The fourth week of the challenge has come to a close. If I compare it to the 21 weeks prior, it was a pretty normal week. I’m still eating correctly and working out steadily. Again, I did not pull a huge number. I lost 1.5 pounds and overall 8.3 for the challenge. I would normally be disappointed with these small losses, but a loss is a loss and I am committed to celebrating my successes whether they are big or not. I’m down a total of 86.2 pounds, which is apparently 17 bricks.
Jesus, these weekly glamor shots just get lovelier and lovelier.
I’ve had to come to terms with my weight loss slowing down. I’ve lost a little under 90 pounds in less than 6 months. That is no small feat. Considering the 1000 diet/exercise programs I’ve tried, it’s pretty miraculous. But my body just isn’t responding the exact same way as it did in the beginning of the process. This can be both frustrating and discouraging at times. I have a goal in my brain to lose 100 pounds while still on the challenges because I want that 100 pound shirt. And I really want to be a poster at The Camp. There are these amazing posters hanging on the walls of The Camp of people’s before and afters and it may seem shallow or vain, but I really want to see my picture up there. I’ll take some pictures of them this week so you can see what I’m talking about.
So instead of letting myself dwell on the first four weeks of this challenge, I have to look at the two ahead of me. I have just under 12 pounds left to lose to hit my 20 pound goal. I know that seems like a lot to lose in two weeks time, but I’m not giving in until the final weigh-in. I have an X variable which is my diet and Y variable which is my exercise and Z is the amount of weight I lose in a week. In order to change my results, I need to change my input. So, under advisement of course, I am cutting most of my carbs this week (X) and upping my cardio (Y). Hopefully this will improve my weight loss results (Z).
On Friday I will have an unofficial weigh in to see if I need to start the dreaded tilapigus. This is The Camp’s emergency diet. It consists of two things: tilapia and asparagus for every meal, all day, for the last 9 days. I have narrowly escaped this craziness on the last couple of challenges and I may or may not evade it this time, but if it gets me to the next challenge, that’s what I’ll have to do.
Along with changing things up, I also have to focus on all the good things that have come from the last six months of hard work. These are NSVs (Non-Scale Victories).
First of all, I am the smallest I’ve been since high school. I have a pair of American Eagle denim shorts that I wore during my senior year. I graduated in 2004. It’s been a while. Every time I went on a diet, I would hang those shorts up in my room and say, “These are my goal shorts. I want to get back into these.” It never happened. I always quit the diet too soon and packed them away again. When Michael and I joined The Camp, I didn’t even bother taking the shorts out. They were still packed in a box under my bed. A little over a month ago, I purged my closet of things that were too big and took the under-the-bed box out to see if there was anything salvageable in there. And what do you know? There were the shorts folded neatly in a corner of the box.
This would be a lovely story if I said I pulled them on, they buttoned without even an ounce of “suck-it-in,” and the heavens opened up and the angels sang a victory chorus. But that is not what happened, my friend. Here is what happened. I pulled them on, and they slid over my hips with just one jumping tug. (Don’t try to tell me you don’t know what that is.) This was already a win for me as they formerly did not come up past my thighs. I then proceeded to suck in every ounce of oxygen in the room to try and make my midsection as small as humanly possible without causing an organ to explode. I buttoned those shorts, carefully zipped them up, and triumphantly waddled over to the mirror and burst out laughing. I looked like busted can of biscuits! But honey, who cares?! The shorts were on!!
After dancing around for a bit I took the shorts off. One, because I couldn’t exactly wear them in public yet, and two, I also couldn’t breathe. I hung up those shorts feeling fantastic. I knew they didn’t fit yet, but I was on my way! Well, I tried those same shorts on last week just to see if there was progress. And lo and behold, those shorts fit better than the day I wore them in the halls of Memorial High School. The heavens might not have opened up and the angels didn’t sing a victory chorus, but I cried many tears of joy that afternoon. I still can’t believe the shorts finally fit.
I had the opportunity to go to Austin for work this past week, and on my down time I went shopping with my cousin Kimberly who coincidentally was also in Austin for work. I used to walk by stores and know without ever stepping into a dressing room that nothing would fit me. I was too big for regular sized clothing. I resorted to Target’s plus size section and Old Navy because they carry large sizes. I was wearing a 3x in women’s clothing, a 2x in men’s shirts, and size 18/20 jeans. I would wear my husband’s belts because no women’s belts went around my waist. It was not a fun time in my life.
Whenever I go shopping now my big girl brain kicks in and I get that immediate twinge of fear that nothing will fit me. I automatically gravitate to the largest sizes and pray that they’ll fit. This week when I went shopping I was able to fit into mediums and 8s and 10s. I have never been an 8 anything but shoe size in my whole life. This was an amazing and nearly unbelievable NSV for me! It was also the first time in ages that I can recall enjoying shopping with someone and not hiding what I’m buying and cutting size tags out when I get home.
After going on hundreds of different diet programs and trying every pill or gimmick on the market living healthy and being disciplined is actually working!! It is the biggest relief of my life! I tried everything. Everything. And one day I will write a blog regaling the tales of many failed diets. But nothing worked. Maybe nothing worked because I wasn’t willing to put in the work. Maybe I wasn’t mature enough. Maybe I didn’t really care. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. All I know is that This. Does. Work. I eat well and I exercise. And my life is completely different than it was six months ago.
Even though I’m not losing pounds as quickly as I was before, I’m still losing. I’m losing inches more quickly now than ever before. I love how I feel when I wake up in the morning. I love that I can see my body changing and toning up. I love seeing new muscle development. I enjoy getting dressed for work. Even though most of my clothing is too big now, it’s the best problem I’ve ever had. I’m 31 years old and I finally like what I see in the mirror. So no matter what happens in these next two weeks, I’m not giving up. I’m going forward. And I’m going to hit that 100 pound mark no matter what!
Have an outstanding rest of the week,