One thing I haven’t talked about here often is my weight loss journey. And it has been a journey! I spent the first 24 years of my life pretty much at a healthy weight. Sure, I could’ve dropped about 5lbs but I was healthy. And happy. And being happy in your own skin, I’ve learned, is priceless. It’s hard to understand just how much so until you no longer feel that way.
Around the age of 24 I transitioned to life in a cubicle. And my body protested. I really don’t blame it. Sitting at a desk for 8.5 hours a day is unnatural. It goes against what the human body was designed for, what it was built to do. Did I mention I also had a 1 hr commute each way? Yep, that’s a total of about 10.5 waking hours per day spent sedentary. My diet didn’t initially change and as a result, my body did. First it was 5, then 10, then eventually 20 lbs. I felt awful, inside and out. Unfortunately, that awful feeling wasn’t enough to inspire to make any real changes for quite awhile. I half-assed my way through some diets, Weight Watchers, and even some gym time. But I was a yo-yo, in a constant state of fluctuation.
When Will and I became engaged and picked a wedding date, I decided it was time to do something. And do something drastic. I signed up to go to a weight loss clinic and paid tons of money to essentially abuse my body. I survived on 500 calories a day eating only meats and a small amount of veggies. Yep, 500 calories total. With B6 injections and a pretty scary prescription medicine, phendimetrazine, which would often leave me shaking, unable to sleep, and throwing up what little I ate. It worked, I dropped 23 lbs quickly. And looked amazing for our wedding and honeymoon.
The only problem? What happens when you stop the meds and the drastic diet. We were married on October 24, 2009. On December 24th we received a Christmas miracle, me being pregnant. In those 2 months, I had already gained 10lbs back just from eating normally and not taking the meds. It went from bad to worse. As I’ve touched on in this blog, my pregnancy was riddled with complications and setbacks. I was forbidden from exercising from the 8wk mark and ended up on bedrest for the last few months. Add in preeclampsia, and you guessed it: I turned into a Laura balloon. My very last weigh-in the night before my c-section found me at 62 lbs heavier than my wedding day.
I won’t bore you with the details, but that weight loss only served to compound the crippling postpartum depression I suffered with after giving birth. I hated myself. And I mean Hate with a capital H. It hurt to look in the mirror; I didn’t even recognize the person staring back at me.
Last April we got home from a cruise and when I discovered I couldn’t even look at a picture of myself, I decided it was time to do something. I signed up for Weight Watchers and showed up, terrified that it wasn’t going to work. But it did. Following the plan was hard, but it was liberating. It’s the only diet I’ve ever been on that allows you “cheats” in moderation. And that helped. Realizing that I have an addictive personality, I know that I cannot be successful long-term on a plan like Paleo or Atkins. I accept that I do not have the fortitude to forever give up on things that I enjoy. And that’s cool. Between Weight Watchers and running, I’m down 37 lbs from where I started last April.
The problem is, I’m back on a plateau. My weight has levelled off the past two months and although I’m running, walking and biking more than ever, the scale is just not budging. Marathon training starts in July. I owe it to this body of mine to be in the best shape I can be to tackle those 26.2 miles. I need to lose another 23 lbs to be back where I was on my wedding day. Only this time I want to reach that number in a healthy manner. I’m starting to think of some different things I can try to “shock” my system into losing again. My WW leader says that these plateaus can be normal and you just have to keep trying new things until something works.
I’m open for suggestions. In the meantime, I’ll be posting some of my crazy (but safe!) ideas here and updating you on the results.
23 lbs for 26.2 miles. Sounds like a fair deal to me.