The Anniversary of the Day I Changed My Life
Today is one year since I made an active decision to change my life.
On August 12, 2016, I went to the doctor for a short visit to get prescriptions renewed and when I stepped on the scale I almost had a heart attack!
I have never been skinny, but I also didn’t consider myself fat. I am active and my physical exams and lab tests all indicate I am in good health. I never really worried about it. I had felt like maybe my pants were getting a bit snug, but I had also just started grad school and felt like maybe I had put on a stress pound or two….or twenty!
In fact, I was the heaviest I had ever been. In my mind, trying to convince myself this was somehow not my fault, I wondered if maybe I had a giant tumor. But a quick survey of the last 8 months of data on my Fitbit showed me that I had been less active than ever. I had slid right into a sedentary lifestyle. It happened without me even realizing it and I gained weight in a very short period of time.
I committed, then and there, to tracking my food and water intake on my Fitbit every day and ensuring I hit my daily step goal AND a daily workout goal, even if it was just a short walk. I set my Fitbit to keep me in a 500 calorie deficit. Meaning, some days I ate 2000 calories, but if I burned 2500 or more, I was still good. And within a few days, a pound came off, and then another. Within a month I was down over 6 pounds. By Christmas, I had lost 30 pounds. I had not starved myself, I had not given up any of my favorite foods or snacks, and I hadn’t spent every free moment on my treadmill.
Some may question the validity of calorie tracking, and while not an exact science, the proof is in the numbers…I lost weight exactly the way my Fitbit predicted that I would. I still eat chocolate every day, I eat potatoes like they are going out of style, but I count every calorie of it, savor it, and then burn those calories away.
Here I am, one year later, a different and better me. I am healthier and fitter than I have ever been. While still not a skinny person, I am slimmer than I was in high school and for most of my twenties. I sleep well, have fewer issues with indigestion and I am brimming with energy.
It was an uphill battle and probably one I will always fight. I am on Synthroid for hypothyroidism and I take medication for my PCOS as well, but things don’t always seem to work as they should. I have kept the weight off, but I have done so by maintaining my calorie tracking, making sure each day that I am burning more than I am inputting. What may seem a tedious chore takes me only a few minutes each day, and it keeps me on track and accountable.
But everything changed the day I took ownership of my problem. It changed my life. It was humbling but also highly empowering. I saved my health, and I also saved myself from having to buy a whole new wardrobe!
I believe this calls for a celebration!