Weekly Update #28

You’ve always had the power…

Earlier this week as happens often lately a co-worker stops me while walking down the hall and inevitably asks “Alright, what’s your secret?”. This question always gets a chuckle out of me mostly because I’ve never pictured myself as an example of healthy living, but also because we all know that it’s about hard work and dedication.

I remember a time when I sought the proverbial secret and all I found was a long chain of disappointments along the way. I was listening to an interview this week and in the course of the conversation the guest made a reference to the Wizard of Oz that resonated with me. Granted when he was using it he was making fun of project management certifications but none the less it made me reflect on my weight loss journey.

When I started this whole thing I was making use of the LoseIt app and after setting up my account the application said that I would reach my weight loss goal in 587 days. That number was so overwhelming to me it seemed like an Everest sized mountain. I remember confiding with my best friend and she didn’t blink and said “You’ve got this I believe in you”. Her faith in me gave me the initial push I needed to get going because I lacked faith in myself.

Just like Dorothy I found a way to surround myself with people that would give me courage, love and wisdom. I’m grateful for this welcoming community that we have.

Today is day 512 and I’ve learned much along the way but the most rewarding lesson is that I always had the power I just needed to learn it for myself but not by myself.

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?

Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.

Dorothy: I have?

Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?

Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

Weekly Update #27

Progress Picture

I was looking back through my Facebook photos and found one of myself from back in 2009 prior to starting my weight loss journey I was 34 at the time. It’s shocking to me how much I’ve changed. I don’t have many pictures of myself prior to my weight loss because I was ashamed to get photographed.

I have dinner with my Mom & Sister every Friday evening and this last Friday we got a surprise visit from my Brother, Sister-In-Law and my Nephew. They showed up with a Pizza and some Pizza Dough Donuts. Fortunately for me I had already finished my meal and was not hungry. Even though they tried to insist that I partake of their food. Pizza is one of my major weaknesses when it comes to food but I’m glad to say that my discipline won over the temptation.

We sat around the table and had a fun talking about old times. It’s fascinating to me how much I allowed my weight to become my excuse from having a meaningful relationship with them. I was in a very dark place of my own making. I really love them and being around them but the fear of rejection and judgement kept me away. Losing this weight and learning to love myself has made me free to open up to them and welcome them back into my life. It’s these little things that make the most difference to me and continue to keep me motivated.

Weekly Update #26

Birthday Cards

Last week I had the good fortune to celebrate my 40th birthday. I’ve accomplished a lot in this last year and I am extremely proud. I love to imagine what my dad would have had to say to me. I’d love to hear him say that he was proud and I would love to exchange one of our silly secret handshakes. But knowing my dad all he would have said is “… [live a] life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” – Colossians 1:10

I was in my early 30’s when my dad passed away do to complications during surgery caused by his Multiple Myeloma. The day before the surgery my dad spoke with me and asked me to take care of my mom should anything happen. I walked out of that room with no fear that he would be fine and that the surgery was going to be a success. Sadly things didn’t turn out as we had hoped and that would be the last conversation I had with my father. Up to that point in my life I’d been a rather carefree person focused on my career. My father was my compass he helped me thru tons of situations in my life and now my compass was gone forever.

At this point in my life I was already at least 100 lbs overweight. I remember not crying when my dad first passed away but a few months later I found myself on the side of the road with a flat tire and the reality that he was not there any more sunk in and I lost it. I was lost in this limbo for several years I dealt with the loss the only way I knew how which was by burying myself in my work and eating junk food. I had quit hanging out with my friends and became a recluse (something I still struggle with today). Eventually I got myself turned around and I took control over my life which helped me get healthy.

I’m sharing this because even though I’ve managed to lose over 200 lbs the habits that helped me get to 438 lbs are still a part of who I am and I think that it’s important that I acknowledge them so that I may be able to change them.

Weekly Update #25

FitBit Company Challenge

Last week was pretty fantastic if only because something that I never imagined would happen. The company I work for has decided to put together a FitBit challenge as a way of encouraging folks to get healthy. I personally thought that this was a great idea because it would be something that all staff members would be able to participate in on account that it wasn’t weight loss specific challenge as we have had in the past. I realize not everyone needs to lose weight at a company so making the challenge more focused on accumulating a 10,000 steps per day with the over all goal of reaching 3 million steps as an organization is a fair way to include all. Well shortly after the challenge was announced I called my HR representative and asked to join the challenge. About an hour later I received a phone call from a random co-worker from our headquarters in Virgina whom I’ve never met because I work out of a satellite office in Florida. I answered the phone with my cheerful hello how may I help you tone when all of the sudden I hear this voice on the other line ask “Are you training for a marathon?” I started to laugh like I haven’t laughed in a long time and I told him no. I had get to take a look at the company challenge leader board to see how I ranked. Well it turns out that I eclipsed the entire company in number of steps by a significant amount. The sad part was that the reason for the phone call was because they were wanting to determine if they should even participate because it was clear that non of them would even have a chance to beat my placement on the leader board.

I was in shock how far I’ve come in this last year the thought that I could intimidate anyone because of my physical fitness would have been beyond belief a year ago. I contacted the HR department and told them that I would pass on any prizes or rewards in the interest that other individuals at my company would not be motivated to participate. Not to mention that the phone call alone was an amazing reward in that it boosted my self-esteem tremendously.

In other news today is my 40th birthday and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve achieved several of the goals that I’d set for myself and my outlook for the future is quite bright.

Weekly Update #24

Current Weight is 231.4 lbs
Previous Weight was 232.4 lbs

I lost 1 lb this week I was aiming for 1.42 lbs. I worked out 6 days last week and burned an average of 2787 (In the interest of clarity 1978/day as estimated by workout equipment. The other 809/day are from FitBit which causes the number to be skewed on account that some of these calories have been accounted for by the workout equipment) calories per day in exercise. Consumed an average of 1700 – 2000 calories per day.

206.6 lbs lost

As of today I am 26 lbs away from my goal weight and I’ve decided that starting next week I will no longer be posting my weight though if you are interested you will be able to see it on my LoseIt profile. This is a change that I am putting in place because I want to take the focus off of scale and more towards just my general happiness and health. The focus of these weekly updates is going to shift to talking more about my accomplishments during the week. This change will help me in my transition into my maintenance phase and help me keep a positive attitude and hopefully serve as encouragement for all of you. That being said I want to start by sharing a look back at my journey into physical fitness.

When I started tracking my activity back on December of 2013 I barely moved more than 3.23 miles in an entire week. It wasn’t until February of 2014 that I chose to introduce the gym to my weight loss process mostly due to the fact that I was to heavy for most of the equipment.

3.23 Miles

But now after a little over a year I’m able to knock out almost 50 miles worth of movement in a week. I remember that prior to losing any weight I would always have to park close to the entrance of whatever place I was going to because I couldn’t walk very far without losing my breath. Standing for any length of time was a struggle because my knees would start to hurt which meant that I was constantly sitting. I’m incredibly proud of how I’ve turned my life around.

49.29 miles

Goal for this week is to consume no more than 1650 calories per day. Burn an average of 1772 calories per day in exercise over 6 day period. Weight loss goal is to lose 1.41 lbs.