- Diet & Weight Loss
A Personal Weight Loss Revelation
When I was in high school, I though I was pudgy, not fat but not skinny either. That line of thinking had me covering up in oversized clothes, avoiding being seen in my bathing suit, and generally feeling unpretty. After high school I enlisted and dropped eighteen pounds in boot camp. I was fit and truly healthy and, gasp, skinny. My command was fairly laxidasical so it would have been easy to put that back on had I not gotten excersize in the form of dancing three to five nights a week. Let me tell you that I burned a ton of calories that way and had a ball. Male friends of mine said that if they had not seen me eat, they would have thought that I was anorexic. In truth I out-ate most of them but I was burning off those calories so it all balanced out.
Then I had kids. After the first twenty pounds came back on, my self image went straight back down. Going out dancing was no longer a viable option as I had responsibilities to my family now. At that time I had no concept of strength training and therefore never took advantage of our base gym. They weight stayed on, creeping up ever so slightly. I got out d stayed at home with my kids, I had two then, and that did nothing to help me shed the unwanted vanity pounds. We moved and over the course of the next few years, we had two more kids. After the last I got a tubal ligation. At this point I was hanging around the mid-to-high 180's.
The Journey Back
After finding a semblance of a schedule, I began to sneak in exercise DVDs here and there and altered my diet. This is where I began my love-hate affair with fad diets, miracle cures, and anything else the television infomercials convinced me was the easiest, fastest, no-fail method for rapid significant weight loss. Most would work to a certain degree then I'd plateau, fall off the wagon, or wind up sick as per some unintentional caffeine overdose. I stuck with the exercises and came down to the mid 150's before my marriage ended and I moved.
Stress was rampant, time was nonexistent, but I still managed. I told myself that I was not going to be any good for my kids if I was not good to myself. Even if it was a five minute rapid workout, I did something. My job kept me on my feet then I went to night school and was on my feet a lot there, too. I was twenty five pounds off of my prepregnancy weight and loving it. Then I got injured at work. I was out all summer and the injury made exercise difficult. The worst part was the depression that followed. I was tired all the time, my energy level was non-existent, and I stopped trying. I still ate fairly good but I was not following any sort of sensible diet. That year I put on fifty pounds.
The Wake up
I went for my annual checkup and the doctor pointed out the obvious-I was now considered obese. She ran a few tests, made a few suggestions, and sent me on my way. The test results showed that my thyroids were not acting the way they should. That was probably a result of the rapid weight gain. It could have caused the weight gain, too but we cannot be sure. She started me on a vitamin D regimen for my fatigue, it helped, I still take it. We were about to put me on medication for the thyroids when I got laid off, consequently causing me to lose my medical insurance. That was over a year ago now and another fifteen pounds have crept up on me causing me to teeter at nearly 200 pounds! I am a mere 5' 2". It's not a pretty sight and it is affecting my health.
The extra weight has caused my asthma to act up worse than ever. Being out of work means no medical which means no inhalers. If I do not do cardio, I do not need an inhaler. If I do not do cardio, the weight does not want to come off. It is a catch-22 that I am very frustrated with. A month ago I decided that insurance or not, I cannot use that as an excuse. I have made a goal to lose two pounds a week. That's it. I have revised my diet to add more fresh vegetables and a truly balanced daily diet. Simple carbohydrates, lean protein, 'good fats', correct portions, and weekly rewards for reaching my goals.
I joined a free online support group called SparkPeople.com and use their menus as a guide. In two weeks I have dropped 11 pounds. I am satisfied, energetic, and hopeful. In the end, as much as I want to be skinny, I really want to be healthy more and eating right is the first step. I want to be able to play in the backyard with my kids, not embarrass them at school by being grossly overweight, and be around when I have grand-kids, forty years from now.
After trying the cereal diets, the berry diets, the 'don't eat this' diets, the heart-attack in a pill diets, and so on and so forth, I realized that aiming to be healthy first will inevitably lead to a smaller waist. It is no longer my ultimate goal but a great reward for treating myself right. I am happier now then I have been in years and there is no more stress over my size. It will take care of itself, I just have to take care of me. I intend to report back on my progress on a later date but I am sure I will have good news not that long from now!