A couple of photos for you – I tried to sort of recreate the same position so you can see how much my face has changed as I’ve lost weight. I lose weight from my face and neck first, so that is the most obvious change, but there are others. (Waist Loss Competition is over! I lost 3.9% of my initial measurement!) (Also: I am not wearing makeup in the second photo!)
More important than the physical changes are the mental ones. I stopped eating refined sugar in late March – I’ve given up sugar before but for the first time, it never felt like I was depriving myself. I felt and have continued to feel like I’m doing myself a favour by skipping the horrible sugar. I started slowly cutting carbs out of my diet in mid April and then the weight started coming off. I weighed myself on April 14th and I have lost 13 lbs. since then. I have another 31 lbs to go to reach my goal weight.
In the meantime, I have somehow become the kind of person who can eat three bites of ice cream and then stop. I have had the occasional sugary thing – a bite of someone else’s cake, etc. I am finally learning how to eat healthfully with treats being truly rare. Not only that, I enjoy it. I eat well. You know how they say “You are what you eat?” Well if that is true I used to be made of bagels, muffins, sandwiches, pasta, and poutine. It’s sad to say but it’s true. I got through university eating a lot of carbs because they were cheap and they were satisfying and they were convenient. And now I am made of fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and organic eggs and dairy. I am made of flax seed and olive oil and raw cacao nibs. I am proud of the things I eat, the way I cook. I made spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash the other day for the first time, because I was missing spaghetti and a ton of people have recommended it to me. And I preferred the squash to pasta! It’s not to say I don’t sometimes miss bagels and stuff. But I don’t miss how they made me feel.
I am also discovering an inner athlete that I frankly did not know existed. Whenever I think of growing up and sports all I can bring to mind is the uncoordinated girl in gym class whose classmates teased her for not being able to do anything. It occurs to me in retrospect that this is mostly because I had really bad gym teachers – it was always just “Go do it” which is only enough instruction if you are naturally talented, everyone else needs more than that. I did do lots of fun active things though – biking, swimming, those things were fun to me so no wonder as an adult those things are the exercise I have chosen. If you refer to my last blog you will see that I started roller derby training and I was terrible at it, which made me want to burst into tears but I pushed through the pain and much to my surprise, I am learning! Partly due to the awesome Rideau Valley Roller Girls who are really good teachers. They give great, specific instruction, and they help me more because I need more help. They are also so encouraging – I’m just amazed as I roll around the track, trying as hard as I can to do the drills, to hear “Looking good, Melodie!” I am improving enough that other people are noticing! (I mean, don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not actually good yet.)
What is even more amazing is that I am not learning this skill to lose weight. It doesn’t even enter into it. I am watching my diet to lose weight, but I am learning to roller skate because it’s fun, it’s good for my health, and it’s good for me to try something that I find intimidating. That’s it. There is no part of me that is in it to lose weight.
All of this just goes to show that just when you think you have yourself pegged – you can change.