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Published July 18, 2013, 10:00 PM

Holt: Getting back in the game

I had it once, I can have it again. In the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get back into the “no-excuses” mindset that’s helped me reach my goals in the past.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

I had it once, I can have it again.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get back into the “no-excuses” mindset that’s helped me reach my goals in the past.

No time? Make time. Stressed? Don’t care, push through. Tired? Don’t care, push through. Sore? Don’t care, push through.

With patio, grilling and fair season in full swing, it hasn’t been easy. But with every extra step I take and every cheese curd I pass up, my determination is returning. I slip up here and there, but I’m making the shift from making mostly unhealthy to mostly healthy choices.

And it’s about time. In the past year, I’ve regained almost 30 pounds of the 100 I lost between 2010 and 2012, the years of late-night workouts after work.

There’s plenty I’ve gained along with it – a better sense of self, the man I plan to marry, new friendships – but it’s been heartbreaking to watch my hard work unravel by my own doing.

As I’ve always said, it’s never too late to start over. I’m not “fully” starting over, but in some ways, it feels like it.

Fitness is a “use it or lose it” kind of situation. Just taking a couple months off from regular exercise was enough to make me feel completely out of shape.

This time I started the same way I started at over 300 pounds – by walking. By myself, with friends, with my friends’ dog, along city streets, in parks.

I walked a 5K while getting pelted with colorful Holi powder from India. I walked the county roads of Glyndon, Minn., with my friend Jenn equipped with full Nalgene bottles and a 5-mile goal.

I don’t know how many miles I’ve walked, but it’s more than I ever did before.

Changing my focus from minutes to miles might be the push I need to lose my “happy fat” and get off my plateau.

There’s something about walking outdoors that I’ve heard many times before but am just now realizing for myself. When you’re out on the road, you can’t hit “Stop” and step off. You have to walk all the way back.

However, our willingness to walk all the way back without calling Jenn’s husband for a ride has been tested by summertime heat, humidity and bugs.

On a 95-degree, high-humidity day, it took 15 minutes for our breathing to adjust and I had to stop several times to wipe the sweat out of my eyes with my shirt sleeve. We pushed through.

Monday night we were swarmed by mosquitos feasting on our flesh. Picking up the pace and swatting wildly at ourselves didn’t help. We must’ve looked ridiculous, but the two farm cats that followed us didn’t seem to mind.

Again, we pushed through.

My first weigh-in went better than I expected – I lost 3.4 pounds. I’d have been happy with 1 or 2. The second I was disappointed by my 0.2-pound gain, though I knew I was retaining water due to muscle soreness.

But my first couple weigh-ins aren’t what matter. What matters is I’m finding new ways to get my head back in the game, and it’s working.

Forum reporter Meredith Holt lost over 100 pounds between 2010 and 2012. She shares stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.