Saturday, April 27, 2013

Usually I'm Not One to Brag

Honestly, though, I'm kind of proud of myself.

Toward the end of last summer, I made a decision. I decided that I wanted to make changes in my life. I wanted to try and become more healthy. That kind of change would involve a switch in the way I did most of the things in my life.

Looking back at a blog post I wrote on September 3, it's easy to see where I've succeeded and where I've fallen short. Makes me kind of glad I still do this blogging thing. My life's story is available at a moment's notice.

It was then that I decided to shed some weight. I decided I would change the way I ate and the way I exercised. In changing the way I ate, I cut back on a lot of things and cut out sugary sodas. In changing the way I exercised, it meant exercising at all. And, for the most part, I've stuck with it.

I'll be honest, there have been moments when I've failed in this change of lifestyle. The temptation is always there to choose Mountain Dew over Coke Zero. Most of the time, I'm able to resist that temptation. Sometimes, though, I give myself a pass.

I set a goal for myself to lose roughly 44 pounds by March 6, my 33rd birthday. I didn't make it. Nearly two months later than that 33rd birthday, I can still say that I've just lost 25 pounds. But I'm not that disappointed by that number.

25 pounds feels kind of significant, especially considering I've never attempted any kind of real weight loss regimen before. I'd be thrilled to tell you that I've been able to get down to my goal weight of 180, but I'm equally thrilled to say that I've gotten down to floating around 200 and have maintained for over a month. The fact that I've plateaued in my weight loss just inspires me to begin pushing a little harder.

But weight is just a number. There are other reasons that I can be proud of myself. For one thing, I ran in a 10k race two weeks ago. I finished the race. And I did it in less time than I expected for myself. That's huge to me, considering I never cared to even lace up a pair of running shoes before last September.

Another thing that excites me is my clothing. I see myself in the mirror every day, so whatever changes are happening are gradual and I really don't recognize them in myself. Where I notice the change is in the clothes I wear. Last summer, I was wearing pants with a size 40 waste. Now, I wear size 36. The other day I needed a black belt and the only one I own is from a suit that now hangs off me like a black circus tent. In order to make the belt fit the pants I was wearing, I needed to cut a new hole with my pocket knife. That new hole is about 2.5 inches farther into the belt than the closest factory-made hole. That felt pretty darn good.

As I've said, I'm usually not one to brag on myself. Most of the time, I walk a very thin line between self-deprecation and overconfidence. When I put on an air of cockiness and tell people how awesome I am, I have to convince myself to believe it, even though I'm saying it with a hint of sarcasm in my voice. But I'm proud of how far I've come in the last 8 months and I thought it worth sharing.

I'm not finished. I haven't reached my goal weight. I have 20 pounds to go. And I'm not done running. I have a 5k to run in November. I have a repeat 10k to run in 2014. And I'd kind of like to work my way up to a half marathon at some point in the not too distant future. So stay tuned.

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