FYI…total disclaimer here…this post isn’t meant to be ANY sort of medical advice, suggestions, etc…nobody should start a workout program without first checking with their doctor, yadda yadda yadda…
A little less than a year ago, I had to go shopping for clothes and I was disgusted with myself to realize I’d crept up in size again. From a 22 to a 24. I’d been a size 20 for years and I was okay with that…not dancing on the moon happy, but okay. Less okay with a 22. Then I hit the size 24. And um…well, lets just say I wasn’t okay. At all.
In November of 2009, I decided I’d had enough. I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror and it had nothing to do with what society says I should like. I wasn’t happy with what I saw. I didn’t feel healthy, even though I didn’t generally eat that much, and even though I was fairly active—I hit the YMCA often, I worked out, I wasn’t a couch potato.
But I was a size 24…and I was fed up.
So I did something about it. It wasn’t a diet, because guys…one thing I finally figured out…diets do not work.
It’s all about changing how you eat, how you live, those ‘lifestyle changes’ that you hear? Well, that’s how you lose weight, and the first step is finding your limit. Whatever sets you off, because it has to be for you. Doing it because somebody wants you to, because somebody else thinks it’s a good idea or even because you think maybe it’s a good idea…that’s not going to do it. You have to find your limit—that point where you are just fed up and you’re not going to keep going on the way you have been.
For me…it was a size 24.
I changed how I eat. While there’s no ‘set’ diet plan that I follow, the ‘white food’ diet where you cut out the ‘bad’ carbs like potatoes, white bread, etc is close to what I do. I eat lean meats, lots of veggies, yogurt, that sort of thing.
I’d been ‘trying’ to run off and on for a while, but once I hit my limit, it wasn’t ‘trying’ to run. I made myself to do it. And um… please, don’t say… Oh, hell, I can’t run. I’m asthmatic, I’ve got a knee I messed up in a car wreck when I was twenty and back issues I deal with off and on. If a doctor had told me I couldn’t run? Then yeah, I wouldn’t have tried. But that’s medical advice. Me thinking I can’t run? Different story. Because two years ago? I thought, Oh, hell, I can’t run…I’ve got asthma, my knee is screwed up…etc, etc, etc.
The word can’t is one colossal word—because if somebody believes they can’t…well, there ya go. Deciding you can is what shrinks that word down to size.
I decided I could run. And I did.
First I started at about an 1/8 of a mile, then I’d walk an 1/8, then I’d run an 1/8, then I’d walk…until I’d gone an entire mile. Four or five days a week.
Then I was able to slowly work it up to running ¼ of a mile, then walking ¼ , then running, then walking…then ½, and so on, and so on. I’m now up to where I can run three miles several times a week. Once, I even managed four. And sometime in the next year or so, I’m going to running in one of those 5k/3mile mini marathons. Just to prove to myself I can.
Two years ago, I was one of those people who would have said, Oh, I can’t run.
I’ve had a few people tell me that with my knee bothering me or my back bothering me, I should try a different exercise, but actually, running has helped. I still hate it. But since I changed how I eat, since I started running, my asthma has improved, the weight loss has taken strain of my knee so my knee is actually better—walking upstairs no longer hurts my knee the way it used to, and running doesn’t hurt my knee the way it used to. My back doesn’t hurt the way it used to.
And I still hate running.
I love French fries. I miss McDonald’s sweet tea.
Making these changes hasn’t been fun. It’s hard work.
But…I’m down more than 55 pounds and I’ve gone from a size 24 in womens to a size 14/16 in missy’s. I’m out of the plus department. Bra size? From a 42C to 38D. (Yeah, I don’t get that either).
I look better than I have in years, and I feel better than I have in years. So while I’m running (and hating every step), I’m loving the way I feel now, and I love going shopping for new clothes.
Is it easy? No. But it’s easier now than it was before I hit that size 24. Because that size 24 was my limit. I was done with it. That’s how you decide to make changes, I guess. You find your limit…and start making changes.
Shiloh Walker, twitloss lurker, griper, reluctant runner