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A New Me

On Tuesday I joined my local YMCA. This decision was inspired by several factors:

  1. When Dale and I were on vacation there were lots of full length mirrors in our various hotel rooms. Lots. That meant I got a good look at myself, something I don’t get to do at home since we only have 1 full length mirror and it’s in the bathroom and I pretty much ignore it. I was not happy with what I saw and I couldn’t help but wonder how the hell I let myself get to this point.
  2. My 25th college reunion was last weekend. I did not attend. Why? Because I hate the way I look. I know that people who would judge me for this aren’t really my friends, blah blah blah, but still, I did not go because I am fat. And ashamed.
  3.  That dress I bought last week? The one I’m knitting a shawl for so that I can cover my arms? It’s a size 20. A size 20, people. I cannot continue to be a size 20 and this has to be the one and only piece of clothing I buy in that size.
  4. The View on Monday was called The Fat Show. Helloooooo, Carole? Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Those four things, in conjunction with a personal day from work, came together in my head and a decision was made. It was kind of a snap decision but I went with it and I joined up. I had my first appointment with my personal trainer that very afternoon. She was awesome! We went over my goals – my short term goal is to lose 10 pounds by the 4th of July – and my feelings. I told her I need her to kick my ass and not let me be lazy about this. She said, ‘you’ve taken the hardest step, you’ve started.” And I told her she was wrong because that’s just not true for me. The hardest thing for me to do is to keep at it. I start out strong and motivated and excited. And then a few weeks go by and the scale hasn’t dropped and I wonder why I’m bothering if nothing has really changed and that’s when I quit.

Not this time, though. This time I am going to turn it around. I am going to become a person who exercises. I am going to become a person who jogs. I am going to become a person who is fit. And at some point, I’m not sure just when but definitely at some point, I am going to run a 5K with my friends.

I’m counting on all of you, my blog readers, to encourage me and keep me on track and help me to not lose sight of my goals.


This Post Has 76 Comments

  1. Good for you! You sound very motivated. I wish you lots of success! I need to start myself. Maybe we can motivate each other? Good luck!

  2. Good for you, Carole! Even more important is your long term health. We will all be there to encourage you!

  3. I’m here for you! I have the same issue with starting out motivated then giving up with the pants don’t feel like they are fitting any better. Remember it takes time to gain it, it’s the same to lose it. Be kind to yourself.


  4. Hopefully your efforts will inspire me to start back up again! I had a baby and need to start working out again but it is so easy to not find the time.

    Once working out becomes a habit it really does feel great.

  5. Yayyy Carole!! I had never had a weight problem until about 5yrs ago and kept gaining despite changing diet and walking several miles daily. So, 6 months ago, I joined the gym and work with a trainer twice a week (and by myself a couple of times) and will keep doing that until I know I will go on my own at least four times a week. It’s a slow process so try not to be discouraged! The last time I did a weigh in and measurement, I was disappointed that I had not lost more weight but my trainer pointed out that that I’ve gained muscle and I’ve lost 15 inches body wide.. I’m stronger, faster, more toned and am down 2 sizes…yay! So, keep at it and you will definitely see results! Good luck… I’ll be cheering you on!

  6. YOU GO GIRL!!! it’s great that you have a trainer – having someone to tell you what to do and hold you accountable. (and sending you best wishes for learning to like making – and eating?! – salads!)

  7. good luck carole! i know you can do it! i lost 40 pounds last year, but it didn’t come off in a few months as i had wanted it to. it took almost a year, and in the end i’m glad because i learned it was all about perseverance and patience and making lifetime changes. and not eating a huge bowl of ice cream every night but i still eat ice cream. and chocolate. just a whole lot less of it. enjoy the journey! it’s so worth it to feel better body mind and soul.

  8. Wicked proud of you, Carole. I know you can do this, and you name the 5K, you know a bunch of us will run it with you. Go, go, go! And most importantly, post when you don’t feel like you’re doing well. That’s the hardest part for a lot of us, to keep going when it feels like no progress is being made, but that’s the point at which it’s crucial to stay in the game, see what happens next, and use your friends as sounding boards to get you through. Way to go!

  9. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know you can do this. The main thing is to be smart, be in control and be kind to yourself.

  10. We will all be here to encourage you, help keep you motivated, and cheer for you!

  11. You aren’t the only one in this boat…I need to lose weight and I should be walking now instead of sitting at the computer. Maybe I can get out there and do something towards weight loss too. But in the meantime…Yay Carole!

  12. You can do it! I definitely agree with you that keeping at it is the real challenge, and that it takes a true shift in one’s habits and lifestyle. But, you sound really motivated. And the great thing is, when you do start to see real changes in yourself, it can be so inspiring! Since I became a runner, something I never thought I could or would be, I sort of feel like I can do anything. And the compliments I continue to get on my weight loss are nice too 😉

  13. I love your honesty, Carole. Wow, I love your honesty. I’ve deleted a string of other things that perhaps I’ll email you, but the bottom line is good. for. YOU! We’re going to grow old, but it’s how we grow old that will make the difference.

  14. My decision to quit smoking was a “snap decision” — obviously, it had been on my mind for a long time, but when it came to actually doing it? *Snap*

    I have been motivated and inspired by people around me — such as my friend Kate who hates exercising and “dieting” as much as I, but has lost 100 pounds and is running half marathons (in addition to 5K & 10K “fun” runs) and is 10+ years my senior!

    I, too, am discouraged when the scale doesn’t show me the results I want. All I can do is keep at it and know that probably even more than “looking good,” I want to keep healthy and active so that I’m around for and able to play with my someday grandchildren!

    Go you.

  15. Congratulations Carole! You can do it. And I’d be happy to run a 5K with you anytime. Just say the word.

  16. I hope you stick with it! A few of my high school classmates started running last year and doing races, so one day I thought “why can’t I?” So over a few months I worked up to it, and it amazes me that I can run now, considering I thought I would hate it. I haven’t lost an ounce, but that feeling of being strong and capable is the best-once you get that feeling you never want to stop!

  17. I think timing is everything, and it seems like the time is right for you now. Stick with it, and you will see results – slowly but surely. I found to be a great site for keeping track of my exercise and calories. Best of luck to you!

  18. Go Carole! You can do this. I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I refuse to go to any of my reunions because I hate the way I look as well. I get it.

    I hope to be able to run a 5k one day (hell, I’ll be happy if I can run period). I know you will do it. I think making yourself accountable to other people is helpful. We will all be here to cheer you on and your trainer will be there to kick your butt!

    You have motivated me to do something too. Thank you!

  19. While I will never be confused for ‘Twiggy’, a couple of years ago I got motivated because I wanted to avoid some family health stuff. I make a date for myself 5 days a week at the gym. I gave up or moved other things to work out at the time of day that I am most motivated and willing to go. My trainer helped me realize exactly how hard I could workout, and I do it most of the time. I’m definitely not thin, haven’t dropped a lot of weight (some), but I am so much stronger, energetic and optimistic about life. One of my Memorial Day weekend goals is to go walk my old 5 mile route and see if/how much easier it is now that I have been spinning for a year. Remember, it isn’t all about the scale.

  20. It is a long hard process, but I bet you can do it.

    The biggest thing I have found is to not obsess over missing a workout or having an extra snack or whatever.

    Long term process. Forgive yourself and move on.

  21. You can do it!! Having a personal trainer really helps to keep you on track. I know that I will be starting up with mine again soon now that my back has healed.

  22. YAY! I’m proud of you for taking that first step 🙂 I think I may try to tap into your motivation and hop on your ‘get fit’ bandwagon as well. Bravo, my friend – I know you can attain your goals!!

  23. That’s interesting, I just started something similar. I am doing the couch to 5k (i just finished my first week this morning), and some cardio workouts.

    it is my goal to be able to run, because i like it and it’s fun, i just can’t go far. i have no problem with my (rather large) size, size is not really an issue for me. i just decided i wanted to be able to go running.

    good luck with your goals, but try not to get too down on your size. running a 5k is a way better goal than an unregulated, and quite frankly meaningless dress size.

  24. Carole, first of all – I am so proud of you. It takes courage to see yourself but it takes the courage of 100 people to accept you don’t like what you see and, instead of falling into despair, digging your way out and making real changes to achieve the you you really want to see.

    Second, I’m right behind you. No, really, I am. I start the couch to 5k at the gym tomorrow. I’ve been slowly working up to running on the treadmill because I’m terrified of falling off of it LOL. But, I found this program and it really has me believing I might actually be a runner again. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we got to go clothes shopping for – oh, I don’t know, 14’s at SPA???? If you think about quitting, even for a second, call me, text me, email me – I’ll be here if you need a hug, a party to celebrate that 10 lbs, or a swift kick in the rear and set back on the path.

    Last – let’s rock this!

  25. Just posted on your FB page. BTW I was 24..yeah that’s embarrassing! I’m a 12 top and 14 bottom today 🙂

  26. This is so weird, because I just had my husband change his gym membership from Single to Couple! We can encourage each other, and DO this!

  27. Good for you, Carole! I reached the same point several years ago when I realized I had to buy size 16 pants. The progress has been slow, and it hasn’t been huge, but two foot surgeries and a knee replacement (and the years of discomfort leading up to the replacement) were definite obstacles to regular exercise. Now that the knee has completely healed, I’ve just started back at Weight Watchers, and one of the stops on tomorrow’s shopping trip is for new walking shoes – walking being the exercise of choice! You’ll have lots of us on this road with you. Good luck!

  28. Everything you post about yourself shows you to be a highly motivated, engaged and responsible person. I think you can agree that you easily learn new skills at your job and your crafts. I always marvel at how many things you do so well. Why would the weight loss be any different? Don’t believe it is your achilles heel. Think of it as your greatest success.

  29. Ditto to “you are not alone”. 2 years ago I lost 30 pounds on the Ideal Protein diet and have gained back 10. I feel your determination. We could all keep each other motivated if we started having walking dates instead of lunch dates, quit bringing refreshments to all the meetings we attend and we all need to do more planning so those moments when we succomb to the things that are not good for us are few and far between.
    You go girl…………..I’m right there with you.

  30. Carole, this is great. I’m glad you are working with a trainer – not only will she help you show up when you don’t feel like it, but she’ll also keep you safe, and since I experienced my first sidelining injury this year, I can’t tell you how important that is.

    You’ve got tons of support here, but I want to chime in to say I’m here for you, too. This is not easy stuff! It’s a game of all the little choices adding up over time. The main thing is to be good to yourself and focus on being healthy. The rest will follow.

    Email me any time if you want to vent, talk, whatever. I’m cheering for you!

  31. Good for you! I’ll be following your progress and maybe this will get me motivated.

  32. Good Job Carole. I am also trying to increase activity and add better eating habits. Mirror issue is the same in our house, for years now.

  33. I have oft noted that most of the knitters/spinners in photos one sees on web sites are pleasingly plump. Because it’s a sedentary activity? Are the South American women who spin on drop spindles as they walk also plump? Is wool fattening?

  34. Good for you Carole! You can do it! Take it one step at a time. It won’t happen overnight, but it’ll happen if you stick with it. I started walking just 1 mile, then 2, etc. Then I started slogging (slow jogging) a little with walk breaks in between. I’ve done MANY 5K and a couple 10K runs. Eventually I hope to do a half-marathon. Exercise isn’t all though, you also have to make adjustments in what you eat. Good luck!

  35. You can do it Carole! If I can through chronic pain, backed-up sewers, changing jobs etc. anyone can! Back to Tuesday’s list – I don’t know many who find exercise “fun” per se, but they like the results. The days I exercise before work I have a lot more energy and less of an afternoon slump. Though it took a bit to get to that point, at first I was just worn out. But you’ll do it. If hit a rough patch you know how to reach me! I think I’m pretty good cheerleader. One thing I’m trying really hard to work at right now is focusing on the changes in my body and fit of my clothes as my weight has hardly moved since I started working a 8-5 job. But the numbers on the scale are just the quickest and easiest measuring stick, but not the only marker for progress.

  36. Carole, it’s obvious that this topic resonated for so many. I join those saying, “YOU GO, GIRL!”. Also, I looked for a book. I used years ago to begin jogging. It may have been written by Jim Henderson??? Anyway, it had you run/walk five days a week. Two days were easy, two medium difficult and one long difficult. My goal was a 5K, but I ended up running several 10K’s. Loved the program because it was doable and incremental but allowed steady and measurable progress–at least for me, that made all the difference. You can do it!

  37. Congrats on starting with the gym. Quick suggestion based on my life. Get your trainer to do a body fat analysis. The number you want to know and keep is your lean body mass. (I.E. your muscle mass). Your weight might not change, but if your lean body mass is going up this means you are in better shape since muscle weighs more than fat. It really helps to know this especially when the number on the scale isn’t budging.

    Hang in. I’ll be working out with you in spirit since I’m doing the same things just in another state.

  38. Kudos Carole! A very overweight friend did the Breast Cancer walk 3 years ago and she couldn’t walk for a week after it. That motivated her to get a workout coach and also work with a good nutritionist. She started working at the gym twice a day and walking at lunch, and eating smart. About a year later she was down to almost HALF of her starting body weight! She was like a round ball when she started and she looks like a movie star! She’s really made a permanent lifestyle change and has kept it up for another 2 years now. Her journey and transformation have inspired many of her co-workers and friends to drop lots of weight the same way, including a nutritionist. There is nothing worse than feeling hungry or food deprived and it’s not sustainable for life, and a good nutritionist will help avoid that. So I strongly recommend it! I can’t wait to hear about your success!

  39. Comment #102 ….go Carole! I snapped about 12 weeks ago when I went to buy a new bra and they didn’t have them that big at the big box store. I left the store in tears. Joined weight watchers that day and have lost about 25 lbs. It’s not going as fast as I want, but it is going and I’m now able to walk farther than I could before without breathing hard. Next step is probably a trainer….your post helped me and I’ll probably call. Probably. Good luck! to both of us….

  40. Carole, I love you. I could’ve written every word of this post. BUT – keep in mind that losing fat is 90% what you eat. I’ve read that you can’t out-train a bad diet, and it’s true, because your body adjusts to the exercise (and exercise increases appetite). It sucks. I love good food and I know you do too. We can do this!!!

  41. That’s wonderful Carole- I think lots of us want to ‘virtually’ join in and lose some pounds too. I know I do. I have a book waiting for me at the library called ‘The Lean…(long subtitle)’ by Kathy Freston. That’s one of my plans, to become vegan, again. I know I need to do more exercise, but I do walk miles a day- 1.5 to 3 depending. I need to do more, like my yoga and some strength training. I think it’s a great step to hire a personal trainer. I hope you both work well together and that inspiration and motivation circulates here on the blog- from you to all of us, and back at you when you could use support!

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