My Weight Loss Journey
(Last updated 7/19/2009.)
I started this journey to get healthy, trim, and fit on March 3, 2008.
A little background
As a child and teenager, I was never really heavy. I was an athletic teenager, swimming competitively and hiking 20 miles easily on weekends at school. By the time I started college, my waist was 23" (I’m 5’6") and I was lean and fit. Life progressed, I had two babies (and the dreaded baby weight) and lived through two divorces eventually ending up a good 100 pounds more than I was before my first daughter was born. (She is now, at time of writing this, 29.)
In July 2007, at 47, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a severe vitamin D deficiency. I also have degenerative disc disease. I couldn’t walk two downtown blocks without experiencing burning muscles and severe shortness of breath. I had suffered from edema in my ankles off and on for years.
My attitude around food was that it was a necessary evil. It was required to keep my body going, but I hated cooking, I hated eating around other people, and I especially hated going grocery shopping. I had no clue how to put raw ingredients together, even if I followed a recipe, and have anything nearing tasty result. I could craft a beautiful outfit from flat fabric, but I couldn’t make a decent casserole.
After the fibromyalgia diagnosis, and also the birth of my first grandson, I dealt with some depression and battled what it meant to be a grandma. I love my grandchildren and am tickled silly about being a grandma, but I also didn’t want to be a traditional grandma with gray hair, crippled, and knitting in a rocker on a front porch. I also was not going to let the fibromyalgia cripple me. I was determined to try to find a way to live a full, active life with it. I realized that I could let the fibro kick my ass, or I could kick it back. I chose the latter.
Enter Weight Watchers.
On March 3, 2008, I joined Weight Watchers. I was done trying to lose weight by myself. I was done doing it my way and accepted the fact that I don’t know how to eat right, I don’t know how to manage my weight, and I needed help. Weight Watchers has changed my life. I decided to follow the guidelines – as they were taught to me by my leader – and do what was recommended. If it worked for so many millions of others, it had to work for me as well. I figured I’d try increasing activity, but I did it very, very slowly.
As I write this today (January 12, 2009) I have lost 54 pounds. I can easily walk two miles, even three, without getting winded.
I am enjoying cooking and learning new recipes. I have made new friends – lifelong ones, I hope – and I am told I have inspired others to join Weight Watchers or to start their own journey to healthy living.
As of April, 2009 – I can now easily walk a 10K walk (6.8 miles) and can bicycle about the same distance. Every Saturday morning, a group of my WW buddies and I go for a long walk – up to two hours at a brisk pace. I still have fibromyalgia and some days I’m still in a lot of pain. But I persevere and keep tracking, keep journaling, keep exercising, and most importantly, keep attending my WW group. I haven’t ever missed a meeting.
I’ve hit a stubborn plateau – mostly due to becoming more at ease with eating, and laxing off a bit on the tracking and diligence. However, I’m pushing past it and will hit my ultimate weight loss goal. I hope to achieve that this year – preferably in the summer – but we’ll see. I kicked that plateau!
As of July 2009, I can easily walk 10k (6.2 miles) and just completed running my first 5k (3.1 miles) race! And I didn’t come in dead last, either – about middle of the pack. Pretty good for my first time. The following day, I also hiked 5.4 miles up 1300 feet in elevation without any negative pain afterwards.
Before and After
Chronological pictures of my weight loss journey.
February 2008, at my very heaviest.
May 30, 2008 – 19.4 pounds lost
July 13, 2008 – 27 pounds lost
July 20, 2008 – 29 pounds lost
August 14, 2008 – 32 pounds lost
September 8, 2008 – 37.8 pounds lost
September 27, 2008 – 42.6 pounds lost
October 8, 2008 – 45.6 pounds lost
October 31, 2008 – 50 pounds!
New Year’s Eve 2008 – 52.4 pounds lost
March 15, 2009 – 59 pounds lost
March 30, 2009 – Hit 61.4 pounds lost
April 24, 2009 – Floating between 63 and nearly 65 pounds lost. About 25 pounds left to go to hit goal.
July 11, 2009 – My first 5k RUN! (I can walk 10k, but this was running! Not too bad for a 49 year old woman with fibromyalgia.)
July 16, 2009 – nearly 75 pounds lost