Thursday, February 10, 2011

How has weight loss and exercise changed my life?

Writing this series of posts about my weight loss and exercise journey has been cathartic. Plus it keeps me motivated to get those last pesky 5 pounds off and continue to train for the upcoming Warrior Dash. The reason it is so motivating is because I didn’t spend a lot of time reflecting while I was in the midst of this journey. I just kept plugging away at the numbers on the scale. Now that I am at the tail end of my weight loss, I can see how it has greatly impacted my life.

Energy. I have always been a person who needs at least 8 hours of sleep to function. That is still true (I’m in bed/asleep usually at 9:30 PM). The difference now is that when I wake up I have energy. Sure, I still have my big cup of tea in the morning but I don’t need it. And I don’t find myself sitting at my desk nodding off or yawning frequently. That makes my mornings much more productive.

Patience. More energy also equals more patience. Not necessarily with work (ahem) but definitely with Cameron and DH. I find myself better able to concentrate for longer periods of time. And when I’m interacting with Cameron I am really in the moment with her. That’s not to say there isn’t yelling (well, stern voices) when she keeps whining and whining but I’ve noticed a difference and I’m sure she has too. I personally think I get less irritated by the small things but I’d have to let DH weigh in on that one.

Making good decisions. I’m not going to BS you here; I still love to eat fatty foods and drink far too much wine. And my first instinct is to not exercise. But I find myself making more conscious decisions and hence good decisions. I know that I will usually be “bad” on the weekends when it comes to calories so I offset it with regular exercise. I also ask myself, “Is it worth it” when I’m staring at a particularly tasty looking (aka carb filled) treat. Sometimes it is but other times I know I’d rather have a big lunch or dinner so I can bypass the unhealthy snack.

Body image. I am currently a size 10P and even that is a little big on me. I am planning for a big shopping trip on Monday (even taking the day off of work to hit the outlets!) as I am down to 3-4 work outfits. I love that I can fit into “regular” clothes and have a ton of options from the sale section of most stores. My ultimate goal is to get to a size 8P but I’m not sure how feasible it is. More importantly, I think I look good in clothes! I still have my moments of nakedness disgust but considering I popped out a kid, I’m generally really happy. Most of my cellulite? Gone. Legs? Getting nice and lean. Arms? Still a little flabby but much more definition. I will keep chugging away with my strength training and know that this summer I’m totally going to rock a bathing suit for the first time in years. One thing DH would bemoan is that my cup size has reduced. Not much but probably a cup size. As someone with big boobs for most of my life, I’m going to take my C+ cups and be thrilled with it. Now maybe I won’t be relegated to scoop/v-neck shirts.

Setting a good example. Exercise was never really a part of my life growing up. Sure, my dad worked out regularly and went running and my mom played tennis. But there wasn’t a good dialog about the benefits of exercise. I want Cameron to see how exercise is good for me and make it a daily part of her life. I’m not planning to push her into activities she doesn’t want but DH and I will have expectations for her to live healthy. The cutest thing ever is dressing her up in an Adidas outfit our friends gave us and bringing her to the gym with me. Maybe one day we’ll be side by side working out. Snort. No way, I’m totally not that kind of mom.

Longer life span. I’m going to live until I’m 150. Well, maybe not 150 but I have certainly come a long way from the chain smoking, exercise avoiding, beer guzzling girl of my late teens, early twenties. I guess this means I need to put more money away for retirement…

For my readers who have been on their own weight loss/exercise journeys what tangible/intangible benefits have you experienced?


LauraC said...

Love this post! Very motivational!

I was a size 4 for many years (pre-kids! will never fit back down to that size) and I was still a 34DD. Nothing changes my chest size, unfortunately.

I'm working my way back to a 6 and it is so much harder to lose those last 5 lbs and firm.

Donna said...

One thing I often do when I am eating something that was supposed to be a tasty snack and it doesn't live up to it, I stop and throw it out. I always ask is it worth the calories while I am tasting something. If it isn't, why finish it? As for the cup size and your DH, well let's just say your DH will always be happier than mine in that department - since my DH essentially married Twiggie.

Great post - by the way and congrats again.