This is the end of the first month of “My Reinvention Plan.” Thirty days ago I announced to the world my New Year’s resolution of losing 20 pounds by the end of the year. After several years of lounging in my recliner while eating more than my share of all things chocolate (heck, eating more than my share of ALL things), I knew it would be a difficult challenge–but I also knew I had to do something. I didn’t like the sluggish way I felt, and I sure didn’t like the pudgy way I looked.
I thought that by sharing my intentions, I would be forced to work toward my goal because I wouldn’t want to face the public humiliation of failure (which I have faced many times before and would really like to avoid this time if at all possible). I also promised that, if I failed, I would donate a large sum of money to the campaign coffers of a certain political candidate who grates on my very last nerve; I thought the potential loss of money might be an added incentive to step away from the Ding Dongs and donuts and to drag my lazy butt out of my comfy recliner.
I already had an unhealthy lifestyle, necessitating daily doses of blood pressure and cholesterol medications, so I certainly didn’t want to make matters worse by attempting to lose weight in an unhealthy manner. There would be no diet pills for me and no starvation diets, either. So what if Reese Witherspoon had lost weight on the “baby food diet,” and Sarah Michelle Gellar was slim and trim due to a daily diet of cabbage soup? I’d rather eat cardboard and dirt. And that Martha’s Vineyard Diet that requires weekly colonics and enemas? I’d rather be fat. And even though some have claimed to find weight loss success through HCG injections, not only do I have an intense dislike of all needles, but I also have serious doubts about injecting into my body a hormone derived from the urine of pregnant women. Something just doesn’t seem right about that.
No, any weight loss I might achieve would be done the old-fashioned way–through simple exercising and paying closer attention to the amount and type of food I stuffed into my too-often open mouth.
Once I got past the first two weeks of gut-wrenching pain (I’m pretty sure I discovered muscles that had been dormant since childhood), I actually started enjoying the exercise, looking forward to “feeling the burn,” and even feeling guilty if I didn’t get in enough time. I rode my exercise bike every morning and every night of the past thirty days, I groaned my way through core-strengthening exercises every night, and I did light weight-lifting every other night. I had never realized that sweating could be so satisfying or that pain could feel really, really good.
As for the dieting, I did not suffer, and I discovered that my bottomless pit of stubbornness translated quite nicely into determination and will power. I could do this! I learned to cut my portion sizes, being satisfied with two slices of all-meat pizza instead of my former four. I substituted oatmeal for my morning chocolate chip cookies and brownies and chocolate fudge Poptarts and Ding Dongs, and I traded my lunch-time nachos and cashew chicken and baked potatoes for oranges and bananas and kiwi and carrots. And believe me, I missed my sugars and starches (sometimes desperately), but I was never really hungry, and I actually had more energy than I’ve had in years. Less food but more energy? Hmmm.
So was all that hard work and deprivation worth it? You bet it was! I am happy to report that, as of this morning, I have lost several inches in some very important places, I have gained muscle definition in my legs and arms (you should see my guns!), and I’ve kissed goodbye a whopping 7.5 pounds! [Insert disco dance moves here.] I am already one third of the way toward my year-long weight loss goal, which makes me wonder now if I can possibly reach my goal by swimsuit and shorts season–and if so, should I keep on going and lose a few more?
I know the first pounds lost are the easiest, and I know I still have a tremendous amount of work ahead of me. I know I will also eventually reach a plateau and will have to “step it up” a notch. But right now–on this last day of Month One–I’m feeling the optimism and joy of sweet success–and let me tell you, it feels pretty darn great! A few people have noticed the change in my appearance (and have been kind enough to say so), my clothes are fitting better (some are even getting loose!), and my physical improvements are already making a difference in my mental well-being–funny how that works.
Tomorrow is the start of Month Two, and all I can say is bring it on–I am pumped, and I am ready!
“Whoa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now; I feel good, I knew that I would; So good, so good . . .”