Reconnecting with a healthier me…

Just back from my morning walk, a new habit I am forming, and I composed a fabulous blog post while walking.  It’s just too bad that I cannot dictate it while I am walking, but I’ll try to capture the essence of it to share my journey with you all!

I am one of the oodles of folks who has had issues with weight since I born.  Much of it came from being called fat as a child, and then being bigger/ taller than everyone in my grade all the way through elementary school and even into early high school.  I was never super active, but I was not completely sedentary either, as I walked or biked everywhere as a kid/teen in our small town.  I delivered newspapers as my high school job – was not into babysitting at all – and until my final year when I was allowed to use our moped, I walked the route every day.

So, throughout high school I maintained an average weight of 160 lbs.  Briefly, I went down to 145, but mostly stayed at 160.  I am 5feet 8 inches tall and I apologize to all my metric friends for the imperial measurements – but that’s what I can relate to!

And I believed I was fat. I was cool, I was smart, I had friends, and great hair and funky clothes { it was the 80s}, but in my mind, I was fat. I was not fat – I know this now!

There’s another 20 years ish to cover if I was going to relate my entire weight story, but I’ll skip ahead and gloss over to speed up the process!

My late teens into early 20’s =  in design school and poor, so basically in shape

My 20’s = emotional roller coaster ride, lots of angry but walking helped keep that in check and my weight fairly stable – still in the 160-170 range.

My late 20s, early 30s = Major emotional shift to happiness and the right marriage = UhOh – happy newlywed fat crept in during the first 3-5 years of our marriage.

2003 = Seeing myself in a dance video from a friend’s recital, and watching my “disco ball” baladi dress creep up my thighs, as I was really too big to be wearing this dress…my weight had crept up to 225 lbs. This photo is of me in December 2002, a few months before the disco ball dress incident!

I was teaching 9 belly dance classes per week and still performing when I could, but I was not stopping myself from eating the huge pots of pasta, hot turkey sandwiches and fries and so much more.  I was also not alone on this journey into the world of excess – my hubby was right there by my side!  He was up to 270 lbs when we both made the decision that things had to change.

*SNAP*

July 2nd, 2003, we embarked on our own version of the meal replacement/ calorie counting plan – the big one that has bars and shakes – cause they were on sale at our local grocery chainstore, and I still needed to have chocolate in my life!

By late December/ early January, I was back down at 170 and so pleased to finally be able to buy a pair of pants at a regular store again – as opposed to having to go into the large size stores!

This photo is from December 2003 – the layers poured off as we counted calories and reduced our portion sizes – along with using the meal replacement bars to get a good start on the process.

At that time, I decided I could actually feel comfortable enough with myself on video to produce Halyma’s Belly Dance Lesson One: Absolute Basics for Absolute Beginners. I felt great and really had so much fun doing it, that Lesson Two: Basic Moves that Move You was produced the following year! { advertising part over now}

Over the past few years, I have fallen into a new cycle of yoyo-ing with my weight and now want to explore settling into a good place and staying there.

The cycle goes something like this:

Less work = less stress = time to eat healthy, get into shape, take more care of myself…This would be the winter months mainly, with a break in August to try to counter bad habits incurred over the summer. I lose weight and feel pretty good about myself until….

More work = more stress = more take-out, less time to cook, etc.  This takes place from the late spring, through the  summer, and continues into the fall.

The Plan: Continue what I have started since January:

1-Counting calories

2-Doing it together with the hubby makes it so much easier and increases my accountability!

3- Walking more [ I am still teaching 5-6 hours per week, but I want to increase and change up my activity  options and walking I enjoy.]

4-Keep losing the pounds until I hit 160 – I have lost 13 pounds already since January 2nd, and am on track to reach my goal by mid/end of March. So yay me.

5- Stay within a 5 pound yoyo range – well, maybe 10 pounds, if I start to build more muscle – it could happen!

The main tool I am using are Lose it [Ipod Touch/Iphone app] but any tracking system that works would do it!  I have heard of Spark, and I used the MyCalorieCounter.com system for a while too – they all have good ways to encourage you to get healthy!

January 16, 2010

So, here’s where I am today: 174 pounds and walking 1 hour every morning for the past week and a half.

Thanks for reading – I hope this has given you some ideas!

Halyma

YOUR TURN:

How are you doing on finding the healthier you?

Or have you already done it and have some hints to share to keep on the path?

Feel free to leave some comments, mention any tools you are using, or what has worked for you!

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6 thoughts on “Reconnecting with a healthier me…

  1. Great story and good plan! 2 books I can recommend ‘Mastering the Zone’ has good info on the time when your weight loss seems to slow or does not go further, and, ‘Eat Right for Your Type’ a book about Blood types and the foods that are good and not so good for your type!

  2. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story! I was a “skinny bitch” all my life, until hitting mid-40’s, when years of high stress, chronic pain, slower metabolism, peri-menopause, and being newly trapped in a friggin’ cubicle all day turned me into a bloated bureaucratic misery.

    Last year, after turning 50, I made the difficult decision to retire early, try to quit smoking, be more active, and regain a better quality of life with less “stuff” and more friends.

    The hardest part has been quitting smoking…it’s a frightful addiction; one that I continue to struggle with daily, and don’t always win. The worst side-effect is weight-gain, but despite whining long and loud about it, I’m now much more optimistic about long-term weight loss success, and victory over the evil weed.

    Learning to belly dance is challenging and fun, and I appreciate being part of such a supportive community of women. It’s somehow allowing me to re-connect body and spirit to regain the “true” self, which had gone astray and caused such dis-ease over time. I’m also inspired by some of the oldsters in my aerobics class…they’re out there every day, just “givin’ er”, despite their arthritis and replaced hips, and socializing in community activities within the neighbourhood…they’re cool.

    What’s working for me? Taking that first step to become more physically active. Stopping beating myself up, whatever size I may be. Becoming a work in progress, with no deadline. Having supportive people to share activities with. Taking a few extra minutes to chop those vegetables and fruits for mealtimes and letting the microwave collect some dust. Finding the humour in lifes’ little absurdities, especially ones’ own. Being brave, ’cause gettin’ old is not for sissies! Counting my blessings, for they are many.

    Sorry for the lengthy discourse, it just sort of spewed off my fingertips.
    xo Laura

  3. I agree with your plan. Calorie counting is a fantastic way to lose weight and added with exercise the weight comes off at an even faster clip.

    I’m down 30 pounds but I’ve got 70 to go and lately I feel like I’ve hit a plateau. Do you have any advice for this?

    I’m trying to further reduce my cals along with increased exercise. I’m also trying a new iPhone app called Flat Belly Revolution that tracks your calorie intake throughout the day and tells you if you’re eating too much or too little to stay inline with your desired calorie intake.

    For me I hope this will keep me from running out of calories before the end of the day.

    Some people have recommended that I actually eating more over a few days to “break the cycle” so to speak. What do you think?

  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Sally, and good for you for dropping 30 pounds so far! And yes, I have also heard you can break a plateau by eating more calories for a few days to kick start things and making sure they are healthy calories of course!

    Anyone else?

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