Two years ago I looked like this:
The weight gain was about a decade in the making. In the two years leading up to this picture my weight fluctuated between 195 and 199 pounds. I wasn’t happy, but I also didn’t feel terribly compelled to do much about it. Sure I exercised on occasion: a run here, a cardio class there, but nothing consistent. I kept telling myself if I ever got to 200 pounds then it’d be a real wake-up call (why it wasn’t when I was in the high 190s, I’ll never know). Well, that day came: May 17, 2005.
I not only decided I was FINALLY serious about getting back into shape, I also wanted to document the process. I wasn’t thrilled to be standing in a jog bra and too tight spandex for all the neighborhood to see, but I hoped I’d soon be proud to show off my newly toned body (besides, my darling thought we’d get the best light outside). And unlike the before & after weight loss ads you see in magazines, I wanted to wear the same outfit each time (although I now wish I hadn’t chosen such high-waisted shorts; they not only accentuate my belly pooch, they make it seem like I have the longest, flattest butt on the planet).
We’ve taken 11 triptychs in the past two years; some show a remarkable change from the previous one, others just slight. But one change does stand out: my smile (it grows as my body shrinks).
Here’s the one taken this past Saturday:
Currently my weight is about 163 (just as I thought — the colonoscopy diet didn’t stick). While the weight loss is fantastic, I’m more proud of the fact that in the bottom photo I’m red-faced and sweaty from a 14-mile run, whereas in the top photo I’m red-faced and sweaty from a less-than 3-mile run. The woman in the top photo probably couldn’t WALK 14 miles, even with a cheeseburger dangling in front of her, let alone run it.
There is a downside to documentation, however, and that’s when you realize you’ve gained weight/inches from a previous photo. Here’s what I looked like in September 2006:
The change is subtle (it’s probably tougher to see in these smaller images, but in full size in Photoshop, they’re quite apparent). My weight is about the same, however, I was clearly more toned back in September (and more tan!). The photo came at the end of two months of solid training for my first triathlon, which included a TON of pool and open water swimming. I’m not the best swimmer, and the fear of sinking is a great motivator. I also got back on my bike and regularly attended my Pilates class.
Once triathlon season ended I maintained my pool routine for a few months, but then got bored. My Pilates class is in the afternoon, and I find myself making excuses for not going (I’m too tired, the Mariners are playing and I’ll never find a parking spot, my cook date went so long and I’ll never make it in time, yadda yadda yadda). Well, I think the excuses need to stop. An overall body workout clearly has its rewards, and I’m looking forward to being lean and mean again.
So stay tuned for the next triptych (although I think I’ll take it before heading to France; something tells me cheese, baguettes, croissants and copious amounts of wine don’t do much to tone)