The first 40 came off rather easily once I was off the steroids. The timing was great as all the kids were in school and I could walk them to the bus stop, see them off, and then head right out on the roads for a run. Actually, run would not be the right word. At best I was on the roads jogging, but, I think "jalking" would be more descriptive. 60 extra pounds puts a lot of stress on hips, knees and ankles and caused me to have a unique running form. As I shed the weight, the pain in those areas decreased and I was able to go a bit faster and a lot farther. Before I knew it, I was 40 pounds lighter and feeling a lot better about myself.
And then, in terms of my weight loss efforts, I went off the tracks. I was still getting some runs in during the week, but they were cut back to around 3 miles, with slightly longer ones on the weekends. But time became tight and finding a chunk of it to dedicate to exercise became harder and harder. I know the naysayers will cluck their tongues and think that I was just making excuses. They wouldn't be wrong.
I have 3 very active kids and a husband who travels a lot for work. As he is often gone, it falls on me to get the kids where they need to be each evening. That means that I am often in my van from 2:30 to 7/8pm, Monday through Friday. When we get home, it is all me getting dinner on the table, dishes cleared, homework, showers, reading logs and putting everyone to bed. Before I pick everyone up to get to activities, it is all on me to pick up the house, do the laundry, have dinner ready to go and make any and all phone calls to insurance companies, doctor offices and run any errands that need to be done. I also volunteer in one child's classroom each year and serve as an administrator for the lacrosse team. In addition, I have started working as a substitute teacher in the school district a few times a week. Lastly, when my husband is away, all of his weekly chores become my responsibility as well. That means mowing the lawn, taking care of recycling and trash, moving wood, etc.
Except for the hour I set aside each day to take my dog Stella Thunderpaws for a walk, the time I have to focus on exercise needs to be either very early in the morning or very late in the evening. Being completely honest with myself, I'm just not motivated enough to do it then. I have a hard enough time getting up at 5:30 am each day. The thought of getting up at 4 am to exercise -- well no, I can't even form a coherent thought after even HEARING 4 am! I have less of a problem with working out in the evening. Getting on my dreadmill at 9 pm is not unusual for me. Its not the exercise piece that prevents me from doing it on a regular basis at that time. Rather, its the fact that I am then so awake that I can't even contemplate climbing into bed until it is well after midnight. 4 to 5 hours of sleep on a regular basis makes me very, very cranky!
When I sit back and think about it, I simply don't want it that badly. That's right folks. I am OWNING my extra 20 pounds and muffin top! I know exactly what I need to do, both in terms of diet and exercise, to rid myself of it, but I am simply choosing not to make it a priority at this time. **GASP**
I have decided that I can do some smaller things that will hopefully help me fit comfortably in my clothes. I may not lose 20, but 5 would be good, and I can probably do that with some minor tweaking.
First, my dog is finally old enough that instead of walking her entire route, we can include some jogging. That should not only help increase my heart rate, it will allow us to complete the 5 miles in about an hour, rather than 1 and 1/4 hours. I have decided to dedicate that 15 minutes to using my husband's kettle bells. As soon as we get back, I will crate the dog for this 15 minutes and go directly to the basement and get to work!
Second, I have committed myself to the 300 Ab and Core Workout Challenge. I have done it twice so far -- well, the first half of it, that stuff is HARD and my abs are SOFT! But my plan is to be able to get the first half down over the next two weeks and then start adding one step each week. By the fall, I should be able to do the entire workout, in the suggested 15 minutes.
Third, I have set a goal to be able to do 20 real push ups. No butt in the air. No head bobbing. 20 real push ups.
The fourth change is perhaps the most important. Now that I have hit 40 and have the metabolism to prove it, I need to make dietary changes. Gone are the days that I could right my dietary wrongs on the dreadmill. I have removed sugar from my coffee. I usually drink 2 or 3 cups a day and usually put 2 teaspoons of sugar in each cup. That's almost 200 calories a day -- that's 2 miles of running! When I think of it that way, it was easy to forgo the sugar. I also need to watch my carb intake. Not just because of my weight, but also because of my family history of diabetes. But, there is no way I can completely cut them out of my life. Because I love them. LOVE. THEM. I can cut back. No, I will cut back. The easiest way to do this (for me) is to replace my breakfast toast with eggs. I like eggs almost as much as toast. If I had someone to make them for me, I would love them more than toast.
For both health reasons and vanity I would love to shed the extra weight. Right now though, it isn't my top priority. I've put my kids, my husband, my house, and sleep ahead of losing the 20 pounds. But I think I may have found a way to lose 5 pounds and still keep my priorities the same. So, I may never look like this again;
I am okay with that.