One year ago

One year ago today, I resolved to lose weight & achieve a healthy BMI. Those of you who have been following this for a while know that I hit my goal — and early, no less! Going from 201 pounds in April of last year to 157 at the end of December, and 146 today. The mid-140s seems to be about right, so I’m in long-term maintenance.

I was inspired to get serious by a personally significant anniversary: Dad died in February 1983, 25 years ago. Almost everyone in my family is incredibly long-lived. Going back to my grandparents’ generation, I can think of 6 blood relatives who died before age 60:

  • Dad, heart attack, 45.
  • His half-brother, who fell off of a roof and/or was electrocuted, in 30s?
  • His mom’s younger sister, who died of measles? smallpox? as a child
  • Mom’s older brother, of SIDS. (so he died before she was even born)
  • Her mom’s younger sister, of extremely high blood pressure, I’m guessing sometime in her 50s
  • Her mom’s youngest brother, causes unknown, date unknown. (Well before I was born. He was apparently always in questionable health; his mom died giving birth to him.)

And even looking at really old records, there’s a shocking number of people living into their 70s & 80s. So I figured that — since I survived childhood, and I don’t have whatever oddball condition Great-Aunt Edith had — that what I have to worry about is heart attacks & accidents.

Now that my weight is under control, all I need to worry about is accidents. (Which is more worrisome than you might think. I’ve had a lot of minor accidents that theoretically could’ve been a lot worse.)

I feel fantastic, too. In April, I biked to work at least once or twice a week all month long: logged a total of 201.5 miles. Plus I went on my longest ride EVER: 21.6 miles, which was lovely and gorgeous and I probably could’ve kept going, but I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d make it all the way back home!

I’ve been doing yoga, and my balance is getting substantially better. (That should help with the accidents issue!) I’ve run more than a block to catch a bus without feeling like my lungs and/or legs were going to explode. I’ve spent all day in the garden, working my ass off, and while I suffered for it later, at the time it was great.

Then there’s the vanity. 😉 The largest clothes I owned (part of the great wardrobe that I bought when I started this job) were size 18/20. Now I’m wearing somewhere around a 10. (Women’s clothing sizes. Grrrr.) Which has cost money — thank goodness for Value Village — but been fun at the same time. I’ve also gotten a somewhat absurd amount of positive attention, some of which I’ve already written about here; mostly random people at work going: “hey, you lost weight! you look fantastic!”

The latest bit was going to Procession of the Species with my college roommate Myke, and him saying that I looked about like I did then. (It’s funny. When I was in my teens, everyone thought I looked about 5 years older than I was. Now, apparently, I look younger than I am.)

Finally, this has been a tremendous boost to my sense of my ability to accomplish things. I’ve had plenty of disappointments, unfinished projects, successes that felt more like luck than work. This — I did this. I set out to lose this weight, essentially on my own, and I made it happen. It goes with the bike riding, in a way, as something I didn’t think that I could do, and in doing, discovered a new strength in myself.