It has been a while since I’ve updated you on my progress in the getting fitter and healthier department.
Just because I haven’t updated you doesn’t mean I’m not still getting fitter and healthier.
But while the title of this post is Week 32, this getting healthier thing didn’t start thirty-two weeks ago.
It started five years ago.
Anyone can drop a bunch of weight in a relatively short period of time.
I mean, I did it five years ago.
In 2013, I was the heaviest I had ever been (not being pregnant).
So once I knew I was done having kids, I joined a weight loss competition at my gym and worked out like a psychopath for hours a day for a couple months, and I lost about forty pounds, and was the leanest I had been in years.
Here I am:
But, like pretty much all of the contestants on The Biggest Loser, over the course of the last five years, I gained back all the weight I had lost.
And then some.
Because I wasn’t trying to change my lifestyle.
I was in pursuit of the body I had on my honeymoon.
I was focused purely on my outsides. My shell.
I remember I wrote a post about being “white tank-top ready” (or something like that) back then.
I was chasing a body that I thought, at the time, was not worthy of wearing a white tank top (because you can see all your midsection imperfections in a white tank top).
So my only goal was to lose weight.
Unfortunately, the issue for me (and for many of us) was that I made drastic changes in my lifestyle that were not manageable in the long run.
So many of us make short-sighted changes for the sole purpose of losing weight.
We don’t make changes to lead a healthier lifestyle or to set a better example for our children.
We just want to drop some serious pounds and we want to do it FAST.
But those short-sighted goals are what lead most of us to fall off the wagon at some point.
It has taken me a long, loooooong time to figure this out.
And now I am 32 weeks into making smaller, more manageable changes in my life that have become habits.
And these small habits add up to big changes over months and years.
But so many of us are looking for instant gratification. And there aren’t many long-term results that appear overnight.
So when we go that route, eventually most of us give up and end up right back where we started.
That’s where I found myself back in March.
Heavier than I had ever been!
BUT, while I was heavier than I had ever been, I was not unhealthier than I had ever been.
In fact, my heavier-than-ever body was healthier than my honeymoon body.
That honeymoon body drank lots of booze and smoked at least a pack a day. Usually two.
But over the last five years, exercise has become a habit for me. A habit that I now (mostly) look forward to every day, not because I’m doing it to lose weight, but because I want to maintain my quality of life for as long as possible. Plus it keeps my brain clear and stops me from wanting to strangle people.
Just kidding about the strangling people.
In any case, you will not be an active older person without exercise.
That’s why I move my ass every day.
So back in March of 2018 I was here:
But there is muscle under there. (Unlike the honeymoon picture where I had very little muscle).
Before I go any further, let me reiterate that these May 2018 pictures are not about fat shaming.
My self-esteem is pretty intact at any weight.
I happily and comfortably wear a bikini in the summer, no matter what size I am.
But I do have some fitness goals that I will not be able to attain at that March 2018 weight.
The biggest fitness goal?
I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
It will be very difficult to do that at my current weight.
Plus, I am carrying more weight on my body than I would like to. I can feel it when I run and when I swim and I want to change that.
But this time around I am doing it gradually.
I am making very small, manageable changes that are sticking.
Exercise has stuck.
Now I am working on the food.
One of the reasons I gained so much weight in the last few years is because I was using food to manage my stress.
Another problem for me is that I have some serious issues with portion control, and I have no idea how much food I am eating.
So I am working on that.
I am portioning out food, and I am prepping and planning better.
I’m not awesome at it yet.
But I’m getting there.
I have a container in the fridge for my food.
When I am super organized, all my meals are in there.
One thing about forming new habits is that you have to make them as easy as possible.
If you want to eat healthier, you have to change the way you eat! It’s pretty simple.
But simple and easy aren’t the same thing.
Easy is polishing off the food your kids’ leave on their plates.
So in order to not do that, I am making prepping my meals a habit.
I am not starving. I eat plenty of food.
There is something to be said for eating food that you put some attention into.
I don’t do this every day.
And I still go off the rails.
I ate Halloween candy.
I still have ice cream sometimes.
Sometimes I find myself eating something off one of the kids’ plates without even realizing it.
But I’m getting there, one small habit at a time.
I’m losing weight gradually, and I’m getting fitter.
In May I ran a 5K race, and finished in 33:00.
In October, I ran the Hartford Marathon. My time was not my best — nowhere near it — but I finished in under 5 hours which was my goal. I had only trained for seven weeks, and that’s pretty awesome.
Skinny Honeymoon Susie NEVER could have done that.
A couple weeks ago I ran the Halloween 5K here in town.
My goal was to break 30 minutes.
I did a 30:05.
But three minutes faster than six months earlier.
I’m stronger than I was thirty-two weeks ago.
And I’m lighter than I was thirty-two weeks ago.
And I’m healthier than I was thirty-two weeks ago.
I’m excited to see where I am in another thirty-two weeks!
If you are trying to make changes in your life, be patient, be persistent, and focus on small, easy, sustainable changes.
If I can do it, so can you!