I’ve been thinking about how I finally found the courage to change my life and reduce my food intake to 1500 calories a day. I certainly was overdue from getting back on the health bandwagon (having fallen off in fall 2011, after having been on it for the previous 8 or so months). I certainly had lots of inspiration in my personal life – two of my besties are on diets and losing weight, and making great strides. However, I’ve been thinking about one little detail that I think did it for me. Bear with me, this is a little difficult to talk about.
Everyone’s heard of the fit but fat thing, right? Well, I never started out athletic in life, but I rode horses through my entire teenage life, and I guess it put some nice muscles in some important places. I’ve always taken pride in my muscular physique, even if I didn’t do anything to deserve it. Eventually, in my mid-20s, I started weight lfting for the first time (at a gym at work). It didn’t last forever, but that started the cycle of periodically joining a gym, doing hard core weight lifting and pushing cardio hard. I would do it, and run, and be all serious about my goals, but then I’d get an injury, or get a rash from running in a delicate area that prevented me from even walking for several days, ahem (I never knew there existed anything that prevented chaffing until last year, how unfair!!!). Or I’d get sick and by the time I was over it, I was out of the gym habit. You know how it goes, excuse after excuse. Starting and stopping. Lose weight, only to gain it back again.
Ok. So I’ve been relatively “fit” and muscular most of my adult life. I always carried my weight well. Yes, I was fat. Yes, I looked overweight. Yes, I wore baggy clothing to hid in. BUT, I have always been, and still am, secretly proud that I have a solid form, and good muscle tone underneath it all. Well, there is a point when this starts to be overwhelmed by being fat. There’s a point when you see the fat first, and everything else later. For me, 220-230 lbs is that point. The last few months I got to that point and went past it. The point when there’s no where else for the fat to go, so it goes into your face, and you start getting the double chin. That point has always been when I decide to get in shape and lose weight. This time was no different, but yet, this time, there was something extra pushing me to make the plunge to a healthy lifestyle.
For the first time in my life, at age 41, I started having trouble sleeping at night – the fat under my chin was pressing on my throat and making me uncomfortable. To be able to not feel it and be able to sleep, I would have to stretch my head all the way back, without a pillow, in order to not feel that pressure. I got tired of being uncomfortable in bed, every night I would think about if I just lost weight this would go away. It took several weeks before enough was enough. I think this is the reason I decided to do it, and to take weight loss seriously. And already, I can feel a difference. That’s what it’s all about.