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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let's start with some basics. 
Who am I?
My name is Bethany.  I am 26, married for almost two years (our anniversary is a week from today) and I have three fur children.   My husband is the executive chef at a local country club (more on that later) and loves to fish, golf, and drink beer.  He is also a busy body, he loves to go where the "party" is and is always stopping by a friend house.  I, on the other hand, like to come home after work, relax and take care of the home.  I currently work at a local retail store as a manager.  I am a teacher at heart and hope to use my teaching skills and business experience to land a corporate training position in the future.  Occasionally I enjoy going out with friends or relaxing at a local winery.   Our dog, Brandy is 5 and is a black lab/hound mix.  We also have two cats, Bootsie and Buttons.  Pictures to come.
Why am here?
This is the second time I have attempted to start a blog.  Hopefully this time it will stick.  I wanted to write about my weight loss journey in a way that wouldn't be intrusive to my friends and family on facebook.  Although I love to share my progress and get really excited when I have good news to share, I don't want to overload those who don't want to see or hear about it.
I have drawn a lot of inspiration from a blogger in Texas.  She is about my age, has two children, a full time job, a husband and a home to take care of.   She has gone from 200lbs to about 135 and continues to write about her success with running and maintaining her success.  If she can do it, I can too.  She also makes me laugh, a lot.  I would like to think that if she lived closer, we would be very good friends.  You can follow her blog at www.mamalaughlin.com
I have also been following and reading blogs that other friends have started.  A couple living in England for a year, a friend living and teaching in Korea for a year, a friend trying to conceive a child with her husband, a friend serving our county with the military, a friend and her husband living in Indonesia and a friend living in Chicago.  Most of these people probably don't know that I follow their blogs or look forward to their posts.  I look forward to getting a deeper insight into the lives of the people I have grown up with or went to college with.  I've felt that I've gotten to know these people on a deeper level even when we don't get to speak or see one another often.
I'm definitely not the greatest writer, nor do I really have a way with words.  I hope to share and perhaps inspire others with my weight loss journey and hopefully keep myself accountable.

Where did I come from?
About 6 months ago, I went to the doctor.  Of course the first thing that they do is have you step on the scale.  I knew that my weight had gotten out of control.  My clothes kept getting tighter and tighter and I just made excuse after excuse about why I wasn't ready or willing to do something about it.
About 5 years ago I made an effort one summer to lose some weight.  this was the summer after my freshman year of college.  I went from 186 to 160 over that summer and I felt great.  I did it mostly by drinking a lot of green tea, controlling and logging my calorie intake and working out about twice a day in the sweltering heat.   I only worked part time, so I was able to dedicate a lot of time and energy to weight loss.
I was also diagnosed with a low Thyroid about three years ago.  Life happened and I had gone off the hormones to correct the problem and wasn't even willing to try until I was able to go to the doctor and get "rediagnosed".
Back to the doctor,  I stepped on the scale and felt punched in the stomach after I saw the weight.  I knew that I had gone over 200 but I figured I was about 210.  The final weight 229.  Almost 90 pounds over what a healthy person of my height should weigh.  Not once did the doctor mention my weight.  He did a very thorough check up and talked about anything I wanted to talk about.  Especially the thyroid issue.  I think he chose to save the weight loss lecture until the results came back.  So,  I had the testing done.  When the results came back, they were negative for any thyroid issues.
This was good news and bad.  I had hoped to get back on the hormones since I knew they would aid with weight loss.  I also realized that I didn't have an excuse anymore.  I was mostly relieved though since I didn't want to take those hormones for the rest of my life.
We also talked about migraines, severe heart burn my plantar fascitis/ heel spurs  in my feet.  In my head I knew that these were all problems that were being made worse by my weight. I decided that it was really time to do something about it.
I would daydream about what it would like for me to be thin again.  I would watch weight loss and exercise program commercials and dream about being successful with just one of them.
I will never forget looking in the mirror one day and noticing some new stretch marks.  I had had enough.  The following day I went out and joined the gym.
How did I get where I am now?
Usually when I am motivated to do something, I will follow through for about 2 weeks.  Then I am done and find excuses to stop.  This time, I really hoped it would be different.  I joined the gym, which had tanning so I knew I could at least motivate myself a little with that.  I also signed up for myfooddiary.com.  I was able to log the foods I ate and my exercise for the day to stay on track for my goals.  I was also able to keep track of the weight loss.  After just one week of recording what I ate and staying within my calorie limit and exercising for about 40 minutes (mostly walking), I lost 4 pounds.  HELLO MOTIVATION!  This only made me want to keep going.
I made sure I ate 3 small meals and 3 snacks a day.  I also allowed myself a small desert.  I started with allowing myself one day to cheat as well.  (more on why I don't do that any more later).  I planned my meals so that I didn't have to think about what I wanted to eat each time I was hungry.  It was already set for me.  This was a great idea for me since I discovered that I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I'm bored, sad, tired, happy, and for whatever other occasion I could think of.  When the meals were set I ate on a regular basis and was able to focus on what real hunger felt like vs.  wanting food to fill an emotional void.
As the weight started falling off I also started noticing that I had more energy, I was sleeping better and I was rarely experiencing the painful heartburn and acid reflux.
About a month after I started going to the gym I was set up with Kristina, after one "free trial" workout, I knew she needed to become a regular part of my work out regimen.   Although the rapid weight loss stopped after the first few weeks, Kristina became an accountability partner to keep me going.  We had our last session a week ago, but she will continue to check in on me and we may even work out together for fun every once in a while.
In the last 6 months I have gone down to 206 (about a 23 pound weight loss).   I have gone from a size 24 to a 16/18.   I plan to keep going until I reach my goal weight of 160.  There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way.  I almost gave up a few times but every time that I got back to the gym, I remembered why I was there in the first place.  There is nothing like an exercise high.
Where do I wanna go?
All along, my major goal has to learn a healthier lifestyle and become a more active person.  When I think about it like this, and I don't obsess about the weight loss, I am much more successful.    In the end though, I want to get down to about 160 pounds.  Then from there I want to work more on toning and eventually get to 140-150.
I want to make it through the holiday season without gaining weight or eating out of control.  I will continue to log my calories.
I also got "transferred" to a less active job, so I hope to up my exercise regimen.  Today, I am going to start eh couch to 5k program.  I HATE running but I want to prove to my self that I can do it.  AFter I complete the couch to 5k, I want to tone up with Jillian Michaels and do the 30 day shred. 

I plan to write about and check in with my progress once a week (just as often as I met with Kristina) and share pictures of the changes in my body and the healthy foods that I'm eating.

I hope to inspire someone else just as Mama Laughlin has inspired me.  Sort of a weight loss "pay it forward"
Until next time,
Happy running!

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