Monday, January 13, 2014

What a difference six months make!

I have survived Snowpocalypse 2014!  Between late last week and over the weekend, my city got somewhere between 16-18 inches of snow.  The second storm, which gave us 10-12 inches was followed by sub-zero temperatures.  Seriously, it was like 45 degrees below zero with the windchill. One local weatherman reported that is was six degrees colder here in Indianapolis that in the SOUTH POLE.  Cold people.  For here, anyway.  So we got a ton of snow and didn't leave our house Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.  My workplace was actually closed Monday and Tuesday.  And the roads are still crummy, though improving.  So yeah, that was a fun and interesting start to the year.

But before that happened, I got to see my awesome friend Paul who moved from Indy to Texas a few years ago.  We had lunch and talked and talked.  He's working on a story/screenplay and we're bouncing ideas back and forth about it which I am super excited about.

SO!  Onto the title of this post.  As of today, it has been six months since I started trying to eat better, get healthier, and lose weight.  So I want to take a second to reflect on that.  I've tried to get healthy before, with varying success, but no attempt lasted very long or made huge impact.  I don't know why this time was different.  My mom says I was just ready.  I'm not sure if I simply found the right combination or if I was more determined, or if it was fueled by being unhappy with my appearance, but the motivation finally kicked in and as the weight started to come off, I was excited and encouraged.

I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app to my phone and tracking my calorie intake.  I was immediately shocked by how quickly the calories add up and just how many are in the kinds of foods I ate.  I started making some significant changes that worked for me--eating more fruits and veggies (low cal, filling), finding low cal "treats" to satisfy my sweet tooth while keeping my calories on track, drinking more water, eating smaller portions, and most importantly not depriving myself of food I love.  The last was was crucial for me.  If I completely cut out certain foods and treats, I just won't stick to a diet plan.  I like burgers and fries and pizza and ice cream.  And I can have those things--in moderation and sometimes slightly different than I would have before.  For example, I don't need a double cheeseburger.  A single is plenty.  And often I skip the bun or bread altogether.  Treats and ice cream are an indulgence and usually I just have a very small amount.  I trick my mind into thinking that one piece of pizza is two by cutting it in half (sounds silly, I know).  I tried and enjoyed vinaigrette instead of creamy french dressing.  Little changes made a world of difference. 

But eating better wouldn't do it all, I knew I had to get active.  I started off just walking.  Then I got out the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video I bought just before I found out I was pregnant with AJ.  The first three or four days were agony.  My muscles rebelled and every inch of me ached.  But after those few days, it got easier and it almost felt....good.  I was surprised and please that I could do the moves and exercises.  Maybe they weren't pretty, maybe I had to modify a few, but I could do them.  But then my back problems reared their ugly head.  I took a few days off of exercising, and then eased back into it with workouts on my elliptical.  It helped me stay active, but I have found over time that I get a lot more results from my workout dvds.  So I went back to the shred and this time, I finished it!  It took a couple extra days, but I did 30 full days and was so proud of myself.  I was so encouraged I jumped right into Jillian's "Ripped in 30" workout DVD.  It's circuit training, like the 30 Day Shred.  I've found that her DVDs are great for me, because I get bored easily when it comes to workouts.  Each move comes up only once per DVD program and you only do the move for 2 minutes at the most.  Each DVD also comes with 2-4 workouts, so you only do the same workout set for a week or so before moving on to a new set of moves.  I don't get bored and I end up working different muscle groups all the time.

I finished Ripped in 30 a week or so before Christmas, so I repeated it for a few extra days, since I'd asked for a few more DVDs for gifts.  I was thrilled to get "Shred It with Weights" with accompanying Kettlebell and two of Jillian's Ab DVDs.  I jumped right into the Kettlebell workouts and love it!  It's a great change, very challenging.  It only has two workouts on the DVD so after about 3 weeks I was getting bored so today I started her Killer Abs DVD.  I'm betting I'll have trouble sitting up in the morning!

So that's six months of new eating habits and six months of workouts.  And six months of results!

Here are a few "before" pictures. 

December 2012 (I cringed to post this.  Bad angle, but wow)

May 2013 (you think an outfit is flattering, but then...)
I don't have a lot of pictures of myself along the way, but you can sort of tell from these:
August 2013, in jeans that don't fit!
September 2013, celebrating fitting into a smaller jean size!  This was about 15 lbs lost.
And here I am today, six months in as of Saturday, 36 lbs and 25.5 inches lost (I'm really bad with measurements, not consistent about WHERE I measure my waist, for example, but it's an estimate)!
In my workout gear. Forgive the mirrored-tile mirror left by the last owner of our house. Also the cup leftover from the kids' baths.

I've done some figuring and I should be able to reach my goal weight by mid June, so my conservative goal is to be at my target by my 1  year anniversary of getting healthy, July 11th, 2014.  I think I can do it!  It will be a total loss of almost 70 lbs in a year.  I know that might seem sort of slow, but right now my average is about 1.4 lbs per week and I think that's reasonable for me.  I'm okay with this taking time as long as I can keep the weight off and I think I'm more likely to do that if I take it slow.

And now I want to thank you ladies (and gentlemen?) who read my blog from time to time.  You've all encouraged me and complimented me and it means a LOT!  My family has also a huge source of support and encouragement. They never make me feel bad if I splurge or skip a workout here or there, but are the first to comment that they see the results and are proud of me.  My Facebook group has been a great help as well.  I'm so lucky to have the encouragement of those around me and I couldn't do it without you all!

Thanks always for reading!


Anonymous said...

Wow Melissa! You look fantastic! Congratulations on all your hard work!! Your family must be so proud....losing weight is NOT an easy thing to do - much less stick with!

In my experience, losing it slowly over time is easier to sustain in the long run because you take longer to make those important lifestyle changes so they're more cemented. I've lost 57 llbs over the last year, and for me that's perfect speed. It's not as fast as some, but it's sustainable and that's what I'm going for.

I can't believe the difference between your first pic and your last - you must feel so great! Congrats to you!

Laura said...

You look amazing!! Keep up the great work!

Stasy said...

You look fantastic! Congratulations on your hard work paying off.

ADSchill said...

Yay Melissa! Such great progress! I have a post waiting regarding my weight loss too. You are inspiring.