Ten years ago today, in this very blog, I chronicled my journey to wellness – I went from 196 pounds to 161.5 pounds and from a size 16 to a size 10. At the end of the three month journey, I was running a ten-minute mile, leg pressing 500 pounds, and looked better than I had in years. I recreated myself at the end of 2008 but then proceeded to spend the next 15 months chasing the last ten pounds. I couldn’t even see how beautiful I had become. Couldn’t even stop to smell the roses and appreciate the joy of having achieved such a monumental goal, especially with three young children. Is it any wonder that when I had my son in March of 2011 and gained 75 pounds with that pregnancy, I found it impossible to rediscover my resolve to get in shape with the same fervor? All these years (ten to be exact), I’ve told myself that the reason why is that it shouldn’t have to be that hard, that I don’t want it to feel punitive, that I want my life to be filled with joy, not punishing workouts and deprivation diets.
After re-reading my blog, I had a huge aha moment. If I wanted what I had – the fitness, the strength, the swagger, the sassy confidence of knowing I was giving my all to my health and fitness journey every day of my life… I had to start giving my all to my health and fitness journey every day of my life. And I have NOT been doing that. I’ve been looking for shortcuts, quick fixes, easy answers. The truth is, that journey was HARD and it wasn’t fast. OK, it took me three months to lose the first 20 pounds, but it took me another SIX months to lose the second 15 pounds. And because of my inability to love myself, my inability to appreciate all my hard work and to see all the joy I was finding in being able to RUN HARD, how much I loved to eat healthy, how much I loved to push my body to the limit, I gained 75 pounds with my last pregnancy and am still holding on to every single pound.
I’ve lost chunks of weight here and there – right after my son was born, I got down to 192 pounds, but I was so hard on myself because I misremembered what the first time was like. And so I gained it all back, plus another 20. Then we moved to Florida and I gained another 20 on top of that. In August of 2016, I followed the Ideal Protein plan to a tee and lost 45 pounds in 4 months. But I didn’t work out at ALL, and when the holidays came I started gaining back the weight and did NOT start exercising again to offset it at all. After our move to California, I gained all that weight back, and then another 10 for good measure. And after the fires in Malibu last November, I gained another 15 on top of that. In case your math isn’t as quick as it was in high school, that means I was topping out at 260 at the beginning of this year. No, that is not a typo. In January of this year, I was nearly 100 pounds above my all time May 2009 low of 161.5 pounds.
I started trying to do my own version of the Ideal Protein plan I had done in November 2016 back in Florida, but the weight just wasn’t coming off. And I had been advised to start moving, too, which I had not been doing for months, maybe even years. In case you haven’t ever tried running or even walking with a hundred pound weight on your back, let me tell you – it’s HARD. And it often results in my back spasming, my achilles burning and aching, or any other number of debilitating aches and pains. Regardless, I soldiered on. But after the initial loss of about 7 pounds, the weight loss slowed to about ½ pound to a pound a week. It felt like it was going to take FOREVER at that rate. (And even if it wasn’t going to take forever, it would like take close to two years.) Plus, my support team was encouraging me to dig deeper than diets, to get off that roller coaster and figure out what really needed to change once and for all.
I went to see a holistic doctor a few weeks ago and she fairly quickly assessed me as suffering from chronic inflammation due to multiple sensitivities, such as gluten and dairy. (We are still waiting for the official test results to come back, but I think she’s right.) I also realized that the diets that had worked for me the best over the years – Tony D’s Dreambodies workout, Ideal Protein, Paleo, Whole 30 – worked specifically because they excluded any potentially inflammatory foods. Hmm. That was interesting. This is also what led me back to re-reading the Recreating Liimu blog, which is when I had my second epiphany: I actually thrive when I’m kicking my own ass with exercise or getting my ass kicked (or preferably both). Not only did I thrive, but I needed that in order to see the results I wanted.
It's time to call Tony D.
So, that is what had led us here. I’m in Italy now, enjoying 8 days with my children and husband. A very different experience from when we were here in 2010, let me tell you. In 2010, Glen and I walked all day every day, some days for as many as nine hours straight. With the extra weight I’m carrying, I’m lucky if I can eke out 4-5 miles without having to call a cab. I’m loving it, though, because every painful step is a reminder of who I am today and who I can become tomorrow. I’m so far from giving up, it’s almost scary. I am PUMPED to get started, to grab that future self by the hair and YANK her into my present moment. And this time, I fully intend to enjoy every glorious, uncomfortable, amazing, surprising, painful step of the journey.
It’s time to recreate myself…again. And I’m not playing around this time. I’m not playing at all. I’m recreating. And that’s an entirely different thing.