Another Year – or two – Gone

I’ve been on this endless cycle of trying to lose weight, watching what I eat, and then letting life get the best of me. I don’t see fast enough results or I feel like I’m working for nothing. I give up and depression takes hold. I had the same problem quitting smoking, but I did, and even now – two years later, I still think about smoking and I miss it but I won’t do it again. When I did quit smoking I gained a lot of weight and with a major move and family issues, I’ve sunk into a new depression cycle. Late last year, I started taking vitamins and some herbal remedies to help with the depression. Everything I read said that exercise was one of the best treatments for depression and I knew it certainly couldn’t hurt.  We have a treadmill we bought on Craigslist for $25 several years ago and my son has a weight bench. It’s all in the garage and it’s cold out there but it’s dry and it’s private. I’ve walked and run on the treadmill sporadically since we bought it.

Last summer, my legs started swelling up. I knew I’d gained a lot of weight. Then, I developed a severe pain along my left side. My blood pressure was up for the first time in my life. My iron was too low and I was anemic. The doctor told me that walking would help me more than anything. He said I was the perfect candidate to relieve some of these health issues by just walking. I walked outside after work every day with my daughter, then it got colder and darker earlier, and I stopped. Again.

Two weeks ago, I was sick of nothing fitting, my legs still swelling, and the feeling of depression. I came home from work and changed my agenda. Instead of kicking of my shoes and settling in to the typical watching tv and writing on my laptop, I left my shoes on and after dinner, I went to the garage. Maybe those herbals were starting to kick in.

I walked for about 30 minutes at about 2 mph. It felt good. It was quiet and peaceful. I had headphones on and music I like blocking out all of the noise.

I did it again the next day. And the day after. And every day, I felt better. I added more speed a little at a time. This week, I was up to 3 mph.

Last week, I came back to calorie counter. I’d been here before. I didn’t realize it was in 2008 before I quit smoking. And I’ve gained 40 lbs since then. If I’d stuck with it then, I would’ve lost all of the weight by now and I wouldn’t be here now.

I’ve exercised every day except one now for almost 3 weeks. The first day, I felt better and I slept better. It eases my mind. I do it at the same time every night. I used to think I had to change my clothes, change my shoes, live up to some exercise plan online or someone else’s goals. I really don’t. If I’m cold, I go out there wearing my coat. If I want to walk wearing my jeans and sweater from work, then what difference does it make? My “walking” tends to be a lot of dancing as I walk with my steps and rhythm changing with the songs on the Ipod. Who cares? No one can see me. And even if they did, it can’t look any worse seeing this fat woman walking and moving all silly than it did to see me going shopping and being disappointed at the size of pants I have to wear now.

So I started moving more. And I started watching what I eat. Two days ago, I got out a little postal scale and started measuring how much food I was really eating.

Wow.

Okay, so I’ve always known that there is no magic pill or quickfix to losing weight. I know the treatment is to move more and consume less. And I’ve always known that our culture has completely ruined any concept of true portion control, but my god, do you know how small an ounce or a teaspoon truly is?

My husband made chicken legs roasted in the oven with a very light breading, mashed potatoes, and baked beans. A nice healthy dinner and I appreciated it. Then, we measured each item before we put it on my plate.

I nearly cried when I realized the chicken was 10 oz and about 700 calories. I started to put them back when my son reminded me that they have bones.

Thank God.

I ate the chicken meat and then measured the scraps and bones. I only ate 3 oz of chicken.  That was okay.

This morning, I made a cup of coffee, and instead of just pouring the cream into the cup, I got out a measuring spoon and measured a tsp.

Wow.

I may stop drinking coffee. It’s not good for me anyway.

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