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When Lisa Met 40...

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Before. Before.
April 6, 2008 (6 weeks in and 24 pounds down!) April 6, 2008 (6 weeks in and 24 pounds down!)
March 3, 2009 (76.5 pounds down!) March 3, 2009 (76.5 pounds down!)
At my 40th birthday party on September 12, 2009... 104 pounds down! At my 40th birthday party on September 12, 2009... 104 pounds down!

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Note:  This story was written in April of 2008 and I've since met my goal of losing 100 pounds by my birthday!  I struggled for a bit, gained about 15 pounds back and now have moved on to a new goal of losing 50 pounds by my brother's wedding on June 12.  You can read more about that here.

One of my favorite movies is "When Harry Met Sally..." and one of my favorite bits is when Sally is crying about turning 40:

Sally:  And I'm gonna be forty.
Harry:  When?
Sally:  Someday.
Harry:  In eight years.
Sally:  But it's there.  It's just sitting there like this big dead end.

She is, of course, sobbing as she says this.

When I first saw that movie I was 20 years old and 40 seemed so far away.  Twice my age! Now it feels like I've barely blinked and my own "someday" is right around the corner.  Just 18 months away -- and it's freaking me out!

I had been feeling this compulsion to do something to mark the milestone, especially since I have the very cool birthday of 09/09/09 to countdown to!  I think wanting to do something special for a milestone is fairly common.  One of my girlfriends is hiking the Appalachian Trail to mark 40.  Another is determined to go to Australia. 

So I found my own personal mission--to lose at least 100 pounds.

It came to me a couple of months ago.  When I left work to get lunch I started to follow the same path as always:  down the elevator, out the loading dock, right turn to the cafe for whatever hot entree they've got featured-chicken parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs or roast beef and mashed potatoes.

And then I stopped.  It would be just as easy to go left to the nearby Subway sandwich shop instead.  I've always liked Subway... lots of choices on the "healthy" section of their menu.  And as silly as it may sound, I knew if I made that turn, I'd be taking a strong first step toward making significant changes in my life.

And I needed to make those changes... because I'd seen a number on the scale that morning that I'd never wanted to see.

Just one step would be a start...

I knew it would be start that I needed because I'm a creature of habit and every new habit starts with that first change.  I'd been following the same lunch routine for a good 6 months.  And I knew it could be just as simple to establish a new and healthier routine.  If I just made that turn and took that step.

So I did!

That night I told Mark, the personal trainer I'd been working with (to little avail since I hadn't made any significant changes to my eating), that I wanted to spend the last 10 minutes of our session talking about how I was going to lose 100 pounds.  We came up with a plan and starting that day, I felt a brand new focus.

I've struggled with my weight virtually my whole life.  It's a familiar story--I've tried every diet and lost 20 pounds here, gained 30 there.  Lost another 50.  Gained another 60.  And so on.  Since I was 12 years old.  And now I'm 38.  I can't bring myself to admit in public how much I weigh, though I'll put out there that I can definitely stand to lose more than 100 pounds.

One thing I've realized is that a huge part of losing weight is being in the right state of mind to do it.  Anyone can eat right and exercise and make the necessary changes to lose weight--if they set their mind to it.  But there are a million reasons that we don't set our minds to it. 

Luckily for me, on that particular Monday, I felt like I had a million reasons to go ahead and do it.   And two months later, I've lost 28 pounds and it feels really, really great.  And while in a lot of ways, it's a lot of hard work, in a lot of other ways, it's so much easier than I imagined.

I'm going to write here about my journey over the next year and a half for a few reasons:

  • In the past, I've tried to keep my dieting efforts to myself. That has clearly not worked for me! So, I'm going in the opposite direction and telling EVERYONE!
  • I think the extra accountability will really help me. Will I want to binge on all the ice cream in my freezer if I know I'll have to come clean about it here?
  • If I'm writing every week, it will help me to really focus on what I'm doing. If I binge on all that ice cream, at least I'll be thinking about it and trying to figure out why as I write about it.
  • I hope this will be a resource for other people. So many of us have the same problems and issues; we should be sharing the same solutions! I'm confident that I'm going to be successful this time... but, I don't want to be just an "after" story. I want to tell my story "in progress" so we can learn from all this together. I'm no expert, but, I have a lot of resources and know a lot of smart people-and I want to share.

I kind of stalled writing this first entry.  I wanted to make sure I was in for the long haul before I ended up humiliating myself by starting with a bang and giving up in a few weeks.  Now that I've committed with these words on the screen, I'll be back to write more every week!

You can read all of my stories, from the beginning, below!

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