Thursday, June 20, 2013

Accountability, or Here I Am

In early April of this year, my boyfriend and I stood in front of the bathroom mirror. We were both overweight, though neither of us knew by how much--we didn't own a scale. We poked and prodded at our flab, turning this way and that in an attempt to assess the damage.

"I really want to lose weight this time," I said. "I've always wanted to, but never could stick to anything."

"I don't care if you never lose a pound. I think you are beautiful," was his response.

I should have felt lucky that he loves my body, but I didn't. No matter how I tried, I just couldn't see what he saw when I looked in the mirror.

Later that week I bought a scale. I had a vague idea that I weighed 220 pounds. I am 5'10" and muscular, so I've always carried my weight better than a lot of shorter and lighter-framed women, and I tend to hover around 220 naturally.

I weighed 236, which put my BMI solidly into the "obese" range. I know, I know--BMI is only a rough estimate--but I knew I weighed much more than was healthy for me. My boyfriend also weighed more than he thought, by about 20 pounds. We made a commitment to "eat better," but didn't really know what that meant.

We spent about a month doing low-carb, and lost some weight, but it plateaued. Through research, I realized I really needed to be counting calories and exercising. I bought a Fitbit One (which I love) and began logging food. I ate carbs again, but avoided white flour and sugar. We tried to run three days a week and do plyo and weights one day a week, but my schedule and energy level didn't allow it a lot of the time. My Fitbit was giving me a lot of calories to eat (about 1900) and my weight loss stalled once again.  I reduced my calorie intake to 1400 per day, which has brought me down to 213.

My boyfriend isn't counting calories, but has lost about 25 pounds. Men.

Anyway, I am a teacher, and I'm off for the next 9 weeks. My goal weight is 170: my healthy weight in high school. I am a doer, and I struggle with down time. So I have made a commitment to make losing weight my job for the next 9 weeks. I am going to alternate day fast, without the fast. 500 calories three days a week, then around 2000 the other four days. On low days, I will walk and hit the elliptical, and on high days I will do more high-intensity workouts like calisthenics and running. I know, I'm lucky. I get to do my own version of the Biggest Loser, without worrying about income.

Which brings me to why I started this blog. My weight loss journey started with the acknowledgement that I could never stick to a plan. The hope is that having this space will require me to stay focused, and that my readers (should I ever get any) will hold me accountable.

Stay tuned for my first daily post!