And while I know this is so important to my health, it can sometimes be hard to stay motivated.
I’ve been pretty self-motivated for the first quarter of this 36-week journey. The joy of getting to know my fellow Health Questers as I bump into them at the Rome-Floyd County YMCA or out in the community is a big plus.
For the first two months, I was diligent about recording every morsel I put in my mouth and every minute of exercise I did. The tracking of that information provides some sort of validation.
And, of course, having lost more than 21 pounds in the first nine weeks is the main validation.
But I came back from my recent trip a bit giddy from having lost weight on vacation. Suddenly, I didn’t feel compelled to log everything, which translates to not paying attention to everything. And, guess what? My weight loss the following week was miniscule.
And I have mentioned before that I can be one of those “all or nothing” personas when it comes to exercise and food.
So I decided to go in search of some inspiration. For me, people are inspiring. That’s why I do the work I do. I love telling people’s stories.
And I didn’t have to look far — just up my own street to one of my neighbors.
I have seen a woman I didn’t recognize a few times on my block in the past several months.
It was only after a friend of mine mentioned that Tracy Page has lost more than 90 pounds that I realized the woman I’ve been seeing was Tracy!
Over the past 11 months Tracy has lost 92 pounds and is now a size 8.
“I even bought a new bathing suit today that I don’t think I’ll be embarrassed to be seen in. I might take the kids to the water park this summer and actually participate!” says Tracy.
Of course, I’m sure you all are wondering the same thing I was: How the heck did she do it?
“Working with my doctor, dietician, staff at the Y and support of my family. Finding a workout for me that I’m able to stick with has been difficult, but I do work with the weight machines when I can and reward myself with a few minutes in the sauna,” said Tracy.
“I have started walking everywhere and the downtown business district is getting used to seeing me walking with the girls and the dogs now, even though I don’t think one business owner was too happy with me when our very large puppy took out one of her glass flower vases on an outside table …”
She says a big factor was that her daughters were homeschooled this year and “not bringing home every cold, flu and sniffle. I get sick so easily and I’ve been able to stay off of steroids this year.”
Tracy says the biggest challenge for her is not getting distracted by food. (I know many Health Questers can relate to that!)
“I’ve had to use tricks like a little bit of diet chocolate, hot liquids like miso soup, hot tea, decaf coffee. Sugar-free yogurt, Laughing Cow cheese and Jello have been saving graces. I’m a boredom eater and not keeping things in the house that would appeal to me has been hard on my family,” she said.
Of course, this kind of weight loss requires giving up (or at least cutting back) on some things we love or are used to in our lives.
“Biggest success? The dietician has made me swear off carbonated beverages, alcohol and caffeine,” said Tracy. “I’m eight months free! Well, except for the glass of wine I had last week … but that’s been my only transgression.”
A bigger sacrifice has been family dinners.
“Another challenge for us as a family is that we always ate dinner together around the table and I’m just not able to do that right now,” Tracy shared. “I’m not at a point where I have the willpower to make it through a family meal every night yet.”
But her focus and dedication have paid off and it sounds like Tracy is doing things the smart way. She’s averaging 2 pounds a week, which is what experts suggest.
So when my enthusiasm starts waning and I don’t feel like doing another set of reps on weights or another few minutes on the bike or I start to question whether by next spring I could really be 80 or 90 pounds lighter, I’ll think of Tracy and people like her who have had the commitment and fortitude to do the work and have shown it’s possible.
Not only is it possible, it’s simply inspiring.
So, thank you, Tracy, for sharing your success story and inspiring the rest of us on this journey!
Maybe one day next spring, you’ll see some fit little woman out working in my yard and you’ll wonder who she is. Then the light bulb will go on — ah, that must be the “new Charlotte.”
Either that or my new gardener …