About a year ago I put my scale away and I haven’t weighed myself since. It was liberating to be free of the scale. I was no longer playing weird mind games with myself about the numbers on the scale. You know, if I don’t eat anything from now until morning, drink lots of water and then weigh myself completely naked after my first pee in the morning then maybe it will show a loss. It wasn’t working. I was stuck on a never ending plateau.
Around the same time that I ditched the scale I also registered for a half marathon and began training. My body seemed to change over the course of six months. I dropped from a size 14 to a size 12. Suddenly everything in my closet fit. I felt so much better in my body. Judging by my clothing I fluctuated a bit over the winter, but I knew when to reel it in and seemed to return back to where my clothing fit comfortably within a week or two.
I am nowhere near a happy weight, but I am much more confident and comfortable in my skin. I have been thinking a lot about getting back into weight loss mode now that I have adapted a regular fitness routine. I enjoy running so much and I love running races, but it often bothers me to know that I could be running faster and stronger if I were to lose a little more weight. I know that it would make me feel better and more confident.
A few weeks ago my husband and I had to have medical exams for new life insurance policies. The first time we took out life insurance I was denied any kind of preferred status because of my weight. Well that was shortly after giving birth to my now four year old son. I weighed nearly 200 pounds. When I last weighed myself a little over a year ago I was 168 pounds. I thought for sure I had lost at least 10 pounds if not more over the last year. Needless to say when the nurse weighed me for the insurance medical exam I was shocked and disappointed to learn that I had only lost 4 pounds. I weighed 164 pounds. Writing the numbers here is difficult for me. I never discuss my weight in numbers, but it’s important for me to acknowledge where I am at this point in my weight loss journey. I should also mention here that my height is 5’3″ (barely).
This has been on my mind for days. I instantly berated myself and decided that I should restrict certain foods from my diet until the scale showed a more significant loss. Within minutes I reminded myself how far I’ve come over the past year. My diet is made up of nearly all whole foods. I no longer rely on fat free and sugar free substitutes. I now bake my own treats with real ingredients and eat realistic portions. I make activity a part of every day. I have run a half marathon, signed up for a full, tried yoga, Zumba and body blast classes. I hike with my son. I take the stairs whenever possible. We rarely eat out anymore because we are all happier with my lighter, healthier creations. I wear a bathing suit when I go to the beach and I don’t even dread it (mind you it’s a tankini with the skirt bottom!). My weight is no longer the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I consider when I go to bed.
So instead of putting myself on some ridiculous crash diet I did nothing…nothing drastic. I knew that I needed to give myself time to decide how I wanted to approach this. My son was finishing up school which meant a huge change in my workout schedule. I had the half marathon to run. My husband’s work schedule had changed a bit possibly rendering my sleep time even less. My Dad came to visit over Memorial Day weekend. I worked a 7 night stretch at the same time he was visiting. Too many things were going on at once. From previous experience I knew that any changes to my diet would be fruitless with so much happening and so little time to plan.
We met with the insurance agent just a couple of days ago to finalize our policies. My husband, of course, qualified for the highest preferred category. This time I did qualify for regular preferred though I was denied the highest preferred rating due to my weight. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I have struggled with weight issues since I was a teen. Though, I can honestly say that I have not felt this good about myself ever. I don’t love my body the way I wish I did, but I am so proud of what my body has been able to do in these last four years starting with carrying another life and giving birth to my son. I have so much more respect for my body. I know for a fact that I will not return to the 170s, 180s, 190s or 200s again. I hated the way I felt when I was at those weights and I haven’t forgotten that uncomfortable, self-conscious feeling yet. However, it’s time to see this weight loss journey to the end so that I can take a right turn and travel down the road to maintaining my happy, comfortable weight.
I don’t have an exact plan yet. One change at a time seems to be what works best for me. The first thing I know I need to tackle is night time snacking at work. I have been eating my fair share of graham crackers, Saltines and peanut butter at work for a few months now. Going cold turkey and eating nothing is not the answer, but I can bring healthier foods to curb my hunger. Last night I had to go to bed when my husband got home so I packed my dinner to bring to work. I brought some fresh pineapple and this amazing Quinoa Mediterranean salad from Emily’s recipe at Daily Garnish. It was light, refreshing, healthy and delicious. I brought extra for my co-workers to try and they loved it too. My husband ate the huge container I left him for dinner and he thought it was fantastic too. It was certainly a much more nutritious option than graham crackers. And yes the grahams sometimes served as my dinner. Bad bad bad!
Other small things I have been doing:
- measuring and weighing food to control portions
- immediately chopping and storing produce when I come home from the store to make it readily accessible for salads and snacks
- drinking homemade fruit flavored unsweetened iced tea
- snacking on my basic Green Monster smoothie (ice, banana, spinach, carrot, 1/3 cup soy or almond milk, cinnamon, ground ginger and a teaspoon of Agave)
I don’t have an exact weight that I want to be. I just know that this is not it for me. I am realistic and really more interested in feeling, being and looking healthy.