21 Days

I’ve been thinking a lot about losing weight lately, but the thought usually passes, and I eat another bowl of Dryer’s Cookie Dough ice cream or Baskin-Robbins Peanut Butter ‘n Chocolate. Today I finally did something about it.

When my mom entered hospice in October, I abandoned all pretense of eating well and exercising, and I’ve been running on caffeine and carbs ever since. The last five months have been a vicious cycle: wake up around 8:00, drag myself out of bed, and make a half pot of coffee; cereal or waffles for breakfast, a sandwich and chips for lunch, and take out for dinner, followed by the aforementioned ice cream. I always plan to go to bed early (between 10:30 and 11:00), but I rarely fall asleep before 12:30. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in decades. I have tinnitus, which makes it hard to fall asleep, and sleep apnea, which prevents me from getting deep, restful sleep. I wake up tired every day. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, depression, and memory and cognitive impairment, all of which I have. From losing my glasses/keys/checkbook to driving right past the reason I got in my car in the first place, I can’t keep up with my life.

So today I started the My Fit Foods 21 Day Challenge. You can read about it here.

Bye-bye, coffee, hello liver cleanse!

The last time I lost a lot of weight, I was 22 and living in San Antonio. I was a professional picture framer by day and a waitress by night. I did Jenny Craig, and I didn’t deviate from the program – no more grilled chicken sandwiches and cheese tots with ranch dressing! I even  cooked Jenny’s recipes for Thanksgiving, an experience my family vowed never to repeat. Although I didn’t reach my goal weight, I lost 35 pounds and weighed less than at any other time in my adult life. Reflecting on why I did so well on Jenny, I realized that I did three important things: I ate only Jenny Craig food, I exercised, and I told everyone I knew that I was trying to lose weight. I’ll never forget seeing a friend from college for the first time after I lost the weight. He gave me two big hugs and said, “I owe you 33 more!”

I want to feel that good again. I want to wake up, feeling rested and ready to start my day. I want to have the energy to take my niece and nephew to the park and to travel with them. If I drop a few dresses sizes as a result, that’s just a bonus.

I survived Day 1 of the challenge. I drank the My Fit Cocktail (unsweetened cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, B12, and lemon – yum!) and exercised with my trainer. I also walked a mile on the treadmill. I feel pretty good about my chances of making it to Day 21. I mean, what better accountability partner could I have than the entire internet?

So if you see me with a bowl of ice cream or dipping tater tots in ranch dressing, gently remind me that sticking with the program will be worth the 35 (or more!) hugs in the future. 🙂

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