Looking back to Devon’s graduation from high school and Madison’s 6th grade graduation (yes, same day) in 2011, I distinctly recall the pictures that people posted of me at the breakfast place we took everyone to eat in between events.
I stared at my arms in the photos and couldn’t believe they were so enormous, and not in the good, ‘Incredible Hulk’ way. I asked my mom a few days later, “So, you know the picture Melissa took? Did you see my arms?”
“Yes,” she replied.
Me hesitating, hoping for a safe answer, “Are they that big?”
“No!” she laughed and continued, “That was just a bad angle. Your arms are fine.”
But no matter what my mom claimed, I never believed her–probably because I have eyes, and I made it a mission to not have the same flabby arms in photos for Madison’s high school graduation.
Fast forward to January 2017 and my sister took a picture of the whole family when we were out at dinner and showed it to me on her iPhone. My sister wasn’t supposed to be in San Diego in early January but a freak storm in Oregon changed her flight plans going back home from Mexico. I know that things don’t happen by accident–they happen for a reason; I feel she was meant to be in San Diego to wake me the effe up!
I looked at the picture in disbelief. Yes, it had been a hard couple of years struggling with my thyroid and I had gained weight–this I knew not from getting on the scale but from my clothes. Even the stretch pants were getting tighter. I was so tired and had been eating junk food and drinking wine like it was water because of family stress. I should have known that I was going to have to pay for my actions one day but I didn’t realize that day was this past January.
When I first looked at the picture, I thought that the camera added some weight but then I looked at everyone else’s smiling faces, and they all looked normal. I was the only one who didn’t look like myself. I looked back at my face and all I saw was my normally very defined cheekbones were covered over with a layer of fat. I was horrified and remembered my vow not to look like a bloated beach ball at Madison’s graduation. That picture single-handedly woke me up and made me pay attention to myself and all my destructive behaviors. I made a commitment that day to get my health back.
The second my sister walked out of my house and went back to Portland with her family, I stopped doing all the bad stuff and called up Ideal Protein in Solana Beach. I knew I needed accountability and that’s what I got along with a meal plan. My counselor, Debb, kept me focused the entire time I was on the Ideal Protein diet, and made my journey much more fun than if I had gone it alone.
I reached my goal on April 1st and I was so proud of myself because despite birthdays, candy-filled holidays, and a trip to New York City, I stuck to my plan. I’ve even gone on to lose more weight than my original goal, so I’m very happy with my outcome.
Now, however, I want to focus on firming up. Although I’m trim now, my arms have no shape, no definition, and I’d like to change that. I want to be able to wear a tank top this summer and feel confident.
So, starting yesterday, I began a program called Callanetics–it’s kind of like a Barre workout but it may not be as hard. I’m not sure how difficult it is yet as I bought Callanetics Countdown: 30 Days to a More Beautiful Body and this particular DVD starts out slowly so that you can master the moves and it allows you to progress as you learn more and become stronger. I’m on Level I and the workout is only 25 minutes long; however, by Level 3, it will be 52 minutes.
The first level is five days, so on Saturday I will begin Level II as long as I stick to the one workout per day commitment I’ve made to myself.
Callanetics is a series of small (but a lot of) pulses. I know that I can feel yesterday’s workout despite using only my own body weight. I am sore but not so sore that I have to think about lowering myself onto a seat. Although I love that kind of soreness, I also like this kind, it’s much less in your face. There’s a gentle whisper of a reminder that I worked out yesterday, not a scream, “YOU WORKED OUT YESTERDAY!!!”
I’ve tried many exercise videos before and was successful with some of them (T25 and P90X come to mind) but now that I have neck, shoulder, lower back, and arm issues, I need something less jarring. Callanetics Countdown is completely doable for me and I cannot wait to see my results in 30 days.
I will post my progress weekly to let you know how I’m doing. I started on Monday so I will update you next Monday. In exactly 30 days Madison graduates from high school–wish me luck on reaching my own graduation goal. I will be a proud graduate of Callanetics University–I may even wear a tank top to the ceremony!!