I received a letter in the mail last week that I'm seriously considering framing and hanging on my wall.
A couple of weeks ago, I went in for my first round of blood tests following my first diagnosis of being "borderline pre-diabetic." I'd been on some medicine for about two months, had been working out for about three, so it was time for a check-up.
The letter held all of my results, and I'm delighted, happy, excited, estatic, thrilled and jumping for joy to say: I passed with flying colors!
Sugar, cholesterol, and other things that I don't understand – all good!
The only problem area is my "good" cholesterol, but my doctor gave me tips to raise that number.
But the biggies – sugar and "bad" cholesterol – were good.
This makes me happy.
This makes all of the sweat, blisters, tired muscles, salads and saying, "no, I can't have that" worth it!
Also: I've lost 31 pounds, and at 37 pounds I'll have reached exactly half of my weight loss goal.
When I started this weight loss journey, I was in a size 16.
I've been a steady size 14 since I was in high school. Occasionally I could fit into a 12, if they were cut large and forgiving. Only after college have I had to venture into the land of 16's.
Well. Lately, my size 14's were getting large – and therefore annoying.
So last night I went (cheap) jeans shopping with one of my best friends, Spencer.
I was absently digging through jeans, pulling out a few that I thought would be the correct length (aren't most women about 5'4" or 5'5"? How is it so hard to fit me, then, since I'm about smack in the middle?).
Finally Spencer kind of yelled at me – "Why are you pulling out 14's?"
"Because it's my size!"
And he said, "NO IT'S NOT."
It kinda hit me then that I was really and truly a size 12. FINALLY!
As I told Spencer, I've just always grabbed for a 14. I've never had any business looking at smaller sizes, so I just automatically started looking for the number I knew. But, I'm a 12. Finally.
I can't even imagine being in a 10. That just seems... impossible.
But then again, ever being in a 12 seemed impossible too.
But it looks like it is possible. Just a change in the way I eat (and think about eating), and making sure I hit the gym every night...
Just gotta stay on track!
I'd finally reached this magical, less than 200 (!!!!!) number, right before I left for my annual Halloween trip to New Orleans with my best friends. Then, just a few days before we left, the scale bumped back up to 199... then 200.
I was heartbroken. I was working out so hard, eating well, so what was wrong? I had my suspicious, but I didn't want to believe them.
So, I went on the trip. I thought, I was going to have a good time and eat a little bit of sugar, and I'd just have to deal with whatever the scale said when I returned. I'd eat healthier and work out harder to shed whatever good times added to my belly and thighs.
On the trip, I ate as well as I could. I probably had too many diet sodas, things like that, but for the most part I stayed on track. One of my best friends, Lori, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about two years ago, so we helped keep each other in check on this trip.
I didn't really work out. But, on Halloween, we walked for hours around New Orleans' French Quarter, and danced. Our legs were so exhausted and sore the next day. That's gotta count for something!
On Halloween, it was weird to go to Target and not load up on candy, like I usually do with my friends. While most of them bought four-pound bags of candy (and, I won't lie, I was jealous!), I opted for one small bag of Jelly Bellys (hey, a little bit of sugar won't hurt, and they are my favorite candies) and some super-delicious pumpkin-spiced almonds. Lori bought some Skinny Cow candy bars.
That night, we went out on the town in New Orleans, and, as always, we ended the night with an order, each, of beignets from Cafe du Monde.
I've always been a huge beignets fan. This year, though... I liked the first one. It was hard to eat the second one – I, all of the sudden, couldn't figure out what was so good about them. I barely choked down the last one, leaving about a third of it on the plate.
I guess my tastes really have change. In years past, I'd gobble down my beignets and seriously consider ordering a second round. This year, I didn't even finish all three.
I came home with mixed feelings. I just knew, with the sugar I ate and the fried beignets drenched in powdered sugar, that I had to have gained. I was above 200, surely. Still, my clothes were feeling baggier than ever. What gives?
I weighed last night.
Here's the thing. I think the biggest reason I lost weight on my trip – besides eating relatively well and walking and dancing – was that I left my favorite food here in Tupelo: frozen grapes with salt.
I've been obsessed, in the last few weeks, with eating frozen grapes covered in salt. Trust me, y'all, this is yummy. But I know I've been eating too much salt, and grapes are basically pure sugar. This treat has been my late-night snack, but for three days, I didn't have them, and it seems the weight has fallen off. It just proves you can eat too much of foods that seem healthy.
Looks like I'll have to give this up. Too bad, but I'm ready to see more results. I am THISCLOSE to losing 30 pounds. Very excited!
I haven't weighed in a while, so I'm assuming I'm still about where I was: I've lost more than 25, ALMOST 30, since starting this in late July/earlyAugust.
I've had lots of people ask me, specifically, what I'm doing to lose weight. It's not a fun answer, but it's one anyone should expect: I'm eating better AND working out. Doing both is the key. You can't just do one and expect results.
Here are a few specifics on what I'm doing. Keep in mind, this is only what works for me, and I am NOT YOUR DOCTOR OR TRAINER!!!! I had some help: I went to my doctor and she gave me this eating plan, and I went to my gym and they showed me the machines I needed to know. That's how I got started.
My doctor said I'm heading toward diabetes, but that this diet would help stop that. It's basically the low-carb diet. Here are a few tips from that:
– Yeah, no bread, sorry. The only bread I have is whole wheat. Actually, any kind of bread/cracker/cookie/whatever I can have must be whole wheat and in very limited quantities (think 2 slices a day).
– No potatoes, carrots or beets – these are pure startches and will turn to sugar immediately. It's hard to do this, especially since it seems every restaurant wants to make your only side options some kind of potato (fries, baked potato, mashed potato, potato salad) but see if they'll work with you for another side.
– Meat should be lean cuts, and little or no pork or beef.
– Nothing fried!
– Anything artificially sweetened is OK, but don't go overboard with them. I can have two servings of diet sodas a day, for example.
Again, please check with your own doctor about what kinds of foods you should eat. It's so helpful.
As for exercise, my gym worked with me on a plan when I joined. They only showed me the machines that would help me lose weight, like the cardio machines and the circuit machines. When I first joined, I basically would use the bike or elliptical machine for about 15 minutes, and then would hit the circuit for about 30. Now, I'm doing 15 of elliptical, about 15 or so walking/running on the treadmill and about 15 on circuit. Kinda had to spice it up, ya know?
One trainer showed me a few strength machines last month, so I'm sure I'll continue to work those in.
The important thing is that, no matter what machine I'm on, I'm getting my heart rate up and going for a good long steady amount of time.
So far, I have the results I'm looking for. The weight is not just falling off, but it's coming off, slowly and surely.
Some days I'll weigh a few pounds more than I did the day before, and yeah, that's a heart-breaker. But it just makes me eat a little better and work out a little harder.