I’ve never been the kind of person who brags about her accomplishments, but hey, I just have to this time. Since May of last year I’ve lost 47 pounds. It’s been slow, slow, slow – just a few pounds a month. But the loss has transformed the way I feel about myself and how I move around in the world.
I can bend over and touch my toes without cutting my breath off. I can roll over in bed easily – I know, it sounds goofy but I’d wake myself up trying to roll over. It was strenuous. Uncomfortable. I can kneel if I need to without hurting my knees, and I can stand back up again without puffing and groaning.
All of my clothes are too big for me – even the ones I bought just a few months ago. I have to pin the waists of my pants so they won’t fall down. My collection of t-shirts are now voluminous, my dressier shirts and blouses all hang on me. My rings spin on fingers that are no longer chubby.
I can feel my hipbones again. My cheekbones are back. My ankles never swell and I no longer feel sluggish and heavy. I look better. Healthier. The change in my self-esteem is absolutely enormous.
I still have a ways to go, but finally achieving success in losing the excess weight I’d put on over years of sitting behind a desk is a huge motivator. I used to lose heart easily; I was always on a “diet” but rarely lost more than a couple of pounds before the loss would stop dead. So I’d go back to eating “normally.” Those few pounds would come right back, along with four or five more. I’d given up hope that I would ever be slim again, even though I hated how I looked and felt. I was trying (with little success) to accept that I would be fat for the rest of my life. I was trying to like myself, to like my body anyway. To be OK with being “big and beautiful.” It wasn’t working.
Now I know I will be slim again. I’ll just keep on keeping on, eating healthy, fresh foods, avoiding processed foods, and drinking lots of water. I eat only brown rice or whole wheat pasta (and that rarely). I eat whole grain bread. I avoid potatoes and corn, even though I love both of them. I eat a lot of vegetables, beans, and lots of salad, and I eat some nuts or fruits as a snack, rather than crackers, chips, candy bars or other sweets. Oh sure, once every three months or so I “treat” myself to a decadent dessert after a dinner out, but I don’t feel any need to do it more often than that. I eat chicken or fish, and occasionally, pork loin or trimmed pork chops. The only red meat I eat is lamb, and that cooked into a soup full of vegetables, and that only now and then in the wintertime. I grill all the meat I eat without extra fat. And I’ve finally learned to control portions and pay attention to calories. Amazing how well it all works.
Right around this time last year my doctor told me that I was borderline diabetic and that I had “metabolic syndrome.” In addition, I’d recently started suffering with active, severe rheumatoid arthritis again after nearly a decade of the disease being in remission, or dormant. I had a breast lump that fortunately turned out to be benign, but that and the threat of diabetes scared me right down to my toes. I know people who have the disease and know how ill they can get when it’s not under control. I was determined to escape that fate – and I did. My blood glucose levels have been in the normal range for about nine months now. I’m expecting they’ll stay that way as long as I’m mindful about what I eat. As for the RA? Well, I’m still battling joint pain just about every day, but I know I’ve helped myself enormously by losing weight. I’m stressing the joints in my hips, knees, ankles and feet less; without the weight loss, slow as it has been, I’d probably be in much worse pain today.
So I’m a work in progress. I want to lose 30 more pounds – doing so will put me at a normal, healthy weight for a woman of my build, height, and age. I know I can do it – and it makes me feel wonderful to be able to say that and mean it, finally. You know what? I’m proud of myself.