Wednesday, May 15, 2013

... A Little About Me

I never struggled with weight growing up, 
I was a happy, healthy little girl.
Not "skinny" but not overweight either.

During my middle school years, I was quite active, playing soccer and running track. During high school my interests shifted to music and drama. In college, I was still heavily involved in music (and my college group did some dance too, although I am NOT a dancer!) I made sure I took a P.E. course every quarter to force myself to stay active (tennis, racquetball, circuit training) ... and there was a lot of walking around campus too (I didn't have a car).  I stayed not "skinny" but healthy.

Then comes marriage ... and a desk job ... and then kids. I just figured weight gain was inevitable. My mother was heavy and I took after her.  My hobbies were crafting and scrapbooking (fairly sedentary stuff). I really wasn't very active and I wasn't watching what I ate. My wonderful husband wouldn't say a negative word as the pounds slowly but surely crept on through the years.  I didn't like what I saw in the mirror but I didn't think I had the self-control or motivation to make a change.

Shortly after our fifth and final baby was born, I went through a very stressful time. I lost my appetite completely (something that never happens to me) and I lost 20 pounds in a about two weeks. Now I know that isn't a healthy way to lose, but I don't know that that was actually a conscious goal (or I might have taken some measurements or before/after photos). But that 20 pound loss was the kick-start I needed. I could already see a change, and it did motivate me to continue. It was actually a life-changer. I started watching what I ate, logging a food diary ... and I started walking. I walked a LOT. On the treadmill and with the little ones in the stroller. I started lifting weights (hubby had a complete set-up downstairs, not that I needed very much). I lost an additional 30 pounds over the next three months. I was at my goal weight. I even pulled out my wedding dress and was able to fit into it! I had to buy a completely new wardrobe. I felt younger and prettier than I had in years. 

I was able to maintain that weight (135) for about six months, then I had a bit of a jump to 140, but then maintained that for a while. A little more up, then working on it and getting it back down. Then a little more up, then a little more, then a little more. At a rate of a about five pounds per year, eight years later I was back up to where I had been before the initial loss.  You can see some of the changes in my Family Photos post and the graph below.

I've stayed very active throughout the years, but it's said you can't "out-cardio" your calories. Admittedly I was NOT counting my incoming calories so I really had no idea what they were. I do like to eat, and I really like my sugar and carbs. In May 2013 I made a commitment to really try again. I know it's the eating, so I joined My Fitness Pal and started logging my food. I tried to up my exercise, and shake it up a bit as well (as I do tend to get in a routine rut). 

I started this blog to help me keep track of all my data and my days. Recaps of the days, weeks, months. Capturing some of the graphs that only seem to be available for a short time. It's also said to make your goal public, so others know what you are doing and you have that extra incentive on knowing people are watching. I don't know if anyone will actually read this ... but I think it will help ME, and that is what matters most.

Here we go ...

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