Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it Worth it? Lemme Work It.

I went to the doctor last month, & the number on the scale bowled me over. I've never been thrilled with those numbers, but this time, I found myself precariously close to tears. Though no one knew the exact digits but the nurse & me, I felt profoundly embarrassed: Embarrassed I let myself get this way, embarrassed I was focusing so little on my health, embarrassed I couldn't get a handle on my penchant for overeating.

Struck by the numbers, I recommitted myself to trying to get healthy. I've tried before, of course. I've tried Weight Watchers, calorie counting, running... & I've always failed, quickly, wholly & humiliatingly. It just never clicked. I cared, but maybe not enough. I wanted to be healthier, thinner, fitter, but I just couldn't find it in me to do the things necessary to get there. "Just a few more handfuls of Goldfish," I'd tell myself, & a few more handfuls became the entire bag.

The story I'm telling you now is not a story of instant success. There is no such thing. If you've ever tried to get healthy and/or lose weight, you know this, because you've likely struggled yourself. There is no quick fix, no easy road. It's a slow process, a change in not just practice but in mindset. It's retraining your mind & your body, evaluating all of your choices, and sometimes denying your taste buds the flavors they crave.

After lamenting to one another about our frustrations with our bodies & our health, my friend Lindsey & I began what we're oh-so-creatively calling the 100-Day Challenge, a three-month effort to get healthy - together. Every evening, we email one another a list of what we've eaten that day, which keeps us honest & holds us accountable. After all, no one wants to admit she ate an entire pizza alone. We also text regularly throughout the day to ask for support, confess our failures, brag on our successes, & share tips, recipes, etc.

We're about three weeks into the challenge, which will end on Valentine's Day, & I'm doing my best to drink tons of water, eat healthy foods, ride the stationary bike Nathan bought, & curb my nighttime snacking habit. I don't always do a great job of it, but I'm trying. And hard. My daily menus consist of frozen entrees like Amy's Spinach Pizza in a Pocket and Healthy Choice's Garlic and Herb Shrimp & things I "cook," like quinoa & black beans with sriracha (I can't stop eating thisss) & breakfast sandwiches made with multigrain English muffins, meatless Morningstar maple sausage & veggie American "cheese" slices. I snack on carrot sticks, pretzels, & mango slices, & I've given up Diet Coke entirely, replacing it with V8 Fusion juice & Starbucks Mocha Lite Frappucinos when I need a caffeine kick. I've eaten meat only twice in the last month. I drink about 96 oz. of water a day. I've begun taking a GNC VitaPak daily. I ride the bike three times a week. I fall asleep to guided meditation. I get enough sleep.

I'm already feeling the effects of my efforts. I'm less tired. I'm less sickly. I have fewer headaches. I have fewer gastrointestinal problems. I'm less angry, less moody, less self-loathing. I feel good about what I'm doing, not just because I care how I look but because I care how I feel. Am I doing an amazing job? Not necessarily. The other night, I ate half a bag of sweet chili rice crisps (not as healthy as they sound), & I regularly go over my recommended caloric intake by about 200 calories - but at least, rice cakes aside, it's healthy food. It's quinoa & applesauce & string cheese & strawberries instead of... God, what was I even eating before? I can't remember, but I know I felt like crap on an everyday basis.

Since that day in the doctor's office, I've lost seven(ish) pounds, but I haven't set an actual weight-loss goal for these 100 days. I just want to feel better. I suppose it's possible that I'll always be a slightly chubby girl woman with obnoxiously big boobs, & it's possible that this is just the body I'm going to have to live in, accept & love - but I want to give myself a fair shot. Together, Lindsey & I are giving ourselves that shot, & we're supporting one another in the process. Our 100-Day Challenge will end on Valentine's 2012, which is fitting, I think, as this challenge is all about caring for our bodies & treating them well. I guess self-love doesn't make for as many cheesy Hallmark cards, but it sure is making us feel good.

Images: scale, water, bike, sleep, quinoa

2 comments:

kerrie said...

Good job Kate!

Jillian Thiele said...

I'm on my quest to lost 67 pounds. I am 10 lbs down already. A fitness goal ( like the zombie run) has kept me in check, got a trainer for free @planet_fitness to design a program for me, and logging calories using My Firness Pal app. It's all hard work from here on, but I am happy to lend support.I

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