Back in July my mom got engaged (check out the post here). They quickly set the date for next June, and I quickly realized I needed to make some changes. In 2004 my sister Catherine got married and I served as a bridesmaid. She picked out lovely dresses for us - white halters and dark pink skirts (not the best description, but trust me when I say they were pretty). But I felt awkward in it. Or maybe, I just felt awkward. I had tried a new shampoo that made my hair ridiculously greasy, the dress wasn't altered well, and I was still carrying extra weight (extra at the time, later I realized it was permanent weight) from Logan's arrival about a year prior. I realized that when mom gets married I don't want to feel that way - specifically the extra large part (I have gotten a grip on the hair situation). But not only do I want to lose weight for the wedding, but for me also. The past few times I've mowed the grass I thought I was going to die (not literally, but you know). I feel horrible in a bathing suit. Walking to work in the ridiculous summer eat is unpleasant...you get the idea. So I decided I needed to lose weight.
That first weekend when I went grocery shopping I picked things out carefully and felt pretty good about my choices. But on Tuesday at work, a girl told me about a website called SparkPeople. I checked it out and immediately joined. It's a free site where you track your weight and your goals, and it tells you the ranges you should shoot for daily for calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein. You can enter all the food you eat during a day and it calculates all that stuff for you. You can use it to track your exercise and get suggestions for new ones. You can create a Spark page which is basically a low tech version of Facebook that allows you to connect with other Spark people. You can also keep a blog and comment on member forums, like "How much water did you dink today" or "What to do about people who sabotage you". They also offer lots of articles to read to help you with your weight, nutrition, exercise, self-image, etc.
So, I joined and immediately began tracking what I ate. And you wouldn't believe what a difference it makes. It forced me to really pay attention to what I take in, rather than just thinking, "Well, this is okay, I'll just eat one." It also helped me realize how important protein is and that I really didn't get enough of it.
I also began exercising. I started with walking Molly, then added a longer walk that I do on my own. I also started doing some strength exercises. I was amazed at how quickly things changed for me. I began feeling better about myself and even though I'm not close to where I want to be, I'm working on it and that feels great. In three weeks I've lost 11 pounds and 2.5 inches off my waist. I'm so proud of myself, and so excited to keep on going. I have complete confidence that I can reach my goal by mom's wedding and I'm going to feel great in whatever dress I wear.