Wealthy is all in your perspective, and wise is a nonstarter, so I've been focusing on healthy. I woke up one morning to find myself past 50 and with that many+ lbs. to shed. I'm not sure how that happened, I was a size 7 just the other day, but anyway here I was - overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, totally sedentary and unable to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded. Not good.
In the years since high school, when I was a twig who thought she was fat, I have attempted - and I use that term loosely - several diets. None of them lasted more than a couple days and none of them were successful. There was the one time I did the whole shake for breakfast and lunch thing - finally lost 10 lbs after an eternity of trying, then discovered I was pregnant. No wonder this wasn't working well. I repeatedly told myself "It's not your fault. You have to cook for your family and they NEED cookies and peanut butter and chips." (Please refer back to the statement on wise, above.) "I will do this when the kids are gone."
Well, the last one left in August 2010, so in January 2012 I realized I was out of excuses and made the phone call. I signed up for Nutrisystem with the goal of taking off 60 lbs. I followed the meal plan, I started walking and lifting weights. So far I am down 40 lbs., I can walk two miles before I get totally winded, and my pants are two sizes smaller, which is amazing!
Then, last Thursday, I was sitting at my desk, reading book blogs like always, when I started feeling dizzy and then the nausea hit. In a matter of a couple minutes it got bad enough that I headed for the bathroom to toss my cookies - or my Nutrisystem-approved breakfast bar, as the case may be. I made it approximately ten feet from my desk when the world began to close in. The next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor with blood dripping down my forehead and two male co-workers kneeling over me. My first response was "I'm going to throw up." and, yes folks, I then puked in front of the entire office staff - repeatedly (into a trash can at least). Do I know how to win friend's and influence people, or what? The EMT's arrived and carted me away in a very bumpy, swervy, nausea-enducing ambulance (more puking into a little bag I was trying to balance under by chin) while they asked me silly questions to see if I was coherent. It's difficult to vomit and answer questions at the same time. Someone should teach that at EMT school.
Blood work, repeated attempts to start an IV, another fainting spell and a CAT scan later, it was determined that my potassium level was dangerously low (probably due to blood pressure medication) and with some pills the size of the proverbial breadbox, I would be fine. I have no memory of most of that, including the doctor's discharge instructions, but I drove home, so you're glad you weren't on the roads of SE Nebraska that day. I returned to work this week, where everyone now sees me as the little-old-lady who can't be trusted with her meds. I've felt really crappy all week, so my exercise has been minimal. But I am returning to normal, and I have a doctor's appointment later today to follow up and probably make some medication adjustments, so I assume my health is back on track.
However, there's still that next twenty lbs. to lose and I gotta tell you, I'm really tired of this. I wish I could say that the last four months have been a piece of cake (or pie or cheese danish). I wish I could say that I no longer dream of lemon cupcakes with buttercream frosting. I wish I could say that I'm ready to run marathons or looking forward to a lifetime of walking to nowhere on the treadmill - but I'm not. I do not "embrace my sweat" as the workout gurus advise. The progress is getting slower and slower even though I am consistent with the food and exercise. Logically speaking, if I continue to eat approximately 1300 calories/day and exercise for 45 minutes, 5 days/week, the fat will burn. But I'm not sure where logic figures into the weight-loss process.
One plan says 30 minutes of exercise/day is enough. Another says it needs to be 60 or more. One says "a calorie is a calorie" and as long as you're burning calories it doesn't matter how you're doing it. Another says "Never do cardio and resistance training at the same workout. Vary your workout and start a whole new routine every three months." One says "less weight, more reps to tone muscle rather than build muscle mass". Another says vice versa. I'm clueless and frustrated and tired.
But, I refuse to quit. A healthy body helps keep a healthy mind, so I will not revert to old eating habits. If I can walk 2 miles, I can walk 3. If I can go 3.5 mph, I can go 4. If I can do 40 crunches, I can do 50. And eventually I will make my goal, and possibly have just ONE lemon cupcake to celebrate. Maybe that wise thing isn't as far-fetched as I thought.