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100 Pounds in 2012!!!

12 Jan

100 Pounds in 2012!!!

This photograph shows my husband Noel and me on New Year’s Eve, 2013, following my 100 pound weight loss in 2012.

What follows is the text of my speech for the Weight Watchers openhouse on January 12, 2013:

Last year, by the grace of God and by the science of Weight Watchers, I lost 100 pounds. I am going to tell you a bit about me, then a bit about how I did it.

I am Mary Martin. I was a career naval officer for 27 years, first active duty, then reserve. I retired in 2009. In the later years, I started to put on some weight and always had to be “taped” as we called it (measured with a tape measure) rather than weighed when we did the semi-annual Physical Readiness Test.

Then the Navy tapped me in early 2008 to go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a year. As I was getting ready to deploy, I had a mammogram and we discovered early stage breast cancer. Needless to say, my deployment was cancelled. I spent 2008 going through surgery, then chemotherapy, then radiation for that cancer. My oncologist told me I would gain 20 pounds from the steroids she was giving me for nausea and, indeed, that was the case. After my year of treatment, I gained an additional 20 pounds after retirement.

And so it was that I started 2012 at right around 260 pounds. Here is my picture. I purposely brought this one as my before picture because Noel and I got it taken in December 2011 on the beach, knowing that I intended to lose weight in 2012. It was an intentional before picture.

I want to point out that I had on my red shoes and my pearls and that, standing next to my handsome husband, I was a beautiful woman, even at that weight. I say that because far too many of us will lose weight or quit smoking or stop drinking to excess and then we will turn on the person that we were in the past and act as though that person was not us. This woman in the picture was me. And it could be me again if I don’t stay on Weight Watchers for the rest of my life.

I want every woman in here who is starting her weight loss journey to look at this ordinary woman who was 260 pounds just over a year ago and know that you can do the same thing she did. Also, know that you are already beautiful, as I was. You will get healthier when you lose weight, as I did. But you will remain beautiful, for you are already beautiful.

Now a few words about how I lost the weight.

1) First, you won’t be surprised to hear that I have tracked everything that has gone in my mouth for the past year. I use, and love, the online tracker. And I make no exceptions to tracking except for beverages because I don’t drink any calories. Only water and black coffee.

There are some other things I have done that have been helpful to me. We are all different so I only share these as one woman’s story.

2) One is that I didn’t choose to use my weekly points until about halfway through the year. I wanted to jumpstart my weight loss so I didn’t use weekly points at all in the beginning. I lost 20 pounds last January and 10 pounds a month for several months after that. That would be about 2.5 pounds a week.

In all, I have lost weight every week of the past year except for about four weeks where I stayed the same and two weeks where I registered a slight gain of less than a pound. So my loss was a very steady one.

3) I have learned to eat tons of fruits and veggies. I always loved vegetables but I have learned to love fruit, especially as a dessert. There are two ways we can control calories and I have used both. I have exercised portion control, but even more I have exercised control of the types of foods that go in my mouth. Since I am a foodie, I will never be one of those people who just eats little bits of food. I like a full plate.

An example is from the other night. My son wanted to go to Kelly’s Tavern after Bible study at 9:00 at night. Yikes! Since we planned the trip in advance, I looked up a lean burger and found that a quarter pounder patty would run me eight points. I ordered it wrapped in lettuce with tomatoes, pickles, and spicy mustard. So that delicious burger remained eight points. Pretty good, eh? I love it.

4) I also have restricted myself to one dessert a month. My WW class, the 7:00 class on Saturday morning, teases me about this. But it works for me. Once a month I go to the Route 58 Deli and order the biggest piece of milehigh cheesecake they have, imported from the cheesecake place across from Carnegie Hall in NYC. And I count the points! Most varieties are between 18 and 24 points. It is just what I do. I would prefer that to eating small amounts of dessert every day or to making desserts with artificial sweeteners. That is just me.

I will say that I was surprised on New Year’s Day to realize I had had only one order of French fries in 2012 and no orders of onion rings. I had one hot dog and about half a dozen burgers. I also had no candy, no donuts, and no cake. Yet I had cheesecake, pie, and about a dozen cookies in the entire year. I had no ice cream, which shocked me because it used to be my favorite food and I never noticed that I stopped eating it. I never missed it.

I have eaten very adventurously this year, probably more so than any other year of my life, including when I lived overseas. Noel and I have rediscovered Indian food and discovered Thai food. We have used many, many herbs and spices at home. We have discovered new recipes and had a blast sharing them together.

All in all, 2012 was a very good year.

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One Response to “100 Pounds in 2012!!!”

  1. Mary Gardner Martin January 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM #

    I wanted to add that there was a wonderful opportunity to repeat the gospel call to two beautiful ladies, mother and daughter, who told the story of abuse by their husband/father (now deceased). He used to make cruel analogies and comparisons about them as overweight women. They bravely told this story in front of about 75 people at the open house, so I jumped back in, as part of the panel, and affirmed that, for those who believe in God like I do, we focus on the fact that He loves us and finds us beautiful. I told them to not let the abuser’s words rent any real estate in their brains. I repeated, “You are beautiful.” It was a moment of sheer grace for me.

    ‘Course I later realized I wasn’t 100% accurate theologically. Even if someone doesn’t believe, even if someone is an atheist, God still loves that person and finds her beautiful! Glory!

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