In my quest to re-lose the weight I took off in 2003-2005, I've decided to document each week, comparing life now (first post) with life 10 years ago (second post). My hope is that I can find the momentum that carried me through those two years by looking at what worked for me then.
WEEK 15: 2013
Beginning Weight: 264.6
Last week's weight: 245.2
This week's weight: 244.4
Week 15's weight loss: -0.8
Total weight loss: -20.2
So, 15 weeks. That's a key number for me: It's the amount of time the first Weight Watch lasted. Fifteen weeks allowed me to gain momentum, and it was the starting point for me not looking back -- I was able to see enough success in 15 weeks that I kept on going and bounded toward my goal.
I am proud I have made it this far again. Not 2003 proud (that girl was a saint on her diet and never strayed; I can't say the same this time around), but proud. And while I have many, many moments of frustration that I don't look different and my pants are still tight, the progress I made in my running alone is proof I'm doing something. I have to hope and have faith that it will eventually start showing.
I have to remember that even 2003 Diana wasn't all sunshine and daisies at the end of 15 weeks; the day the article published, I was in tears as I stared at my "before" and "after" photos and could't see an inch of difference. I didn't give up, though, and eventually the differences would become crystal clear. I have to remember that as I plug away.
One final note on the running: I ended the four-week Friday 5K series on a good note: Taking week 3 out of the equation (since it was interrupted by lightning), here was my progression: 48:11 minutes, 46:10 minutes, 44:46 minutes. I was really happy to see that much progress. I'm going to miss the series.
Week 15: 2003
Beginning Weight: 317
Last week's weight: 279.2
This week's weight: 278.4
Week 15's weight loss: -0.8
Total weight loss: -38.6
The mug was a gift from my grandmother – though I’m not sure what holiday it was for or how old I was when I received it.
But I was a child in elementary school, and the mug – bearing my name, a picture of three ice cream cones and the word “irresistible” – should have made me smile or laugh.
It didn’t. Instead, I burst into tears.
“It means I can’t resist ice cream cones,” I cried. “I eat too many.
I was a fat child and I was sure the coffee mug was a hint that I needed to lose weight.
I still have that mug today – faded from its years of use and a constant reminder of that day and how I felt.
I tell you this story – as I’ve told you so many others – because it is my history. Pudgy, overweight, fat, obese – it’s all I’ve ever been known as. It’s who I am and who I’ve always been.
I’ve never resolved myself to those words. I’ve tried many times to fight them, to lose the pounds, to battle against the bulge. But somehow I’ve always ended up back in the same place, back facing those adjectives that follow “Diana” much more often than the word “irresistible.”
So I must tell you, my expectations were not all that high when I started this Weight Watch 15 weeks ago. I had no idea what I’d face, what I’d overcome, what I’d resist – or not resist. I just dove right in.
My theory, and what I told myself over and over, was “It’s only 15 weeks. Give yourself 15 weeks, push yourself hard for 15 weeks, and then what happens, happens.”
It was only 15 weeks out of my life. If I couldn’t eat healthy and exercise for a short 15 weeks, then I was one weak person. So I focused on that 15 weeks.
In the beginning, it was hard. Folks at work would say, “Have a slice of pizza – one slice won’t hurt you.” Friends at dinner would encourage a little dessert – just a little isn’t bad, they’d say.
And in the beginning, it was hard to say no. But I did.
It used to be that people would give me the leftovers, knowing I’d tidy things up by eating the last doughnut or inhaling the remaining crumbs of cake. And I’m sure that, in the beginning, they thought, “Oh, it will only be a matter of time before Diana stops this diet and resumes her old habits.”
But that time never came.
After weeks of saying “no,” people stopped asking. They began to realize that no matter what they placed in front of me, I wasn’t going to eat it.
So they stopped asking, stopped offering, stopped assuming.
You’d be surprised what kind of habits you can form in a few weeks. After about a month, eating a balanced breakfast, packing a healthful lunch, eating a prescribed dinner – it all became a part of my life. I stopped looking at those fast-food restaurant landmarks on the way home from work. My eyes naturally avoided the old temptations at the supermarket. I started flipping through healthful cookbooks and finding new ways to spice up my meals. I embraced my vegetable steamer at home that served up zucchini and squash in a tasty way. I made friends with one-cup serving size containers. I packed bananas and bran muffins and pretzels for snacks at work. I experimented with new foods so I wouldn’t get bored. I found myself saving money because I no longer stopped for lunches or dinners or snacks.
And I began to feel like I could do it – I only had 14, 13, 12, 11 weeks to go.
The exercise part of the equation was a little harder for me. I worked hard at getting up at 6:30 a.m. and walking the first few weeks – but there was a period of about two weeks in the middle of the Weight Watch where I didn’t walk at all.
So once I felt I had the “dieting” part of the equation down – a good three months into my program - I focused on the exercise part by joining a gym. And that soon became a habit, too.
I truly believe that had I joined a gym in the beginning, something would have suffered. It’s like what motivational people tell you – don’t try to give up everything at once. It’s unrealistic to say, “I’m going to quit smoking, quit drinking coffee and run every morning” all at the same time. You have to start small, with baby steps. Taking away too much too quickly from your life usually means none of your goals will last.
But baby steps – they work quite well.
And after a few weeks of a solid exercise routine, I felt I was headed in the right direction in reshaping my body.
Remember – I only had to do it for 4, 3, 2, 1 more week(s).
Today, I’m 38.6 pounds lighter than the first of February when the Weight Watch began. I’ve dropped at least a size in my clothes, and people are noticing. I’m very happy with my weight loss – though you might not always be able to tell, as I’m still a little too afraid to be too proud. I’m not there yet.
But I need to believe I can be.
This weight loss, this feeling, this ability to walk at a better pace and enjoy more of life’s offerings – it’s, well, “irresistible.”
Let’s try another 15 weeks. I think I can do that.