The Light Bulb Challenge

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I have said since my very early 20s that I thought my light bulb on life – i.e. everything would make since, be clear, have meaning – would happen when I turned 30. I don’t know why, and truly, I’m not quite sure what that even means, but I do know that I have exactly 64 weeks (448 days) to figure it out. And figure it out I will!

I was going to start on Saturday or Monday, because that’s how I normally do things. I have to “get it all out of my system” before starting fresh only to repeat this same vicious cycle. I was talking with Peter last night and asked him when I should start and he said tomorrow. I kid you not, this is our exact conversation:

Me: I don’t want to start tomorrow. I want to gorge myself with a last meal. [Yup, isn’t that the classic food addict mentality?]

Peter: It’s always your last meal but it never is. Don’t you deserve better?

He is absolutely right. I do deserve better – so does he. He deserves a wife who has the energy to go out and do things with him, who he doesn’t have to worry about her healthy, who feels like she belongs on the arm of her healthy-weight husband, who can possibly have a healthy pregnancy when it comes to have children. I want a long life with my amazing husband. I know that you have to lose weight for yourself, but Peter is a large piece of my motivation.

With that conversation in mind, I’m starting today. I may not be perfect and my fridge isn’t completely stocked but losing weight and being healthy is all about figuring out what works for you. I don’t want to diet; I want to have a healthy diet but I don’t want to be on a diet. I don’t want to always be waiting to eat normal again. I want this lifestyle to be my new normal. So last night, I canceled my Weight Watchers subscription. I truly believe that WW is an awesome program, but it just isn’t working for me. It’s the classic case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I can’t be trusted with that much flexibility and will be looking at  meal plans that offer variety but are tailored towards a daily calorie intake. I am going to be using my old faithful, Sparkpeople.com*. The last time I was successful at losing weight, I counted calories using the food tracker on Sparkpeople. I figured if WW wasn’t really working for me at this time, then why not try something else?

These are the major things I want to accomplish on the way to turning 30:

Get to a healthy weight. Using online BMI calculators, online ideal weight charts and talking with my doctor, I know I have quite a ways to go. I’m 5’9″ so I’m not a short girl. The healthy range most places online list for my height is 125-170. I’ve been 175 before, believe it or not. My current weight as of this morning is 271.0. Ideally, I’d love to be 150 pounds; however, if I couldn’t maintain 175, can I maintain 150? With that in mind, and knowing that at 175 I actually looked pretty darn good, my target weight by 30 is: 165 pounds. Peter agreed to throw me a 30th birthday/”reveal” party! How awesome would that be to celebrate my 30th birthday with friends and family and to “reveal” my new healthy body? To help get to a healthy weight, I will make a weekly meal plan and I will post my weekly meal plan. All feedback welcomed! I tend to go grocery shopping on Saturdays just because that’s the easiest time to go – and there’s a lovely farmer’s market in town that is open every Saturday!

Write my book. Really. Which will be difficult considering I’m a doctoral student and I work a very demanding (but amazing!) full-time job. If I can write approximately 14,000 words per month beginning with September, by October 2014, I should have nearly 200,000 words. I say by October because my birthday is early in November (the 5th) and I’d like to be finished with writing before my birthday.

Run a 5k. To accomplish this, I’m going to take my July 5k that I mostly walked as a starting point. When I feel the time is right after a few weeks of walking, I will start a jogging plan. After I feel comfortable jogging a few minutes, I will work towards running for a mile, then two, then finally arriving at the magical 3.1 mile mark. As finances permit, I will sign up for 5ks throughout the year.

Fully fund our emergency fund with the additional $1,000 baby step that Dave Ramsey recommends. While Dave Ramsey, also known to me as BFF Dave, says to save the $1,000 then throw all of your money at paying down your debt, I would feel so much more secure knowing that we had a bit of padding in our savings account.

While I’m still hoping to lose some weight before our belated honeymoon, I can’t expect to lose enough weight to be comfortable with my body in the next 58 days but I can start the path to a healthy lifestyle today. Of course I’m disappointed that I didn’t lose weight and I won’t be able to wear super cute swimsuits, I am still thrilled that I’m going on a honeymoon with my husband and we get to celebrate four years of marriage.

*If you click on the link to Sparkpeople, that is my personalized link. I will not receive any monetary credit, but I will receive 25 Spark points that you can accumulate – kind of like “good job” gold stars.

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