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!