Sunday, June 9, 2013

This Side of Perfect: The Diet Edition

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It's dawned on me that it's been awhile since I've talked about health on the blog. (Okay, so I know it's been awhile since I talked about anything on this blog!) I think it's time to change that up a bit.

So, around April (yes, I know it's been awhile), I learned about this challenge at work. Many of the teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff were getting in on the action. My clothes had been getting too tight shrinking for quite some time, so I knew that this was just the jump start I would need to lose some pesky poundage. I signed up!

The rules were simple:

  1. Pay a $10 entry fee.
  2. Loses the highest percentage of weight loss by the last day of school (in this case, May 24th).
  3. Winner takes all.
Easy peazy, right? Just pay my dinero, lose some weight, and treat myself to a new haircut or mani/pedi combo for my birthday (coming up next week...just sayin'). Since I had only recently been back in the working world after taking a few months off to complete student teaching, that ten bucks were a bit hard to come by, let me tell ya! But, I figured if anything would get me motivated, it was losing money when I really didn't have it to lose. (Yes, I know it's a form of gambling. It's also a form of motivation. It works for me, okay?)

So, I paid my money and decided I knew exactly which diet eating plan I was going to follow in order to lose weight. I knew because I had followed the exact same plan last summer and lost 25 lbs (go me!) I decided the best plan for me was cutting out breads, pasta, rice, and cereal. That's right, I was going to do Atkins/low carb. I knew from experience that this was a great plan for losing weight (and more importantly for me - inches) fast. 

This time was no different.

I lost six pounds my first week. (Full disclosure: I had just come back from Spring Break where I ate a little too much food and a drank a little too much soda. What I lost that first week was a lot of water weight. Still, it counts, right?) After that, I consistently lost between 2 and 2.5 lbs a week. After I lost my first ten, people started to notice. Then they wanted to know what I was doing. They watched what I brought in for lunch every day (The Man Beast was instrumental in this part of the equation. He did the challenge right beside me and researched tons of great-tasting recipes). Everyone was rooting me on. It was nice, I'll admit, but it was exciting to see the changes in my body. (I had gained 10 of the 25 lbs I lost last summer, so I had some catching up to do). 

One of the first things I noticed was that my apple-shaped body was losing a little bit of its apple belly. I also had quite a few heart palpitations that really scared me. When I started eating this way (cutting out the "white carbs"), I noticed these went away. The redness in my face went away considerably. I'm not sure if I have food allergies, but there was something I was eating before that caused me to get really red in the face about twenty minutes after I finished eating. When I cut out white carbs, my face cleared up, too.

I was on top of the world! I thought for sure I was going to win. Everyone at work was doing really good. There was ton of talk about health and fitness. But I just knew I was a shoe-in. In fact, when they made the announcement over the intercom on the last day of school, a member of the staff happened to walk by the opened classroom door, poked her head in and said, "It's you. I just know it's you."

Only it wasn't. 

I came in second with a 10% weight loss. The winner weighed in at 13%. I think I missed it by just a couple of pounds. 

To say I was a little bummed is an understatement. I'm excited for the person who won (I really work with a great group of ladies). But it kind of sucks to lose. 

I was reminded, yet again, that I was this side of perfect.

After I licked my wounds a bit, I instead, focused on what was going right, regardless of the outcome of the challenge.
  1. Heart palpitations - gone (this is the biggie because anything dealing with the heart scares me!)
  2. Skin cleared up - ego boost
  3. Apple belly gone - more ego boost
  4. I lost 10% of my body weight! Not only was this an original goal, but I knew from past readings, that losing 10% of my body weight has huge health advantages, including lowering my blood pressure and since I am an apple shape, reducing my risk of heart disease.
I was a winner!

So, while when I first started this journey, my eye was on the prize, by the end, my focus was where it belonged - on me and my health.

I'm not quite finished, though. To have a healthy BMI, I have about 15 more pounds to lose. I hope to lose that by the time school starts back in August. I've stayed on program for the most part (I'll share more on that, later) and know that I can stick with this. Not only that, but once I reach goal (and I will reach goal), I will stay on the course for a lifetime. Because, as I will share in another post, bad things happen when I don't (and not for the reasons you might think!)

Until next time,


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