Hi everyone! I’m Jane from The Year of Moving Forward and I’m thrilled to be providing a guest post while Lori is either on her cruise or recovering from her return to winter after sunny Mexico meeting the Wizard of Dr. Oz! I’m fairly new to the weight loss blogging world. My sister-in-law inadvertantly introduced me to the amazing group of people (YOU!) who blog regularly about all the weight-loss issues I struggle with in my own life. After reading a few, I decided to try it myself.
I have been moderately overweight to obese pretty much my whole life, despite being a very active kid and having parents who were pretty good about what we ate. As an adult, I kept my weight out of the obesity range by virtue of having very active jobs and hobbies; I hiked, farmed, danced, swam, canoed, and gardened my weight into (relative) submission. The kicker came when I started grad school, a lifestyle that involves reading, working on the computer, reading some more, sitting in seminars, reading, working on the computer, going to sleep, getting up early, and doing it all again. After six or seven years of hovering in the 175/180 range, my weight ballooned to 230 during my first two years of grad school.
I had an epiphany about the effect my weight was having on my health when I got winded walking up stairs in a park. I joined Weight Watchers, lost 52 pounds in just over a year, and felt great in my 178 pound body. But I had five more years of grad school ahead of me and put it all back on, plus 8 extra pounds. When I got pregnant in 2006, I weighed 238 pounds. I was very lucky to have midwives and a physician’s assistant tell me that I really shouldn’t gain much weight during my pregnancy and offered ways to help. The PA told me I should walk for an hour seven days a week and I did that through my seventh month. At my heaviest, I weighed 259 and two weeks after giving birth, was down to 234. It felt great to have followed my doctors’ advice successfully! Through the wonders of breastfeeding, I got down to 215 when The Small One was six months old.
But it didn’t last. I have a long list of excuses, but they’re worn out — especially in this crowd!
So several months ago, I decided I needed to move more. It started with a 900 mile move from the middle of nowhere to a small town in northern California. I now live with sidewalks, paved roads, bicycle lanes, and Things I Can Walk To. So I walk. Not quite as much as I’d like, but I walk. More every week so far this year. And I do a variety of strength training at home, too. Mostly hand weights and exercises that use my own body mass against me: push ups, squats, leg lifts, etc. Now, I’m trying to find a way to add swimming and/or water aerobics, even though my schedule is about to become more hectic as I head back into full time work after being a stay at home mom.
I don’t have an amazing take home message here. I’m losing weight the only way I know how: by eating less and exercising more. I need to work a bit harder on the eating less so that everything can come together and get my slow and steady weight loss to be a little less slow, but just as steady. I’m incredibly inspired by the stories I read in the weight loss blog universe. You are all doing such amazing things with your bodies and your lives! Part of what gets me out the door sometimes these days is thinking that I don’t want to disappoint the handful of people who read and comment on my blog. I want them to see my work; I want them to see success. Even when I went to Weight Watchers meetings every week, I didn’t feel as much a part of a community as I do among the bloggers I now read nearly every day.
Right now, I feel like a teenaged fan staring in the window at a bunch of rock stars who run for miles at a time, lift small cars if they’re in their way, and head back for more after being tortured by their trainers at the gym. But I’ll get there. It might take me a long while, but I’ll get there. Someday, I’ll be like Lori…on a wonderful vacation, looking forward to running every day of it, and asking for guest posts while I’m gone.
Thank you Jane! You are getting there 😀