Happy Anniversary, New Life!

Flickr CC LorenaBuena

Flickr CC LorenaBuena

Today marks the second anniversary of my commitment to improved health and, as the saying (sorta) goes, I’ve come a long way, baby.

In March of 2011, I was prepared to compete in (and win!) the couch potato Olympics.  I was on the cusp of becoming diabetic, took blood pressure meds, and was generally on the road to a physical disaster.  I’m also pretty convinced I was mildly (???) depressed.  My health was slowly, but surely, deteriorating.

So, I turned 45 that March and decided I had to get healthy or face the increasingly gloomy prospects of aging with the increasing risk of numerous obesity-related ailments. I called the Lahey Medical Weight Loss Center and my first official appointment was June 17, 2011.

Fast Forward Two Years…

I’m 218 pounds lighter, eating healthy, and exercising 40 minutes a day – 5 days a week.  Currently, I focus on cardio and staying within my target heart rate zone, which generally results in me going 4.5-5 miles within my 40 minute elliptical workout sessions.

My daily nutritional goals are 1,300-1,400 calories, 150-160 grams of carbohydrates, 50-60 grams of fat, and at least 100 grams of protein.  On average, I eat within my calorie range, 120-130 grams of carbs, 40-50 grams of fat, and 130-160 grams of protein.

I continue to lose weight, though at a slower pace than when I began.  I seem to go through periods of low weight loss and then periodically push through a wall with a higher-than-average-loss.  As long as it moves in the right direction (DOWN!), I’m happy.  I’ve only clocked in with a weight increase twice and in both instances, it was water weight that disappeared by my subsequent weigh in [thankfully!].

I meet with a member of the Lahey Medical Weight Loss team every two weeks, which rotates with the lead doctor, a nutritionist, and a physician’s assistant who specialize in the field.  There’s also a social worker/behaviorist on their team, should I ever need additional support.  They weigh me in, check my blood pressure, and discuss my progress and goals.

They’re all fabulous!  I can’t say enough wonderful things about the program and Dr. Piotrowski‘s team (Ismini, Jessica, and Nancy).  Jenn and Regine also help keep the place running smoothly.

Flickr cc imcomkorea

Flickr cc imcomkorea

BTW, speaking of blood pressure – I’m off my blood pressure meds.  That’s right!  Don’t seem to need ‘em anymore.

About a month ago, I started experiencing occasional light headedness and my BP was unusually low after tracking in the normal zone for the past 14 months.  I called my primary care physician, who told me to go off the meds, take my blood pressure for the next 30 days, and call her back in a month.  So far, my blood pressure remains normal and I stopped experiencing bouts of light headedness.

I look forward to calling my PCP in about a week, because I anticipate her making the change permanent!

More Good News…

My target weight zone is in sight!  I’m only 12 pounds away from a normal fat range for my body.  I’m pressing to reach the top of my goal range by August [crossing fingers], but will likely continue trying to lose a little more fat after that.

In addition, I have a lot of excess skin hanging around (literally).  My doctor estimates I’m carrying about 20 pounds of it.  I’m experiencing some back and shoulder pain as well as occasional skin issues (no fun), which prompted me to consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss my options for dealing with it.   I’ll post about that later…

I’m confident this last block of pounds will be the most challenging to lose.  Please understand – I will never ever be skinny.  But, an analysis of my body composition provides a realistic and healthy target weight, including how much fat, water, and skeletal weight I can/should carry.

For now, I’m thrilled to be at the lowest weight I’ve been in more than 20 years.

However, there are miles to go before I sleep…

I’m preparing for the final weight loss stage and what follows, including lifelong maintenance – a major challenge in unto itself.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.   For now, I’m just happy to be achieving my weight-loss goals more quickly than I originally expected.  I wanted to lose 250 pounds by my 50th birthday – a 5-year timeline.  I’m hoping achieve it in half that time.

But wait!  There’s More!

Flickr CC butupa

Flickr CC butupa

I want to close by marking another soon-to-be-anniversary, but one that’s embarrassing.

It has been almost a year since last I blogged [GASP!].  I’m sorry for neglecting this blog.

I don’t really have an excuse.  It just slipped off of my priority list.

But, I’m back!  And to avoid future radio silence, I queued up a number of posts, which provide more details about how I’m doing what I’m doing, resources you may find helpful, tasty recipes, etc.

I will be a better blogger.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, when I want something, I’m stubborn enough to make it happen (just ask my husband).

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About Barbara

Married to Greg, the nicest Greek man in the world. No kids - just two hyperactive Maine Coon cats - Griffin and Harper. Independent consultant. News and political junkie. Diehard social progressive. Movie lover. Book reader. Blog writer. Overweight. Underpaid. Open-minded about everything except closed-minded folks. Occasionally witty. Sometimes wise. Always wise-ass.
This entry was posted in Goals, Health, Progress Report and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Anniversary, New Life!

  1. Nicole says:

    I am just so proud of you and happy for you. What you’ve accomplished is truly inspiring.

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks so much, Nicole! I’m glad I’m on the back end of this journey. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is both exciting and a tease. Ever forward!!

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