The First Ten Pounds

Written by: Jayne

Losing the first ten pounds is easy. I’ve done it six or seven times no problems. I’m a pro at losing those first ten pounds.

The second ten pounds…. in the last ten years I’ve never lost a single ounce of the second ten pounds.

This winter and spring I struggled a lot with back problems. These were not severe injuries. This was ‘I sneezed and threw out my back’ or ‘I watched TV at a funny angle and now can’t walk straight’. I went to a chiropractor recommended by a friend who after just one alignment cured my headaches and got rid of my lower back pain. I was thrilled! Until a week later when I was in pain again. He told me something I’ll never forget. He said my butt muscles were weak and couldn’t hold my pelvis in place (he used more scientific words but ultimately that’s what it came down to).

Now you don’t know me personally – but I’ve got myself a badonkadonk. My whole life my strong round behind got me through every sport I played with power and strength, had trouble fitting into the skinny jeans that were in style, and more then once got a whistle or a slap from annoying adolescent boys. My butt has been something I could easily just rely on because it didn’t need any help.

Ten years in a desk job took away my sturdy base, literally. I have never felt so defeated in my entire life. It’s not that I couldn’t run anymore, or got winded going up the stairs. My butt was turning to mush because I sat on it all day.

But this story is not just about my butt, no matter how magnificent it might have once been. It was the catalyst that made me really look at what I was doing to myself. I was not just an athlete growing up, I was a star. Captain of teams, faster, stronger, and more determined than my teammates. I wasn’t on one team I was on three. I didn’t play one sport I played five. I’d gone from a true athlete to someone who didn’t even like driving somewhere, because it took too much effort.

I stepped on the scale and saw exactly what I expected to see. It’s not like I was oblivious to my extra weight. I’ve known I had to lose weight for years (which is why I’ve lost that same ten pounds so many times.) But this time I didn’t do what I always do, which is to go out and buy one of every vegetable and exercise once a day. This time I thought. Thought and thought and thought. I spent days thinking, making lists, contemplating. And for me it always came down to one question… why do I always fail?

To me the answer has always been ‘because I love food’. I love to eat. I hate fighting cravings. I hate eating raw veggies when I really feel like a pizza. People who say ‘have an apple when you’re hungry’ really bring out my need to be violent towards them. So they get my patented eye roll and I feel no shame thinking they’re dumb. When I’m fed up, I binge. I don’t just order a pizza. I order it with extra cheese, bread sticks, dessert and a drink. All for myself. It’s comforting, like a warm friend. It makes me feel better for a few moments when I feel really low. Food is my addiction.

For the first time in my life, I made a different goal. I did not buy one of every veggie. I did not make a weight loss chart. I did not order a bunch of fitness DVD’s and new running shoes. I made myself one single goal.

Eat. At. Home.

It took me a full month. Week one I did great, as I always do. I planned meals and executed them. I was motivated and determined. Week two came with an extra serving of my beligerance. Instead of giving up, I made myself a deal. Buy whatever you need to buy in order to eat at home. So I bought extra cheese, some bacon, a few packaged dinners for when I was too tired to care. It was not the healthiest choices, but it worked. I continued to eat at home for another two weeks.

By week four, I’d managed to slip in some bagged salads and buy lean meats instead of the really salty kind. And I realized with a sort of jolt that my instincts had actually changed. Instead of reaching for the phone when I was really tired and didn’t want to cook, I chose toast or pasta. It’s the first time in my entire life that I’ve succeeded in changing a habit. Four weeks, that’s what it took.

Four weeks, and I hadn’t lost a single pound. Not one. And I was even a bit puffy looking because my salt intake was high. But I felt good. I felt accomplished. I’d succeeded in something. Something that was big!

Now was the time for another goal. Because my first goal was so simple, I made my second goal just as simple. More Veggies. Simple. I could still eat pasta, fry up salty potatoes, and even have toast for dinner. As long as I incorporated more veggies into my daily intake.

Those ten pounds just fell off. I didn’t even do anything. I didn’t workout, I didn’t go outside more often, nothing. I barely worked out a single muscle. My life was the same. I wasn’t deprived, I wasn’t craving, those veggies just flushed all that salt out of my system and cleaned me right up.

I’m sitting here right now ten pounds lighter, not feeling warn out or tired. I don’t feel like I’m struggling at all to get healthier. I’m not longing for cheese melted on stuff, extra salt put in things, or enough candy to fill my sugar quota for the year. I’m sitting here calm, wondering what I should do next. My energy is good, my jobs are all done, and I kinda wonder why I worked so physically hard all those other times.

Now it’s time for you, you second ten pounds. You and I are going to meet for the first time. And I have to say, you’re not going to like me very much!

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