Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Years Later

November 2009: 242 lbs. (Highest Weight Ever!)

August 2010: 198 lbs. (Onederland ~NEVER to be in the 200s again!)

November 2010: 179 lbs. (1 year ~ 63 pounds lost)

June 2011: 146 (I'm NORMAL ~ BMI)

September 2011: 141 lbs. (reached GOAL ~ 101 pounds gone)

November 2011: 147 lbs. (2 years ~ 95 pounds lost)

I know it's been a while since I checked in but I couldn't let this day go by without mention. Today marks two years since I got laid off from my soul sucking, miserable job and the beginning of my body and soul transformation. What a long strange trip it's been.

After 11 years of hard time at the same law firm I was blindsided, shocked and hurt to get a pink slip but it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. Who knew getting laid off would be the sweetest blessing. Fortunately, I was lucky to be in a position to be able to survive on an unemployment check for 22 months while I focused on getting healthy.

I knew I had to take advantage of my time off so I joined a gym immediately and spent at least an hour a day, at least 5 days a week working up a sweat. I went to the gym like it was my job and it was the best job I ever had.

I started off huffing and puffing on the elliptical on Level 1 and struggled to hang on for an hour. I always avoided the machines near the mirrored wall and wore big, baggy t-shirts and sweatpants. After about six months I started mixing in some circuit training with weights and some treadmill work. After the first year I tried a few classes and got turned on to cardio kickboxing where I looked forward to getting my ass kicked twice a week while I continued the cardio work the other 3 days.

I didn't do any extreme dieting. I ate what I wanted in moderation. I ate cake and cookies, ice cream and carbs, nothing was off limits. The more I worked out the more I wanted to eat better so I didn't negate all the hard work I did at the gym. I started craving green monsters instead of crap. I stopped feeling the need to binge and stuff my feelings down and started eating normal sized portions. I wasn't stressed and miserable all the time so I wasn't stuffing myself trying to numb the pain.

Slowly by surely the weight came off. I didn't let myself get hung up on the numbers, I just kept working up a sweat and not eating like a crazy person. Some weeks I gained but I didn't let those gains mess with my head like they had in the past. I knew if I continued working out regularly and eating relatively healthy 90% of the time I would continue to see results. I didn't lose fast but I lost consistently and I think that is the key to keeping it off. Slow and steady has been my motto and I'm still working it.

Unfortunately after 22 months the unemployment checks stopped and I was forced to go back to the daily grind. I'm going crazy trying to figure out how to juggle a crazy work schedule, find time to workout and have some sort of social life.

I did reach my goal of losing 101 pounds but I was only there for a day, ironically it was my first day back at work (9/19/11). On the bright side I've been maintaining a 95+- weight loss since June, almost 5 months of straddling the "normal" BMI line, just under 150 pounds. I haven't been able to get to the gym more than twice a week if I'm lucky and I'm chained to a computer for the better part of 7.5 hours a day but somehow I'm managing to maintain.

My head is spinning out of control, I can't breathe, and I can't focus on what's important because I'm too busy focusing on other people's stuff. I feel like I'm losing myself again because I'm too busy working crazy hours that I don't have time to take care of myself and I miss it. I never thought I would say this but I miss the gym, I miss kickboxing and I miss my stress-free days.

Work totally sucks! I'm stressed out, working crazy hours and have no time to do anything. I barely have time to take care of the basics, you know, laundry, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, sleeping. It's only been two months but I'm already thinking about looking for another job because I just can't handle this kind of stress anymore. I need a paycheck but I just don't want to do this anymore. Thanks for coming to my pity party.

With all that said, I think I'm still better off than I was two years ago. I am so thankful to have had those 22 months but it's so depressing to go right back to the grind. I've come too far to lose myself again. I'm hanging on by a thread but I'm fighting to hang on.

How do you do it? How do you juggle work, family and friends and still have time to hit the gym? Inquiring minds want to know.

Rock on My Friends!


  1. I am having a similar problem. It's like one of those games where you push one thing down and something else pops up. Get exercise under control and work suffers. Try to tackle all the laundry and have no time for exercise. Go away for the weekend for family obligations and get no time for sleep. So tell me if you get some answers!
    I currently work from home in school hours, four days a week, all the kid-free time I have. Supposedly 6 hours x 4 = 24 hours. Minus time taken in travel to drop off/pick up each day. Minus lunch. Minus 'oh I'll just pack the dishwasher and hang out some clothes'. And now I've started going to the gym every kid-free day; minus driving there, doing an hour exercise, showering & changing, driving home... How am I supposed to get any paid work done at all? Pity party... lets dance.

  2. I have my workout stuff at home, that's how I fit it in - no matter how crazy the day, even if I go down in my PJ's, I can get my workout in (and taking the drive time out of it helps a LOT.) My problem is the food right now, because bulk baking is something I'm just not in the mood for.

    But also? If your work is sucking the life out of you, you're not going to have the energy for everything you need in your day. A job like that feels like two, whereas a job you're happy with feels like it's not a job. There are other options, other avenues for you to follow. They may be unorthodox, but maybe it's time to start trying the paths? You don't have to be convinced that they're the perfect path, you only have to be willing to try something new.

  3. You know something interesting, there are many,many losers (myself included) that hit that low weight and then bounced back up a little and stayed there. It's possible that could be your maintenance weight, especially in light of life changes.

    You look phenomenal, btw!

  4. You are a great role model! I have to admit that I don't do it. My kids are out of the house and I don't work. I have no idea how I'd manage to fit it all in:(

  5. I don't hit the gym - I hit the garage. That's where my trusty treadmill is, so 3 days a week you will find me up at 5:30 pounding out some miles (C25k). It's not as much as I would like, but at least it's something. Laundry gets washed while I'm cooking dinner and folded while I watch the news. On Saturdays I clean house the best I can, which isn't saying much, but it keeps the authorities away. ;)
    I really think looking for another job is the direction you should go. This job is not adding to your life - it's sucking the life out of you, and even if you have to make a little less money, wouldn't it be worth it? I'm confident you will come up with a solution that will ultimately make you and your waistline happy. I'm pulling for you!

  6. Amazing journey. Truly. I'm amazed!

    It can't hurt to look around for a job that is less stressful. The stress is not worth it.

    I walk to and from the Go Train each day (50 minutes) and I joined a Masters' swim club and I go to one workout a week, plus I'm trying to get in the habit of swimming one hour a week on my own. I want to start running, but I haven't figured out how to fit it in.

    Can you join some sort of group athletic endeavour? A little bit social and a whole-lot of ass kicking exercise?

  7. First off, major {{{HUGS}}} for the frazzledness of the moment! I can tell you're feeling totally overwhelmed, and I wish I had some magic answers.

    I'm wondering if the exercise worry should be back-burnered, just a bit, in exchange for putting in some time each day/week to looking for a job closer to home and less stressful. I've long heard that it's easier to find a job when you have a job, so it might be worth a few months' investment of time.

    When I was working in an office, I tacked my exercise hour on to the end of my workday. Easy-schmeasy, BUT I didn't have your commute time. Nor did I have anyone expecting dinner after that. Other than me, of course. :)

    No matter what, keep in mind that you CAN and WILL come up with a solution. You figured out how to lose 100 pounds, didn't you?

    Feel free to give me a shout if there's anything I can do. Meanwhile, I'll be thinking of you...

  8. Yep, I hear you on the long commute - when I worked in Chicago my commute was 2 hours one way! The only thing that saved me was that the law firm I worked at had their own gym.

    Now the lawfirm I work at is only a 30 minute drive, so I have to get my ass in gear and get to the gym before work - still easier said than done - I've been helping my boss prepare for trial that starts December 1 - as much as I am trying to push off some of the work to local counsel's paralegal, my boss "trusts" me better to get it done. Damn.

    Hang in there!

  9. How I do it? How I juggle my life around?
    I don't.
    I'm in the same boat you are. Just today I sat down with the Head at my school to discus me working 4 instead of 5 days, just so I can have some balance in my life.
    SO I can finally reduce stress and spend time on me. Spend time on my fiancee and friends. Finally get back to who I am.
    Will it work? I don't know. I hope so. but in the back of my mind I know that I have to get out, that this isn't healthy, not even four days a week. The money though.....

    Anyroad, enough rambling. Just wanted to say I sooooo understand and dont give up! There just has to be a win-win situation out there.

  10. Thanks for telling it like it is. I can relate!

  11. It’s difficult to get knowledgeable people today on this subject, but you sound like you know what you are talking about. Thanks for this informative post.

  12. WOW! Needed to read this today. I caught on to the "treated going to the gym as my job" -- I have been off work since September due to a "disability" (a contributor to my weight issues) my FMLA ends next week and that will mean my job too... I feel I have wasted my time I let the emotional stuff SO overwhelm me. I need to take my power back in this ...I gave all my power to my job and their opinions of me, just as I have to other people in my earlier years....maybe that is how we learn to do it all.....staying true to our own power....that is the food I shall chew on today...for thanksgiving....
    Thank you

  13. *clapping hands*....... onya girl! You have done so well.

  14. Hi MB! I wish I had a solution for you, but I just had a month and a half of very much stress at my own law firm in which I gained weight, all while I let my housecleaning and everything else in my life go down the tubes. I just try to take breathers whenever I can and then psych up for a lot of stressful work the rest of the time. Yes, I will be working the weekend. :S

    :-) Marion


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