I've been on a mission this summer to get into better shape. So far, so good. I'm down 32 pounds since June 1st! People have definitely noticed, but it wasn't until this week that I realized just how much progress I've made. I had noticed that I was constantly hitching up my formerly snug fitting size 3x capris, and that I was swimming in several 3x tops I'd purchased this past spring. But when the weather started to feel fall-like, I tried on my size 30 jeans. So large on me that my belly and hips couldn't hang on to them. So I tried on an old pair of size 26 jeans that I'd tucked away in a corner of my closet. They too were too roomy. I could wear them in a pinch, but let's just say that I slipped them off easily without unbuttoning and unzipping. When I got the most recent Lands End catalog, I fell in love with a winter coat, and started to think about buying a new one for this winter. I pulled out my winter coat (purchased at least 5 year ago --no one can say I don't get my money's worth!) and tried it on. Way too big! So I ordered myself the coat in 24WP. It arrived, and it was too big for me. So Tuesday, a friend and I headed to the mall so I could return/exchange the coat at Sears instead of mailing it back. They didn't have the coat available, but I tried on several other coats there to check the sizes out. I ended up ordering the coat from the catalog in a 20! (It's a swing coat, so it's roomy). I also tried on jeans and came home with 2 pair in a 24. They fit about as perfectly as regular length jeans can fit on a 5 ft 1" woman --- in other words I need to cut off about 4inches and then hem,so that they are the right length - 26.5 inches. If all goes well, they will be too big by late winter, but that's perfectly fine with me.
So how am I doing it? Exercise and counting calories. I go to water aerobics 3x each week. It's a 40 minute class, and I make sure I work hard while I'm there. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, weather permitting, I take a brisk walk - at least 2 miles in length. I also walk on either Saturday or Sunday, depending on our doings. Occasionally I walk both days. If the weather's uncooperative, I walk in front of my computer accompanied by a 2 mile walking video. Today I walked 2.8 miles and according to MapMyWalk, I set a very fast for me pace - 18.22 minutes per mile. I was pushing hard today, my usual pace is about 21 min per mile. When I started walking I was averaging 28 min per mile. Another little sign that I am in better shape include walking up 2.5 flights of stairs after my pool classes without being winded, or even breathing hard. Last weekend I did a 2.2 mile walk that took me up a very steep and longish hill. At the start of the summer, I had to stop numerous times to make it to the top. This time, I was breathing a bit hard when I made it to the top of the hill, but that's it. I am limiting my calories to 1500 per day and my carbs to about 120, and most days I actually eat a little less. I don't feel too deprived, most of the time, and I have really learned to recognize hunger vs appetite. We eat out about once a week, and I've even gone out to lunch quite frequently this summer with friends. I just really try to choose wisely from the menu, and/or plan ahead. If I know I'm eating out, I will save my bread carbs for that meal instead of having a piece of wholegrain bread at breakfast. But I do occasionally have a beer or cocktail, or even dessert (but never both!!)
My attitude has changed too. I am actually spending time thinking about new places to walk and, gasp! I've even started toying with the idea that maybe, just maybe, a hike up Mt. Monadnock might eventually be doable. This weekend I'm hoping to take a short walk uphill to watch hawk migrations --- it's about a mile, up an 8% incline. I said to a friend the other day, that I think I became a walker this summer despite myself.
So, that's an up-to-date progress report. Stay tuned!