For nearly my entire life, I've battled my weight. For those who've never had a weight problem, you might imagine that it's as simple as merely cutting back on what you eat and exercising.
But what if you lived in a world where eating 1500 calories a day and running 15 miles a week didn't do squat for your weight loss plan? What if you cut down to 1200 calories a day and STILL didn't lose any weight?
And so now you understand my problem.
My 2011 plan to lose weight began with a vow: this was the year I was going to try EVERYTHING.
I began the year with tests. Perfectly healthy. In fact, sickeningly so. Resting heart rate: 68. Cholesterol: 167. Blood pressure: 110/77.
I consulted a dietician and sent her my stats and a sample menu of what I ate on a daily basis, including the ridiculous caloric binge at Red Robin when I was actually trying to make better choices. The chicken roll up, by the way, has more sodium, fat and calories than a simple burger. Who knew?
She looked at my 3-day intake and declared that I wasn't eating enough. 1500 calories a day and running 15 miles a week? Not enough food. Eat more. Also, I wasn't getting enough vitamin E which meant I needed to eat more seeds and seed oils.
I adjusted and promptly gained weight and shin splints. I reduced my running to 6 miles a week. Still gained weight, shins still hurt.
Someone told me about interval running: Run balls out for 30 seconds and then walk. I quote: It MELTS the fat from you.
I like the idea of fat melting...but balls out with shin splints? Nuh-uh. How about I do an easier version of interval running? A total of 2 miles, including warm up and cool down, with short distances of easy running with shorter distances of walking?
Much, much better. Still not losing...but not gaining. My legs take on a more defined look. I can see a noticeable difference in how my clothes fit. Around June, I decide to take my measurements. They frighten me and I now realize precisely why I have to shop in the fat-lady section.
July: I went back to the doctor's and stepped on the scale. I gained. My doctor looked at my legs. "At least you're muscular." Words every woman wants to hear. "I think you eat too many carbs," he said. "Maybe you cut back on your carbs. Come back in 3 months."
And so I cut back on my carbs. Hard-boiled eggs and yogurt for breakkie. Chicken breast and fruit for lunch. Cheese stick, veggies and a piece of meat for dinner. Peanut butter as a snack. Weekends are tough. I like beer. I switched to light beer. No soda. I drink a lot of PowerAde Zero, iced tea with sugar (yes, sugar) and low-calorie juices.
20 pounds gone as of this morning.
I'm a long way away from the 100 pounds I needed to lose, but I'm 20% there.