01 02 03 I'm My Favorite: Diet - Getting Started 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Diet - Getting Started

Last week I told you how I got started with exercise. Today I'm going to tell you how I started my journey with diet. As always, I promise to be honest with you. The beginning of the story isn't pretty, but it's true. I hope by sharing my story it will help you. Help you to get started or to see how far you've come. This is just the very beginning of the story. I plan on breaking down these topics in more detail in later posts.

Not So Pretty
After I had Gracie and knew we weren't going to have any more kids I stopped trying. I had tried all my life to lose weight and I was done. I had my family and I knew my husband loved me and I just didn't care anymore.

I ate out for lunch ever day and I ate whatever I wanted. I went to Steak-n-Shake at least once a week and got a chili mac, large cheese fry and large banana split sippable sundae. That's a total of 2,412 calories (54.5 WW points - almost two days worth of points for one meal). I could list other meals that I ate with similar calorie counts on a daily basis.

I didn't feel guilty about it because I didn't allow myself to think about it. I was in denial. The only time I thought about my weight was when I would catch my reflection in the mirror/window or when I would see photos of myself (which I would promptly delete or untag). My mental image of myself was much smaller than my actual size.

What Changed?
My attitude changed in January 2009. I was in my second year of a week-long training in Arizona. At this training you are assigned a class and you are pretty much with those other 20 people the entire week. You're in class with them all day and then if you choose you can go to dinner and spend your evening free-time with them as well. You get close to that group very quickly. My closest friend at this training was Liz and Liz is who got me started on my weight loss journey. Liz is my favorite. (Check out her blog Operation Time For Liz)

On our last night in Arizona of our second year of training, Liz and I sat in the hotel bar and talked. And talked and talked. Although I had technically only been in her presence for only a few weeks over two years, we had kept in touch through Facebook and e-mail and I felt like she was one of my closest friends. We talked about how much we loved this training we were at and all the friends we met and how we were going to miss everyone when we left.

Somehow the topic of weight loss came up and Liz told me that she had lost 55 pounds with Weight Watchers after she graduated from college and had kept it off. I was shocked. Liz was tiny and I couldn't imagine a time she would have ever needed to lose weight. She told me about the point system and how she has all food points memorized. She told me how she incorporated exercise into her life and how it helped her lose weight. She was the right person, at the right time and her example helped me find the confidence in myself to say that I could do this.

I will pause here for some super cute photos of me and Liz over the past three years.

January 2008 - Year 1 - when I first met Liz at our Arizona training.

January 2009 - Year 2 - when I heard Liz's weight loss story.

January 2009 - Year 2 - Liz is is about 5 months pregnant in these photos and looks fabulous.

Luckily for us we got to see each other in July of 2009 at another conference for one night. I'm about 20 pounds down here. She was so happy for me!

Liz wasn't able to attend the January 2010 training this year, but I will see her at the one next month. I can't wait!

I Think I Can
On my flight home from my training I wrote down the thoughts I was feeling. I'd like to share them with you:

"I'm afraid to write about this because I know when I read it next year I'll still be fat but I really, really want to be skinny. The funny thing is I ate really well this week. It started on Monday at lunch. I got carrot cake out of habit and by the time I was done with lunch I didn't want to eat it. I really didn't. Not because I was trying to be good or I didn't want to feel fat. I just really didn't want it. The whole week I didn't eat desserts or junk at breaks. I didn't want it. I really want to lose weight. I do. But I have no confidence in myself."

It was true. Both weeks that I had spent at this training I had eaten really well and because we had to walk to class I was forced to get a little exercise and I felt good.

Here's The KeyI had an ah-ha moment here. It's with that carrot cake I wrote about above. I had picked up a piece of carrot cake as I went through the buffet line at lunch. I did this out of habit. A funny thing happened though. I was busy talking to my classmates and it was getting close to time to go back and I panicked because I hadn't eaten the cake yet. Here's the ah-ha moment: I didn't have to eat the cake. Just because I always ate it in the past didn't mean I had to eat it then. It was time to stop letting food control me. I didn't want the cake. I really didn't. So I didn't eat it.

Tying it All Together
So you take Liz's success story, combine it with this thought that I'm not defined by food and my past choices and tie it together with liking the way I felt by actually moving and I began to think: I can do this.

When I got home I checked out the Weight Watchers web site. They had a free week-long trial. I thought why not? I had lost 3 lbs. while I was in Arizona and my first week of weight watchers I lost 7.5 lbs. In my first six weeks I lost 17 lbs. To be honest with you it was really easy. As I mentioned earlier I had been eating horribly and I was following the WW program to a tee and it just melted off. It's after those first six weeks that it becomes challenging (and I promise to blog about those challenging times too).

More to Come
I plan on telling you more about those first few weeks on the WW plan and how I relearned how to eat, how I had the courage to tell my husband I wanted to lose weight and how Liz became my biggest cheerleader. I'm so thankful I had both of them along the way. Stay tuned for more.

Is there something you'd like to know more about this topic? Have you gone through the same experiences? What has worked for you? What was your ah-ha moment? I'd love to hear your comments.

Zumba Corner
Here are some friends Zumba status over the last few days:

From Mary Ellen
Zumba was smokin' hot tonight!! Wish I could bottle the feeling after a great workout!!
Weighed yesterday and definitely have lost a good 5 lbs. with Zumba (I know more in inches too).

From Heather
Off to the Y for a little swimming with the kiddos. Best part...my swimsuit is getting to big!
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