Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Year and 33 Pounds!

Guess what today is? It’s the one year anniversary of my adventure toward health and happiness! Obviously something this important deserves an honest and thorough look back. Thank goodness I have this blog and all my faithful readers to entertain my musings!

So, one year later, and I am down exactly 33 pounds and six inches off my waist (and hips). I am literally inhabiting a whole new body. When I started this experiment, my goal was to get to a healthy BMI. At 5’7” and 173.4 pounds, my BMI was 27.2, and technically overweight. That label definitely made me uncomfortable, and turned my weight into a constant source of shame and necessary justification. I am not a big fan of the BMI. Never taking body type, distribution of mass, or even gender into account seems like a ludicrous way to relate weight and height. But, it is a commonly accepted measurement of health and wellness, and one I’d rather be on the right side of. Bringing that number down to 24.9, technically healthy, meant losing 15 pounds. I set my goal weight at 159 pounds, created a spreadsheet to track my servings of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and waited. It amazed me to discover how effortless it was to start losing weight, and how rewarding it became to get on the scale every week. Where I had felt out of control of my weight the last few years, I immediately felt better. I had discovered the secret to losing weight easily!

Once I hit 159 pounds, I didn’t change anything. I was eating healthy, but in no way restricting myself. Anyone will tell you that I eat cookies, cupcakes, bagels and (vegan) cream cheese, pie, ice cream, truffles, and chips and guacamole whenever I want. I don’t count calories, or steps, or points, or carbs. I love nothing more than a deep, round bowl of pasta, and I will never deprive myself of that. So, without “dieting” the scale just kept dropping lower, and I kept getting smaller. My point is that 33 pounds DOES NOT mean work, effort, starvation, or lack. It means putting good things in your body, like roasted vegetable tacos, cauliflower gratin, cherry barley scones, and oatmeal raisin cookies.

This epiphany has been life-changing for me. I was never especially preoccupied with my weight, or insecure about how I looked. But, I know a lot of women who are, and I felt like I had stumbled on the solution to centuries of body image issues. Hence the openness and enthusiasm with which I discuss my own struggles and successes. If your weight is something that bothers you, or is a source of shame, dissatisfaction, or pain, know that it doesn’t have to be. The solution is cheap, easy, and sustainable, and 33 pounds later, I can tell you that it works.

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