My older kids and I are fascinated with The Biggest Loser. It amazes us that people that are so out of shape can suck it up and run a mile and eventually a marathon. I don't especially agree with throwing them into it so quickly and the way they don't seem to appreciate the pain these people are in. My experience is that weight loss involves small lifestyle changes made over time.
Here's my story:
I was not a healthy, athletic kid. I remember my grandmother calling me her "strawberry shortcake with too much whipped cream." I remember believing I was fat when I was only five years old. I always believed I was somehow less than everyone else because I was a little soft and chubby. I remember lots of 8:00 PM meals of White Castles, meat lover's pizza, or fried chicken. My mom looked at me like I embarrassed her, but never provided healthy food. Every day of high school, I had a can of Coke for breakfast followed by chocolate milk and barbecue chips for lunch (I cringe at the thought of that).
After my divorce, I lost weight, mostly motivated by stress. A couple of years later, I got sick and lost an extra three pant sizes in a month. I wore size four jeans. I still thought I was fat when I looked in the mirror until my teenager got tall enough to wear my jeans. She was skinny in them, so I must have been too; how could I not see that? Then I got remarried, had another baby, and then hurt my foot, which has seriously limited in the types of exercise I can do. Now I am a full twenty-something pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and weigh nearly the amount I was when I was full-term with my last baby, which doesn't make me feel good - not at all.
Tonight I challenged my husband to take a virtual bike ride with me to Seattle, Washington, which is 2,340 miles from our house. It is possible we could do it in a year. We can ride our indoor recumbent bike or our normal bikes with our baby and kids along for the ride. My husband is not a friend of exercise, but this seemed fun to him too, even more fun if we ride there together and then go there on a real trip. My nine year old was fascinated and helped me plan it.
Tonight I rode 3.1 miles on my recumbent bike at a very slow pace for only 20 minutes. I burned a sad 20 calories a mile. Twenty calories is nothing and doesn't even cover the creamer in my morning coffee. However, 20 calories for each of the 2,340 miles to Seattle is 22 pounds of fat (assuming I did the math correctly). It may take a year. It may take two, but it is a scientific fact that if nothing else changes I will lose 22 pounds if I take this journey.
I challenge anyone out there to join us too.