Velocity: Month 1 Update

7 Feb

I’m still not ready to make my scrapbook layouts public. I chose to take pictures with my belly showing, and it makes me feel to vulnerable to know anyone and everyone can see those. It’s different when I know my audience can empathize, because they’re on the same journey; but it’s harder for me to have people who aren’t struggling with their weight (or perhaps never have) see me exposed in that way. So, for now you’ll have to live with this summary of the first month’s work along with copy of my scrapbook journaling, below.

  • Number of workouts: 26
  • Pounds lost: 16
  • Inches lost: 3.5
  • Distance from goal: 74 lbs
  • Favorite workout: Yoga
  • Least favorite workout: Boot Camp
  • Favorite new discovery: mint water
  • Biggest challenge: Eating less than 1500 mg of sodium

Journaling:

So, um. Yeah. That happened.

16 pounds. Half inch off my waist. An inch off my bust and thighs. The hips and arms are being stubborn, but we’ll forgive them. One month. A lot of change.

First months are always big ones. If you make it through (which is FAR from a guarantee), it’s usually the month you lose the most weight. I’ve done this enough times in the past to know that. And while I’ve never lost that much before, I’ve also never had so much to lose.

But what I’ve gained this month has been something else. On January 5th, when I took my first yoga class, I was dripping with sweat within the first minute, collapsing on every downward dog and trembling through every pose. A month later, I find myself bending and stretching in ways I couldn’t have imagined before. And that transformation is as much internal, as it is external. A week ago, when the intensity of a boot camp class brought up all my worst body insecurities—when I actually had to fake wiping sweat, but I was actually wiping tears—I somehow managed to push through. I finished. I claimed the exercise back for myself. I let go of whatever I thought other people were thinking of me, and I finished the best I could.

I am, and almost always will be a recovering perfectionist. And I have allowed myself to be imperfect on this journey. I have eaten cheeseburgers, ice cream, and yes, birthday cake. I have also pounded it out six times a week at the gym. Sweating, panting, and yes, twice, crying. I have done it when I hated every minute of it. I have done it complaining and groaning. But I have done it for me, for my heart and for the life I now believe I deserve to have.

It has taken me so long to get to a place where I believe I deserved better. It has taken me even longer to get o a place where I believed I was strong enough to deliver better to myself. But right now, this is place where I’m living. A place where I believe I am capable. And a place where there are no expectations, no standards I have to live up to. It’s only me—being mindful, and dedicated to delivering my body and mind the things they’ve been begging for: nourishment, movement, and forgiveness.

Small Victory

27 Jan

Today I was angry. And sad. and self-loathing. And probably a bit self-pitying.

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 35. I felt so grateful to have another year under my belt and a new one to look forward to. I went to yoga in the morning.

I went to the doctor in the afternoon.

I called the doctor because I had another  spell of vertigo on Monday, right at the end of yoga class. I turned on my right side and the whole room flipped. And hour later I was vomiting from the motion sickness. A few weeks of better food choices and exercising was not going to be my panacea. I came face to face—in yoga class of all places—with the fact that I wasn’t going to clear this problem up on my own. I needed medical intervention.

But when I sat in the doctor’s chair, an old problem, one I like to pretend had gone away, came rearing it’s ugly head. The nurse took my blood pressure: 174/121. high. Very high. The doctor prescribed medication. He told me to start treating salt like poison. Ordered labs and referred me to an ENT to further investigate my vertigo.

And there it is. Another reason moving more and reducing my size no longer optional. My life depends on it…

And this morning, after a rough night of child-interrupted sleep, I woke up irritable. Both my daughter and husband were sick with colds and everything I had planned to do today was thrown off. And, I have very high blood pressure. And I need to lose weight.And I was a grouch. And I wanted to eat a pizza covered in french fries and feel better.

But instead, I went to the gym. I stepped on the elliptical. The battery was dead on my ancient iPod. I had to listen to their god-awful early 80’s rock. I jumped on, started to move. I worked hard. Sweat poured down my face and arms. When I wanted to quit, I closed my eyes. I kept going.

20 minutes later, I jumped on the stationary bike. After three minutes, I wanted off. I was done.I closed my eyes again. I stated breathing. I took my glasses off. I thought about being labor. I thought about how I learned to take it one contraction—one  minute—period at a time. I thought,

“You gave birth to a baby without drugs. And you think you can’t do this?!”

20 minutes later, I was done. Drenched in sweat, tired, but done. A small victory. In the face of a major set back, I chose to accelerate. And I left that gym energized, calm, and 100% happier than I was before I arrived.

And tomorrow…I’m doing it again.

Velocity: one little word 2011

22 Jan

Motion + Direction + Acceleration = Velocity

Velocity is distance, over time.

Velocity is the next chapter of the one little word I chose for last year, Movement. I’m proud of the movements I began and the steps I took. I’m proud of the skills I enhanced and then launched into a new business.

In 2011—the year I will be full-fledged adult at 35-years-old—I’m looking to take what I began last year and kick it into high gear. I want more than my career and business moving forward. I want my health to move forward. I want my body to go places I haven’t allowed it to go, because I’ve been afraid of failure and terrified of pain.

In 2011, there will be movement. But it will more deliberate than it was last year. And more balanced, too.

As I spent last year honing my photography skills, building my web site, acquiring licenses, and devouring any and all information I could find…I was battling recurring episodes of vertigo. I was left winded after climbing the smallest flight of stairs. Minor exertions would send my heart rate soaring. An hour on the dance floor could leave me barely able to walk for days.

On January 26th, I turn 35-years-old. But I am currently living with the diseases and health problems of someone twice my age. That way of life has become unthinkable to me. And I am now on the very first steps of a two-year-journey to regain my health.

And now, I’m going to say something publicly that I didn’t think I’d be able to say:
I have 90 pounds to lose. Virtually, an entire person.

Taking a breath.

It’s a lot of weight.

Most of my friends would be stunned to know how much I actually weigh. Because I gain primarily in my thighs, I don’t look the same as a person who puts on weight primarily around their waist. But I know the truth, and so does my heart when it strains to pump blood through my veins. So do my aching knees. So does my lower back.

My body knows how poorly I have been taking care of it. And so do I.

Shortly before Christmas, I decided that I would begin to make serious changes in the new year toward a healthier and more balanced me. So, on January 3rd I joined a gym for the first time in my life. And on January 4th I worked out for the first time. And at least five times a week since then, I have continued to show up.

Preventing preventable disease is no longer optional in my life. I want to run faster and longer in February than I did in January. Repeat in March. Repeat in April. And so on. I don’t care about being thin. My goal weight was chosen only to help me live with a BMI that does not put me at risk for disease. I am in no hurry. I have no end date in mind. I merely guess that it will take years. It may take more. Or less.

I know the direction I want to go and I am moving toward it. Right now, I am putting a lot of mental energy into my weight. But I have big plans for the direction I want to take my business this year, and I am excited to see that evolve.

I will be sharing a small part of my journey toward health on this blog, I know how annoying it can be to get hot over the head with someone’s newfound religion. Sharing publicly keeps me accountable in a way that keeping my weight loss effort a secret does not. I am maintaining a food and exercise diary using My Fitness Pal and I am sharing scrapbooking pages monthly with a Move More Eat Less 2011 flickr group. It will probably be a few months before I feel confident enough to share those pages here. But when I am ready, I will share.

In the mean time, I’m making conscious choices to move me toward inhabiting a healthy and balanced physical body. I hate the elliptical and the treadmill. But I love lifting weights and doing yoga (oh man, do I LOVE yoga). The end of the month is fast approaching and I will share some progress then. Until then, I’m celebrating living for 35 years on this planet and feeling incredibly optimistic about the years that lie ahead.