Evening Update

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

As it’s hotter than a lit match in hell, outside, I will probably not get in any cardio today. I know, off to a great start, right? There are going to be some bumps as I try to work out scheduling, but I definitely do think I’m a ‘workout in the morning’ kind of person.

Either way – still on track for my first trip to the gym tomorrow morning. Probably not a full intensity workout, just going through the paces and figuring how what weights to use, how to adjust the machines, etc.

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Hello, world.

My name isn’t important. Neither is my demographic information. I will tell you that I’m female and in my 30s, and I’ve been struggling all my life with obesity. Blogging seems to work for some people, helping to hold them accountable for their weight loss efforts, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m approaching this journaling effort anonymously because I am embarrassed to admit that I weigh, at present, 325 pounds. That’s the most I have ever weighed in my entire life. This would be a problem at any human height, but at 5’6″, it’s untenable. I was chubby, even as a kid, though when I look back at my weight in high school, I’d give anything to weigh that again… and at the time, I thought I was so disgusting. Maybe if someone had taught me to love my body, as it was then, I wouldn’t have started on the weight loss yo-yo, where you lose 20 or 30 pounds, and then gain it all back plus some. Throughout my life, I’ve tried different diets, different exercise programs, with varying degrees of success. Atkins was by far the most successful, but wasn’t workable in the long term, and came with associated drawbacks I wasn’t willing to endure – like thinning hair, despite taking a multivitamin. I have always been intimidated by the amount of weight I have to lose… keeping up a fitness regimen is hard for most people, but especially hard for people who have so much to lose. And to make matters worse, I have a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) that ties in to insulin resistance, and makes it twice as hard to lose weight as the average person. In short, I have to work twice as hard to achieve the same results. They don’t know what causes PCOS, and there really isn’t any sort of cure, but they do know that obesity exacerbates the problem in a chicken-or-egg-came-first sort of way.

The name of this blog comes from (I admit it, huge nerd) the game Mass Effect. In the game, you have the option of playing a female main character – Jane Shepard, a totally badass woman marine. Jokingly, I had taken to asking myself ‘What would Shepard do?’ in certain situations, where I had to make a decision and didn’t have a leaning one way or the other. It’s lame, but she’s my inspiration. She does what needs to be done, no matter how much effort it takes on her part, or how much it might hurt. As someone who wants to be prepared for all eventualities, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to let myself go down this path. I’m starting to get to an age where the extra weight is noticeable, and taking a toll. I know it has, throughout my life, but I’ve been blessed with good health, good genes (for the most part), good endurance, and youth. Now one of those factors is starting to drop away, and if I’m going to live to see 50, I need to start taking better care of myself.

I have been working on a system of goals and rewards for weight loss, but it isn’t just about that. I want to increase my endurance and strength so I can get back to practicing a certain martial art that has always interested me. By my reckoning, I have 165 pounds to lose to get to a goal weight of 160. If I manage to lose 2 lbs a week, this is going to take me approximately 83 weeks. And I know that I won’t always lose 2 lbs a week, either. But I’ve always preferred to be able to lay out my goals, including my end goal. Of course, there will be milestones along the way. I will celebrate when I dip under 300 lbs, and I will celebrate when I lose 10% of my body weight and reach 292.5. The first goal could happen in about three months, the latter in four. But I will be thrilled if I can just maintain even GOING to the gym every other day for two months. I need to make this a habit.

A friend of mine has drawn up an exercise regimen for me that’s based on interval training, alternating cardio and weights, and will last about an hour each time. I’m supposed to do it on M W and F, and other cardio on T and Th. I think I might try Zumba. Right now, it’s so hot that you can barely breathe outside, so it’ll need to be something indoors. Maybe by fall I will have lost enough weight that I can try some light jogging around my neighborhood, with my dog. 🙂

Anyway – so if you’re reading this, hello, and thanks for joining me for the beginning of Project Shepard, whoever and wherever you are. I’ll post again later today when I’ve decided what cardio I’m going to tackle for my Tuesday workout.