Weight Is Not Just A Number (My Journey From a Couch Potato to a Gym Rat)

Every morning, I take off all my clothes and step on the scale (Hey, don’t judge, every ounce counts).

Before you pppppfffffftttt and turn off your computer with an eye roll and mutter, “She doesn’t need to lose any weight,” hear me out.

All my life, I ate whatever I wanted. I was allergic to exercise and I could out eat football players. For real. Then I got pregnant…and gained 45lbs while throwing up multiple times a day until I gave birth. Literally. I was heaving and pushing at the same time (TMI!) And I got a 6lb baby and kept the rest of those lbs. For 5+ years, I made excuses. Oh, what’s the point of losing weight if I’m gonna have another baby? (We’ve since decided NO WAY we are having another child). I’m just a fat kid with a fast metabolism. I’m still young and fairly healthy, I’ve got plenty of time to exercise. When I wear baggy clothes, no one can tell anyway.

Even with my mother’s brutal Asian honesty, I went about and took pride in the fact that I could eat whatever I wanted and still be thin…oh, a little pudge here and there, but not too noticeable.

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I decided against invasive treatment and also against medication. I started eating a bit better. I felt a bit better. Then I backslid. By 2009, I would be so riddled with pain, it would debilitate me to the point of having to lie in bed and medicate. Even that didn’t really force me to change anything. It would be a series of events that would lead me to the path I am down today. It all started with my 9 year wedding anniversary, on our way to an uber-romantic hockey game with some friends…

Our friends (and former bride and groom of mine, Daniel and Kat), the hubby and I were on our way to the Staples Center when Kat mentioned that they had started dieting. They were tracking what they ate using a free iPhone App called, Lose It. Basically, it’s a food diary. You put in your weight and then your goal weight and it tells you how many calories you are to consume in a day. Then you record everything you eat and all your exercises (easy, for me, that would be NONE). So, since it was free, I added it and decided to test it out. I was shocked to see the calorie content in the food I was eating daily. One meal at In-n-Out Burger was almost my daily allotted calories? WOW.

A few weeks later, we got a puppy. (If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may remember the hurdles it took to finally adopt our puppy). Anyway, little Miss Puppy was H-Y-P-E-R and the dog trainer suggested daily walks to get rid of some of that energy. My husband looked at me and said, “It’s your dog.” So, each morning I walked little Bentley around the block, huffing and puffing along the way. Then a light bulb went on…if I walked longer, I could input it into my Lose It App and earn more calories. Ah ha, motivation. And if I ran, I could earn even MORE calories. Hmmm. I went from walking to jog-walking to run-jogging in the span of a few weeks. (P.S. I loathe running)

Sometime in between all of this, a video came in our mail from Netflix, Food, Inc. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but what I saw kind of grossed me out. Not enough for me to do much about it, but I stored the info all in my head for later use.

Toward the beginning of summer, I went to visit my mom. She invited me to her Zumba class. Having no clue what Zumba was, I did what any girl living in this decade would do, I googled it. And then I went. It kicked my butt (It burns 400-600+ calories per class, way better than running). I was able to keep up, ONLY because I had been running for a few months by then, but barely. After the first class, I was addicted and made it my mission to find a Zumba class back home. By the end of summer, I had joined the gym I frequent now, 4 EveryBody Fitness.

Over the summer, after reading a few eye-opening books about animal treatment at “farms,” cancer research and diets linking to health, I made the decision to become a Pescatarian. (Basically, a vegetarian who occasionally eats seafood). Books included: Skinny Bitch, Slaughterhouse, The China Study, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

In August, I had lost about 5lbs and I no longer had “cottage cheese” legs. Then we were in the boating accident (Click HERE to read about that). I remember being pushed and pulled out of that water. I made a vow that I would work on becoming stronger physically because I hated that feeling of weakness and helplessness as the rescuers dragged me to safety. I started going to the gym more and more, taking more and more classes. I’m up to 10-12 hours a week at the gym now. I take a combination of classes – Boot Camp, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, and BodyPump (weight training) –and am about to add some others which I’ll probably write about.

By December, I was 3lbs away from my goal weight but couldn’t seem to pass the plateau no matter how much I exercised and stayed within my allotted caloric intake.

In January, a group of my friends started a challenge/game called, “The Game On Diet.” It wasn’t just a diet for weight, it gave you points for changing bad habits, drinking 3 liters of water a day, sleeping 7+ hours a night. I’m obsessed about lists and I ended up winning. One thing that I changed though was eating 6 small meals a day. That finally took me over my plateau and I hit my goal weight the other day 🙂

Today, I was in a Twitter conversation with a Twitter friend, Michelle Mospens, and she lamented the fact that she only walked 20 minutes twice this week as opposed to my three hours at the gym. “That’s how I started!” I shared with her. “Baby steps,” I said, “Baby steps.”

So, every morning, it is part of my routine to take off my clothes and step on the scale. The number doesn’t matter as much anymore, because I feel strong and healthy these days. I rarely feel any pain from Endometriosis. But best of all was when my brutally honest Asian mother looked at a picture of me and said, “That picture must have been taken recently. You don’t have as many chins.”

4 thoughts on “Weight Is Not Just A Number (My Journey From a Couch Potato to a Gym Rat)

  1. I love zumba too! It’s such a fun workout. The best advice I err got was
    From my doctor who said that “as long as you do something workout-wise that you enjoy, you’ll never have a hard time”. Now I bike all the time and it keeps me in great shape without the hassle of hating running! (because I do too)

  2. Woweeee! You are awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story. Hats off!! xoxo {{hugs}}

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