60 Pounds of Flesh

If you’ve met me in person or seen any full-body pictures of me, you know: there’s a lot of M.J. to love. I have always tended to be, um… a person of substance, and for the most part I’m okay with that. But when Fozzie was born I topped out at 235 post-baby pounds. While some of that melted away post-partum, getting back to 200-ish felt like a longer struggle than I’d hoped it would be. With 40 approaching, I started having some unpleasant health stuff crop up (you know what I mean, Gen-Xers — nothing serious, just stuff that smacks you in the face with the fact that your body can’t do the stuff it could in the days of Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins). And it really is true that the older you get, the harder it is to lose extra pounds.

Color Run with my longtime buddy Nan - Asheville, NC, July 2015
The Color Run with my longtime buddy Nan – Asheville, NC, July 2015

So in April of this year, I decided that I wanted to lose 60 pounds in one year (by the end of March 2016) getting me down into “healthy” range for the first time since, um…. high school. I also hoped I could shave off 40 of those — or close to it — by the time I turn 40 in November.

On my own (with encouragement from Hubs) I did really well at first. I started at 205-ish in April and lost almost 5 pounds a month for the first three months. I’ve been going to the gym pretty regularly (being careful of my tender ankle that’s been giving me fits for the last two years), and I even did the Color Run in Asheville, NC last month with a girlfriend from Cincinnati.

Also, I started taking medication for my ADHD, which not only can be an appetite suppressant (you have to be careful, though, because it can wear off and backfire), but it regulates the impulsivity and focus cravings that my brain often reads as sugar cravings. It definitely helps! I wonder how many of us who struggle with overeating are really self-medicating for ADHD? But I digress…

For a while I was using the LoseIt! app to track my calories. LoseIt! is a great tool if you actually use it, but when things get busy and the novelty wears off I find myself slacking. Slacking off one day leads to slacking the next, and just like with all healthy habits, it generally seems a hell of a lot easier to start over tomorrow. Summer has made things even harder – with my kids around more and lots of stuff still on my plate — figurative and literal — I found myself forgetting to take my meds and/or substituting ice cream instead. I think I heard myself saying “Just this once,” or “just as a special treat,” to myself almost as often as I said it to my kids. 🙂

Before the 90 Day Challenge
Before the 90 Day Challenge

So for the last couple of months, I have been battling with the same 2 or 3 pounds, alternating good days and bad, good weeks and indulgent or stressful weeks. Now that school is back in session for the kids I’m renewing my commitment to myself: healthier routine, more accountability (public and private), and just to up the ante, I’m starting the 90-Day weight loss challenge at LifeTime fitness.

The pictures here (a couple slightly blurry) are from this morning at LifeTime, where I weighed in at 194.7 in my gym clothes, post-breakfast. That’s “gym weight.” As far as I’m concerned, “real weight” is me, naked, first thing in the morning on my bathroom scale: post-pee and pre-breakfast. Sometimes I deduct a half-pound for the ponytail holder and my wedding ring. Ahem.

ANYWAY. My goal is to get to 170 or less, gym weight, by my November 7th book launch in 90 days. That’s also the week of my 40th birthday, so it seems appropriate.

Here are my target strategies for the 90 Days:

  1. Go to the gym 3-4 times each week, with at least one workout a week that really pushes me
  2. Track my eating EVERY DAY for the 90 days (and if I don’t, subject myself to public flogging)
  3. Plan workout schedule and family meals each weekend and shop accordingly
  4. Focus on high protein meals, nutrient-rich foods, and DRINK MORE WATER
  5. Reduce stress by being more selective on commitments, and plan time for self-care and relaxation
  6. Stop judging myself. In all areas. <– (Hardest one!)

I’ve been inspired by a friend who is blogging his weight loss/workout journey this month, so I plan to post a blog at least once a week during the 90 Day Challenge to let you know how it’s going. And add another layer of accountability. Feel free to join me by posting your own goals and progress!

Here’s to healthier days ahead!

MJ Pullen

M.J. Pullen is a Distracted Writer and the mom of two boys in Roswell, Georgia, where she is absolutely late for something important right now. Her books include quirky romantic comedies and playful women's fiction -- her latest, SUGAR STREET released on 8/7/18. Join her Distracted Readers newsletter list for updates, free content, giveaways and more.

2 thoughts on “60 Pounds of Flesh”

  1. Re-Thinking the "Before" Picture - MJ Pullen
  2. Hey, Remember That Whole Weight Loss Thing? - MJ Pullen

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