Why is this? Crazy answer: because I happened to look down at one of my calves. It was flexed, to hold me in my chair, and had a strong definition that I had never seen before. In short: I'm toning up.
This is happening all over, actually. There is a clear demarkation between my delts, my biceps, and my triceps, rather than a big fleshy mass of "arm." There are deepening hollows on either side of my hamstrings. I can see and feel the improvement, even after a weekend of some seriously atrocious eating (a.k.a., Dragon*Con), by virtue of getting back on the program. (And for that matter, an average of four hours of walking daily at Dragon*Con largely mitigates the damage caused by my diet there.)
It's important to note here, that at the beginning of 2014, I had given up. After my time in kung fu, and my year or so as a member of the local Sport & Health, had both failed to make any significant dent in my weight, I had come to the conclusion that it was a lost cause. I still wanted to do exercise, particularly weight lifting, because my back has long-term damage that makes it turn into a mass of pain if I don't lift; but I had forsaken all hope of seeing any benefit other than "your back doesn't hurt as much."
What changed? Well, when I was in the hospital for afib, one of the attending doctors (who was, as they tend to be, young-looking and fit) asked me about my weight. I told him what I told every other doctor, "I've been this shape all my life, and nothing seems to change it." Instead of the usual "Well just try harder!" bullshit answer I usually receive, the doctor said something I'd never heard before:
"I understand completely. I had the same problem. I used to be over 300 lbs myself, I know how frustrating it is."
That blew me away. Somebody who'd actually been there, and managed to come out the other side. Wow. O.o
The particular plan that worked for him was Ideal Protein, which is basically an intense low-carb plan something like South Beach. That didn't work for me (low-carb tends to make me feel like I'm dying), but that's not the point. The point was that for the first time I'd encountered someone who knew there was more to it than "just wanting it enough" or some other similar crap, who didn't try to tell me that wheat germ sprinkled over plain yogurt was a delicious treat, and who had experienced the "knock yourself out and still get nowhere" pain. But he had found something that worked, like really worked, not just shaved off five pounds.
I am a big believer in the idea that if something can be done by human beings, I can do it. And this guy had done it. That meant I could do it too. I just had to figure out how.
I can't really put into words how amazing it's been to actually see results. Between the Weight Watchers and the DailyBurn, I am literally becoming a new person, and every time I notice an improvement, it makes me hungry for more improvement. Success becomes motivation becomes success. Aww yeah! ^.^