Eating healthfully, Exercise and Education -- my learnings about weight loss and life-long health
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I read lots of blogs by people who have always been chubby. And I often think genetics may have a big role to play in their struggles. However, that is not my story.
As a child I was stick thin. And as a teenager, the boys called me "toothpick" and told me not to turn sideways because they couldn't see me. I had few boyfriends. Older men liked me , unfortunately; I think it was the "Lolita" factor. As a young adult, I remained very trim, and people often commented on my self-control or said I ate like a bird. I had no self control and I did not eat like a bird. So to what do I attribute my thinness? Metabolism. I was a runner but I exercise twice as much now.
I had terrible eating habits. I had ice cream every day. A big portion too. My favorite breakfast was Frosted Flakes. I hated salad. My only real vegetable was tomatoes. I loved creamy soups, gravy, sauces, and starches of all kinds. Because I was "naturally" skinny, I could get away with it. Twice as a young adult I gained a little weight, both times it literally melted off me with the tiniest bit of intention and effort. I was a Weight Watchers poster child; I could dump 15 pounds in 6 weeks with a little point counting and exercise.
Then things changed. I began gaining weight and continued gaining a few pounds a year for about 10 years until I was 90 pounds overweight. And guess what -- I had no idea what to do about it. So over the last 4 years, I have become self-educated in the areas of nutrition, exercise and metabolism. I haven't gained any weight in about 3 years, and I have lost a little. It has at times been extremely frustrating. But I wouldn't change a minute of it. Because now I really know what it takes to make me tick. I know a lot about all the food groups, I can argue the merits and demerits of the food pyramid, I know how to calculate my bmr and what that has to do with weight. I understand metabolic changes that affect weight and know a lot about exercise, as well. I know about my blood chemistry and could write a book on the health risks of obesity.
Perhaps most importantly, I've learned what it means to stand in for myself; to keep advocating for myself; to trust that I will keep losing the weight little by little and to be constantly reminded that I do, in fact, matter. I recently realized my best friend has never known me thin -- and she loves me! Every time I have to say no to something "special" being offered at a celebration, I get to see that I matter. Every time I put on my shoes and hit the streets when I have a stack of laundry or work to do, I get it. I matter. I actually do. So I may still be fat, but inside, I'm singing. And I trust that this recent shift on the inside is going to be showing up on the outside one day soon.
Current Weight: 232.2 Weight Last Weigh In: 232.2 Weight loss since last week: 2/10ths of a pound (yes, this is excrutiatingly slow!)
I admit it. We're not race people. But today, with a little grumbling, I packed up the family (at 6:30 a.m!) and headed out for the CASA of Travis County 5K. I originally signed us up because it's such a great cause. But in the end, it was a great idea all around.
We joined up with a couple of friends from Marywood, our foster care agency. Our oldest daughter, Allison (13), ran the 5K with her dad while I walked near the end of the pack with another mom. Our 11-year-old, Chanelle, ran the kids 1 K. Since it was held after our race, we had the fun of cheering her on. When she crossed the finish line, she was all smiles. And she was even happier when she got interviewed for the local news! CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is an amazing group that makes life so much better for kids who are truly need it. So we were happy to support the cause. But the sense of solidarity and accomplishment we got as a family were priceless. Call me crazy, but I see more races in the future!
Have you ever noticed that no matter how carefully you script and plan your life, someone ELSE seems to be in charge? Hmm. I will make the long story short;
Plan: Go to England, exercise a lot, eat little, come home, jump in with both feet.
Reality: Go to Idaho (mom sick), fix comfort food for her, eat moderately, exercise moderately, come home to REAL life (kids in school, sickness, household repairs, job issues).
Yes, it's been challenging. And yet I've managed to keep my calories at or under 1200 since returning home. But only this week have I gotten back to full-blown exercise. My cupboard is stocked, I'm not hungry and it's all going well. Cross your fingers!
Current Weight: 232.4 Weight Last Weigh In: 232.8 Weight loss since last week: 4/10ths of a pound
I have a successful marriage of 21 years and five wonderful children who amaze and challenge me every day. I am a Special Ed Teacher, a professional Life Coach, a Certified Personal Trainer and an advocate for children. I have an amazing, full-on, wonderful,crazy life. What more can I ask?