More about my Journey, if you care to read on….
While I was never thin (partly hereditary, but no excuses!), my significant weight gain began when I broke my foot in 1984 and I had to suddenly stop all exercise….including skiing and two favorites, racquetball and tennis. Unfortunately, my eating habits didn’t suddenly stop, or even materially change. I am not a cook and, coupled with crazy jobs, meals were typically some form of eating out or bringing home. Unless it was tuna fish or cereal or spaghetti…I could proudly make all three. But I drew the line at anything requiring an oven. It took more than a year for my break to fully heal. Sadly, the exercise never bounced back to its pre-break levels, the eating habits continued, and the weight kept creeping up. Various attempts to diet were ultimately unsuccessful and I settled on keeping up with physical activity to a lesser, but regular, extent.
I know to my (firming) core that my success to date with this journey wouldn’t have happened without the passion and expertise of my trainer/nutritionist Chris, who I was blessed to discover at the Albany Y in spring 2016. My “official” journey would have admittedly started then had I been smart enough to accept his offer to incorporate nutrition from the get-go. Seventy percent of any weight loss success is nutrition, he said. Ha…I knew “enough” about nutrition, just needed to better apply it. A classic case of not knowing what I don’t know. I wanted my workout…ok, not the squats, lunges and NEVER the burpees….but all the rest of that stuff I could survive and knew I wouldn’t do on my own.
The journey became a glimmer when a complete stranger shared with me during one of my first training sessions with Chris that he had lost 100 pounds with my new trainer. Giving me a gift of larger dreams….actually, any dreams….and a new friendship. Thank you, Brian. I swallowed my pride and back-tracked on not needing the nutrition support….and we kicked off my wellness journey June 1, 2016!
When Chris was promoted to a well-deserved position at SSY shortly thereafter, for the first time in my life I chose long-term hope over short-term convenience….following him from my home in Delmar to his new Clifton Park location. A 35 minute drive (silver lining, gas is cheaper up north)!! Then superb SSY trainer Heather lured me into her TRX class, me not knowing she’d make us jog for “active recovery.” Thank you (sincerely!), Heather…my first hint I could survive this torture. But still, no way, NOT a runner.
In January of this year, I followed Chris back to Albany when he realized a key dream to open his own studio…congrats, Chris!! Am so proud of you! I now (semi-) joke that Chris is training me until I hit 100. Most conveniently, he’ll be eligible for Social Security that year….a perfect time, I believe, to retire.
While far from perfect, I had enough incentive by the time Betsey and I left for Australia to keep moving forward….with exercising involving climbing to the top of the Sydney Bridge, riding bumpety-bump camels, hiking, swimming, gyms, and tons of walking. On my return, Chris got me started on logging my food using My Fitness Pal. That proved a PITA but solid step towards focusing…almost 550 days later, the logging continues. It has not only focused me on what I’m really eating and calorie counts. Over time, it has helped me start to better understand what is in food. Beginning with the big three…proteins, carbs and fat. In recent months, starting to look at and better understand other macro data.
I meet with Chris for 30 minutes every week to discuss nutrition, celebrate accomplishments from the prior week and reset as needed with plans of action. That consistency has been most helpful, as I’ve found the nutrition part of my journey to be far more challenging than the exercise. I actually feel that I have exercise down as a habit now…I miss it when I don’t make it happen. Nutrition still very much remains a work-in-progress, but I remind myself and am reminded to celebrate how far I’ve come…..and, no, not with cake and cookies. Most recently, a few of us have started to meet weekly over coffee to discuss and help support each other in our personal wellness journeys. We’ve named our group WINGS….Winning Informal Nutrition Group Support….as one member said, Off we go! I am blessed to have such support from so many, and know over time I will accomplish my goal to make healthy nutrition as much of a habit as my exercise currently is! Yes, including that occasional bowl of ice cream (my favorite…Peppermint Patty from Byrne Dairy in central NY!) and cookie…nothing off limits!!
Writing this also helps remind me how I’ve grown in so many other ways over these last two years….most noticeably, in opening up and sharing things the very private me would never have considered just two years ago. And that growth was spurred by having to post on social media during my first SSY Healthy Y Challenge last year! Change begets unanticipated change….how wonderful. Still not easy, but I know it’s good for me.
My journey continues….at least until I turn 100 (and Chris retires)! Here’s wishing us all the joys of living our lives, the passion to accomplish our dreams, and the strength to move forward wherever our own journeys take us.
With love and hugs….Deb