back in january c and i embarked on a weight loss journey together. ooops, sorry. i’m supposed to say a journey toward getting healthy so i don’t make anyone feel badly about themselves or discriminated against. but here’s the thing: to successfully lose weight you have to tell yourself the truth and the truth was that c and i needed to lose weight. i could tell you that both c and i have a genetic history of obesity and that it makes it hard to lose weight and keep it off. i could tell you that, and i could also admit that it’s an excuse. yes, genetics play a role in weight, but just like inheriting crooked teeth or lousy vision, there are ways to fix things. staying within your ideal weight range is no different. some of us have to pay more attention to fixing weight things than others.
for the past five months c and i worked at losing weight together and so far the two of us combined have lost the equivalent of a runway model. not a vogue model mind you, but a regular runway model that weights in the three-digit numbers.
i like to lose weight in the winter and i’m always more successful at it if i start during the winter months. by the time summer rolls around, i’m too lazy to think that much and intentionally sweating in the heat feels icky. but it’s easy to keep weight off in the summer because it’s too hot to eat and i drink a lot of liquids that fill me up.
c’s transformation is so dramatic that people who haven’t seen him in awhile stop him and ask how he did it. he tells them the truth and they don’t like the answer. everyone wants a quick fix and trust me, i do too, but after spending an entire lifetime gaining and losing weight, i know that getting weight off is concentrated work. the upside is that the longer you follow the plan, the easier it gets and absolutely the more fun exercise becomes.
the last time i lost weight, i hired a personal trainer to teach me how to work out and to some extent how to eat. and i kept the weight off for a couple of years until our daughter needed a bone marrow transplant and i kept my worry in check with wine. i thought about medication and maybe that would have been a better option, but i went with the wine and along with it came the weight. of course, that was my excuse for one year, but then another year went by, our daughter recovered beautifully and i kept enjoying my wine, not to mention discovering a liking for botanical gin and small batch whiskies.
(lest you think i settled into being an alcoholic, know that along with the lovely alcoholic beverages came wonderful charcuterie spreads with crusty bread, all of which combined led to a larger version of me.)
by the time january of 2013 rolled around i was in such pain in my knees from the extra weight and lazy lifestyle that i thought i might need knee replacement surgery. instead, c and i started walking. it hurt, i’m not going to sugar coat it, walking hurt my already hurting knees. but then a funny thing happened: my knees felt better the day after walking. and the more i walked, the better they felt.
at the same time, i discovered an app called lose it! which is basically a calorie counting app for your phone. you dial in your weight, your goal and the number of pounds a week you want to lose (up to 2) and it returns the number of calories you should be eating a day to achieve that goal. you can enter in your exercise type and time and it adds those calories back into your available calories. as you lose weight, you enter your weight loss and it subtract calories from your available count to help you keep going.
well, only if you tell the truth and if you’re diligent about entering your food every day. results don’t lie. and what i quickly learned was that i had to earn more calories or more weight loss by exercising. so i added zumba class. and elliptical. and weight training.
all of it worked. what worked the best was (is) having c as a partner.
experts have always said that it’s easier to lose weight with a buddy and c and i found out how true that is. but it has to be a specific kind of buddy – one you can trust, one who doesn’t sabotage you and one who doesn’t compete with you. basically, a buddy who acts as your cheerleader and who is just as willing as you are to coax their buddy into a workout or convince your buddy out of a bad decision.
next time: journey of genetic defiance part II