2010 – Transformation from FAT to FIT

I was determined, that this time would be different.

This was not a diet, as diets have a defined end, and then what?  This was not focused on weight or size.  This was not focused on calories.  Simply it was focused on becoming fit and healthy— “mindful” healthy eating coupled with frequent vigorous exercise plus adequate rest.

Now, what does “mindful” eating mean?  It means (to me), that you do not deprive yourself, because that just makes you want (dream about, negotiate with yourself, pine for and eventually shovel in as quickly as possible) whatever you tell yourself that you cannot have.  Mindful eating is, being aware that if you have French fries, or cake or a cocktail or whatever makes your taste buds sing, that’s ok, you just can’t do that with every meal and you need to do so with reasonable portions.   Reasonable portions means just that, no need to measure, weigh etc. but a whole pie, or cake or sheet of brownies is not reasonable a single slice is just fine.

Workout and mean it.  Make regular vigorous exercise, meaning most days of the week, a high priority part of your life.  Is working out always fun?  No.  Can it sometimes be fun?  Yes.  Is it more fun after the first couple of tough break-in weeks?  Usually.

Adequate sleep is different for everyone.  Just make sure you get enough quality sleep to recover from your frequent exercise.

This is what I did.  I worked-out 5 days per week and worked-out hard.  I plugged music into my iPod that got me energized.  I joined a gym that was convenient to remove any obstacles meaning excuses.  I committed to myself that this was a priority, that this was important for my health, for my wellbeing, for…me.  OK, now that’s key.  I was doing it for ME, not anyone else!  I also posted an 8×10 copy of the original offending photo that I refer to as “Fat Ali” in a place that so I (not everyone that came to my house to visit) would frequently see it; to remember, how that felt and how I was on a path to change that feeling.

We went back to Hawaii for Spring Break 2010, five months after the infamous photo shoot previously mentioned.  New, better (not great) photos that were starting to reflect the transformation underway were taken.  A representative photo was posted (8×10) beside the original as would other periodic swim suit clad photos which eventually formed a wall of photos that visually tracked my progress.

I continued on this path throughout 2010.   Frequent vigorous workouts, mindful eating, rest—repeat.  I do need to give credit where due to my fabulous husband.  He has always supported me, my efforts and my whims.  In this case he, as the chef of the family, ensured that we had quality meals and fresh foods on hand.  He thinks he’s an OK cook, I think he’s great…I think I’m right, anyway…quality ingredients, lots of fish, lean meats, fresh veggies, fresh fruit—YUM!  At the end of 2010 I gave away the 2 largest sizes of clothes I owned (14 and 12) and packed away in storage 1 additional size (10) with the goal of reviewing in 12 months for future give away if I stayed the course.

In December 2010, @KirkMac asked me “What’s next?” stating his opinion that I needed to have a competition to keep me on track.  Hmmm, now that’s interesting, those that know me know that I’m competitive by nature and was a athlete through high school (yes, that was close to a thousand years ago, but so what!)  Kirk suggested…Triathlon. Now, that was really intriguing.

The Back Story…

A little background seems appropriate to set the stage.

As with many women, including my Mom, I have for much of my adult life struggled with weight and body image.  This resulted in several costly and sometimes painful outcomes:

  • Yo-yo weight fluctuations
  • The “scale” became either my friend or adversary depending on what was displayed
  • Diets and deprivation; food became both the “enemy” and the “reward”
  • Infrequent, obligation-based exercise—we’re talking ho, hum time-based “am I done yet?” type workouts
  • Self image and personal satisfaction with self-image became associated with which size pants I was wearing
  • Enough different sizes in my wardrobe to fill a small boutique
  • Feeling like the ugly step-sister, when on a weight upswing which was becoming more often than not

It was generally all or nothing.  Not a toe in the water, either all-in or all-out.  This cycle was based upon DIETING.  I personally hate that concept as it a fraud…for me it meant:  Diet and lose weight, stop dieting and gain weight, diet and lose weight, stop dieting and gain more weight.  A vicious and unhealthy cycle that I needed to stop for both my physical and emotional wellbeing.  A myopic focus on the numbers displayed on the scale…was a focus on the wrong thing.  I needed to shift my energy and focus to becoming FIT & HEALTHY.