Slow and steady.
Monday, August 01, 2011
I've been losing weight since 2007...sloooowwwwwly. So slowly. It seems that about once a year, I have a small gain and then there is a few months a year that I have some really consistent weight loss, and the rest of each year seems to be a balancing act of practicing the right habits and meeting exercise goals.
In 2009, I started following a sparkfriend who really inspired me. Boy, we need those success stories, especially when we're struggling. It was just amazing to me to see someone lose 80 pounds in a year. She got down to 125 pounds from almost 200 pounds. I started at 181 pounds and my goal is 115 pounds (I'm short), so I was keen to see how she achieved similar goals. Even though I was uber impressed with what she accomplished, a part of me was wondering why I couldn't just focus intensively for a short period of time and get to maintenance.
I was particularly impressed with this sparkfriend's running successes as a result of getting in shape. Exercise has been a major component of my weightloss journey, and running has helped me set and stick to goals along the way. Her running 10K times were so impressive and she seemed to be doing more and better all the time.
I recently caught up on her blogs for 2010, and this is where my heart breaks. She got a running injury, then another, then surgery...twice. No exercise at all. 80 pounds re-gained in less than a year. I could just feel her frustration and I was so discouraged for her!!
What's great is that she's still here and still focused. Now, that's determination. But man, what a tough journey!!
So, I thought to myself, yep, I still need to lose 30 pounds. Yep, I'm on year 4. Nope, haven't yet tasted goal. But, no major gains, no major set-backs. I've had an over-training injury but caught it in time to listen to my body and plan for a full recovery while I scaled back my running and focused on cross-training. I've never stopped exercising or doing a lot of other "right" habits, even though I still struggle with bad habits. I've adjusted calorie intake where calorie output wasn't as high and made lots of incremental shifts aong the way.
So, here's what I've accomplished at 40 pounds of losing weight over 4 years. I've stuck out this journey of life change through 4 years of Christmas celebrations (we all know how hard that time of year can be), I've finished a very stressful full-time university degree and started a full-time career path during that time, I've seen my girls grow from infants to school-age bundles of energy, our home has added a cat and a dog, money issues have gone up and down and up and down in the roller coaster of raising a young family, me and dh are consistently taking the time for each other that we need, I've run a couple half-marathons, a full marathon, and most importantly, I've been able to finish training for these events and adjust my calories back to a "normal" range. And finally, even with the little gains that seem to show up once a year, I've consistently lost more than I've gained, and I continue to increase my overall fitness that challenges me to keep moving forward.
My goal right now is to really enjoy the journey. Embrace it. Today is mine. Every choice I make at this weight is the only day I have. Every step toward a healthier me doesn't take away from the success of today. The last 4 years have been so enjoyable and successful. Just because I haven't reached goal is surprisingly beside the point. So, I don't intend to regret where I'm not yet when I have so much to celebrate today.