Monday, July 11, 2016
I stepped on the scale today and almost cried. I've shed 45 pounds over this last year, you guys. 45 pounds. My toddler weighs less than that. When I pick her up, I realize I used to carry that much weight, plus some, around with me all the time. Really it's more like having a toddler attached to me at all times, plus a ten pound bag of potatoes. I've been lugging that around for a couple of years now. It's been miserable.
I don't talk about my struggles to be healthier much, but after I switched from teaching to writing, I went from standing and walking a lot at my job, to sitting and pounding keys all day. My weight ballooned, and quite frankly I've been physically miserable the last few years. I still have a ways to go to get to where I want to be, but wow is it amazing to not be out of breath all the time. To keep up with my daughter. To take long walks and wear jeans four sizes smaller than what I was wearing. To show some skin again. (It's summer in Florida, folks. If you're not showing skin, you really look like a tourist.)
I can even pinpoint that moment when I'd had enough. I was sitting in the hospital, hooked up to a machine helping me breathe, and had just found out I had pneumonia in my left lung. My heart monitor, which was set for a regular sized person's resting heart rate, kept going off after I'd so much as move around. I asked the nurse if that was normal, and she sighed and adjusted the heart monitor so that it was at least ten points higher before it went off. "With bigger people, the heart has to work harder," she explained. And I realized how seriously my weight was affecting my health.
I went on a ruthless mission to control portion sizes, and began to cut out sugary sodas (okay, so I do still have the occasional coke. But it's a single small can now, every few days, rather than the 40 ounce big gulp I used to chug pretty much daily.) I couldn't even walk the half mile it takes to get to the gate across the farm and back. Now I can do it in 15-20 sweaty minutes. I still have so far to go, you guys, but I am so pleased with how far I've come. I honestly could care less about my appearance at this point. It's just all about feeling better, and maybe that's why it's been working so far.