Last year, I accidentally lost about 35 pounds. To be honest, it wasn’t completely an accident. Like many women, I’d be trying to lose weight my whole life. I always went to the gym, but I never really made it a priority. I also tried crazy things like diet pills and fad diets, which obviously don’t work. Then one day I woke up, and I had lost a few pounds, then a few more, and a few more, until I was well below the weight I was at in high school, and about 10 pounds below any “goal” weight I’d ever set for myself. Odd I know. I’d always been about a size 14 (read: 16) and I’m now about a size 8 (read: 10). A goal that once seemed insurmountable to me became incredibly easy to reach when I stopped trying to reach it.
And here’s how I did it:
1- I moved to Queens, where everything is 20 blocks away from the subway. My daily commute now included a 20 minute walk in the morning and at night, uphill, both ways, in the snow-pocalypse that was 2011.
2- I stopped watching TV… (For the most part). With the advent of Hulu and Netflix I cancelled my cable subscription, and as a result became less sedentary (and I can still catch really important things like the Jersey Shore online).
3- I moved in with my boyfriend. I’d always read that if you are trying to lose weight you should not keep snacks in the house. Upon moving in with my darling boyfriend I found that it didn’t matter what kind of food I bought, he would eat it before I had a chance. Now I plan meals before I buy groceries. He doesn’t cook, so he won’t eat raw ingredients before I can get to them.
4- I started listening to my body. I am always really hungry in the morning, and not so much at dinner time. I used to eat a small breakfast and a large dinner in spite of this, because it’s what I was used to. Now I eat a larger breakfast and lunch, and a light meal at night.
5- The most important one: I got over my irrational fear of group fitness classes. I have been using the gym at the 14 Street Y for years. I work in the building. There is no excuse not to. I use to spend a ton of time on elliptical and treadmills to no avail, then last year I went to my first yoga class, and later zumba and Pilates. Now I attend classes 3 or 4 times a week, and maybe visit the gym once or twice. Adding classes to my routine has helped me stick to a workout schedule, stay focused, change-up my routines, and most importantly, have fun working out! The teachers are patient and helpful, and classes go by some much faster than watching seconds tick by on a treadmill. I used to think working out was supposed to be torturous, but the more new things I try, and the more fun I have, the easier it seems.
This year for the first time I can remember, I will not be making a weight loss resolution. I don’t need to. I like going to yoga! For those of you who are making resolutions, remember: start small, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Yoga Basics on Monday night at 7:45 is a great place to start, even if you are not used to working out. That’s where I started, and I still go every week. I am eternally grateful to Adja, Julie, Laura, Kristen, Rachel, and Anne (some of the 14 St Y fitness staff) for their help. I had worked at the Y for almost 8 years when I first walked in to a fitness class, and my only regret is not having done it sooner. Make 2012 your year! Step outside your comfort zone and try a yoga class, chances are I will be there too.
Roxanne Lane is the Communications Manager for th 14th Street Y