).
  • I started caring less about what other people thought of my body, and focused more on how good I felt about myself, both physically and mentally.
I have my own workout calendar where I write in my workouts to see everyday... It feels great when I have  a month totally filled out, and based on this month so far, it's obvious which days I work---those are the empty ones!

I have my own workout calendar where I write in my workouts to see everyday… It feels great when I have a month totally filled out, and based on this month so far, it’s obvious which days I work—those are the empty ones!

Now, I wasn’t always consistent with all of these changes, and that’s when you really see some results.  I’ve had plenty of plateaus because of not keeping up with these things.  I do realize that can be normal, especially given that I have a kind-of busy schedule.  Working part-time, taking online classes, watching my sassy-pants toddler, and trying to keep my home in a clean state surely takes up time.  Anyway, I don’t want these things to be excuses at all.  They are all important things in my life, but I want that healthy lifestyle to be a big part of my life too.  And when something is important to you, you do what you need to do to make it work.

So here’s my action plan regarding healthy living for 2015, in addition to everything else I’ve been doing:

  • I got another gym membership (one that actually has child care this time so I don’t have to rely on the availability of family members to watch Evelyn—to stay consistent)
  • I made myself a workout schedule for every week (because I’m the type of person who needs one—again, consistency).  I know someone who’s lost a good amount of weight and continues to keep it off by working out 6 days a week for about 1.5 hours each day… Unfortunately my schedule can’t accommodate that yet, but 3-4 days a week is easily doable.  PLUS the gym I’m at now has tons of group fitness classes, which are my ultimate favorite.  So that makes it much more fun!
  • I planned to only sign up for 1 race/run this year (that being the Warrior Dash in September) BUT I decided to sign up for the Shamrock Run in the middle of March!  I am Irish after all 😉  I had thought about it before, but since the company Ted works for was trying to get people to sign up as a group, that was the extra push I needed!  I’m not the fastest runner, and I still have a hard time going long distances without needing to take a few walk breaks, but I think this will be fun to “train” for over the next couple of months, no matter how slow I am.
  • I plan to eat more of a plant-based diet.  Growing up, veggies weren’t part of our main dishes when we ate, but they really should be.  I’m still transitioning into making them a regular part of each meal, and my hardest obstacle has been and will continue to be getting Ted on board with eating healthier.  He is pretty picky, loves everything unhealthy/fatty/sugary, and is not up for trying many new things.  So while I’ve slowly been getting him used to eating more of the veggies he will actually tolerate, it can be difficult to incorporate changes when your spouse isn’t exactly wanting to make those changes with you.  Either way, he can jump on this train with me, or he’ll be on his own when it comes to meals! 😉

Now all these things I’m working on wouldn’t be complete without an ultimate goal in mind.  After looking up healthy weight ranges for women at my age (25) and my height (5’1), a healthy weight would be between 106-118 pounds.  So at this point, my goal is to get down to 115 pounds.  Which means I have about 15 more to lose (currently 130 lbs).  I’ve heard that losing 1-2 pounds a week is a realistic and healthy timeframe for weight loss.  Let’s say I want to lose about 5 pounds a month (very doable).  If I keep consistent with eating healthy, pushing myself to work out, and focusing on my goals… hypothetically I should be around my goal weight in 3 months, so by the end of March (just in time for spring break!)  Honestly, this seems sooo soon and I wonder if I can even achieve that goal in that timeframe.  Maybe I’ll give myself until April/May to be on the safe side…

It has also helped to have this board where I can cross off one by one the pounds I've lost.  You have no idea how good it feels to be so close to replacing it with a new one.... Obviously I've had some plateaus, but I would also reward myself with some yummy (and healthy) Jamba Juice with every 5 pounds lost.

It has also helped to have this board where I can cross off one by one the pounds I’ve lost. You have no idea how good it feels to be so close to replacing it with a new one…. Obviously I’ve had some plateaus, but I would also reward myself with some yummy (and healthy) Jamba Juice with every 5 pounds lost.

What I like to do though, is set smaller goals for myself on the way to achieving the ultimate goal.  (Such as reaching a certain weight by a certain time, giving myself a reward when I do so, those sort of things) So my first mini-goal is to reach 125 pounds by Valentine’s Day… so I have a little less than 4 weeks to lose 5 pounds.  Who thinks I can do it?? Or more importantly, who wants to do this with me??  Hmmm I’ll have to think up a fun reward for myself when I reach this goal by then… maybe a trip to Mt. Hood for some snowboarding!

So along the way, if there are any other success stories or tips from YOU or anyone else you know, I’d love to hear them!  Especially those with busy schedules that somehow have been able to find the time in keeping up with it all.  I will generally try anything once and love to hear what has worked for others 🙂  So while I am not claiming to be a role model in weight loss, or someone who knows exactly what they’re doing, I just plan on sharing my journey along the way.

Until next time!

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One thought on “A Work In Progress

  1. You have made some fantastic changes in your life Megan, and I think regardless of what that turns out to be at the end of each day, I think a mother who values the motivation towards a better lifestyle while understanding the importance of being present to loving yourself in each moment is quite the inspiration 🙂 Even if my goals aren’t the same, I easily find motivation and comfort in my life from hearing your words. Keep it up Megan!

    Like

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