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The one-year review

August 8, 2009

It’s been just about one year since I embarked on this whole change in the way I eat and move. I don’t think I could’ve predicted the way things have gone. I’ve lost some weight. I’ve lost eight inches off of my waist. These are both good things afaic. But more amazing and, when I’m not falling into the trap of making it all about size, more important to me are the physical things I’ve accomplished and the ways my life has changed.

Last year I could only do squats with the bar (45lbs) and it would leave me sore for days. Now I can squat 120lbs – and that’s not my max, that’s what I use for multiple reps – and that’s the weight I’m using to maintain muscle mass while going after fat loss.

Last year I felt weak and unbalanced in the weight room. Now I lift/press/pull more weight than almost any other woman I’ve seen at my gym. I feel confident and strong. This is both physical and psychological, of course. These days I’m more open to being adventurous and trying new physical activities than I ever have in my life.

I’ve already written about the little changes in my life that have come about because of my increased mobility. But I have to say, even months later, that this still thrills me. Renting a house on top of a big hill and not worrying that the bus stop is at the bottom. Going somewhere and just wandering around chatting with a friend and never needing to sit down. Working on my feet all day without pain or exhaustion. These things still have the capacity to almost overwhelm me at times. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much I worried about not being able to do things – and how avoiding putting myself in those situations took up so much mental energy – until I didn’t have to worry about it so much any more. Going to the Fourth of July show and suddenly remembering last year when having to walk up and down to find a place to sit felt like a lot of work, I had a quick flashback to how it used to make me feel- angry and embarrassed to feel like I was working so hard to do something that no one else was even thinking about.

The energy I have these days – the fact that I am capable of working a physical job and going to the gym regularly – is unprecedented in my adult life.

And this may be total TMI, but having a mostly regular period again for the first time in close to a decade is, in its own annoying way, thrilling. It feels like a good sign that my body is getting healthier. My cycle completely disappeared at my heaviest weight and, as I’ve lost weight, it’s been like a car sputtering to life. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but for now it’s another reason to celebrate. Not with others or anything, of course.

Let’s see, I’m sure there are some other things…

Eating lots of carbs no longer makes me need to take a nap.

The quality of my sleep is better and I can get by with fewer hours of it.

My sciatica is completely gone. Not even a smallish twinge when I wake up in the morning.

Not all of these things can be attributed only to weight loss. Simply getting stronger and more fit probably would have had an effect regardless of my weight. However, I have been a regular exerciser for a lot longer than I’ve been losing weight so I definitely think the weight had something to do with it.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot about balance this past year. How not to go to extremes all the time. How to eat dessert and my veggies. How to push myself hard in the gym and let myself really relax when I need it. I’m sure I’ll continue learning lots of nifty stuff in the coming year.

Losing weight hasn’t change anything fundamental about myself and I wasn’t expecting it too. Instead, I find it easier to do the things I want to do and a little bit easier to find clothes.

Anyway, I leave tomorrow for vacation. Five days in the Dominican Republic. There will be no posting or reading or caring about the internet. See you all in a bit!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2009 8:12 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that you can look back and really take pride in all the progress you have made over the past year.

    I wish I had paid more attention on my journey, as I was often so focused on the goal, that sometimes I forgot some of the really exciting things along the way!

    • August 16, 2009 5:52 pm

      It’s so easy for me to become obsessively focused on goals that I can get really down if I don’t feel like I’m moving toward that final goal fast enough. Posts like these are really about reminding myself how far I’ve come.

  2. August 8, 2009 9:34 pm

    That’s awesome. I’m kinda focused on size, because I’m vain like that, and possibly because I’ve always pulled back and lost weight before I got to a point where it really made regular living (and biking, my preferred mode of transit) too difficult.

    Glad you’re doing well, have a great time in Dominican Republic!

    • August 16, 2009 5:47 pm

      Nothing wrong with vanity! I just try not to focus too much on size because it becomes very frustrating especially considering how much I had/have to lose.

  3. August 8, 2009 11:05 pm


    I love the idea of looking back to see how much progress I’ve made. That’s one of the best parts about tracking these things on a blog. Things that seemed impossible (e.g. push ups) back then are easy now.

    • August 16, 2009 5:49 pm

      Thank you.

      Yeah, one of the things I want to write about more in the coming year are some of the physical things I’m still not great at so I can make a point of tackling them.

  4. August 9, 2009 7:16 am

    Wow! That is such an awesome update. It is so important to do these reviews and appreciate how far we’ve come… Congratulations on upgrading your life and your lifestyle.

  5. August 10, 2009 1:38 pm

    Honestly, I didn’t realize how much I worried about not being able to do things – and how avoiding putting myself in those situations took up so much mental energy – until I didn’t have to worry about it so much any more.

    I think this says so much. I’ve had the same experience in other areas, and every time I realize how much mental energy I expend on things without even being conscious of it, it floors me. Freeing up that mental space makes such a difference.

    • August 16, 2009 5:54 pm

      Yup and OMG, I could literally write hundreds of entries on all the mental space I’ve freed up when it comes to food, movement and body image in the past few years.

  6. August 13, 2009 4:49 am

    I just found your blog through Cranky Fitness’ post at: and I thought I would say hello. I just started my own weight loss blog today so I will be popping back to see what you’ve been up to and see if I can pick up any tips or lend support. I hope you have a fun time on your vacation!


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