Wednesday, November 25, 2009
To All My New Weight Loss Bloggie Buddies!
I've been thinking about doing a weight loss post since it's been a while since I've blogged about that. Since I've been gaining a lot of weight loss minded bloggie buddies, I decided I should recap a little on my weight loss journey. Why I picked the eve of Thanksgiving (the day we're all licensed to binge) I don't know. I just decided that today's the day to tell the tale :-)
Like much of my new bloggie buddies, I grew up wearing "Pretty Plus" sizes and dieted for as far back as I can remember. Every Saturday, I spent the entire day from dark to dark journeying to and from Duluth to the prestigious "Betty Fuller School of Dance" and every Saturday I drank pop and ate candy bars between classes. Then on the way home I'd throw a temper tantrum if my mom wouldn't stop at the Dairy Queen so I could eat one of those special signature ice cream creations. And so my struggles to be a healthy weight began at the very beginning.
About 5 years ago, I maxed out at the highest weight I've ever been - 176 lbs (non pregnant) on my less than 5'1 frame. I was miserable and couldn't figure out why I couldn't seem to get the weight off. A doctor I worked with told me something very profound (yet simple). He said that I have to eat differently than the rest of my family. Mistakenly, I thought that I should just be eating like them. For example, my kids don't want to eat salads. So feed I them something else, but I need to eat a salad. Slowly, I am teaching them to eat more vegetables. I can't force my husband to stop eating ice cream at night or drinking a soda every day, but I can't do that if I want to be thin. I can't force other people to eat a certain way, but I must eat differently than them. I am responsible and I have full control of what I put into my mouth, So are you. During that time, we had a lot of people eating with us and I was cooking with lots of carbs. Guess what?! It wasn't an excuse for me to live on carbs! I've since found that it is possible to eat healthy and that money (or lack thereof) really isn't an excuse.
In my desperation, I cried out to God and asked Him to help me. I felt like He was telling me to "take the summer off from sugar". This was not possible in my mind. I ate some kind of dessert after about every meal! In monitoring my intake, I realized that probably half my caloric intake was from chocolate and other sugary food items that offered me little nutrition. That summer, being desperate, I followed what I felt was God's leading for me. I lost about 35 lbs! It was the biggest weight loss success of my life!
Since that time, it's been a real challenge to lose more weight and keep it off. Challenges included a miscarriage (and depression from it). Also a pregnancy being on physical restrictions and childbirth. All these things caused yo-yo type weight losses and gains. I have, however, managed to keep off that 35 lbs. I've learned that maintaining weight loss can be even more difficult than losing. Its been a journey and pilgrimage to say the least! This past summer, I trained for my first ever long distance (1.76 mile) swim. I also started running with a friend and have gotten up to 2 miles consistently and at times done 4-5 miles with her using interval technique. I have also discovered that we can't just strive for weight loss. We have to strive to be healthy. That means life must be balanced with healthy foods, exercise and holistic well being. I don't believe in taking unhealthy short cuts. I see too many people who've tried and later suffer for it.
I've found that weight loss and maintenance has to be my hobby. I can't neglect it. I've known many more failures than successes. This last 20-25 lbs seems almost impossible to take off (and keep off)! But I haven't stopped trying and I hope you don't either. Together, we can fight obesity both for ourselves and for the benefit of future generations. It is both our responsibility and privilege to find success. Nothing gained easily is so relished later on. So to all my new weight loss bloggie buddies, even though it's not always at the forefront of my posts, I'm rooting for you and I am being challenged by you daily!