public announcement

What I’m about to do and make public has seemed like a very scary act for many years of my life. Since my early adolescence, I have been less than thrilled about my physical appearance (okay, okay, show me a girl who hasn’t…). Competitive rhythmic gymnastics and a stint as a cheerleader certainly didn’t help my self-confidence, either, nor did the 20 or so pounds I put on after I quit gymnastics.

a rhythmic gymnast. hardcore, I know.

It’s always been a bit confusing for me, though: to this day I’m pretty darn active. I run, I climb mountains, I even finished a triathlon. And I’ve always paid attention to eating healthy food, having grown up in a health-conscious home and having been through the weight watchers rigmarole once or twice. So why have I always had a few extra pounds clinging on? Why do my friends have such an easy time losing weight when they want to?

at the finish of the Kirkland Sprint Triathlon, yipeeeeee!!!

The strangest thing about all this is the effect my insecurity has had on my desire to lose weight. Although for a long time I’ve tried to wish away my extra mass, the idea of admitting my dissatisfaction with my body was enough to deter me from making my endeavors public. I wouldn’t want to turn down dessert at a friends’ house, for instance, if the reason was that I was on a diet. Such silly reasoning! and yet, it has kept me in a vice for this long.

No longer. Since getting married last year, and knowing that at least this one person loves me for exactly who I am (and he’s seen it all! he good, bad, and the ugly) I have new-found confidence to do this one thing I’ve been wanting to for so long. I know if I fail, he’ll still love me, and somehow, this cushion of forgiveness has given me the audacity to go forward.

Now, on to the how:

Two months ago, I heard about an iPhone app called Lose It! which helps users track the foods they eat and how much they exercise. I decided to give it a try, so I downloaded it late one night and started the next day. I found it very similar to my Weight Watcher’s experience; the simple act of keeping track of my food intake keeps me accountable to not eating the next slice, or drinking that high-calorie drink.  It also motivates me to exercise and earn back calories I can eat later on. What I didn’t expect, though, was how well this program would stick with me, and how motivating it would be. I’ve been tracking for 8 weeks, and losing a bit of weight here and there, but mostly feeling really great about my eating. I finally feel like I’m in the driver’s seat as opposed to my appetite. Not that I was ever a binge eater, but we all have the times we put stuff in our mouth without really paying attention. Lose it! has given me the power of attention.

I hit a bump a couple weeks ago and went a few days without tracking right before our vacation. Maybe it’s over, I thought. But when we returned from vacation, I stepped on the scale absentmindedly and was astounded to see that I was closer to my high school weight than I have been since, well, high school! Not only this, but I realized that my goal/dream of losing one pound a week was actually happening! Like that first whiff of sea air on the way to the ocean, I knew I wanted to continue on this path, and this week I find myself at a weight I haven’t been in my adult life, and halfway to my goal! HOORAY!! And, much more importantly, I feel so good. I’ve been running a lot this week and I feel a huge difference in my body and the way I  move. If eight pounds feels this good, I can’t wait!!!!!! for sixteen.

While I feel kind of goofy that my iPhone is the tool that’s gotten me this far, really, I am so thankful for something so easy and motivating. I have it on me all. the. time. thanks to my 21st century tech addiction, and therefore, I am accountable all. the. time. So thanks, Lose it! and thanks, apple.

I want to keep this journey public from now on, so expect a few posts on the matter. I hope my endeavors will be motivating to you, my readers, whoever you are, but mostly, I think the further accountability of bringing the whole world wide web into my little secret will keep me that much more motivated. If you’re on a journey toward health, or some sort of physical goal, I want to hear!

Also: I have started a simultaneous journey of making over the way we eat and the groceries we buy, aimed at a more sustainable and healthy way of living for us and the earth. More to come.