I’m letting it all hang out there for this challenge.

Here’s my quick story:

I’ve never been really athletic. In fact, I hate working out. If I can think of an excuse not to work out, I won’t work out. It’s a horrible habit. Like most people, I think, I’ve gained weight steadily since moving out of my parent’s home and going to college. I was probably 110 lbs. when I started college (coming out of two years on the swimming team and moving to the coldest place on the planet – Upper Michigan). Now, I’m around 155 (probalby closer to 160 once I weigh in officially for Ashlee’s first day on Friday.)

When I graduate from college, I probably weighed about 120. I don’t think I was really active in school, but all the walking around campus must have been what kept the weight off. I certainly wasn’t eating well. In fact, I’m sure I eat better now than I ever did in college. But, joining the workforce has wreaked a lot of havoc on my weight. Once I started working for a newspaper on the night shift, everything went out the window. I’ve found it difficult over the last six years to fit working out into my crazy schedule. (I currently work 2 p.m. to midnight 4 days a week; 4 p.m. to midnight 5 days a week when someone is on vacation – and that includes holidays and weekends.)

I got married last year – and I was determined not to be the nazi bride who won’t eat anything but grilled chicken and salads. I ate whatever I wanted, found a dress with a corset back (so I didn’t need alterations) and was perfectly happy on my wedding day. Of course, I then got the photos back. And while I wasn’t completely disgusted with myself, I knew I could make some improvements. But never got around to sticking with anything.

The turning point happened just a few weeks ago – while my husband and I were vacationing in Ireland, I saw a few photos he’d taken of me. I wanted to cry. I had never thought of myself as fat – not really anyway. I always knew I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I was never really motivated enough to stick to a plan. I’ve joined gyms before and promised myself I’d quit drinking soda (three times I’ve done it , but took up the bad habit after a month); joined sparkpeople in an effort to track food/exercise. Nothing lasted more than a few weeks. I always came up with some excuse. And once I had given myself the out once, it was much easier to do it again and again.

And then I saw Ashlee’s post about the 20/20 challenge. And I blew it off. And then I saw another post – she’d had 60 people e-mail her to join the challenge. And I paused, thinking, “maybe I should sign up.” I gave myself a day to think about it and when I came back to my Google Reader the next day, Ashlee was up to 82 people. I realized that day to think about it was really a day to come up with a good excuse NOT to sign up. I told myself I wasn’t going to give myself that out, and so I signed up. And now, I’m trying to make sure I don’t quit! 🙂

So, without further ado ….

Ashlee has set up some simple steps for us to get started for this challenge (which begins on FRIDAY!!).

The first step is to make a plan. So, here’s mine:

My Plan: Live a healthier lifestyle; start working out.
My Goal: Lose 10-20 lbs.

Based on the calculator at nutritiondata.com, I need to consume 1978 calories to maintain my weight.  (I’m going to round to 1975 just for the sake of my brain and math.) Since 1 lb. is equal to 3500 calories, I need to shave that from my weekly caloric intake (about 500 calories per day = 1475 net calories). I’ll do that through exercise and watching what I eat. Here’s the plan:

Option1:

1975 – calories consumed
– 500 – calories burned through exercise
——–
1475 – net calories

Option 2:

1775 – calories consumed
– 300 – calories burned through exercise
———
1475 – net calories

Whew, that’s a lot of math for this English major.

Up next, rewards …. any ideas?

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