Yesterday I wrote a little about how I’ve been making changes in my life and that I had chosen not to write about them in this blog. Today I feel compelled to expand on that a bit so that readers can really understand what riding in the MS Pedal to the Point 150-mile ride really means for me personally.
Last August I underwent a minor medical procedure. Prepping for that procedure meant stepping on a scale, something I had avoided for a couple years. During that time I had also pretty much avoided all exercise as well. But the scale was a moment of truth. And the truth was, I weighed 299 pounds. One pound short of 300. By far, the most I’ve ever weighed. I was shocked and dismayed, and determined not to let the scale tip over to that next number. So I started eating better, cooking more at home, staying away from junk food.
But not working out. That took another month, because it just seemed overwhelming. Oh, I took a couple short walks, but it was easy to tell myself that I’d exercise “later”–a time that never came. Then in September I realized that my size was having a negative effect, to be blunt, on my sex life. There were things I wanted to do that I was no longer capable of doing.
Sex is a great motivator.
September 19 is the date on which I embarked on a campaign of seriously taking care of myself. Since then, I have gone from being someone who could barely tie her own shoes to someone who just biked 41 miles on Monday and is going to bike another 20 today. Through sensible eating–and never dieting, mind you–and exercise, I’ve lost 60 pounds. I’ve gone from barely squeezing into a pair of size 24 jeans to slithering into a size 16 dress. I have a lot further to go. But I’ve come a long way.
And I’m very much aware that the odds of long term success are against me. Study after study shows that almost 95% of people who lose weight gain it all back within 5 years. That’s scary to me, because I’ve done it before. Yoyoing is a part of my personal history since college. I don’t want to fail.
So I am not focused on weightloss; I am focused on fitness and health. The weightloss has been a wonderful side effect, and one I’m quite happy to enjoy, but even more important to me is that I may still be 80 pounds overweight, but I can ride 41 miles, and by August I will be able to ride 75 miles for two days in a row. That is my victory state, not a number on a scale.
Also? The sex is awesome.