Stuck. This is where I have been for the past five plus years in regard to my weight. Up until this point, weight management had really never been an issue for me. However, after having two children and reaching the age of 40, reality has set in. As I slowly grew out of many of my clothes the past few years, I knew I had to kick it up a notch. However, no matter what I did for exercise or diet, I could not get my weight to move. I was feeling disgusted with how my body was looking and so began addressing it by enrolling first in TEAM Fitness then after about a year, switching to TEAM Boot Camp. As far as diet, I tried the Whole30 to a “T” (twice) and did four previous 60days — nothing. Didn’t lose a pound. This was extremely frustrating!
Apparently, there’s a saying that goes something like this, “It’s not what you do during your time at the gym but what you do the rest of the day that makes the biggest difference.” Even though I had been told about the importance of getting enough protein and vegetables and not partaking in ahem, alcohol every day, I never was able to successfully implement these changes. I’m a busy mom and by the time I got the kids to bed at night, I really looked forward to having my Manhattan or two on the couch with my husband — it was our wind-down time. But it’s like that children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie . . . If you give me a Manhattan, I’m going to want some peanuts or cheese to go with it. I was just not ready to give up my nightly couch ritual.
This was my method of operating until this past December 7, when I underwent shoulder surgery for an unstable shoulder with a large labrum tear. Surgery left me in a reverse shoulder sling 24 hours a day for six weeks. Little did I know that during this time, all of the muscles in my biceps and triceps would deteriorate (okay, disappear), but that the rest of my muscles would turn to mush as well. During the first few months of recovery, not only could I not do anything with my upper body, but I was limited to the type of movements I could do with my lower body since most any type of cardio meant some jarring on my shoulder capsule. When I finally got the go-ahead to remove my sling and move more, I was 100 percent out of shape. I had had enough. I decided it was time to put this 60day to the test one final time — and perhaps re-examine my Manhattan drinking on the couch at night (I was NOT happy about this). But it was time!
With a new commitment to regaining my shoulder strength and movement as well as becoming strong again, I jumped right in. I was told my shoulder recovery would be about a year to full strength, but it should only be about 12 weeks until I had most of my range of motion. Unfortunately, my shoulder capsule was overtightened and to this day, I still have only 50 percent of my shoulder mobility, which is a very frustrating situation. Despite this, I come to the gym daily to get my workouts in — lifting a much lighter weight on my injured side than my stronger side and adapting the exercises for each side. Each week I feel a bit stronger, but the motion is coming back at a snail’s pace. As far as diet, I had been reading about the science behind Intermittent Fasting and decided to give that a go. I also decided to not drink on weeknights unless I was going out with a friend or for dinner, as well as limiting sugar and carbs.
Despite this large setback with my shoulder, I have been pleased to see my body shifting during this 60day. I’m quite sure changing my diet and having a healthier relationship with my couch time (seltzer water and tea are my new “go-tos” at night) has made a significant difference. I also know that getting to the gym most days has helped immensely — it’s refreshing to see people I used to see and to get the “You’re doing great!” or “Hey Stace” from coach Brian is quite motivating. I’ve kept up the Intermittent Fasting and I’ve become more conscious of eating real foods and viewing food as “function.” I feel more clear-headed in the mornings and I’ve learned to love my weekly weigh-ins to keep me accountable and on track. Getting my exercise in most days has become second nature and I certainly love the visible differences of the weight loss — but what I’m most excited about is the internal shifts I’ve made in regard to how I feel on a daily basis inside my body and the healthy changes I’ve made to my relationship with food.
When I started this 60day, I never went out to “win it.” However, as my body fat loss kept going up, and I was finally beginning to see some changes, I was encouraged to submit my story. So here it is — a stuck, middle-aged woman, dealing with a significant injury, was able to finally achieve her goals and adopt some new, healthy lifestyle changes. This truly is all I could have asked for in participating in this 60day — I’m delighted with the change I see and plan to keep up everything I’ve been doing to ensure my new habits become lifelong.