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How did I survive this 8 week diet? Adequately. With more complaining than I should have. And with less success than I hoped. And please note that the prior sentence is a complaint. I’m even complaining about complaining.

Unless a miracle happens at my weigh-in this morning and I’ve lost more, I’m down 9 pounds in 8 weeks. It’s not “blow you away” impressive but it is 9 pounds. That’s an entire large newborn baby — a fully formed baby human! It’s 1 1/2 bricks. I’m aiming to lose 2 1/2 more bricks. I’m grasping at straws here. But I tried on my bikini and (this is not a scientific finding) it looked very okay. It didn’t look “holy cow Mary you’ve transformed into a beach goddess” but it looked not ridiculous. And at nearly 36, I’m aiming for “not ridiculous” as a baseline for bikini wearing.

*Added: Inches not pounds. I lost 9 pounds. I lost 6 3/4 cumulative inches over my various measurable parts. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Take aways

Gaining weight is easy. It is easy for the pounds to slip on without you even noticing. It happens with the extra glass (or two or three) of wine and then the food you eat while you’re drinking the wine. It happens when a few friends or coworkers have birthdays and you’re eating obligatory birthday cake because you don’t want to be rude. It happens when your kids are in the other room screaming at each other and the remaining Girl Scout cookies seem preferable over breaking up another round of give-me-back-my-(insert current favorite toy). And it piles on. I hate this but it does. And I’ve got to always keep it in mind. Forever.

IMG_0703Losing weight is a lot of work. It is a real practice in careful meal management and fitness dedication. Losing weight means watching — really watching — what you eat. For me, it means writing down every morsel that goes into my mouth to a near obsessive level (I remember one time wondering how many calories were in the toothpaste I accidentally swallowed). I have to do this because I will lie even to myself.

I’m on a streak of 40 consecutive days of logging into MyFitnessPal — I didn’t always complete everyday but at least for 40 days I had the intention, the mindfulness.

And you can’t do it by sitting still breathing air (did you read about that Barbie woman who says she’ll survive on just breathing air?). That doesn’t work if you ever want to eat again because you’ve just f&cked your metabolism. You’ve got to exercise. And exercise can look like a lot of things to lots of people. It should look like massive amounts of sweat at least sometimes. If you’re not sweating, you’re probably not doing it right. I laughed when I heard a body wipe ad on the radio that was advertising refreshing wipes for your chest and arms so you can go from the gym to the supermarket. I go to the gym from the supermarket but I am gross. My kids tell me I stink. And I should. I just busted my ass. Literally. And I’ll have to do this always. This is another “forever” thing.

Weirdo.
Weirdo.

Losing weight is worth it. So far, it’s been really worth all the calorie counting and sweating. First of all, I’m loving working out and I never had a fitness bone in my body before. I don’t dread going to the gym or taking a class there — I look forward to finding out what new things I can try.

I feel so much better than before – and I’m not just talking about health. I feel more confident. I’m not panicked at the thought of having to go somewhere special and putting on (or shopping for!) something nice. I’m not trying to cover up my arms or my stomach. I’m not worried that someone might ask if I’m pregnant (because that, ladies, is about the worst of the worst) because I’m not (and you know not to ask me anyway, don’t you?). I don’t freak out that someone might post an unauthorized photo of me (and tag me).

I’m proud of how I look. I know it is a product of (curvy Italian genes) my dedication but also the fun that I am having working out. I feel beautiful and healthy and energetic. Sure, the road is long to my “ideal” but where I am now is still pretty good.

Don’t do it alone.

I was majorly amiss to forget to thank my teammates and our fearless trainer, Vanessa. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten this far nor had so much fun. They offered encouragement, inspiration, and guidance.

What’s next?

Monday starts calorie counting again. Maybe I’ll do it this weekend too. I may as well. Summer is comin’.

I’m going to start incorporating more focused weight-lifting again following a modified schedule of LiveFit, which I’ve raved about before. Plus (have we mentioned it here?!?!), the MercerMe gals plus some other familiar friends (like GymBuddyTara and Anne) are going to Mudderella in May — a genuine fun mud run! So we’re training for that.

We’ll see. Who’s with me? Seriously, join me. I love workout company.

Next week I’ll be posting about WHY I write about fitness and weight loss. Stay tuned.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. She and her mostly merry gang live in the charming town of Hopewell Boro lovingly maintaining their very old house. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with mild germaphobia, excessive self-reflection, enthusiastic television viewing, and misguided adventures in random hobbies.

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