So now here's another post in my ongoing weight loss journey. I've posted four installments so far. If you want to read them to catch up, you can find them here here here and here. I posted this on the one year anniversary of the start of my journey. I began on November 12, 2009, and posted this around that time in 2010. So this is basically a reflection on the past year.
A lot of things have happened since then. Obviously, I've lost more weight since November. But another publication decided to do a story on me. I don't know when it will be published, but they're guessing sometime in April. I'll highlight updates in the body of the diary.
Now on with my story...
It's hard to believe that it was one year ago that I started this journey. One year ago I weighed 600 pounds and could barely move. Now, I'm almost 220 pounds lighter and feeling better than I have in a while. It's hard to believe that a year has actually gone by, let alone the progress I've made.
One year ago on November 12th 2009, I walked into my doctor's office to begin my weight loss program. How did I feel? I was a little nervous, and maybe even a little skeptical. I mean, I had done things before, and at one time visited a dietitian, but to no avail. However, I think there was a difference this time. I NEEDED something to happen. Not only for my upcoming China trip, but also for my health. As you know, I had gotten to the point where I could hardly move. Just walking up the stairs from the basement was a huge chore and would leave me winded for a couple of minutes. I was developing diabetes, I had some leg issues that weren't going away as fast as they should have, and I may have been suffering from depression, or at least withdrawing myself from the world.
So after months of persuasion, and that's how long it took, if not more, I decided to take advantage of the remaining months of COBRA coverage I had and see the doctor.
I had no idea how broken I was. Mentally and physically. And sometimes you don't realize it until you're not that way anymore. So it is with me.
So let's see where we are now.
To begin with I feel a lot better. I'm livelier, more engaged with the world, and generally in a better mood. My sister says it's like she got her brother back. Anyway, I feel like ME again. More on that later. Physically, there is a bit of a spring in my step. The other day while getting the mail, I did something that was suspiciously like jogging. I can swim better than I have been able to do in a long time. A half mile for me now is like nothing. It takes a while because I still swim slowly, but I don't swim with problems.
You've all kept track with me as my weight has come off. One thing that I've mentioned, but never really discussed, is what this is doing to me internally. My last blood work was unbelievable. My cholesterol is down to 124 (It had always been low), and it seems that my diabetes has been REVERSED. My blood sugar numbers are exemplary. UPDATE: My last AC Hemoglobin test came in with a number of 5. That kind of number is not even pre-diabetic. I have to keep an eye on my sugar, but it does look like the type 2 has reversed itself. I'm basically healthier than I've been in a while. As for physically, besides the weight loss, I've lost at least 12 inches around my waist. I've shrunk about 4 shirt sizes (It would be more, but gravitational sag from rapid weight loss makes my tummy bigger). I've lost approximately 8 suit coat sizes.
Which means a constant renewal and upgrade of my wardrobe: I'm shrinking out of my clothes at a rapid pace.
And I'm teaching again. I have a wonderful group of teenagers in both band and choir. While I'm only teaching two periods a day, it's something. And it's unbelievable how fast the year has gone. The last time I was teaching full time, it seemed like the year took forever. UPDATE: I have been asked to finish the year for another teacher's maternity leave. This will give me at least 2 months extra money to save for China and other things.
Of course, the last time I was teaching, I wasn't doing so well. During that time, my sister noticed that it seemed I was withdrawing inward and cutting myself off. She think I may have been suffering from depression related to stress, my then teaching job, my weight, and my father passing.
So what do I have to look forward to in the next year? Well, first of all, I need to renew my focus. I said earlier that I'm feeling like ME again, and that carries some challenges with it. You see, I have spent a huge amount of time within the current weight area that I'm at. That is, I've been between 300 and 400 pounds for over 15 years. I'm at a comfortable place right now, as it were. I'm USED to being this weight. Plus, I've been at a certain point in my diet for quite a while, and I've gotten into that routine. This is where my mind plays tricks with me. I've always carried myself as a person who weighs much less. And while I'm much lighter and slimmer than I was last year, I still have a ways to go. For this next hundred pounds, I have to cut back somewhat, and that's proving easier said than done. While I'm still losing weight, I'm not losing near as much as I want. By this time next year, I want to be 100-150 pounds lighter, not 50 pounds lighter.
I've also been slacking off at the pool since early in the summer, what with the census work I was doing, and now teaching. Understandable, but I have the time, and I should hit the pool several times a week. Also, if things go well, I will have a new bicycle by the spring. I test drove a nice model, and it was like I had never stopped riding. It reminded me of my high school years and my freshman year at college, where I rode everywhere. UPDATE: The bike has been ordered. It's a Giant Sedona, for you bike people, and I'm just about fully accessorized. And eventually, I guess I'll start something that may or not look like jogging. I'm thinking 2012 or 2013 Michigan city or Valparaiso triathlons.
And I have another trip to China to look forward too as well. Our orchestra has received a second invitation to perform. This time it will be much more enjoyable, as walking around will be much much easier. And, the karmic balance for that is I probably won't have the perks I did last time, where I was bumped to business class on the trip over, and first class on the way back. But you know what? As swanky as those upgrades were, this is a trade off I'd make any time, and I look forward to sitting in steerage with the rest of the group. Of course, with the fact that I'm only part time teaching, the costs will be a bit difficult, but I'm optimistic and not too worried.
Like everything else this past year, it's all about focus and attitude.
So that's where I was in November 2010, after a year on my journey. My next post will be what I posted when I reached the 250 pounds lost mark. And I hope sooner rather than later I'll eventually write something in celebration of 300 pounds lost.