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.