In progress…Posted: May 2, 2013
Six weeks ago I began what is probably the most important transformation of my life…
At the beginning of this year, I was in such a rut. The things I used to really enjoy—crafting, blogging, working on my home—didn’t mean as much to me. Everyday I was simply going through the motions, and it was a struggle to find the happy. So I wrote myself this note of inspiration. Maybe it’s cheesy…but I know how I want to feel in life, and it was not the way I was feeling then. And I also knew, in order to make the biggest difference, I needed to work on myself first. So I made a plan to change things. But I didn’t really act on the plan right away. I guess I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. Or maybe I just didn’t know where to start.
(I’ve since learned that getting started on anything new is the absolute hardest part.)
I tucked my little note of inspiration away for another day. Even though I knew in my heart—and in my head—that things would never change unless I did something to facilitate the change. I mean, things just don’t change on their own, right?! That’s a hard lesson to learn. Which means the first 3 months of this year were spent doing things I had always done. Wasting time. Spinning tires. Farther stuck in this rut.
(At this point I’d just like to say that my husband is amazing… and so very supportive. And this rut I was in had absolutely nothing to do with him or our family life. They are always my rays of sunshine.)
In early March, at the deepest part of my rut, I turned 32 (and Mark turned 31). And we took a trip to Chattanooga, TN to celebrate. And we had THE.BEST.TIME. Ever.
We hiked up a mountain, stayed in a beautiful hotel, ate the best food and drank the best beer. But my favorite part was the aquarium.
We took tons of pictures, but hardly any have me in them… I usually prefer to be behind the camera. So I was taken aback a little when the first thing we did when we walked in the aquarium was have our photo taken by one of the employees. It was one of those green screen set ups where they superimpose your photo over various backgrounds and then, at the end of the trip, hand you a package to purchase.
Let me just say, that I did NOT want to purchase the photos. But Mark wanted to… to have a keepsake of the great time we had. I do love the photos for what they are—a representation of our time together and all the fun we had. But I never, ever wanted anyone to see them.
(And now I’m about to post them on the internet… oy.)
This, my friends, is what you call a “wake-up call.” I never saw it before now. Of course, I knew I was gaining weight—the scale told me so. But when I looked in the mirror I didn’t really see myself this way. It was time to make what I saw in myself be the same as what the camera and everyone else would see. I realized then that I want to be able to look back on our photos and not cringe. I want to be in front of the camera enjoying time with my family and not be self-conscious. And I want my kids to have more photos with their mom.
When we got back from our trip, I started walking a little bit on the treadmill. Nothing very serious, just enough to kind of get moving. It’s ridiculous to think how out of shape I was… 30 mins on the treadmill had me completely out of breath and 5 mins on the elliptical made me feel like I would die. I absolutely wanted to give up and I had barely gotten started!
A couple of weeks later, with a little prompting from my sister, I joined Weight Watchers online. I told myself I would give it 3 months. And I would really, really try. That has turned into the best decision I could have made. Before I was drinking stupid amounts of Pepsi. Every single day I had at least 4 or 5 cans worth. I was completely addicted. The first week, I gave it all up.
By the tenth day of no Pepsi, I could already tell a difference. My skin was smoother, clearer…the pores smaller. And the bags under my eyes—the ones that could give Louis Vuitton a run for his money—were barely noticeable.
A couple of weeks into the program I began to feel like I’ve gotten a handle on what I should be eating. I’ve started exercising 5x a week. And that elliptical that I couldn’t even stay on for 5 mins? I began keeping a steady pace for 30-45 mins at a time, sometimes going as far as 6 miles!! It’s amazing really when I think about it. Clothes that I hadn’t been able to wear started to fit again.
A month after starting Weight Watchers and working out, I put back on the shirt and jacket from the dreaded aquarium photo. This time though they looked a little different…
After losing about 10 lbs, there’s no more “i look six months pregnant even when I’m SO not” belly and I can button all of the buttons on my jacket. I don’t even remember the last time that happened.
(Maybe it’s important to mention that I’m only 5′ tall. So 10 lbs on me looks a lot more than on taller people.)
It has now been 6 weeks since I started Weight Watchers and I’m down 15 lbs and counting! I’m halfway to my goal and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. I already feel better—both physically and emotionally. I’m not nearly as tired and sluggish feeling. I can run and play with my kids without being out of breath. My confidence is coming back. I feel happier and ready to take on new things. And I honestly can not wait to see what happens and how my body changes in these next 6 weeks.
A few people have started to tell me that I’ve been an inspiration to them, which is extremely flattering and humbling. I never imagined I would inspire anyone with this experience. I am no one special. I am just like you. Exercising and dieting do not come easy for me. I just made a decision to start and see what happens (because, honestly, it couldn’t hurt). If this is something that’s been weighing on you—maybe you’ve been going back and forth with yourself over making a change, for your health or otherwise—my advice would be just get started! Today. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Give yourself a time frame and really commit. Then just see what happens!
We all deserve to be able to find our happy!