The difference 250 days makes….

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  This picture comes with a few tears as well; 250, that’s the magic number…September 6th marked the 250th day of the year…8 mths and 6 days….less than an average pregnancy….That’s 250 days that I have documented my food using MyFitnessPal.  Nothing will make you madder than missing just ONE day on Myfitnesspal and realizing that it starts all over at day 1.  Especially when you forget on day 224!  (Just a little side note for future reference.)  So why does this picture bring tears, the outfit on the bottom is what I wore last summer, the outfit on the top is what I wear today.

I’m slowly losing my marbles…and as you can see from my jar on the left, I’m not finished yet!!  Each pound that is lost is represented by a marble on the right.  Each pound that I want to lose is represented by the marble on the left.  I refuse to let myself be defined by “a number” on the scales, this is simply motivation.  I have a more important number to worry about other than the scales, I will explain that one a little later.

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I’m 45 pounds lighter and 45 pounds closer to a healthier ME!!!  It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.   I’ve heard it before, I’ve said it before and before ‘this time’ I’ve felt like I sounded like the Charlie Brown teacher…(you know what I’m talking about).  I’ve done it all, I’ve tried it all….Weight Watchers, Dexatrim, shots, pills, starvation, laxatives, you name it, I’ve tried it.  They all gave satisfaction – in the moment, but nothing long term…This time it’s different, different because I want it – for me, myself, I and my family….my boys.  I don’t starve myself or take weight loss aids. I haven’t done any wraps, fads or weird restrictions.   I keep it simple ~ I stick with what God gave me.  I keep it REAL as in real food!  My main source of nutrition is fruits, vegetables and lean meats.  I do have limited breads, grains, dairy or natural sugars but I’m real selective.  If I have to count it, I want it to be worth it!  I ask myself – did God make it, if the answer is Yes, I eat it.  If the answer if No, I walk away (most of the time – I am human).  I’m still looking for the Doritos tree!  I shop the outside of the grocery store and venture down those center aisles for very few items.  I’ve replaced macaroni and cheese with Quinoa and the full fledged starchy pasta with veggie noodles.  My family used to enjoy macaroni-n-cheese 2-3 times a week, we’re down to once a month now, if we have it that much.  I don’t drink carbonated drinks but I do drink lots of water, unsweetened tea (and coffee!).  I’ve made some changes to my creamers and sweeteners.  Below is a few of my favorites, notice the words – Natural, Pure, Almond, those are key words when picking a good creamer.  Read the ingredients!

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Call me crazy but when I do eat the things that I have steered away from; such as birthday cake and cinnamon toast crunch, I don’t feel well.  Since January, I have not been bloated, overstuffed or miserable after a meal.  The “dessert joke” used to be when the waitress came by to ask, “would you like anything else? dessert?”  The answer would always be “a wheel barrel to get me out of here”….not anymore!  Oftentimes, I split a plate with one of the boys and almost always it’s something light or grilled; fried foods are not my friend in this new lifestyle.  Do I miss certain foods, sure, but I’m convinced it’s all in my head.  Does my body miss them, I’m sure it doesn’t.  My body is thanking me daily for not feeding it food that it doesn’t recognize.  Heartburn and acid reflux are things of my past, Rolaids, who needs a Rolaids, NOT I!  And here’s the cool part – I haven’t needed my blood pressure pill(s) either!!!  On January 4th, I was prescribed my 2nd blood pressure pill to maintain a blood pressure of 135/95.  I told my Dr, that pill wouldn’t last long that I was starting a program the following day as a 39th birthday present to me and my goal was to be off BOTH pills when I returned in August.  She’d heard that before, but this time it was different, I was on a mission and I was DETERMINED!  As the weight started dropping, so did the blood pressure!  I monitor it regularly now and it stays in the 120s/70s on ZERO pills!  (Y*E*A*H!)  That my friends is a number to be defined by, not the numbers on the scales.  When I returned to the Dr in August, my Dr came in with her head down grumbling, “another chart wrong, when are they going to get this weight thing right…”  Then she looked up and her face was priceless.  “WOW!  You really have lost 40+ lbs!!”  I learned later that she thought they’d weighed me incorrectly when I entered the office.  Needless to say, she was tickled that I proved her wrong!

When I started this journey I had 2 goals, #1 set a better example for my children and #2 go off of my blood pressure medicine.  I now have a 5 yr old who will ask me to pack him a salad for lunch – because that’s what he sees me eating.  Monkey see, Monkey do.  And I now have the Dr’s blessing to officially go off of the blood pressure pills that I’ve been on for 7 years.  Yes, 7….I’ve been on at least one pill for the last 7 years.

Before I started this journey my energy level was batting zero.  A year ago there’s no way I could have helped pick 80+ buckets of tomatoes.  No way I could have helped dig a 100 ft ditch and no way I would have torn shingles off of a roof…A year ago, I would have laughed if you told me I would run 5k distances for FUN?!?!?

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If only I had started sooner.  That’s my only regret.  After months on this journey, it’s heart warming to see others in my household joining the same team.

You’ve got this!  If I can do it – You can too!!!

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