Quite a few years ago, I found a quote by Goethe that truly inspired me. It was almost fall and I’d graduated in May with my civil engineering degree. I’d racked up miles and miles on my brand new Blazer driving all over the southeast going to interview after interview on my fruitless search for employment. One of the local hospitals was holding a health fair for seniors, so I took my grandmother to get checked out. At one of the tables sat a couple of nuns handing out these little cards with inspirational quotes inside. I don’t even remember what was on the peel off cover but on the back it said “To your success”. The quote itself read “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where you stand as in what direction you are moving”. At a time when I thought I’d never find a real job and was beginning to doubt myself, my abilities and the decision to become a girl engineer, that one little line boosted me up and gave me just what I needed to get over my pity party.
As I sit here writing this almost thirteen years later I hold that little card in my hand. I’ve held onto it and over the years, it’s been an inspiration to me when I’ve gone through hard times. Now as I begin this journey to be a better me, it’s time for that little card to work its magic and inspire me again.
Earlier this summer, I made the decision to apply for Season 13 of the Biggest Loser. I reconnected with a very good friend who had a little inside knowledge about the whole BL process. She prompted me to create a twitter account so I could follow all the casting directors and BL alumni and keep up with all things BL. I made the decision to not only make a video and submit it but to attend a casting call. We looked at other video submissions and did all kinds of online research on what it would take to make a good video and make a good impression at a casting call. So far no life changing calls from the casting crew but I think the process of applying and what I got out of it is what’s truly important.
While answering the required questions on the pre-registration, writing the bio that accompanied my video submission and actually making my video, I had to admit to some hard truths. I’m not just fat, I’m morbidly obese and it’s nobody’s fault but my own. I let myself get this way by not caring enough about myself. If something doesn’t change, I’ll end up like my dad and my grandfather, dying from complications of diabetes. I’m lonely and it’s because I don’t have enough confidence in myself to believe that anyone would want to be with me.
I want to be healthy. I want to be happy. I want to be confident in the person I am. I want to find the me I’m supposed to be. It’s going to be a hard journey but my life has to change and I’m the only one that can make that happen.
For me this isn’t about a fad diet or a quick fix. I don’t expect to drop a hundred pounds by the end of the year. It’s going to take time. It’s about changing my lifestyle and the way I approach food. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I’m going to accomplish that. Here’s my plan of action.
· Make better food choices – Choose food that is lower in fat & calories, contains more whole grains and is less processed.
· Count calories – When it comes down to it, weight loss is about calories in vs. calories burned.
· Control my portion size – I need to pay better attention to exactly how much I’m eating.
· Eliminate sugary drinks – There are a lot of empty calories in soft drinks and juice drinks. I drink a LOT of my calories. So bye-bye Hawaiian Punch, Arizona Juice Drinks and Terri’s Lemonade. L
· Don’t deprive myself – I LOVE food. My goal is to find food that I love that’s good for me. Otherwise, I’m going to feel like I’m missing out on something and fall back into old habits.
To start out, my goal is to maintain a 1600 calorie a day diet. According to several calorie calculators, I need around 3100 calories a day to maintain my current weight without exercise. To lose one pound a week without exercise, I would need to reduce my caloric intake by 500 calories per day. So if I eliminate 1500 calories a day and exercise, I can expect to lose at least 3 pounds a week. We’ll see how well that goes.
Another thing, I will not be weighing myself every day. If I do that I’ll get caught up in the numbers and not the process. Once a month, I’ll weigh myself and take measurements to record my progress.
The rest of my life starts now. Wish me luck.