Happy Sunday, Maniacs! I hope you guys are doing wonderful today! I, myself, am doing fine. I am just resting after a busy week of dance and some ups and downs that almost took me off focus. I find that donuts and some guilty-pleasured viewing of the Handmaid’s Tale seems to cure most of my ails–and with this show I use the word pleasure lightly.
I am taking a mini-break to write about one of the better moments that occurred this past week and bask in the retrospect of a victory that I think we all have struggled with in attaining, one way or another.
Exactly one year ago, I was still in a walking boot recovering from my Lis-Franc fracture. Getting around wasn’t painless, but it was better. Dance was definitely not something that I foresaw as a possibility to return to but I was overjoyed to at least be able to move. The issue that plagued me was the amount of weight that I put on.
Think of what one pound of fat looks like. Is your view of a pound of fat incommensurate to the reality? A pound of fat is 3500 calories. When I was actively teaching prior to the accident, I would burn about 3000 calories a day! In order to to keep myself energized I ate well over 5000 calories per day as well. Now, that may seem impressive in hindsight, however, after the accident, my caloric intake did not change and therefore, was counterintuitive to my health.
From November of 2016 up to April of 2017, I had somehow unknowingly managed to acquire an additional 40-45 pounds. I want you to look at the picture above. Imagine what 40 of those looks and try to think about 40 of those spacing themselves through your body. Knee pain, ankle pain, blood pressure sky-high, breathing staggered and heavy, all of it was extremely difficult to adjust to.
I was a cardio queen who taught 13 classes a week, and there I was out of breath, sweaty, could hardly tie my shoes without getting dizzy to the minimal exertion of bending over. 40 pounds makes a huge difference. Something needed to be done, but the other harsh factors–weight aside–kept me paralyzed mentally and emotionally, so the desire was not there.
My therapist had tried for years to get me to track my food. She knew of my love for dancing, but she also knew that in order for me to drop weight, I needed to track what I was putting in my mouth. Exercise is important, yes. But if you are putting in more than you are burning, it’s only logical that you are bound to hit a stalemate within your weight-loss journey. Thankfully, due to the wonders of technology I used MyFitness Pal to scan everything I ate in conjunction with my calorie-tracking watch that showed me what I was burning.
My mother was driven crazy by me as I would take my time at the fore of the stove scanning everything that was prepared for dinner. I told her that I was doing this only for 2 weeks and then I would stop. I was skeptical. Especially since the app told me that I could only eat 2500 calories! Oh, I can fondly remember the frustration over seeing that shit even now!
Oh, but my cynicism was laid to rest. Because as the month of July, 2017, passed by, I lost 8 pounds! So I continued to track my food.
Elapsing the time to the present day, now being able to dance and workout as I please, while still doing my best to stay within my caloric intake, I have lost almost 60 pounds in a year!
Was I insecure about my body? No, I have always thought that I was quite the handsome fellow, but feeling almost 60 pounds fall off of my body frame is a wonderful experience. I am the lightest I have been in a few years and seeing my ability to move and shake without too much trouble is immensely rewarding! I plan on continuing what I am doing tweaking some things here and there and can only imagine where I’ll be in another year.
Now people want to know my secret. “Did you eat vegetables and grilled chicken and only the things that basically swim, walk or fly?”
Yes. I ate that and more. I didn’t restrict myself in a cage. I still had dessert when I wanted it, I still ate a burger every now and again. As a matter of fact I remember several nights where pizza and wine were at the forefront waiting to be devoured. All I did was introduce the word moderation into not only my diet, but also my life.
You see, Maniacs, in this world we live in it is so easy to try and do everything at once. All or nothing thinking is a plague that exist only to further deteriorate our natural ability to remember that we are only human and we can only do so much. As you head into this new week with new things being hurled your way, hold on to that word, Moderation. Taking things one step, one pound, one minute, one breath, one pace at a time. Your life is merely an accumulation of things in the count of ‘one’ that add up over time. Take your time, breathe, be thankful, and remember to take care of yourselves this week. I believe in you, I love you and spread this message to help your fellow man be kinder to themselves as well. We need each other now, more than ever.
Chat with you guys soon, and have an incredibly, stupendous week!