Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've changed my life

That sounds a bit inflated and grand, but it's true.

It all started after I weaned my fifth child. When I nurse, my baby weight just falls off me. I actually have to cut back on nursing toward the end, because I get dangerously thin. I always put on a few pounds when I wean, and I'm fine with that. I've weighed the same since I got married.

After #5, something changed. My favorite jeans started getting tighter, more and more unflattering photos were cropping up. I chocked it up to laundry shrinkage, and bad angles, maybe I was retaining water. When most of my clothes no longer fit, and more than a few hideous jowly pictures surfaced, I knew this wasn't just "a bit of a bloat". After years of eating with impunity, I'd hit the wall: the big 30's metabolic slowdown.

I panicked and lost the weight in a crash diet, but hated controlling what I ate so I gained it back and then some. Then I decided to just own it. So I'm almost middle aged, I've had 5 kids, I'm going to end up a squishy, cookie grandma anyway, why fight it? I should embrace my jiggles, exult that I can finally fill an A cup! My husband, whose muscles had looked like they were carved from stone, was getting softer too, so I thought "how cute, we're getting pudgy together!" But he was not as accepting of this as I was, and started working out during lunch. Those chiseled features returned, and I thought "Dang." It's not nearly so fun to get pudgy when your husband looks like you won him in a raffle!

I decided that yes, the day would come when I would become a cookie grandma, but (cue the inspirational music) today is not that day! I would reclaim that young, lithe body whilst it was still within my grasp! I bought a treadmill, and began to run every day. At first it was pretty gross to feel just how much of me was trembling, jiggling and bouncing as I ran, but I kept it up. I loved the glorious feeling of sweat dripping off of me, of my heart pounding and my legs pounding and the power of my body as it worked. I would feel antsy and eager as the time for my workout approached.

I had avoided weighing myself for the first month of my "big life change" because I wanted to be bowled over by my success. Finally, I couldn't resist. I stepped on the scale and CURSES, I had GAINED two pounds! Yes, I know, they were probably two pounds of muscle, but honestly, who needs that? I still couldn't fit into my jeans!

Then, it finally clicked in my brain: I hadn't changed the way I was eating. All those weeks of running, of watching the number of calories burned slowly creep up, one truth sank in. It takes a long time, and a lot of work to burn calories, and my body doesn't need very many of them. I started reading labels, and I was shocked at the things I had been eating. I began filling myself up with real food: fruits, vegetables, or my favorite- beans and rice with pico de gallo on top.

I knew it was finally ingrained in me when I went with my sweety to Carls Jr. I would usually get a milkshake and fries for a snack. This time, I looked at their nutritional information, and almost gagged. A milkshake was 700 calories! Do you know how long that would take me to burn? I was repulsed by what I read. I sat, and watched as my husband consumed almost 2,000 calories. Every now and then he would ask me, "are you sure you don't want any?" Yeah, I'm sure.


Allison said...

You KNOW i'm loving this post!! Way to go, girl! I'm waiting to race with you!

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

Isn't it depressing? Oh, for the high school days when you could eat a whole pizza by yourself, and wake up the next morning weighing less than you had before. *sigh* You wouldn't believe the exercise regime I've had going on for the longest time, and I weigh exactly the same as when I started. I guess that whole diet thing COULD have something to do with it, but I'm just not to that level of commitment yet. Perhaps, because of your inspiring example.... nah. Not ready!

Lee said...

You are cute, and look good.
Good luck!

Kim said...

Yea for Missy! I'm right with ya sister. Congrats, it can be hard to get it done, but it feels sooooo good!

The Bloxham Bunch said...

Guys are so lucky! They can gain weight and loose it the next day just by mentioning it. That part of life is definately not fair

Kim said...

I just wanted to let you know that you looked absolutely stunning last night!

EarlGirl said...

Woo hoo! Thanks Kim. It's so exciting to finally see a difference.

Laura said...

OK you are SO intertaing Missy!!!!!You should write a book- no seriously you should you are halarious and I LOVE reading your posts- I wish I had started earlier caus now i just HAVE to go back and read absolutely everything!!!love ya forgot how much I missed you.