I am officially at 236.4 lbs. right now. I am pretty excited about this because it signals a 102 lb. weight loss thus far! I still have quite the road ahead of me but the effects of this weight loss are definitely apparent both physically and emotionally. Physically, my muscles are more toned and I am stronger. Crossfit has really challenged my body and I can see results. I am noticeably smaller and I can fit into much smaller clothes. I used to be a size 24 and I am at a size 16 right now (which is quickly becoming too large – much to my joy and chagrin – as I am not in the U.S. to buy smaller jeans). Emotionally, I feel a lot happier and more confident. I rode crowded public transport in Maputo the other day and I didn’t worry about being judged for being too large.
The worry of that judgement is huge. For me, the fear about a year ago was an international flight between Atlanta and Johannesburg. 16 hours shoved like a sausage into an economy seat is not ideal. I was worried that the people sitting next to me would be annoyed that my thighs dug into the arm rest. Miraculously, I got bumped up to first class after I politely requested an upgrade, due to major issues with baggage and connecting flights. But I realized that I never wanted to feel that much anxiety about just fitting into a seat ever again. I also want to visit Disneyworld in the near future with my sister. It’s our ideal vacation and the thought of fitting in all of the rides comfortably and walking around the parks with ease gives me a lot of motivation to continue on my journey.
I have always known my weight at certain stages in my life. In high school, while playing tennis and softball, I always lingered around 200 lbs. In college, I weighed between 240 and 270 most of the time. After college, in the Peace Corps, I weighed in at around 218 lbs. While teaching in Japan, I vacillated between 292 lbs. and 221 lbs. In graduate school, I hit my peak weight of 338.4 lbs. I can never remember being at the ideal weight for my height and age. Maybe in elementary or middle school? I often worry that I obsess too much over that number rather than my overall health. What drives me, however, are the measurements and indicators of my achievements. I love taking my measurements and weighing myself to see the changes because I feel such satisfaction. Those numbers are the pat on the back that I need to really keep driving forward. It’s not just those numbers either. It’s visiting a doctor and finding out that I am healthy. My cholesterol and blood pressure are at healthy levels. It all proves that I have built and continue to build healthy habits!
In other news, I have signed up for Weight Watchers online again. I know I won’t always be able to measure what I am eating here in Mozambique, but Weight Watchers gives me an idea. I realized how much I missed tracking points when I canceled it. I have better control over what I eat when I calculate and keep track. I like to hold myself accountable. It’s not just the food, but also keeping track of how much water I am drinking and how much exercise I am getting (about an hour a day).