Friday, June 18, 2010

The Makeover: Photo Edition

The "Before" Shot

June 18, 2009 -- Facing Three Bills -- 296.4 pounds

The "After" Shot
(Though the journey continues . . .)
June 18, 2010: 193.4 pounds -- 103 pounds gone in one year!

New body, new hair, new dress, new shoes.
Every girl needs a RED dress and a pair of killer spiked heels!

The Happy Dance . . .

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Makeover

So, it's been too long, Blogworld.

Since March, to be exact. Does this make me a slacking blogger or a blogging slacker? Slogger or blacker? Pfft . . .

Well, I'm back now. With good news.

Today, I get a makeover. I've needed a makeover since sperm met egg back in 1974, and today, I'm finally getting one. Okay, so what most people call a haircut, color, wax and bra shopping, I'm ambitiously labelling a "makeover" but this is my blog, so I get to define the terms.

As I pulled into the driveway after a five am workout this morning, the term "makeover" was lolling around in my addled brain.

What exactly IS a "makeover" anyway?

When I see them on TV, they're packaged in neat little 30 minute episodes, with appropriate time allocated for commercial interruption, product placement, and promotion of future episodes. They can involve anything from a simple cut and color to a complete surgical overhaul, but they're always done in a half hour. Heck, even a "home makeover" from wrecking ball to welcome mat only takes an hour.

If only it was that easy . . .

What strikes me about the "makeover" I have scheduled for today, is that it's really more of a moment of pause for recognition -- celebration, maybe -- than a start-to-finish project.

The real makeover began over a year ago. And I'm not just talking about my body.

Perhaps you presumed by now -- or read, ad nauseum, on any of the other social networks I've used to hold myself accountable -- that I made the 100 pound goal in less than a year. Nine days less, to be exact. Last Wednesday, I woke up at 4:15 am to get ready for a 5 am kickboxing class. I weighed, as I do each morning. 196.8. Just .4 from the goal.

When I got to kickboxing, I asked the coach to kick our butts. "I need to sweat off this last .4," I said.

"You're not supposed to be weighing yourself," she replied, "but since you asked for it . . . "

(Note to self: NEVER ASK A KICKBOXING COACH FOR AN ASS-KICKING! I suppose this little piece of wisdom might be obvious to some, but I've been slower than most for a LOOOONG time.)

So, she did as I asked. And, after mopping my lifeless body off the gym floor, I raced home, stripped down, and there it was . . .


I stepped on the scale again.


I blinked. Held my breath. Got a tiny mist in the corner of each eye. And weighed again.


"Three times must mean it's real, " I said to my just-awakened husband, congratulating myself for remaining so calm and cerebral at the "official" moment I reached this goal.

Then I just walked to the bed. Sat down on the edge. And the floods began . . .

"What the hell?" my husband asked. "Why are you crying?"

(Men just don't get it sometimes, do they?)

"I don't know," I admitted.

And I really didn't know. Sure, there were tears of joy. I really was happy to have reached my one year goal nine days early. But there was more to it than that. I sat there, trying to remember the last time I had accomplished a single weight or body related goal I had set for myself.

Not a single one came to mind.

Sure, I've lost weight before. Ten, twenty, thirty . . . sixty pounds, even. But something always derailed the plan. Pregnancy. Laziness. Stress. Boredom. Sadness. Whether a major life event or just a poor excuse, I always seemed to let something throw me off, and the weight piled back on again. And usually . . . no, ALWAYS, it brought friends.

Which, of course, begged the question, "Now what?"

"Where do I go from here?" I thought. And honestly, I wasn't sure.

I thought back over the last year.

I beat the treadmill demons.

I walked about a million miles.

I learned to eat for fuel and nutrition, not love or hate or anger or boredom.

I jogged. A lot.

I ran a 5K and a 4 mile race without dying.

I conquered cake. (Well, for the most part.)

I even taught my kids a thing or two. (A few nights ago at dinner, the two of them actually argued over who got the last brussle sprout. Who ARE these children??)

Despite my general objection to homicide, I even "killed" the fat girl. Sort of. She still hangs out in my brain a lot. She confuses me when I'm trying to buy clothes. She tells me I can't cross my legs, wear shorts, or fit into airplane seats very well. She makes me feel a bit like I need to tell "my story" to everyone I meet, lest they mistakenly think I'm a "real" normal person, not just the chubby I am, trapped in a slightly thinner body, hopelessly posing as average.

So, I suppose there is work to be done. Much of it physical. Much more of it psychological and spiritual, I predict.

I've set new physical goals:

25 more pounds in another year
100 "real" sit ups
100 "real" push ups
Continued good nutrition

Maybe even a 10K with a friend of mine who is proudly battling her own demons and has recently taken up jogging.

It's the psycho-spiritual goals I'm not so clear on. How do I get to that place where I'm neither paralyzed with the fear of falling into my old ways nor deluded enough to think I can "handle it" while eating what I want and skipping workouts? How do I get to the place where the fat girl in my head isn't doing my thinking for me? How do I balance the need for forgiveness when I make a few poor choices with the accountability and intentional self-ass-kicking necessary to keep from going soft?

I guess it's all part of the makeover. The body's getting there. The mind is too, I think.

But in the end, I know this can't be a 30 minute deal. Life is not an Oprah episode. I simply can't make over in 30 minutes what it took 35 years to make in the first place.

And so, the challenge remains. And I think the most important lesson I've taken from this year's progress is the power of persistence plus patience. As alluring as instant gratification can be, the long, slow, steady burn of persistent work toward a goal brings much greater reward.

And a personal strength I never thought I'd see in my body or my mind.

May the makeover continue . . . .

June 18, 2009: 296.4 lbs
June 17, 2010: 193.4 lbs

Total loss to date: 103 lbs