Yes, I said it: The big day is coming up, and I am determined to get in shape. But despite the reason, I am grateful that I am doing it!
Guest blogger Cynthia: After four years at college, a couple of years on my own and then a few more years living in the big city, I finally settled back down with my husband just a few miles from where my parents live. It's a small city, which means that every time I go out, I see someone I know -- and if I dare go out unshowered and in sweats, I'm guaranteed to see everyone I know. Especially those someones I dated at some point in my life (or their mothers).
I don't mind running into people who know me now, but whenever I see someone from high school, I run the other way. Why? Because I wasn't fat in high school, but I am now.
This happened just last Saturday. I recognized a guy I'd known in high school shopping in the same aisle as me at the grocery store, so I buried my head in my list and pretended not to know him. Only he was shopping the opposite direction as me, so every time I walked down an aisle, there he was walking up it. The lengths I went to to pretend he didn't exist were probably far more socially unacceptable than my extra weight. It's ridiculous.
For one, who cares? With the exception of the friendships that have survived the 20 years since graduation, I haven't been friends -- and in most cases, even acquaintances -- with these people in almost two decades. Why do I care what they think? So once I was young and beautiful, and now I'm not. I'm pretty sure none of them still look 17, either.
But yet, I've become a cliché. I'm losing weight -- finally, after years of struggling -- for my 20th high-school reunion. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
I might be insecure, but what I'm not is rash. That's why my weight-loss program started in January, even though the reunion isn't until this summer. No "lose 20 pounds in 7 days" programs for me! Here's what I've been doing to take off the weight:
Walking: Aside from regular workouts, I'm trying to walk everywhere I go. I walk my kids to and from school, I walk to the local market when we run out of milk before shopping day, and every day when my husband comes home for lunch, I walk my dog for a half hour.
Strength training: Cardio makes me hungry, but strength training makes me feel strong. I do a different major muscle group every three days -- upper body, abs and core, lower body. There is always something on my body that hurts.
Banning sugar: Except for yogurt and salad dressing, I avoid sugar whenever possible. Note to you sugar addicts out there (because I am, too): After taking this step, I lost 10 pounds almost instantly.
Food journaling: My first month, I wrote down every single thing that went into my mouth. I quit counting calories after the first week, but taking note of my meals and snacks really helped me quit eating mindlessly. Right now, I'm really into Livestrong's MyPlate.
Limiting my choices: At breakfast and lunchtime, I nearly always eat one of three meals (yogurt, fruit and almonds for breakfast, for instance, or oatmeal and fruit). Not having a wide variety of choices helps me focus and stay on track. At dinner, I eat a small portion of whatever I've cooked for my family, and the only snacks I allow myself are fruits or vegetables.
I don't feel good about what finally motivated me to get fit, but I do feel good about my progress. If you've ever lost weight, what finally got you up and off the couch?