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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!


Eric and Hannah Avery said...

Good encouragement! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving also! I just started keeping a log of all the things I eat, and I am noticing that it is helping me not to eat so much. I really like what you said about "you can't eat the same thing as everybody else." That is so true! Thanks for your great blog posts!

Anonymous said...

Very encouraging, I was a skinny, athletic child, slimming down now seems near impossible. I never would have guessed that your well, uh,short. I'm just over 5'2" and haven't stepped on a scale in years, the number would probably make me faint!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family!

Blessings each day said...

The scale has not been 'my friend' for several years and I try to avoid it.

Your post was so refreshing and I think most of us feel we have to eat what everyone else is eating and that is a HUGE mistake.

You have inspired me and I will try to not only watch what I eat but to get on that stationery bike of mine again!

You look taller than 5'1" in pictures...I figured you were about 5'5" at least.

Love that little Moonbeam..what a doll!

blessings and hugs,


"Indescribable" said...

I believe you are correct when you say that it's our responsibility to be healthy and eat right for our future generations! I admire your willingness to share and that you are so energetic and active!
Happy Thanksgiving to your family!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Nice to read your story. The first 1/2 of my weight loss went really well, and now it's slowing down, which is tough. But soldier on we must! I'm up in Estes Park for the holiday and thought of you - we saw some deer right near our cabin (rented cabin) and there are warnings for bears. This must be what it's like for you all the time!

toytrkman said...

And I'm proud of you! And all because of it, you had our little moonbeam! ;-}

Friend of the Bear said...

Hope you're having a great day!

Bearfriend xx

Becky said...

I am 5'1" too. Thanks for your encouragement on my blog, it means so much. I have been wondering how you are doing with your weight loss and low sugar diet. Making a decision to eat right despite what others are doing are good words.

Foodie Girl said...

I think you have a lovely blog and I enjoy coming by to read about you and your family. If you talk about weight loss, well, that's just an added bonus for me!

Prairie Chick said...

I loved reading your story, I can relate to so much of it, yo yo weight roller coasters, miscarriages, pregnancy, depression....

I am so proud of you. I just finally got the strength to face my imbalance in this area this summer. It was mid August. I had been studying balance, and wanting to pursue balance in my life and realized that health and exercise were really low on my priority list. Well the exercise was nil, and my eating habits were BAD.

August 18th I tried running for the first time. 1 min running, 2 min's walking, and man, it was HARD. My breathing SUCKED. By the end of 9 weeks I ran a straight 3 miles at under a 12:30 pace! I had also lost 12 lbs and SEVENTEEN combined inches during those 9 weeks.

I am now 7 weeks into working my way up to 5 miles and I feel so great. The weight has come off alot slower, I am hoping to have lost 10 more lbs by mid Dec, but the inches continue to come off and my endurance and strength keeps building and I feel so great.

It really helps me, being disciplined to run an hour every second day to be careful what I consume. Why would I put all that effort and then sabotage it with poor food choices?

Go girl! I'm so proud of you, and I'm running this race to health right beside ya.