When I graduated from college, I was pretty close to my ideal weight and fitness. Thanks to a fitness class I took in my last semester to get my last PE credit, I was exercising 2-3 times a week and I was only about 5 pounds from the ideal weight for my height and bone structure, well within the normal range for BMI. I felt pretty good. That was 4 years ago.
Since then, I've felt like there were more
important things to do than exercise... I was dating this hot guy, ya'
see... and then later, there was wedding planning (I know a lot of people get
on a "must lose weight" kick before their wedding, but that wasn't a
trigger for me at all). In the first year after I graduated, I was
concerned that my diet was unhealthy (see the post about my first salad at age 25), so I tracked my caloric and nutrient intake for about a
month... it turns out that my diet was actually pretty healthy nutrient wise (as long
as I take a multivitamin). That was good news, but not much motivation
to lose those last 5 pounds to my ideal weight or to really worry about
my health at all.
I've gained 20 pounds and only exercised about 50 times since my
college graduation. The weight gain was a very slow progression, and I
always told myself that I was still in pretty good shape compared to the
obesity trend you hear about on the news. For about 2 years, I've been
telling myself that I need to get in shape before I have kids because
if I can't get healthy now, having never been pregnant, no kids to take
care of, and in the supposed "prime" of my life age wise, there's no
hope for me after having kids.
This isn't a New Year's Resolution. I made my last New Year's Resolution in my senior year of high school: Never let myself make a New Year's Resolution again... other than that last one, they never lasted past January 5th anyway. It just so happens that after 2 years of giving lip service to getting healthier, I finally reached my tipping point over the holidays.
I think I just realized that the 20 pounds I've gained since college really is a lot (a friend of mine is 34 weeks pregnant and she's barely gained that much). I look at some of my female family members... mom, grandmother, aunts, and cousins... they've all had children... and none of them are as overweight as me... I've got no excuse for my behavior, and I don't want to find myself unable to keep up with my kids in 5 years because I've neglected my body.
I don't mean to write this so that people will feel sorry for me, but if I put this out there, I'll at least think twice before I let myself slide. When it boils down to it, I like the way I look (and I know John does too), and that's probably been my biggest hindrance to getting healthier. But I can, and should be better about how I take care of my body.
This last week I started tracking what I'm eating again. I don't intend to make major dietary changes... nutrient wise, I'm still doing a pretty decent job, but I've been using a calorie tracker that sets a target, and I have to exercise each day to get down to the target calorie level based on what I ate that day. I'm finding that to be a neat motivation: You wanted to butter your roll at lunch, that's fine, just add a little time to that exercise. :)
I've set a 24 week plan to lose 24 pounds. I put the weight on slowly, and I know if I'm going to make this a sustainable lifestyle, I'm going to have to take it off slowly too. I one week in, and I'm proud to say that I'm on target for the week, and except for 1 day, I've exercised 30 minutes each day. I know 1 week is hardly a habit, but after 4 years of nothing, it's a really good start.
1 week & 1 pound down - 23 to go!