I said in my last post that I'm going to distance myself from FB a bit. The main reason was that I feel it will improve my IRL interactions. The secondary reason was that I have a new project in 2013.
My new project is...me.
I'm afraid this isn't going to be some kind of touchy-feely, get-in-touch-with-my-better-self, embark-on-a-new life quest kind of project. It's quite a literal one. I have dug down not into the depths of my soul, but into the depths of my wallet, and joined the Lean Eating Program.
The Lean Eating Program is a personalized fitness coaching tool where a trained coach slowly walks you through new exercise and eating habits on a daily and weekly basis. The coach provides the program and guidance. There is also online support from the other members of the group. The program lasts a year and is costing me an arm and a leg.
I just feel I have to do something. I'm at the end of my rope.
I wasn't a fat kid, but once I hit my pre-teens, I began packing on the puberty pounds. In my teens I always carried around an extra ten. I briefly took those off when a broken heart rendered me unable to brush my teeth without gagging, let alone eat real food (It's not a diet I would recommend), but gained them back eventually. The ten became 15 in college. By the time I was in my late twenties, it was a good solid twenty extra pounds. At age 31 I returned from my honeymoon and weighed myself for the first time in months only to find I was even heavier than that - and was heavier than I had ever been in my life. I struggled to lose that for years, but soon found myself in my forties with a good extra thirty to forty pounds on my body.
I have a figure one might call "voluptuous". I carry it well in that respect, and don't look too overweight in normal clothes, but it's not healthy. I'm really beginning to despise the way I look. When I'm in dance class I dread the constant presence of a full-length mirror more than I dread a tricky tap combo. I have a hard time finding clothes that flatter me. Currently I don't have a single pair of jeans that aren't painfully tight. I find myself wearing sweatpants to restaurants now. If you asked me to use a word to describe my short, lumpy, dumpy body, the one word that comes to mind is "troll."
I know that's a lot of negative self talk. One of the goals of the program is to end that. Since the program hasn't started yet, I'm still doing it.
I know what my problem is. It's not inactivity. I've been active for most of my life. In high school I rode nearly every day and often supplemented that with dance classes, aerobics, and calisthenics. In college I tried to make frequent visits to the gym and the pool. I spent my summers in those days as a day camp counselor, so I was very active running around with kids all day, plus riding on weekends. Since graduation I have been a devoted, active, nonstop gym member in addition to dance and riding. I'm fit as a fiddle in that department. I think I'm fitter and stronger than most women my age.
My problem is food and it has always been food. I love eating. I take such joy in it. I truly do mean joy. I love to eat. I love to cook. Anyone who reads my food blog knows this. It seems I can only get my eating habits under control for so long. I've tried a few different programs (Weight Watchers, etc.). At the beginning of 2012 I read The Paleo Solution and lost 15 pounds in six months. I even kept most of it off for a few months longer (although I never lost the 40 I truly wanted to lose). It took me two months to gain most of it back. The time comes when I don't want to resist the sweets and the pizza and the burgers anymore. I just want to eat them and eat them and eat them.
It's also true that I gain weight much easier than I take it off. My body type is in my genes. The fact that it took six months to lose fifteen, but only two months to gain ten is proof my body likes to hold onto excess fat with all its might. It also works against me that I'm short. I once heard it said on a dieting website that short women gain weight in "dog pounds" - one pound for me is equivalent to seven pounds on a woman of normal height. I don't use that as an excuse for not losing. However, it is a bit distressing that I have to work even harder than many other women out there. I need even more discipline than a woman of average height with a more forgiving body type.
Lean Eating promises to slowly introduce new habits so that they become natural. They don't overwhelm you with too many changes at once. They don't start tying you to low calorie menus plus an exercise program plus a mind makeover all at once. They guarantee results as long as you're compliant. They don't expect perfect compliance. Eighty percent compliance can qualify participants for a cash prize. When I asked them what the average compliance is they said it's about 73% The coaches do everything possible to keep participants on the wagon. This is important since I won't get my money back if I lose momentum in six months and stop participating.
About that cash prize: Eighty percent compliance might qualify me for a cash prize. The biggest transformations and the highest compliance rates can qualify participants for a $25,000 prize. If that isn't incentive, what is?
Tomorrow it all begins. In order to start, I have to weigh myself, take measurements of both girth and bodyfat, and take the dreaded "Before" pictures.
I keep a separate blog for my health and fitness pitfalls, but it doesn't have much audience, so I'm not very accountable. I'm recording my Lean Eating journey here on Shipwrecked & Comatose because I know there are people who read this blog and I'm hoping it will keep me truly accountable. Three months from now I don't want my friends and family to see me slacking off and laugh.
So I'm going to be upfront and honest here. I'll post the ugly truth of the beginning. Hopefully this will motivate me to have progress to show here. I'm sharing my "Before" photos in all their trollish glory along with my stats.
Bodyfat %: 29