Friday, August 10, 2007

"30 x 30"

So, this post is a little more personal than I might get otherwise. Part of the reason I'm sharing this is because I'm proud, but I've also gotten lots of questions about "How did you do it?" and this is the long answer.

Here goes.

I was always a bit of a pudgy teen. I got to Carleton and gained even more weight eating Lucky Charms for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack again, you get the point. Then, sometime around my Junior year I said "This is insane. Jamie, you tend to be able to accomplish anything you put your mind to. Put your mind to getting rid of this chub."

And I did.

I exersized twice a day at the gym and following healthy meal recipes to a T. I never ever cheated. I made myself forget things like cookies and ice cream.

Completely eliminating sweets is not a method recommended by some because the risk is it drives you nuts and suddenly you're at Ben & Jerry's eating a Vermontster.

It wasn't quite that extreme, but, more or less, that's what happened to me. What I was doing was working, but it was unsustainable, even for someone with my self-control. Eating and exersizing were getting very very boring.

And then came the complications of the "real" world.

I graduated Carleton and moved to New York City at 125 pounds (relax, I'm 5'7). One stressful day at work I ate a cookie. And I was like. "Oh my. This is good. No wonder people like this."

And slowly but surely, the demands and stress of my entry level advertising job wiped out my efforts to eat well and exersize and I had to put all my lovely smaller clothes in a box.

I did reach weights that were not good for my height, age, etc. I worked on a pitch for a casual dining restaurant and found myself above 160. And not feeling well. Winded, tired. I had one pair of black pants that I wore, well, often. I actually brought myself down to 145 after that pitch.

But then I started at McKinney and I was back into the 155+ range. And not looking or feeling well. And I knew that it would only get harder because I was only getting older.

Around Thanksgiving of 2006 I said "This is insane. I am 29 and I need to kick this. Now."

I considered using my bonus to go to fat camp for a week.

My goals was to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday, which was eight months away.

"30 x 30." It sounded snappy. It sounded good. Appealed to my sense of order.

I didn't go to fat camp.

This is what I did:

I stopped eating the McKinney snack. Every day, we get snack. Healthy snacks in the beginning of the week like apples on Monday but on by Friday, we have candy. And there's always food around. I just stopped eating it. That helped.

I don't cook. I don't know much about nutrition. I have a hard time making good choices when I'm travelling, tired, or feeling too lazy to care. So, I ordered food from a service for a month. I was getting a good amount of calories but the meals were balanced, varied and healthy. I know that I do need to solve that one on my own, but the service was a jumpstart that made food something I just didn't have to think about.

Cardio. I like to ride my bike. It's North Carolina - easy to ride year round. Pretty to ride year round. I rode. And rode. And rode.

I never abandoned the trusty elliptical at the gym though. That machine is still part of "the trick" as far as I'm concerned. But, I needed to mix it up.

I'm not going for the waif look. I want to be able to kick some ass. I wanted some tone. You know, those women who have arms and you can tell they're strong like Sheryl Crow. As much as I wanted to lose weight, I wanted to have strength. Luckily, the two go hand in hand.

Gawon. My trainer. Found a trainer and committed to meeting with him three times a week. For the most part, kept to three times a week (travel made it a bit complicated).

I stuck with this. My food choices having gotten better in part because I've had good resources for questions, and living with Ellen really really helped. She kept on me to be balanced and healthy. And she shared her good food with me.

Some pounds fell off. Others were slow as hell. My clothes felt better. Then they were too big. Then people started to notice. The compliments did help. Then I remember looking at my stomach and realizing I had the tiniest bit of definition. The lines.

I weighed myself way more than I should. I just can't help that. The loss was gradual and many weeks were just about maintaining.

So, on the day I turned 30 (yesterday) I stepped on the scale.

26 pounds.

A small part of me was like "Damnit! I want 30 x 30."

But you know what, 26 pounds is damn close.

And I didn't plan on obtaining the strength and muscle that I do have. I'll give myself 4 pounds of muscle.

I'm going on to my trainer's before and after section of the website. I feel strong, able-bodied, and I know that my future self is going to thank my 29 year old safe for getting back into a healthy lifestyle

So I did do it.
And I feel awesome.
And, ok, I look awesome!

Go me.

No comments: