Sunday, August 9, 2009

45 lbs and Counting

So, back in September, I hit the tipping point. I was 21, weighed 214 pounds, wore a size 16 jean, and even carefully posed pictures in which I sucked in my stomach, tried to stand in a way that made my legs look long, couldn't hide it. I was fat. My BMI was 33.8 and my body fat percentage, which placed me indisputably in the obesity range, clocked in at 44%. My blood pressure was roughly 150/80 (which is considered rather high). Although my body's tendency to store fat in my butt and hips made me look about ten pounds lighter than my actual weight, the scale does not lie, and neither does a body fat percentage reading.

I did that thing people usually scoff at, and yet wish they could try, because who knows if it would actually make a positive, significant difference: I hired a trainer. He did not laugh when I told him my final goal was somewhere between 140 and 150 (a 60-70 pound weight loss), and he told me honestly that it would be slow, but it was possible. After a grueling maximum-heart-rate test and carefully examining the damage years of not exercising and eating too much had done to my body (my right side was much tighter than my left, and my hip joints so un-flexible I could barely complete a squat) he started me on a seven-day a week program which included an hour on the stationary bike five times a week, and meeting with him twice a week for a half hour of weight training followed by another half hour on the bike. I stopped snacking, cut down my portion sizes, and focused on eating whole, natural foods. I aimed for 1500 calories a day, although I did not always make it.

I lost six pounds in three weeks. I was ecstatic. It would be slow, but it was possible.

Today is August 9, almost a year since my September tipping point. The last time I checked, I weighed 170 pounds. I have lost 44 pounds. I still have 20-30 to lose, but I am not only convinced I can do it, I am excited to. I have in the past year discovered how much fun healthy food can be. My boyfriend and I now scour the weekly farmers market, and organic grocery stores looking for local, ethically sourced food which we can feel proud to eat. My love of food remains, it simply has a different manifestation. Equally as important, however, I have found a new addiction: running. After three months of biking, and two on the elliptical my trainer suggested I try running in 15 minute intervals with five minute walk breaks in between, soon it was twenty minute intervals, then 30, then I ran for a full 45 minutes, without any breaks, and it felt unbelievable. My goal is to run a marathon next summer. Although I am starting with a 10k this November.

My trainer recently recommended I do a blog, to inspire others he said, but its more than that too. Its for me, its so that I recognize, and realize what I am accomplishing on those days where I struggle, and its so that five, ten, fifteen years down the line I remember, how these last thirty pounds came off.

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