Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Turning Point

When I was in high school, I played three sports all year long. Small schools afford such luxuries, and I really loved being able to participate in all three instead of having to choose. The athletics year began in August with volleyball season, which was only a primer to get me in better shape for basketball (my favorite), which ran from November through March. Softball began immediately after and continued through May. With several team sports camps each summer at various colleges, even the summer didn't allow me to fall away too much from being fit and trim.

The summer after I graduated, I visited my sister in New York. We had a great week of traveling the east coast and seeing some incredible sites (I'm talking to you, Williamsburg!). However, I assumed that vacation meant eating dessert after every meal and finding treats at every stop. Since I was no longer working out as strenuously as the past four years, the weight just magically appeared for no reason. By the end of the summer, I had gained my Freshman Fifteen before beginning my classes that fall!

Over the next eleven years, weight was a constant battle for me. Since my preferred major food group is the sugar family, it was inevitable that pounds started to pile on. Most of the time, it was gradual enough that I wouldn't sense it until I found a scale and weighed it in. Then I would panic and try to get back to my better days through Tae-Bo, dieting, and any other drastic measures I could find. I also found that unhappiness in my life simply invited more weight to join in on the fun. I couldn't keep ahead of it, and I certainly couldn't get back to that high school weight (which I thought I was so fat at the time, mind you).

While living in North Dakota and attending flight school, I tried the latest fad of The Atkins Diet and had much success. I lost twenty pounds in about two months and looked amazing. Compliments abounded, and I was loving the results. However, I felt like crap. Atkins consists of a low-carb diet, and even fruit and vegetables are forbidden! What type of healthy diet won't allow fruits and veggies?! I was restricted to only proteins, like meat, cheese, and eggs. I still have a hard time scrambling eggs for breakfast! Though the weight came off quickly, my body felt awful. I was putting bad fuel in and feeling the affects. And, of course, after I stopped eating the Atkins lifestyle, the weight all came running back to me and then some.

I've gained an additional twenty pounds just since being married. It feels awful to admit that, though I'm sure it's been obvious to all. Despite trying to eat healthy and working out rigorously (in occasional spurts), nothing I've done has lost more than a few pounds over the past 2.5 years. It's to the point now where I am constantly thinking about my appearance...and not positive thinking, either. I'm miserable. I've lost so much confidence and have seen that trickle into every aspect of my life. Truth be told, it's taking over. It beats me down all day, every day, until I hardly recognize who I am any more. Physically, emotionally, and mentally...this monster has infiltrated every part of who I am.

So I've decided to change my life through healthy eating and consistent physical activity. And I've also decided to keep track of my progress here on Captain Micah. I do best at maintaining goals when more people are aware. I've been a little gun-shy about displaying it for the whole world to see because it felt like I would only let more people down when it didn't work. But you know what? I can't think like that! I've got to do something, and if it means letting more people in on my efforts to become healthy again, so be it!

I refuse to take drugs or supplements to help in this endeavor...I need to do it the right way by changing my lifestyle completely. It's called working out and eating properly. This doesn't mean I can never eat a brownie again. When I've tried that no-sugar approach on multiple occasions, it's only been marginally successful for a short time (losing two pounds in one month). What I need to do now is just make every decision better. And to be consistent. If I eat fewer calories in a day than I burn, the weight will subsequently go away. That's Micah Math at work, so you may want to check that! I've got some fun tools to get me through...a gym membership, an app on my iPod Touch that helps me track every calorie that I take in or burn off throughout the day, and a loving husband who wants nothing more than for me to be happy. Perhaps the most important tool up my sleeve is the burning desire to find me again. Seeing a picture on my Mom's blog of our trip to Utah last week had that killer impact on me...I couldn't believe that was me. Where is Captain Micah?!

This process may take longer than I would prefer, but I've taken an awful eleven years to get to this point. I, thus, have to understand that in three months I won't be fifty pounds lighter. But you know what? That is a goal that could happen in six to eight months! I'm not going to obsess with a number on the scale as much as I am going to measure it through self-esteem and how I feel about myself day in and day out.

I'm excited. I need this. I need to lose the weight and feel better about myself. I know obsessing about how I look, even if just in my head, has impacted everything I do for the past several years. I need to get healthy so I can focus on things that really matter, and be happy doing it. I'm tired of trying to fill my life with things that are supposed to make me happy. I've been treating my symptoms instead of simply killing the root of my problems! I am tickled to begin this journey and love that results are already taking place. I don't know what is different about this time, but it is. And it has to be! I can't live like this any more! I know what I need to do, and the excuses need to leave my life so that I can get to work and make it happen.

So to the side of this blog, I will "weigh in" each week. I will update the pounds of weight lost and maybe occasionally make a post or two about my feelings on progress.

If you want to join me, feel free. Rumor has it there is strength in numbers. I've only just begun and am already feeling better about myself. What a difference to actually DO something about it!

New Captain Micah, here I come!


  1. You go girl! You can do this! (And yes, I thought I was fat in high school too - hah!) It sounds like you've got the serious determination to do it and I know you can. Have you tried weight watchers? It has always worked really well for me. It doesn't limit anything. You use your points how you want to. You may have already tried it and it's not for you, but it works great for me because it's so flexible and I make the choices. Anyway, I know you'll get the results you want and I'll be watching! (Does it help to know that? lol!)

  2. Jon is joining you as well. He's been doing Weight Watchers for almost 2 months. (He went to one meeting to get the materials & is doing the rest on his own. He found a formula for figuring out the points of foods not in the book, and he has a formula for how many points to eat each day.) He's down 14 lbs but holding steady there.

  3. Over Eaters Anonymous. They use the same philosophy as Alcoholics Anonymous because the disease has the same base- they are both addictions. I've been going to OA meetings for about 6 weeks and I'm learning a lot. I suggest you find a meeting online and attend one just to see what it feels like to you. They are free and I'm sure there are several locations in your area. Try it, sis! xoxo

  4. Yeah, I like WW since it is based on the same principles as those who don't manage their money well. If you want to manage your money better you need to track it and looks at the results. Same for weight, if you are like me, you have lost the "I'm full" or at least do really well at ignoring it, so the tracking helps us realize when we're supposed to be full and what foods make us fat.

    It was nice when were younger and able to keep it off just by exercise but, alas, no longer.

    Best of luck to you.


  5. Beautiful Micah! I'm sooo proud of you! -But please know are ABSOLUTELY beautiful inside and out...regardless of what the numbers on that stinkin' scale say!!! Seriously!
    So here are some deep thoughts by Cheryl Duxbury (or maybe not so deep, but my thoughts nonetheless). Pray to love and accept yourself EXACTLY as you are right now. Heavenly Father will help remind you of who you really are and to see your beauty now. Don’t believe that you have to be perfectly thin or down to a certain weight to be considered beautiful on the outside.
    But it IS definitely a good thing to be healthy and eat well and exercise. Don't worry about the number of pounds to lose so much as just eating healthier and exercising more than you have been. Focus on just feeling better, like you said. Also, in the process of getting toned and stronger … the weight is all relative as you will gain more muscle, but you will still look and feel healthier.
    Also, you probably remember what Kirk and I do…and you may not want to do this yourself...which is completely fine. –But Kirk and I don’t eat sweets Monday through Friday, unless it’s a major holiday or a family birthday. For example, the 4th of July is coming up and it’s on a MONDAY! Woo Hoo! (I have more of a sweet tooth than Kirk, and I admit…I just LOVE when those exceptions come.) -And by cutting out “sweets” during the week, I mean any obvious sugar foods…ice cream, cookies, icees…basically any dessert. But remember, come Saturday and Sunday…and you can have some of that stuff.
    Fruit is completely fine during the whole week. We also never have soda at all and drink TONS, and I mean TONS, of water. Watermart LOVES the Duxbury Fam! We practically only drink water with some limited 100% juice. V8 Fusion is delicious and has some veggies added without the veggie taste. (Don’t get the V8 Light, because they add some of those unhealthy artificial sweeteners.) -So the best part about this whole lifestyle is that it doesn’t completely deprive you of sweets, and it is a COMPLETE lifestyle change that is EXTREMELY do-able. Even during a pregnancy…which shocks a lot of women. :o) You’d be surprised about how many times you’re offered sweets during the week! Depending on how good it looks to me at the time, I may accept and save it for the weekend or just turn it down completely.
    Exercise - I still need to exercise, that’s for sure!!! I used to exercise every once in a while at least, but I haven’t been exercising at all! Have you heard of the “10 Minute Trainer” by Tony Horton?
    Kirk and I are going to buy it really soon. I love that it’s a variety of TOTAL body workouts and that it’s ONLY ten minutes long! I can handle exercising more and the intense part too if it’s only for 10 minutes! I don’t do well with those long work outs at gyms myself. So Micah, you have renewed my desire to be healthier too! Thank you! –So to make my long story even LONGER…trying to eat fairly healthy during the week and eating sweets just on Saturday and Sunday has made a huge difference for Kirk and me.
    P.S. Mercy, I didn’t intend for this to be so long. But I am definitely a detailed person. I should have just called you. :o)
    P.P.S. Kirk and I would still love to get together with you and John soon. We miss you guys!!!
    P.P.P.S. I loved reading about your Las Vegas and UT trips, and I just love how the yellow dresser turned out and ALL the beautiful touches you're making to your home. You never cease to amaze me! Love you!


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