hApPy oNe mOnTh

Dudes.

It takes nine months to be full-term pregnancy.
It takes twenty-one months to get to Mars.
It takes twelve to fourteen days for a Robin’s eggs to hatch.
And it takes about twenty-one days to form a habit.

Today, I mark one month of being on my weight-loss program. Four weeks of portioning, weighing, counting.
Four weeks of taking a keen eye, and a concerted effort to take back my body, and ultimately, my life.

My Coach asked me this morning – so, you’re still portioning and using your scales, right? And I looked at her so befuddled. Why would I screw this up now? “No, no, Care,” she laughed, “Once people get used to the program, they sometimes will eyeball their portions.” Again, I was so confused. “But, how would I know for sure?” She laughs at me a lot. Lovingly. I like her laugh.

And she trusts me. I’ve stopped breaking down the foods I eat in my food journal, and opt more frequently for just the recipe titles. Holy Casserola. What About KaBob? Melba & LouCheese. The Deconstructed Big Mac. She knows that I experiment using exact measurements and portions, down to the last tablespoon. So while she may ask – okay, I saw a casserole, explain it for me – she knows she’s going to get the answers she’s hoping to hear. That everything is compliant.

And that’s the real fun in the game right? Being compliant to the boundaries of the program? And I’m not talking necessarily about the food I’m eating, but the food I’m refusing. Two weeks ago, I mentioned how hard it was to watch my family enjoy pizza and pulled pork. This weekend, I was confident to make zucchini bread and chocolate chip cookies for my family without being tempted to “lick the spoon”, or give it a taste test. That’s what I have kids for.

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Let’s get real. In the first two weeks, I lost a whopping 10 lbs. But then it slowed down. Fast. And suddenly the scale was registering tiny increments of ounces, instead of the big swings I’d grown accustomed to (I’m weighing in every other day). While my heart sank, my Coaches encouraged my first treat (not cheat, let’s stay positive) meal and I immediately perked up. “Like, fun food?!” They, again, laughed at me lovingly, and said: “Do you have something in mind?”

Yes. This.

What amused me most was that I asked for a salad. My new meal plan doesn’t permit for more than 50 calories a day of condiments, so Renee must think I’m cheating on her. I had J mash together the biggest, and baddest Caesar salad he could muster. And when it came down to finally slapping some authentic calories into my person, suddenly, I was unable to get through the entire thing without feeling extraordinarily full. Fast. Then the guilt/excitement settles over you, like a vicious pendulum swinging between the devil and the angel looking down over your shoulder. “Care, what the hell are you doing? You get to EAT. EAT!” – “Care, you suddenly don’t need massive portions to feel full, you are seeing the results of your dedication!” Whatever dance I was doing between my choices and my realities, the bottom line is that my kid can make an excellent chocolate cake, no matter how small the sliver I had to enjoy.

The scale jumped three pounds that night. Three. I was back to 218. I just shook my head.

But I also took better care of my cardio.

I knew it coming out of Week 3 that I wasn’t spending enough care getting out on walks, or being active. It is imperative that with any weight loss, what you do in the kitchen needs to also be matched by what’s happening with your heart rate. Early morning walks to the Lake by our house and back are enough to keep the embers of my metabolism running, and taking to the Cataraqui Trail on Saturday mornings are a nice, lengthy jaunt into the forest woodland that always makes feel like we’re descending on Narnia. I’m confident come winter, Tumnus will greet me at the halfway mark to Syndenham.

Food this week:

So how did I do? How did I fare? What did it look like to round out one month of being dedicated, of following the rules, learning limitations, and being fully on-board with your health?

It looks like this:

In one month, I’ve carved off 7 inches from my midsection and dropped 15 pounds. My dresses are longer. My leather jacket fits over my boobs again (which, I have to add, are down 4″) and my jeans shorts fit again (4.5″ from my hips).

I could leave off right here. I could be done right now and be satisfied with my body and how it looks. But it’s not enough to rid my sleep apnea. It’s not enough to prevent heart problems, stroke, or any other combination of ailments that could plague me as I waltz into my forties. There’s a long, long way to go. In fact, I’m still more than thirty-five weeks away from my goals.

But that’s okay. And knowing that the next few weeks will be the most challenging, the gym reopens in September, and that will force the extra part of working out (toning) I won’t get from walking alone.

Does 15 pounds really look any different? Does it matter?

But for fun:

Yes. You can.
If you want to.

— c ā˜†

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