12 Months to Lose 30 Pounds. I'm OK With That.
Sometimes it feels like weight gain sneaks up on you out of the blue. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight — but it sure feels like it does. It’s especially difficult to deal with when you feel like nothing you’re trying will keep the weight from piling on.
My Weight Gain
In early 2019, I noticed I was gaining weight — after having been down to my lowest in a decade. I stepped up my walking each day and made an appointment with my doctor. I had blood tests done that showed my thyroid was just the smallest amount out of whack, and my doctor decided this was the issue, prescribed me medication, and told me that it wasn’t about diet as it was how much exercise I was getting. So, with the new medicine and suggestion of increasing my walks, I went home hopeful.
After a few months on medication for my thyroid and a minimum of five miles walking each day, I was still gaining weight. I kept trying, but I quit taking the pills because I was convinced they weren’t doing anything for me and I prefer natural remedies, especially when my thyroid numbers were barely out of range.
I went back to the doctor in early 2020, right after COVID-19 started shutting things down in my home state. My doctor wanted me to get back on thyroid medication. This time she said that exercise wasn’t the answer. Instead, she said weight loss was all about diet. And, with those words — the complete opposite of what she’d told me nearly a year before — I decided I needed to find an answer on my own.
The Answer to My Weight Gain
I’ve been in a perimenopausal yo-yo for a few years, and after some research, I figured out that my weight shift likely had to do more with these hormonal changes than anything else. It wasn’t until late October 2020 that I really kicked things in high gear though. I’d reached a milestone 237 lbs, only ten pounds short of the heaviest I’d ever been in my life. I knew it was time to get serious.
I’m not a fan of exercise, but I understand its importance. I do like to dance, and the time I reached my highest weight ever, I lost the weight through dance. So, I put together a playlist on Spotify and started to do dance aerobics in my living room. I discovered that with at least 15 minutes of cardio a day, I started to lose weight.
I didn’t rely on fitness alone. I cut down on carbs and sugary foods and increased the amount of fruits and vegetables I was eating. I even bought myself a FitBit to help motivate me to get up and move each day — and it worked well.
Why It Took a Year to Lose 30 Pounds
I’m nowhere near my final weight loss goal, but I am still working at it. I learned early on in this adventure that it wasn’t worth beating myself up over setbacks. I am sure I am not the only person in their mid-40s with arthritis who gets pains that keep them from exercising a few days in a row right after getting into the swing of things. So, there were times where I was down for many days and then had to try to get back into the rhythm, which isn’t always easy.
Aside from injuries, sometimes life gets in the way of fitness in a myriad of ways — from depression to busy schedules. A lack of motivation can put a damper on regular workouts, and even getting bored with the same old routine can be a hindrance.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to lose weight — just getting up and moving and possibly changing to healthier eating habits will do a great deal of good things for your body.
Why Weight Loss is Important to Me (and How I Stay Motivated)
Weight loss is a touchy subject in the day and age of learning to love our bodies the way they are. I am happy with myself, and I understand the importance of body positivity, but I also have a family history of weight-related illnesses that took my mom and my grandma in their early to mid-sixties. Overall health (and hopefully a longer life) is both why it’s important to me to lose weight and what motivates me to get up and move.
Even if it takes me another year or two to get to my goal weight, I’ll keep pushing forward because I know I am working hard at doing something good for myself.