So I kind of stopped blogging. I didn’t stop knitting, crocheting, baking, or any of that other stuff. I just ran out of things to say.
Plus I found a new hobby. I’ve kind of been immersed in what can most easily be described as “fitness.” Working out, healthy eating, that sort of thing. Books, blogs, movies, TV specials, even Pinterest boards. A million people already have blogs about fitness and nutrition and I’m an expert in neither so hemmed and hawed about blogging about it for a bit, but now I just want to talk about my new hobby. If there’s an audience or not I don’t really mind, so feel free to tune out when you see posts in these categories.
And I suppose I should give fair warning. Since I like to talk about my personal results there might be information some might not want to see. Progress photos, lab numbers, a chubby person in a sports bra, etc.
Where I Was
I don’t have many photos of myself from around 2007. That’s when I recognized that I wanted to change.
I am 5 feet, 1 inch tall and my highest recorded weight was 185 pounds. My BMI was 35, which is class II obesity. I was insulin resistant, on the path to diabetes and my cholesterol was far too high for a young woman just starting her life.
I had graduated from college and was working at a desk from 8 am to 5 pm. I sat in the car, sat at my desk, sat on the couch. The amount of physical activity I engaged in dropped to zero.
I was in charge of my meals. I had a kitchen and my own cupboards and refrigerator and a grown-up paycheck to buy whatever I wanted. I ate absolute junk. Junk, non-stop! To make matters even worse I have celiac disease and I didn’t take care of it properly.
Strangely, during this time I know I tried to be healthy. The problem was I had no idea how to do it. And since I made mistakes – ineffective “exercise” programs, diets that were far too severe to last – things just got worse.
Eventually I figured it out. Well, I figured out what works for me. I have goals, and those include never neglecting my health again.
Where I’ve Been
In July of 2007 it was time to make a change. I began seeing an obesity specialist. An endocrinologist helped me get everything back in order medically and their dietitian focused on my diet. They taught me how to make a healthy diet into a habit, what foods to eat and when, and importance of things other than calories.
The doctor also put me on a dose of phentermine. Phentermine is a psychostimulant used as an appetite suppressant. Behavior changes with food were easier to make when I wasn’t feeling a nagging urge to eat the same junk food I’d grown accustomed to.
I stopped eating fast food. I stopped eating pre-packaged frozen “meals.” I ate vegetables and fruits and finally took my celiac disease seriously and never, ever touched gluten. I began to walk to work, then I began to exercise before work as well. I started doing the Couch 2 5K program.
I began to lose weight. Eventually it was time to stop taking phentermine. One of the long-term side-effects of phentermine is a loss of appetite, and this happened to me. After I stopped taking it I had no interest in eating whatsoever. It took about a year after stopping the medication before I was felt properly hungry again.
I don’t regret taking the drug, because it helped me form habits that are still beneficial today. But these sort of things aren’t for everyone, and they don’t always help.
When I stopped taking phentermine my weight was about 135 pounds. What a change I had made in my life!
My BMI was 25.5. I was now at the low end of overweight and I felt amazing. Shortly after this time I made some big life changes. I moved in with my significant other, which meant I could no longer walk to work, and we got married. Being at home with my new husband in our new life, we got a bit lazy. I stopped exercising.
I gained a bit more weight. Back up to around 160 pounds.
I knew I could lose it. I knew I could because I did it before. But this time I had no doctors, no dietitians, no pills. I had knowledge, ambition and a milestone birthday approaching. I promised to be in the best shape of my life by the time I turned 30.
The first thing I did was join SparkPeople.com and used their food trackers to note my daily intake – calories, fat, fiber and protein.
The second thing I did was start a simple exercise program with elements I knew would keep me engaged. I used EA Sports Active – a video game. Trophies and other achievements helped motivate me to exercise every day.
After about a year of video game exercises I decided to get a gym membership. Now I go to the gym before work four times a week. I meet with a trainer and I’m learning how to lift weights.
Today I weigh 125 pounds. My BMI is 23.6 and my body fat percentage is 24%. Earlier this month I ran a 5K. I can’t believe what my body is capable of now. I’ve accomplished goals and set new ones.
Where I’m Going is yet to be determined. I hope wherever it is I’m happy and healthy like I am today.