I was recently on a local television news show called Paula Sands Live. In a world where people complain that there’s not enough good news on TV, this show is dedicated to the interesting, uplifting, and fun stories of local interest. I’ve been on a few times to tell people about events at Two Rivers United Methodist Church, but this time they just wanted to talk about me. Below is a link to my segment.
There’s one quote from the piece that I want to lift up. “I don’t believe in ‘before,’ and ‘after’… All we have is right now, and the decisions I make right now, and the choices I make right now. Sometimes I make good choices, and sometimes I don’t, but I want to keep trying to live well and do good.”
Over the last few years I think this may be the most important thing I’ve learned. A life of wellness is not about before and after. It is not about being fat or thin. Life is more complicated then the number on a scale or the size of my waist band. Life is a series of choices, and I try to make my choices according to God’s will in my life. I try to be guided by the love of God in all that I do. There are times, moments, days, seasons, when it all seems to be working. There are times when I’m praying more, reading more, working out more, eating well; and there are times when I’m well, I’m just not.
It has now been two months since winning The Challenge with my friend. From August to Thanksgiving I lost 50 pounds, going from 360 to 310. In that time I was able to go from walking a mile on the treadmill in 16:00 to being able to finish a 5K in under 34:00. I’ve gotten stronger. My clothes fit again, and some of the shirts that I bought this summer are now ridiculously big. I am on the tightest hole on my two belts. I generally have more energy and I’m less moody.
On Thanksgiving morning I weighed 310 pounds. Today, two months later, I weight 310. I’ve fluctuated between 308-312 for the past two months. Part of my is frustrated. I wanted to keep on that downward trend. I wanted to simply keep getting faster and leaner and stronger, but it hasn’t happened. There were some major holidays, and extra large meals. There was a hamstring strain that kept me off the treadmill for three weeks. There was the flu that kept me from the gym for about a week. I have also been dealing with more hunger lately than I have did while losing the 50.
I can be good all day, light breakfast, healthy lunch, smaller portions at dinner. Then a few hours pass and I’m cleaning up the kitchen or watching some TV and the hunger sets in. I suddenly want to EAT ALL THE FOOD. One cookie turns into a handful. And a bowl of cottage cheese. And some yogurt and granola. Suddenly all the gains I made all day are gone. I’m not alone. Losing weight is hard. According to some research, keeping it off is nearly impossible. Apparantly it is a natural reaction for your body to be more hungry after losing weight. It’s as if your body is screaming “You’re starving yourself!”
So what’s the answer? I checked out some websites, and basically the only way to maintain this lower weight is to keep doing what I’m doing. In other words, there is no before and after. There is only now and the next choice I make.