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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{Working Out Wednesday} Making it a priority.

I've always been "big". By 'big' I mean fat.

People like to sugar coat stuff like that. "You're not that big." "You're thick." "You're big-boned." "You carry your weight well." All of those are just niceties for "you're fat." My sister asked me one day; "Well if you're fat, then what am I?" Ummm.... Really fat?" The thing is; BMI doesn't lie. My BMI says that I'm obese. This means that I am at risk for all kinds of fat related issues; hypertension, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, joint issues, self esteem issues and plain old unattractiveness. I already know all of this, and, I'm working on it.

The thing is; I know how to lose weight. I've done it not once or twice, but a lot. The first time I did it was after high school. The day after graduation, we took the unofficial senior trip to Cedar Point. Me and two of my friends went on the RipCord. It was phenomenal. We took pictures and paid $30 for one vhs tape which I volunteered to take home and copy. I was appalled at my appearance. My face was so big that when I smiled, you couldn't see my eyes. I was offended that no one, not my mom, friends or family, took the time to tell me that I had gotten so frigging big. That very day; I made a decision. Not to get skinny, but to do better by my body.

Not long after that; I happened upon a weight bench and weight set at a second hand store that was being thrown out. I brought it home and used it every day without fail. I wasn't doing it for results, I did it because it made me feel good once I was done. The awesome thing was that I DID get results. Within months, I had dropped at least 50 lbs. The reaction that I got from folks who hadn't seen me in a while told me that I was doing something right. So, I kept at it and it became a way of life.

Fast forward a decade and a couple years later. I'm 30, a mommy, and so busy with work and life in general that working out is more of a luxury than a priority. But I've realized that that's what's missing! Before I had my daughter; I ran 4 miles a day, 5 days a week in addition to the 4 miles I walked for my commute and while at work. I was strong and athletic and I felt good, all the time. I got a lot less sleep than I get now, but I always felt rested.

Truthfully, I hadn't truly realized how far I'd come in my weight loss journey up to that point until I saw two of my girls that I hadn't seen since high school at a mutual friend's wedding, five years after graduation. My then husband and I sat in a different area of the sanctuary and went looking for them after the wedding. Their reaction was akin to the way that the families on The Biggest Loser react after not seeing their loved ones until their transformation is complete. In unison they squealed "Oh my God, ACHSHA!" with their mouths agape.

How they remembered me. - High school circa 1998

The day of the wedding. - Five years later; fall 2003

I still have both  of those dresses. Sadly, I'm closer to being able to fit the black one than the blue one. But I'm working on it. I'm a bit of a procrastinator and some mornings, it's easier for me to tell myself that I will work out in the evening and just to hit the snooze button one more time. THAT is not making exercise a priority. And THAT is why I am stagnating.  

I am eating better though. I rarely, if ever, eat fast food. I brown bag my lunch and intentionally leave my debit card at home so I have no means to buy the greasy foods I love so much even if I am tempted. As a woman of a certain age; I'm determined not to do the same thing in my 30s as I did in my 20s. I spent half of my 20s as an athletic, nutrition conscious woman. I spent the other half wallowing in my post-motherhood body, quieting the pain of my divorce with 40oz beer and junk food. 

Right around 29, I began to feel like myself again; like a whole person and now, I can say truly, that I am whole again. Now, it's just a matter of finding the balance and getting that 20 something's zeal for exercising and zest for life. 

I used to take my athleticism for granted. After I had my daughter, after not having exercised one bit the entire time I was pregnant, I remember going out and attempting to run as I had before. I got to the end of my block and was ready to collapse. Back when I could run a 7 minute mile, I didn't realize, even back then, that it had been a long time coming. A gradual progression from walking to interval jogging mixed with interval cardio workouts. No matter how badly I want them to, I know that my results aren't going to come over night. I'm over that. I'm not watching the scale. I'm getting back to basics. I know that if I just work out everyday. If I just do what I know is right, the weight will come off. I'm finally back at that place mentally where my resolve is meeting my drive. 

It's an awesome feeling. And it's about time!

Kanye West - Workout Plan

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