Something happened to me a few weeks ago that I’ve been wanting to tell you all about. Only, I don’t know if I can explain the exact moment it happened. I don’t know what sparked it. I don’t know why it happened that day rather than any other day. I wish I knew, but I don’t. All I know is that something flicked a switch inside my brain a few weeks ago and it has changed everything about my daily life.
I realized something was different when one of my girlfriends asked if I wanted to go to the gym. Instead of making an excuse, I genuinely wanted to go with her. We went again the next day. I went by myself a few days after that. Then I went alone again the next day. And I’ve been going every second day since, either alone or with a friend.
Now, clearly this isn’t the first time I’ve ever worked out. I played sports and swam as a kid. I’ve been going to gym classes for years. And I trained for and ran my first 5K last summer. But this is the first time I have felt the motivation to lose the extra weight I’ve been carrying around for years.
I’ve always been honest with you all about my debt and the mistakes I’m learning from it, while working through my financial situation. At times, those have been some of the scariest numbers I’ve ever looked at. They have literally taken my breath away and caused me to standstill, sometimes paralyzed with fear. Now, as I’m close to reaching the halfway point, I’m finally ready and confident that I can start tackling a new number.
Excuse me while I let out a deep sigh and prepare to reveal the digits no girl likes to say out loud. Just two weeks ago, on February 27th, I weighed in at 206.2 lbs. At 5’7″, that’s considered to be obese. And, unfortunately, I’ve been sitting at that weight for at least 2 years, if not even longer. Although I have never let my weight define me, and have been complimented on my confidence more times than I can count, it’s there. But I want it gone, once and for all.
So, on top of counting the pennies that go in and out of my hands on a daily basis, I recently started counting something else: my calories. I created an account on Lose It!, rubbed the magical app and told it the number I wished to see (150 lbs.). In response, the app gave me three options for how quickly I could lose the weight. I chose to lose 1.5 lbs. per week which would land me at my goal weight in November 2012. For that to happen, Lose It says I can eat about 1700 calories per day (which, as I’m realizing, lets me eat a lot of delicious and healthy food). I’ve been working with that daily calorie intake ever since and like to think of it as my second budget.
On top of counting my calories, I’ve been going to the gym 4x per week. Most people think my gym schedule is insane; not that I’m going every second day but the hour at which I’ve been going. On Tuesday and Thursday, I get to the gym somewhere between 5:40 and 5:50 a.m. This gives me just enough time to workout, come home, eat something and get ready for work. On Saturday and Sunday, I like to get there when they open at 7:00 a.m.
I have always been a morning person, so this schedule is perfect for me. And, if I’m being totally honest, I’m forcing myself to go in the morning because I know myself. When I come home from work, there is not a chance you’ll talk me into going to the gym. By 5pm, my eyes hurt, I’m tired and I know I still have homework or other writing to do. I don’t feel as though I can spare any time in the evening and, if I can, I’d probably rather read in a hot bath or get some extra sleep.
But mornings are different. I crawl out of bed while it’s still dark out, make myself sweat at the gym, then come home and shower it all off. It kickstarts my day and then the rest of the hours are all mine. The fact that I have been able to find a schedule that works for me and my lifestyle often reminds me of the time it took me to learn how to budget. It took a few weeks of calorie counting for me to see where I was going wrong and what I could cut back on, and both my eating habits and gym schedule now revolve around my strengths, weaknesses and goals. In two weeks, I’m already down 5.4 lbs. Only 50.8 to go.
When I first started all of this, I found that there were a million-and-one pictures and quotes on Pinterest that either described how I was feeling or motivated me to push myself towards my goal. The first that really stuck with me is the one at the top of this post. As cliché as it might sound, I think of that quote on a daily basis. The second I just found the other day. It explains how I feel every hour of every day now, and I have to share it with you:
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours. It is an amazing journey. And you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life rely begins.”
– Bob Moawad
I’m done making excuses for my weight, just as I used to about my debt. There will be no more “soon”s or “one day”s. I want to be comfortable in my skin, and in my clothes, and I want to be a weight that I remember being at close to 10 years ago. And the best part is that I’m finally done caring about how my losing weight could affect others; this is important for me, my health and my future. And I’m going to kick the number 206.2 back to 2011, where it can stay.
When did your life really begin?