Saturday, January 3, 2009

In honor of New Year's Resolutions

I know that this may be shocking given my last post, but I don't really believe in making New Years Resolutions- They have never really worked for me.  However, as I have commented several times I have gone through a relatively epic health transformation in the past year and a half.  So, in honor of all of those who ask me about 20 times a day how I have done it (and then look disappointed when I say exercise more and eat healthy) and those who are making the resolution of getting healthy this year-  here is my answer.

Throughout my 20s i pretty much bounced around the same weight +/- 10 pounds.  It was always  a battle for me, but there you have it.  I was active, never thin, but not really out of shape either.  Then I broke my foot, moved to Chicago and did a neonatology fellowship which had me working more hours than I thought possible and pretty much removed exercise from my life.  I gained a shocking 30 pounds in 3 years (disgusting, I know).  Once I moved back to LA, life got better and I struggled to deal with said weight problem. I did the South Beach diet (lost a lot of weight then gained it back, did a few other random diets, but nothing stuck).  Then a series of events culminating with getting ankle cancer and having to spend 8 months essentially sitting on a couch, combined to have me top the scales at some horrifying level.  My Body Mass Index (BMI) was 31-  officially I was into the obese category.  Yikes  My body fat, who knows, but high.  I thought about all of the things that I had been afraid of losing when I learned about my diagnosis and realized that I had lost many of them by getting out of shape.  So, I resoved to change it right then and there...

As soon as I was allowed to start exercising I joined a gym.  I vowed to eat healthier, but told everyone, I was not going on a diet- diets don't work.  I just wanted to be healthy.  My Physical therapist Jonathan guided me in increasing my core strength and ragaining strength in my ankle.  I swam several days  a week as that was one of the few exercises I was allowed.  When I joined the gym, the membership came with 10 personal training sessions.  Once I was given the go ahead from my medical team, I signed up for the first of them and met Jason.  Jason and Jonathan worked together to come up with my initial program, something my ankle could handle, and I started lifting weights really for the first time in my life.  Jason helped me adjust my diet.  My immediate goal was not to look like a beached whale in Hawaii, but my more important goal was to really reclaim my active life style and be as healthy as I could be.  Over the next several months, I slowly completely restructured my diet, my habits and the weight  drifted off. Then the numb foot thing threatened it all, but with persistance I got through that period.  Then graduated out of PT and could focus more on my strength training and endurance.  Still working out with Jason, the whole thing got pushed to a new level.

Now here I sit, embracing 2009, weighing less than I did when I graduated from college, but a few pounds more than when I graduated from high school.  My BMI is down to 22, well in the middle of the healthy range.  My body fat is well- lower, I can actually feel the loss of boyancy in the water.  I didn't do alone, and I did it without dieting.  I feel like i can say that, because I never felt like I was on a diet, just trying to be healthy.  (My remaining bad cravings are chips and salsa (which I indulged in Taos) and cheese-its (those repulsive fake cheese crackers that I love-  they don't come into my house).  

So when asked several times a day how I lost the weight, I used to shyly smile and thank the person and say that I just got obsessed with exercise.  Now, I am more willing to say, that I did by exercising more, lifting weights with my trainer and eating healthy.  If people want, I offer details. More than one of my friends has commented that I am now "One of the Healthiest people they know"  I don't know about that, but I am happy to be a case point for lifestyle changes.

Special thanks to Jason and Jonathan amongst others.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Be proud, girl. It's hard to lose weight, and hard to get fit once you're out of shape, but you did it and did it the right way--good for you.