I’m embarking on two big things I’ve never done before. The first being this blog and the second, what this blog is about.
Beginning Monday, June 4th (my 44th birthday), I will start a challenge I have issued to myself for the summer. My challenge is to be in the gym every morning before work Monday through Friday. The only reason I won’t be in the gym is if I’m too sick to be there. Otherwise, no excuses. My goal is to gain more muscle mass, shed more fat and reduce my BMI.
The main purpose of this blog is to help keep myself accountable. I plan to share my progress with statistics and photos. If I share what I’m doing with all of you it will prevent me from wanting to quit when I get 2 weeks into this and discover how hard it really is. If I am able to help or inspire someone along the way, that is a bonus. I have no desire whatsoever to toot my own horn or garner attention for myself. I just want to share my journey.
I arrived here through a course of events that started in September 2009. While washing my hands in the bathroom at work I looked in the mirror and saw a bulge in the base of my neck. I thought it was odd but I managed to ignore it until December when it began to get bigger. A trip to the doctor and some blood work revealed I had developed a somewhat common autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s Disease. This disease attacks thyroids and causes hypothyroidism. The bulge in my neck was a goiter caused by the disease. My goiter also had a cyst that began to get bigger and push on my esophagus so in April, 2010 I had surgery to remove my thyroid.
I probably struggled with this disease for many years before it finally manifested itself in that goiter. I had many of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s but never made the connection. I had problems with my heart and had a myriad of tests done, including thyroid hormone levels, and found no abnormalities. It turns out my heart problems and thyroid were connected.
After the surgery I just couldn’t seem to recover. I barely had the energy to work an 8 hour day and I spent all of my spare time sitting or sleeping. I felt old beyond my years and felt like I couldn’t go on that way. I guess you could say I hit bottom. I weighed 210 lbs and was pushing the limits of a size 18W. In August 2010, a friend of mine recommended a book she had been reading called Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. This book revolutionized the way I think about and treat food. I began to implement the changes in the book and follow the meal plans. It was tough making those initial changes. Several times I wanted to quit but I began to notice improvements. Not only did I start to have more energy, I was also shedding inches and weight. Digestive problems that had plagued me for years began to be non-existent. My acne, which I’ve had since I was 9 years old, began to clear. I couldn’t deny what I was seeing and feeling.
After 7 months of eating this way my energy levels improved to levels beyond how I felt before the surgery. I had lost 38 lbs and dropped 4 sizes without even exercising. It was an answer to prayer. I will forever be grateful to Jillian and her book and also to my friend for recommending it. But even with all this, stamina was something that I was still lacking so in May 2011 I bought a gym membership and began to strive for stamina. It has been a year and while I still haven’t achieved the stamina I would like to have, I did lose another 7 lbs and added a little bit of muscle tone.
This brings me to where I am currently. I accomplished my goal to feel better but now I want more. One thing I’ve learned is this was never a diet. I was changing my life for the better…permanently. I want to keep going and improving. I want to shed those few remaining inches of fat and add some more muscle tone. I will admit that I struggle with the vanity of that. Is it vain to want not only to feel better but look better, too? My family tells me it’s not vain. I am not doing this to compare myself to you or anyone else. The only person I compare myself to is myself. I want to be better than I was yesterday…to grow and improve and achieve. The Bible tells us that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are to glorify God in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). I want very much to do just that.
So for the next 90 days I am going to share my journey with those of you who are interested. I am excited to see where this will take me and terrified that I’ll fail. I’m looking forward to the challenge and dreading the difficulty. I’m a mixed bag of emotions! I hope you’ll come along with me and keep me on the right path. I will be honest and truthful in the things I share in this blog. No hiding the stuff I choose to eat that’s bad for me or the slacking I do in the gym. Remember, it’s about trying to keep myself accountable.
Thank you for your interest. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.