Published March 1, 2010

Losing the Last 15 Pounds, Day 1: The Struggle

by Helen M. Ryan

March 1, 2010
135 pounds (eek)
Size 6 (eek)

Four years ago I weighed 116 pounds (that's my "after"picture, above"). A respectable weight for a woman 5'1". Two  years before that I weighed 198 pounds. NOT a respectable weight for a woman my height (to learn how I lost the weight initially, read the My Story page). Now I weigh 135 pounds and am determined to lose eight of them by my birthday at the end of this month, with the remainder by the end of April. Can I do it? I don't know. I'll be 44. My body wants to hoard fat. But I will try. Will you join me? Support me? Cheer me on? Hmmmm. We shall see.

I used to rock the free world. 2006 was my absolute strongest year. I climbed mountains on my bicycle,  rode 100 miles in a Century, smashed every barrier I knew to prove to myself that I was no longer a big, fat failure. I was a killer Spinning instructor and a rockin' personal trainer. I was truly at the top of my physical game.

What happened to make me lose momentum? I got divorced

Divorce is hard on everyone. Confusion, sadness, poverty...friends and family lost. No need to go into detail - if you have been there you know what it feels like - but over the next few years I let my passion slide...just a little. Then I let my rules relax...just a little. Had some candy here, some chocolate there, some chips over here, brownie batter over there. A little more. Then a little more. A loaf of hot French bread from the store? Break off a huge chunk, slap some cheese on it and let it take away the stress...for a moment.

The magic moment is the one special time where you do for you and you alone. The moment where you feel special, safe and taken care of. It doesn't matter if it's a fake moment. In the turmoil that surrounds you it is YOUR moment, and no one - no one - can take that away from you. You control the only thing you can - what and how much you eat. So you binge. Aaaah. The moment.

The moment, unfortunately, lasts such a short time. Then you "wake up" to reality and realize that not only did you eat anything and everything you should not have (the carrots are still left untouched in their bag), but you feel terrible. Bloated. And - gasp! - fat again. But you are so tired, so stressed, so overwhelmed with keeping your little household afloat and your career moving forward that you indulge just a bit...and a bit more...and a bit more. Until none of your size 4 pants fit. And your size 6's give you muffin top. You wonder. And then you cry.

You try and try again to get "back on the wagon." How can this be so hard? You've already lost 80 pounds. You still teach Spinning and you still train clients. also indulge in far too many "comfort" foods. You are much happier inside being free of your marriage, but the struggle of keeping a roof over your head lets that little voice take over. The voice that says, "Just a little bit won't hurt. Just a little cookie dough will make you feel sooo good. You deserve it." And so you give in.

Long hours of working at a desk (you are also a freelance writer and a social media marketer), combined with severe lack of sleep and overall exhaustion, land you in urgent care. The doctor finally tells you that you need to sleep (oops, it's 11:45 p.m. again), and slow down. Slowing down is not an option at this point, and you can entertain the sleep thing, but in all reality - you need to start eating healthier again. Take charge of your health, take charge of your you did once before.
So there you are. With your muffin top. Ready to kick some a**. Because you are sick of being tired. And plump.

7 hour of sleep. Yay.
20 minutes of abdominals/butt work (in my PJs) at home which included:

  • Ball rollouts
  • Cross body mountain climbers
  • Planks on the ball
  • Crunches on the ball
  • Side curtsy lunges on Gliding Discs
  • Side raises on the ball with weight
  • One set of 25 kettlebell double swings
  • Leg raises on ball (facing down) with band around calves, keeping band tight and tension on the exterior hips
  • Reverse curls with ball between knees, adding straight arm overhead crunches
  • Bicycles

That's all I could fit in. Had to go easy on the legs because of Spin class later.
In the evening, taught a one hour very hard Spinning class (not in my PJs).
For food?

  • Plain oatmeal with flax seeds, nonfat milk and chocolate chips (60% cocoa - a must) for breakfast.
  • Apple for snack.
  • Double fiber English muffin with reduced fat peanut butter and a side of Greek yogurt for lunch.
  • Orange for snack.
  • Spinach salad with a dash of olive oil and low fat swiss and feta cheeses for dinner (along with two spoonfuels of Amino Fuel - yuck!)
  • Low fat cottage cheese as a snack.

Probably not enough calories for the day considering (I'm hungry now - sniff), but at least it was a healthier day. And this is all about becoming healthier again. Because healthier = thinner. Usually.
Onward and forward.
Until tomorrow.

How did you do today? Share your thoughts below.
>continue to Day 2