Success is a Dish Best Served Cold

The premise of this blog is basically accidental weight-loss. I focus on filling my body with healthy, nutritious food while doing things I enjoy like running, snowboarding and mountain biking. I used to tell myself that actually weight-loss is just the plus-side to living a healthy mindful life. But lets face it, if I was naturally skinny…I wouldn’t run. One of the reasons I enjoy running is that I know how good it is for weight loss. I think I still think of myself as overweight. That people look at me and see who I’ve seen for over 10 years – overweight Jess.

But that isn’t me anymore. My BMI puts me in the ‘normal’ range. In fact, someone added a photo of me on facebook recently and I was amazed at how…healthy I look. Facebook acts as a bit of a timeline really and highlights how important it is to think long term.

timeline

I used to take my measurements weekly, but that fell by the wayside when I stopped thinking about it. Actually I weighed myself for the first time in awhile this week because I thought I had been eating relatively irresponsibly and was pleasantly surprised to see that, since starting this blog in May I have lost 4 kg and am comfortably below 70 kg, very close to my lowest weight last year when I was on wedding lock down,

I actually don’t really want to lose any more weight. Here is my theory: it is better to be at the higher end of average with a comfortable buffer between you and being overweight than the lower end and definitely not underweight. My reason being, well, its a little nuts but….if an an apocalypse came, I have a better chance of surviving. It also applys to getting some sort of serious illness, having a bit more meat on my bones might help me. Its like the best of both worlds, less chance of diet related long term illnesses…and a fighting chance in a ‘day of the triffyd’ situation.

I think I feel better about my weight and health now than I did last year because now, it feels real. I feel like I have actually walked the walk and its not just a passing phase. Now I can focus on things I love to do. For example, ride my brand new Specialized Camber Comp 29er  (it arrived today). I feel like a kid at Christmas, it is sleeping in the lounge room tonight because I loves it sooo much.

My new baby

My new baby

Playing around in the driveway

Playing around in the driveway

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Losing the weight is only the beginning

I have been overweight my whole adult life until last year.

Not obese, but with a BMI of 29.1 I was pretty close. I was an Australian size 14, verging on 16, at the best of times. I excercised, bike riding, running short spurts, walking my dog, occasional gym sessions, and I thought I ate relatively healthy meals. I tried weight watchers several times with different degrees of success. But I always returned to 80+ kilos.

I wasn’t like other overweight people, in my mind. I didn’t look that bad and was maybe a few kilos from being a good weight. My mum has since said she thought I carried the weight well, so it wasn’t immediately obvious how overweight I was.

My ‘moment’ of realising I had a problem was after looking at photos of me trying on wedding dresses. We took the photos to remember the dresses I tried on that day (as there were a LOT). In the shops I thought trying on the dresses was great fun and enjoyed it. But when I looked at the pictures we took I felt….sad. I looked overweight, like the scales had always told me I was.

I decided my New Years resolution would be to lose 10 kgs for the wedding (and cut McDonalds completely out of my life). Thats all, 10 kg. I lost 7 kg in the first month and kept up the momentum all year until, by August, I was 67 kg and officially in the healthy weight range. I didn’t try any paticular diet, I focused instead on fitness and reducing binge eating and portion sizes. I signed up to a 5km fun run, which progressed to an 8km, to 12km and finally I completed the City2Surf (14 km fun run around Sydney including the aptly named ‘Heartbreak Hill’) in 2012 in 93 minutes. I couldn’t believe how into running I was, my Facebook friends were sick of my run anecdotes and updates and I became…well a little obsessed I suppose but in a good way! My new found fitness was good for everything, including snowboarding which I have always enjoyed but had never had much stamina for previously. Clothes looked great on me and instead of people telling me a dress or shirt was ‘flattering’ I was told how well I looked and how I had such a lovely small waist (I’m a pear shape).

When I first tried on my wedding dress in August it was…way too big ( I had ordered it in January). In fact it had to be taken in 2 sizes. When I tried it on and it fit for the first time I was euphoric. I felt amazing and loved my new figure.

Now and Then
Now and Then

I love looking at my wedding photos and feel absolutely no regret for anything of the day, from the flowers to my dress. I know I will always look back on them and feel the achievment of my weight loss as well as remembering the happiest day of my life.

No regrets
No regrets

That was in November 2012.

We then went on a European Honeymoon where we ate pasta, pizza, schnitzels and drank beer, wine, schnappes and had a fantastic three weeks in Italy and Austria. No regrets there either, I would do it all over again in a heart beat!

But I put on 4 kgs in three weeks.

Since January 2013, to now, May 2013 – I have not lost it, despite maintaining my fitness and love of running (although I have cut back on distances, 10 km being my max since 2012). In fact in April I put on 1 kg. And it terrified me. Now, more important than losing weight for a wedding, I would like to know I can maintain a healthy weight and live a healthy life.

My New Years resolution this year? Health and well-being. I don’t want to think too much about weight loss, I want to focus on health and nutrition and just enjoying the things I love! I will start training in earnest for City2Surf in June and we have big plans for this snow season, not to mention the mountain bike I currently covet.

It starts now. And its permanent.