Friday, June 4, 2010

How I did it!

I've lost 50 lbs. since October 2008!  It feels fabulous.  I have had so many people ask me how I did it.  So I decided to write it out.  I was born plump and have never been thin.  I've been about 20 lbs. overweight most of my life, and never athletic.  In 2003 Mike was diognosed with cancer and I gained and additional 30 lbs.  I was over 180 lbs. and having to buy clothes in size 16.

First and formost in becoming healthy is motivation.  In the fall of 2008 I was working on a project of scanning over 3200 family photographs to CDs to give to my children for Christmas.  All I could do was think how out of control I was and I wanted to get back to my normal size 12 and 145/150 lbs.  Then Taina asked me to run London's Run (1/2 marathon) with her and April in January 2009.  I just laughed at her.  I couldn't even run a 1/2 a block without getting winded.  She said it can't hurt to try. Well something inside me said, I'll just show her how out of condition I am, and that it's not possible.  But I did start to walk.  I mapped out a 2 mile route in our neighborhood and started walking every night.  (Having all your favorite energizing music in a tiny shuffle is a key factor)  It only took a couple of weeks till I felt like running.  But I could only run for about 3 or 4 houses at a time.  One night I tripped and sevearly hurt my already arthritic knee.  It was so painful I had to stop running.  I hobbled around for months.  Here was my excuse for showing it wasn't possible at my age to get healthy and run a 1/2 marathon!  I also came down with 4 viral flues that fall/winter.  It seemed like I was getting sick about every 6 weeks.  But in January 2009 I went to see a recommended Chiropractor.  He helped me understand that my knee problems were caused by my out of condition (extreemly large) hips.  He gave me several exercises and suggested I wear knee and feet supports.  It made all the difference.  After 6 months I didn't need the knee supports 24 hours a day, only when I ran.  The knee exercises were painful for about 10 months, but I now have full range of mothion.  I also started using Nancy's jiggle machine that stimulates all your body miscles in just 15 minutes.  My 2 mile walk/run became 3 miles.  I didn't like the ups and downs of all the driveways, so I started running on the major streets.  For safety reasons I bribed Chay to go with me every night and he and his friends would scateboard, scooter, rollerblade, or bike while I increased in speed.  I had goals each time to run just a little longer.  Kimo and his family came to visit for spring break in March.  I shocked myself and everyone when I ran the entire 3 miles without stopping!!!!  It felt like a miracle.  That was the first time I thought it could be possible to actually run a 1/2 marathon.  I have been running at least 3 miles almost every day since, and I actually enjoy it.  When summer and the heat came, I realized that it was more difficult to run when the temperature was over 90.  So I started to swim through the summer at Nancy's house instead.  I didn't want to stop swimming when the weather cooled down.  So I joined the  Pure Fitness Gym in the fall of 2009.  All I wanted to do was keep swimming.  But I found myself getting advice from a trainer and using the equipment to my advantage.  I actually got rid of my very wagglie grandma arms.  I now have muscle instead.  In April I ran the Pat Tillman run of 4.2 miles and it was really fun and easier than I thought it would be.  There were 20,000 runners.  900 were women of my age and I came in at #173.  That is pretty respectable!  The most I've run is 7 miles and my goal is London's Run in January 2011.  I am now addicted to the natural high you get from exercise.  I can't even imagine stopping.  It feels GREAT!

The other main factor in becoming healthy is (I don't want to say diet) NUTRITION.  I started out by making a goal of not eating "seconds".  Then it became smaller portions of whatever I wanted to eat.  I remember being excited when I threw away the second taco from Jack in the Box because I was satisfied with one.  It very much surprised me how much my appetite naturally subsided when I became consistantly active.  I stopped wanting to eat just because others were eating and it was available.  When I would fill up with nutritious food my appetite for unhealthy things was just gone!  I didn't even have to work at it.  I also eat every 2 to 3 hours.  Once I went 4 hours.  I got so cranky and binged.  The key is to never get too hungry.  Constantly fill up with the good and you won't want the bad.  By April/May of 2009  I had met my goal of feeling good and being back to a size 12 and I was 164 lbs.  People started to notice and asked what I was doing.  But that is where I stayed for the longest time, doing all the same things.  I still wanted to be 145 lbs again but it wasn't happening.  April gave me excellent advice.  She said your not eating enough protein.  You need over 100 grams a day.  I told her that was impossible.  I couldn't eat that much in a day.  But she encouraged me, and I began searching for protein in every meal.  Chicken, turkey, ham, tuna, peanut butter, nuts, beans, eggs ( I love eggs!), and many veges and grains that have protein.  I also love tomatoes and eat them every day.  I made sure if there was anything that called for lettuce I had spinach. I feel bad for those who don't like fruits and veges.  I crave them.  I eat bananas, blueberries, strawberries, greenbeans, peas, carrots daily and any others that are available.  Thank heaven for Superstition Ranch Market that makes it affordable to eat an abundance of it.   I only eat the whole grain flat round bread now.  It's so delicious, full of protein, and I like it toasted with any sandwich or burger.  Well after months of staying at 164, the pounds started coming off again from the added protein.  The problem was I started to get too skinny (on my top half only, of course!).  You could count my ribs without any problem.  It was not the outcome I wanted.  My trainer said when you work out often you need additional protein other than your meals.  So I started, in addition to my many meals and snacks everyday, to also have protein shakes and bars after every workout.  After a long workout I have a double shake of 52 grams of protein, after just a swim with Ashley I have a 30 gram bar, and every breakfast a 26 grams is included.  I have never eaten so much in my life.  If any of this had included starvation, I would not have lasted.  I can't go to bed on an empty stomach.  But I also don't want to eat anything too filling or hard to digest.  So I started drinking kefir every night.  It is full of needed pro-biotics and comes and a variety of flavors.  The calcium also helps me fall asleep.  I love to eat and I love good tasting food.  Two things I am addicted to and will never give up is CHOCOLATE, and I can't sit through a movie without popcorn.  I eat chocolate almost every day.  It might only be one small piece, but I enjoy it.  And I eat an entire bag of popcorn at the least once a week at the movies.  Mike and I still eat out often.  We usually split an entree.  We eat whatever we want only in a smaller protion.  I honestly believe that the Lord put a variety of delicious food on this earth for us to enjoy and we should never deprive ourselves, but we shouldn't abuse it either.  I have always believed in the Prayer Diet.  If you can honestly and sincerely ask the Lord to bless it for your nourishment and health, you can eat it.  Think of all the food you have eaten that was not blessed and what IT has done to you!

I now weigh 127 lbs.  I have no desire to loose any more.  But I still have a goal of strengthening and firming areas that have never in my life been strong.  I wouldn't even mind gaining a little as long as it is muscle.  Besides, I can't afford to buy another wardrobe.  When I got to size 12 I bought clothes, then size 10 and 8, and now I'm a size 6!  I still can't wrap my brain around that.  In my brain I'm a 12.  I've been that for over 40 years.  It's hard to comprehend.  But it's fun!  I can guarantee it's alot easier to fine cute things in smaller sizes.  I'm an avid Savers shopper.  And clearance racks are my friends.

I am so appreciative for all those who have encouraged and inspired me to good health.  Mike has always encouraged me and helped me find the time to do it.  He has never made me feel guilty about the hours it takes.  He also doesn't mind the investment in healthier food.  I'm always happy when I see some of it rubbing off on him.  April's advice and encouragement has been inspirational.  She is such a good example of enjoying a healthy lifestyle.  Thanks to Taina for believing I could do it.  And Nancy for opening her home and pool to me with the enjoyment of our powerful conversations.  Even though I had to bribe Chay to be with me, I could not have done it without him.  He went with me for almost 9 months without complaint.  When I couldn't breathe and I thought my heart would burst, it was Chay that would say, don't stop mom, you can do it, just a little bit more!


The Slider Family said...

I am so proud of you Mom. Very well said. The only thing your post needs is a before and after picture so people can see how amazing you really do look.Love you and keep up the hard work.

AshEnds said...

You are amazing. You look so great but I think what is even better is that you have added confidence and are just GLOWING. I have lost 30 and feel pretty proud so I can only imagine what that last 15 will do for me. You are inspiring me.

Wherenext With Lon and Josie said...

I loved reading your how you did it and see that team work is what was there for you. What type of brace for you knee did you use as the surgery didn't work for me and I am almost crawling as it is hurting and I am being told knee replacement but I don't believe them I think that I can get it off like you with diet and exercise but I need something to stabilize the knee so that I can walk. I have started my weight loss with 17.5lb lost so far and feeling much better but have so much further to go. Shoot me an email on the type of knee brace you got and I would gladly try it so that I can get to exercising to go with my new eating habit. Love you and so excited to see that you set a goal and an example for the rest of the family to follow.