Sunday, November 27, 2016

Round 2/ Week 3 of the Denise Austin Program

For me, weight loss is a battle. Every single pound is a battle. Sometimes people ask me how I lost such a large amount of weight...They want to know how I was able to stick with it. I have so many things I want to say when they ask. But mostly I just want grab their arm and sternly say, "It was so freaking hard. It was a battle. I gained nineteen pounds back after losing sixty-five and I had to go into battle again. I had to devote myself to it, but mostly, I had to sit with this horrible longing to eat to make it all feel better, and I couldn't."

The first time I lost 50 pounds was before I had my children. I worked full-time as an elementary school teacher in a very high-performing school. I had to dedicate my life to it. Looking back, it was a little easier time-wise because I would come home and spend an hour or two working out and I didn't have to prepare dinner for kids or entertain kids or homeschool kids. I was able to pour into myself for the year that it took to lose those fifty pounds. The part that made it so hard was that I had never experienced success. I had spent my twenties significantly overweight and every time I tried to lose the weight, I failed. So it almost feels like that first time was the hardest, simply for that reason. 

The second time I lost weight (this time it was sixty-five pounds) felt considerably easier. I was nursing and therefore I was allowed more calories. I nursed for three years (I know that this is a long time, but because my daughter was still on a feeding tube, I felt so lucky to be able to nurse my son for so long). I didn't even remember how long it took me to lose it this time so I looked it up...It took me two full years to lose it. Perhaps that's why it seemed easier. I had very young children and I didn't feel pressure. I was allowed more calories, I took my time and I didn't put abnormal pressure on myself, and I knew I was going to be successful because I had done it before. This time was a battle, but because I took it so slow and because I was knee-deep in my daughter's tube-feeding and constant doctor appointments and my newborn boy--the battle wasn't as hard. 

With my nineteen pound weight gain starting this spring, I knew that I was going to have to really rise up for this battle. I'm now forty. I don't get extra calories. And I feel this pressure because I'm just really sick of it. I've been doing battle with my weight for eight years now. I did have a year or two of almost being at goal weight but I was still three to five pounds over. I want it over with. Maintanance is difficult for sure, but putting myself in constant calorie deficit and praying that the scale moves is just plain difficult. I've waged an all-out war against this excess weight and it is taking a lot of my energy. I'm okay with this--and the fact that I'm so tired of it is what is propelling me forward. 

Have you ever heard people say that all they had to do was stop drinking soda and the weight just melted away? Or that they started taking daily walks and they lost twenty pounds in two months? Yeah...That is not me. How I wish it was. I have to count calories, have a workout program, carry my water bottle everywhere, do daily introspection as to how I'm emotionally handling it, wear my combat fatigues...

One thing that is non-negotiable is that I have to love the workout program and the food. I can't eliminate any foods and I must be allowed splurges from time to time. Although I'm in battle mode, I can't do extreme dieting or hours and hours of exercise. My program has to be enjoyable and with everything in moderation. I greatly admire those who can eliminate sugar or lose three pounds a week. I wish I was able, but I just can't. I've tried and lasted approximately a day each time. 

I'm in Week 3 of Round 2 of Denise Austin's 360 program, and I feel so completely blessed to have found something that I truly love. I've taken on programs before that I hated, and I either don't continue and get disgruntled and stop all activities or I push myself through it, miserably. This is now thirteen weeks of actually loving working out and having a deep desire to push myself through this, even though it's still hard. No one enjoys saying "no" to their favorite foods or even having to "sit with it" at night (soon I will write about how "sitting with it" is truly what gave me success) and know that I can't have a bag of chips in bed. Losing weight is hard business. But I'm so thankful that I have a program that I can latch onto and get excited about. 

Since starting the program thirteen weeks ago, I've lost almost twelve pounds and I've firmed up everywhere. I do not lose weight fast at all, so I'm thrilled with my results. I had a three pound loss recently and I was so excited, but I just knew that my loss would be slow for a few weeks after this. I was correct. It's just how my body loses weight. 

I now feel fit again. I'm purposefully doing things that require walking and movement. My son and I love walking the pier. The salty air and beautiful waves are truly therapeutic for this anxious girl who is dedicating herself to getting healthy. 

On this particular day, we saw a bird with a missing leg. It was beautiful and reminded me of my 3-legged dog that just passed this summer. I was able to look at it and smile and remember fondly.

I have no doubt that my depression is being lifted because of the exercise. Thinking about my beautiful dog and being able to smile is huge and one of the side-effects of raising my endorphin levels. Denise did a blog post on this phenomenom. 

For me, the raised endorphins make going into battle a heck of a lot easier. 

I love the calmness of Denise's workouts. It sits well with my love of moderation in workouts and just simply enjoying the workout and not counting down to the minute that it's over. 

I burned 406 calories during this particular workout, and that's about on average what I burn during the thirty minutes.

After working out, I feel more joy in everyday things, such as getting kisses from my puppy.

I take him on walks after my workouts. I feel accomplished and happy.

I took some pictures for Denise's newsletter, and I wasn't embarrassed. 

In my next post I'm going to tell you how this round is different from the first round and the challenge that I've given myself. 

I also can't wait to tell you about "sitting with it."

I've been compensated for this blog post, but it in no way affects my views of the Denise Austin program. It is my absolute honest opinion.

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