"Whether you think you can...Or you think you can't. You're right....."
I have been on this weight loss and fitness journey for over a year now- it has been a hard trip. Changing my food patterns, increasing my exercise, rethinking my days..... But I will say it is getting a lot easier when it comes to the whole food thing. I am starting to recognize that I can indeed eat much MUCH less and still be a happy person. I understand deep inside that I will be able to eat again in a few hours and that I do NOT have to deny myself food that I enjoy.
I am just not really into denying myself things! I WANT chocolate, so I have some daily. I love my coffee creamer, so I have that daily, as well! I have lost 54 pounds- who's going to tell me that I can't do that? I have found, though, that I choose to eat differently than I used to. I stress out over salt (because I hate to see a gain on the scale from water retention!), so canned soups and things are not in the menu too much anymore. I can really taste salt more intensely now, so just a few baked chips or pretzels or a bit of popcorn is plenty. Sometimes over whelming. I use a spreadable light cheese in my sandwiches instead of mayo, so creamy salads sort of give me a stomachache! I find that I am rewriting my menu and my shopping list in my head all the time. I still have bagels, but they are thin bagels.... tortillas have been replaced with low-carb versions that are just as yummy as the original flour versions. I occasionally make tacos with ground turkey instead of burger (um, don't tell the Mad-Accountant!). I love a good grilled Veggie Burger!
However, on Sunday, I make pancakes and I have full fat Greek yogurt and maple syrup (and a banana) for toppings. THAT is a little bit of bliss for me! I eat eggs virtually every day. I enjoy good, REAL WISCONSIN cheese every week as well. And don't get me started on the Berghoff Dark and Creamy Beer! There are some things that just need to be savored. Rewriting your script is an ongoing process- and one that you need to personalize.
This past week, I have had some very intense and interesting discussions with both internet and nearby friends regarding some of the changes that losing weight has instituted. I have been really finding myself rethinking what I "can" and "can't" do lately- a real transition of thought, a synthesis of my former and present self. The very first step occurred a month ago when my sister asked me to go on a 5 day canoe trip with her and her daughter in the Boundary Waters area in MN this summer. The old me had hesitation: How can you keep up with that? Can you canoe that long? Do you have to sleep on the ground??? YOU MEAN I have to CAMP??? That just didn't last too long- I said yes with only a moment of hesitation. And I am really excited about it! I sent my sister the deposit money and we are on our way in July! You can bet I will be training for that in a few months.
Last summer I walked the 5K during Flambeaurama and was very proud of the t-shirt that I got from it. But since then it has occurred to me that I might actually be able to run it this summer! Now that is a real change for me, I never have considered running to be a viable exercise alternative! But when you hang out, both actually and virtually, with some awesome people who talk about running all the time, gradually it gets under your skin and into your psyche and becomes part of your daily dialog. I have 2 awesome friends on Loseit that run MARATHONS! And one of them (and maybe the other) is on the verge of training for the New York marathon....which to me is the most incredible thing. EVER. I cannot imagine what it would be like to run for over 5 hours. Samara, you are my HERO!
I can not imagine what it will be like to run 3 miles, either, but am willing to try. I have been dancing around the idea of starting a C25K program, which is daunting for me, but I am going to begin that as soon as play season at school has ended. By then the light will be lasting long enough to get out to train after school..... I find it incredible yet that I actually am using the word train in relation to myself.
Speaking of training, the part of my transition that I have the hardest part wrapping my brain around is wading into the world of weight training. Lifting weights is one of the most satisfying, challenging and delightful things I have ever done. Every rep, every set, every increase in weight has allowed me to feel good about myself and has reshaped most every part of my life. The strength I have gained makes life much easier to deal with from removing the lids of jars to hauling around horse feed bags. I have finally begun to lose inches around my middle and have been developing core and leg strength. I have only JUST begun to think of myself as an athletic person, at the age of 53, when my entire life that was never part of my story. I was clumsy, I was heavy, I was artistic, I was fun to be with, I was a great cook, I was a good mom, but I was NEVER athletic. That is a hard story to change.
But I am persistent. And I rise to challenges and I never give up if there is a way to achieve a goal. So I am on my way to a new self image. It is really hard to do! A lifetime of thinking a certain way is difficult to overcome - like going directly to the XL section of the clothing racks in a department store. I am not fooling myself by looking at the Mediums anymore. I can really wear them! I can take a third of the food I used to eat on my plate, and I am FULL when I am done. I CAN walk up hills that I would have totally avoided at another point in my life. HECK, I might be able to do a pullup!! WHAT????? That is something I haven't tried to do in years, I bet I can! And now for that 5K running thing......