Anyone can. I have been doing it, and quite well, I might add, for about 10 years now. Never having been one to obsess over body image, I thought I looked pretty good, all those years. As a long distance runner, you just feel good running, so what is there to feel negatively about? The thing is that since I graduated from college back in 2000, got a real job, and learned how to cook (e.g. started making enough money to afford my wishlist of ingredients, cooking gear, and wines), I had gained about 20-30 pounds, give or take 10 lbs for a fluctuating training plan or having a baby or hiking for a living.
This past Thanksgiving (2011) we were visiting BAH's family (sweetest ever) in Mississippi, and I was chatting with one of his cousins, and I noticed that Cousin K had lost a significant amount of weight. He looked great. The real significance here was that I had never thought he was chubby to begin with. I think, in general, maybe I just don't notice those things. Cousin K, you were actually my original kick start inspiration in all of this. Who knew? Well, Baby H had his 1st birthday and became little h, and that was it. For the first time in my life, I realized I really needed to lose some weight, permanently, and also for the first time in my life, through diet changes rather than running. Running was not to be trusted. Running, is like that crazy college friend who you cannot refuse indulgence. Running has been the best worst influence in all of this :)
My stats: I am happy to report that I have lost nearly 20 lbs and am 5 lbs away from my goal weight. I have dropped from a size 12 to a baggy 8. My runs are still slow (12-minute miles), but easier!! I haven't done a speed workout for 4 years, so that is only to be expected. You don't get faster by running at the same pace, haha. Don't care for now. Turns out, my blood pressure is still high. I had gestational hypertension and was hoping it would go down after I dropped some weight, but nope. More on that later.
BAH, my amazing husband, has been my true rock and support through all of this because really, I feel like he has probably made more sacrifices than I have, food-wise :) When the dinner chef is no longer drinking a half of a bottle of wine while she is cooking dinner, about 2/3 of the oil and butter is suddenly eliminated from the saute pan, as it turns out :) Huh. He has been an amazing guinea pig as I have learned to make my own pizza crust instead of going out for pizza every weekend; been a good sport eating soups and stir-fries and trying new things, and NOT bringing home beer and wine and chocolate every other day. And Doritos :) He has never complained once about any of these changes, even though they were all pretty moderate, and we still enjoy our wine and Doritos, from time to time. Still, this would not have been possible, if he was not willing to make these changes with me.
When I get to a size 6 (not that I care in the slightest about being a 6, but it will happen as a result of 5 more lbs), I'll probably have to go shopping. I secretly wish the people from TLC's "What Not to Wear" would come to my house and make me throw away my oversized sweaters, but chances are, I will have to go by myself. I will have to try things on. At an actual store, not grabbing something off of the rack at Target on my way to the checkout stand from buying diapers or Windex (I love you, Target!!). It may or may not be pretty, but it will feel pretty darn good.
I'll probably just end up buying some candles :)