The final straw…

So, there could have been a lot of things that spurred a change in my behaviors.  My father had serious heart problems, a massive heart attack at 54 (quadruple bypass and a valve replacement) and passed away at 63.  That could do it.  But it doesn’t.  My brother recently suffered a mild heart-attack at 57.  He lives near me.  I see the changes he’s making.  Maybe it should be that.  All these wake up calls.  But it wasn’t.  It was something much simpler, much more vain.  A tennis bracelet.  My wrist is so thick, I cannot wear my tennis bracelet.  I can’t wear any bracelets.  I literally have exceeded “normal” on the jewelry scale.  That probably sounds ridiculous to someone looking in.  But it’s the impetus I needed.  That and well, I feel generally crappy all the time.  I look like a potato because I have that apple shape.  On a positive note, my fat is pretty evenly dispersed, which means as I loose weight that will be pretty even, too.

When I was young I was incredibly athletic.  I ran, tumbled, rode a bike.  I blew out my knee when I was 17 and post-surgery still rode 100 miles between Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin.  I’ve even done three sprint-distance triathlons when I was around 240.  The good old days.  But here I sit, 283 and some change and I find going up a flight of stairs trying.  Silly.  Silly because it’s a choice.  Albeit an addictive behavior pattern, more on that in some later post, but correctable none the less.  I believe in accountability. I got here because I just plain didn’t care.  For a long time.  You don’t arrive here over night.  So, my stats.  I’m 5’5″.  I’m medium to large build and when not covered in layers of fat, I’m pretty muscular.  I’ve struggled with all facets of eating disorders for as long as I can remember.  At four I learned to eat as a coping mechanism of fear and anxiety.  I didn’t come up in a stable home.  It was actually pretty loud, and screwed up.  I didn’t have a large tool box when I was little.  Food was accessible and I could hide it.  So I did.

Later, in my teens, I found pleasure in the exact opposite.  Starving.  I was a calorie counter and a bulimic exerciser.  That was super fun.  I was cranky, prone to migraines and not very social.  Eventually I wound up in treatment for anorexia/bulimia.  I came out of therapy with better habits but still had control issues.  Not sure those were ever fully addressed.

My later teens and early adulthood actually went more smoothly.  I ate okay and exercised a lot.  And then my knee.  I gained a little, but once I recouped I was back at it and back in shape.  I hovered around 170 but my body fat was like 9%.  Craziness.  Then I fell in love.

The good kind of love, the lasting kind.  And I let up my defenses a bit.  I was (and am) deliriously happy.  I met Frank when I was 23.  We married at 26.  Had our first baby at 27 (almost 28) and our second at 30.  In between, my father died, we bought our first house, I started a business, and my mom died.  It was a whirlwind five years.  At the end of the five years I was heavy.  About 240.  I didn’t feel good.  I started working out.  Eating balanced, for the first time in my life honestly.  And it worked.  I was running/training for the Chicago marathon and I was in the best shape of my adult life.  Then Frank lost his tech job post-9/11.  We worked hard to keep it together money-wise for several months.  I was nervous all the time, and I sat down and started binging again.  It’s my go-to defense mechanism.  Eventually we landed a job in Denver and moved to Castle Rock in 2002.  We landed a nice 2-story house and were getting back on our feet.  I went back to work about a year after moving here and just slowly stopped taking care of myself.  And the years passed and the pounds crept on.  And here I am.  46, gravely obese and sad I can’t wear a bracelet.

It’s more than that of course.  I actually am conscious of my father and my brother’s history.  I worry it will be me.  That I will pass like my parents did, too young with my kids just embarking on their adulthood.  I don’t want that.  I don’t want my daughter becoming a mother without her mother to consult.  Because I’ll tell you what — that sucks.  So I want to do something now, while I can, before life takes it’s toll on me.  I want to be healthy and active.  I want to horseback ride.  For Pete’s sake, I’m too heavy to horseback ride.  {sigh}.  And I’m just plain tired.  I don’t want to be tired anymore.  I don’t want to be short of breath from getting on my socks.  Seriously.  These are real issues.  I want to enjoy clothes shopping with my daughter.  I want to hike and bike ride.  I’m not asking for the olympics here, just fun activities.  That I can’t do today.

So, I’m dedicating 2017 to new beginnings.  I am fully aware that this may be a several year journey.  My brain can only handle the year ahead right now.  I have all in about 130 pounds to lose.  1-3-0.  Wow.  Ouch.  Bet my knees will be happier in the end.  I am realistic in that I aim to lose between 5-8 pounds a month.  Nothing crazy.  My food plan is to follow Whole30 for the most part.  It works for me and simplifies my life.  If I have come to know anything, it’s that I’m sincerely sugar addicted.  In all forms, bread, pasta, grain, sugar, sugar, sugar, candy.  In addition I am embarking on a full-bore exercise program.  Just back to basics.  I have a killer gym in the house.  I just need to plan and use it.  I have the X11i Treadmill (Jillian Michael’s incline/decline machine), I have dumbells, a bosu, and a lot of tenacity.  I’m not going to throw myself into such a strenuous program that I quit, or worse, hurt myself.  I will start with a walking program and graduate to jogging and then running.  I will lift weights and work my core.  And when weather permits I’ll take it outside.  To bike, hike, or walk.

I have two Garmin exercise trackers, the Garmin Vivoactive HR and the Vivofit HR.  I’ll be working with the Vivofit for a while.  Just tracking steps, miles, stairs, and heart rate.  When I’ve shed about 50 pounds I’ll get back to triathlon training and I’ll start using the Vivoactive (it is waterproof for swiming).

I’m in the prepping phase for now.  Prepping my exercise space.  Prepping my food, cleaning the pantry, getting the family on board.  Scheduling “me” time to exercise and meal plan.

That’s the plan, eat less, eat smart, move more.  And write.  Clear my head and track my progress.  My downfalls as well.  The whole picture.  I hope to see you along the way.  Feel free to comment, question, celebrate and support.  I can use all the help I can get.


8 Replies to “The final straw…”

  1. Shay, I love this and I love you! I’m rooting for you and will be working out and trying to eat right right along with you! I never knew your whole story but I’m glad you shared it.


  2. My final straw was at lake Powell when I couldn’t fit in a life jacket, so I get it! I love you friend and I’m here to cheer you on!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: