I remember waking up one morning, looking in the mirror, and being completely mortified by what I had become. I was desperate to make a change, but I saw how far I had fallen and was completely overwhelmed. I liken it to a kid who's room has gotten so insanely messy that they don't know how to start cleaning it. That was me, I didn't know where to start.
Since I knew I had to quit smoking or die, I quit on January 13, 2014. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but one of the best. By the end of that year, I was still unhealthy in every other area of my life, so I started incorporating vegan food into my diet. I also cut my drinking back to just a few days a week. By the following May, I went full vegan and cut my drinking down to Fridays and/or Saturdays. By Fall of 2015, I had dropped 65 pounds and was feeling the best I had felt in a few decades.
When Spring of 2016 came, I was in a job I hated so I left that job to start working at the one I'm working at now. I love my job and coworkers, so it's been a great mental boost to me. The downside is that there is a constant array of sweets and goodies at my job, and over the past year and a half, I gained back 20 pounds. Not only that, but my activity level had stagnated and I was starting to feel bloated and crappy.
So, on that August day two months ago, I decided I could either cry about gaining back the weight or I could do something about it. I made a decision, then, that I needed to change my relationship with food once and for all, and to start being more active. In other words, I needed to make a permanent lifestyle change. I started counting my calories every day using MyFitnessPal, and I made a goal of walking - at first it was 2 miles a day four days a week, and now it's five days a week - that I map using MapMyWalk. It connects with the calorie counting app, so I can easily see where I am every day.
It was hard at first, but I've kept with it every single day, and I am pleased to announce that I've lost the 20 pounds I gained! This means I'm back to my original loss, and with all the exercise, I'm feeling really good. No more bloat, no more lack of energy, no more sitting around. I'll be doing this as a permanent part of my life, and I'll definitely check back in after the next 20!