In this newest journey series, Tricia has agreed to allow us to tag along as she ventures into “eat more” and power lifting territory. Welcome to the fam, Tricia!
It all started when my gift to myself for my 40th birthday was to quit smoking. After that, a slow transition to clean(er) eating. A year later, when I was elected Alderperson in my city, the switch flipped. My extra 100 pounds no longer reflected my level of success and the way I wanted to present myself to the public. I joined Weight Watchers two days later and weighed in at 266 pounds.
Signing up for that program was one of the most frightening things I'd ever done, and I panic-ate the entire first week. But I went back. And I continued to go back week after week without fail for over a year. The program worked great for me and really allowed me to slowly break my need to binge every night and taught me about portions and nutrition.
At about 45 pounds down, I started exercising and training for a 5k. I thought 2 months of training would be plenty even though I had been sedentary for most of my adult life.
That 5k was one of the most frightening things I'd ever done. I was terrified for the first two miles. I started to calm down a bit by the time I reached the sign that told me the third mile was beginning, and I found my stride. I finished the race in 43 minutes or so, and felt very proud!
At about 60 pounds down, I started a blog – Let's Talk About Being Fat. I wanted to expose the “fat brain” and shine a light on the mental and thought challenges that come along with being fat.
At about 65 pounds down, I started power lifting with my personal trainer. I'd been working with her for about 3 months when she started training me on heavy lifting. While working with her, I've seen my body quickly change and its abilities grow. It's exhilarating to experience constant and progressive success!
At about 75 pounds down, it became very clear that Weight Watchers was no longer working for me – and hadn't been for awhile. I consulted my trainer and learned that I should actually be eating about 2500 calories a day!
Increasing my food intake was one of the most frightening things I'd ever done. I worked really hard to get this 75 pounds off, and “eat more” philosophy is counter to what I've been told all of my life. It's been a challenge to wrap my head around being encouraged to EAT. And to understand that it's better for me. But I know when I'm doing it right. I know when I'm eating clean and eating enough.
I experience the difference in my workouts when I can handle more weight for more reps with less effort. I experience the difference when I stand up with no hint of the head rush that plagued me all last winter. I experience the difference when I'm eating to fullness yet can actually breathe better. This food fuels my body. It opens me to more physical possibilities. It removes the limits and the guilt that come with feeling bad about food year after year.
It's still a huge adjustment – it's only been a few weeks. Ignoring the scale is the biggest challenge. I set out to lose 106 pounds and I've stopped (for now, at least) at 75. But gosh, I'm in the best health of my adult life now at 42. I can bike and run (well… jog) and swim (well… frantically splash) and lift 195 pounds and I've actually signed up for an obstacle course next month!
“What's next?” is my mantra on this journey. For starters, a new blog, Adventures in the Physical, where I'll write about all the super cool and super frightening (to me, anyway) brand new things I can do with my body.
And I'm sure I'll be letting my trainer talk me into a power lifting competition next spring.
After that? Who knows. But I'll be here, trying and eating and trying again. The world awaits!
We strive to stress the importance of staying consistent, trusting the process, and making EM2WL a lifestyle. In featured “Journey” posts we get an inside look at how each person will make the process work for them, as well as demonstrating how this process looks from in real time –NOT just before/after pictures. Journey participants agree to keeping us updated periodically, first sharing their story, then updating as their journey progresses… To become a Journey contributor, contact us at success@EM2WL.com.