WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY BLOG – Defining Moment
In the past 2 years, I’ve lost 50 pounds and people always ask, “How did you do it?” There’s no mystery here, no magic pill, no fad amazing diet, no secret that no one else knows – just good old plain “eat less and exercise more”. Sure, it’s old fashioned and boring, but guess what? It works.
As with many people, my weight has been up and down so many times it’s been more like a jack hammer than a yo-yo. In my youth, I was a tiny little thing and it was a big deal when I finally weighed more than 100. I used to be 5 foot and 1- ½ inches tall which is really short by any standard. Add insult to injury, I find that now I am only 5 foot and ½ inch tall. I shrunk! Hey, Gravity, that’s not fair! I can’t afford to lose that much. Oh, well. Life does that. Which only makes my weight gains even worse.
It all began when I moved from the big metropolis of New York where I grew up, to the suburban rolling hills of the Piedmont area of North Carolina. In the Big Apple, walking is a way of life and while I grew up eating large quantities of hamburgers, French Fries, Coke and ice cream, I remained a scant 104 pounds or so. I was very proud of my 24 inch waist!
Once I hit the South, I bought a car and…walking was no more. I had wheels now! My mother’s good Southern cooking and my sudden lack of exercise caused a subtle weight gain and when I was married in 1974, I was still only 110 pounds, so that wasn’t too bad.
However, cooking more substantial meals for me and my hubby soon led to both of us ballooning up. So began my seemingly constant efforts to get the weight off, which I did. Numerous times. It kept sneaking back on though, little by little.
In 1979, I had been fatter, but was finally back down to 106. Yay! Then I got pregnant and it all went to…well, you can guess. I was so hungry the whole time and I just stuffed myself silly, believing that foolish adage that you are eating for two. BS. You’re just overeating. My highest weight when pregnant was a whopping 148, but of course, it was justified and located largely in my middle and all women are beautiful when pregnant. Sure, it’s a lie, but we like to believe it anyway just so we don’t think we look like whales.
After my son was born, I was determined to lose again, so I cut back and struggled, but after the better part of a year, I managed to tip the scales at 106 again. But not for long. Over time, the fat kept coming back. Obviously, I hadn’t yet quite learned why that was happening.
When I hit 50 years old, I was a tub of lard at slightly over 150 pounds. I had even outstripped my pregnancy weight. Ouch! I decided to get serious and managed, once again, to limit my food and try to exercise some and sure enough, the weight slowly, but steadily came off again. I had lost interest in sewing my own clothes when I had to make tent-like blouse and huge pants with elastic waists. So when I finally got to 126, I got rid of many of my Fat Clothes. Not all, but some. I did well for quite a while, but later got a sedentary job and went back to my old bad habits – too many French Fries, pizza and Coke were probably the worst offenders, but ice cream, brownies and Dewey’s chocolate éclairs played a huge (pun intended) role in my subsequent return to tubbiness. This time, however, it was worse! I reached my previous high, but did I stop there? Oh, no! I kept going and going, like the Energizer Bunny until I found the scale crying out – TOO MUCH! My worst weight became the ungodly number of 177. (remember, I’m very short, so this is quite a lot on my small frame). Yuck! Not only was I back into my old Fat Pants, but they were becoming too tight also! My blouses were stretching across my chest and gaping at the seam. Not pretty at all. At one point, none of my jeans even came close to fitting, so I had to break down and buy a pair that were size 18 and I almost puked at the thought. Yet, I couldn’t seem to get anywhere. I had LALGIB Syndrome. I’m sure many of you are similarly afflicted. It stands for Lose a Little, Gain It Back. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Then there’s LALGIBAM Syndrome where you And More to the end.
So, January of 2010, as always, how many of us make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight? Many of us. Every single year. This time, I had an iPhone! I downloaded a calorie counting App – yes, there’s an App for that! This was too cool and it was so helpful. I could put in everything I ate and it would tell me the total which kept me from going over my calorie “budget” for the day. It was working like a charm and it kept me accountable for every morsel that went into my mouth.
I was doing okay, but hit some snags about the time I was down 27 pounds. One, my App quit on me and two, I was having some personal issues that were causing me a lot of stress. Both of these things derailed me from my mission. I could no longer focus on doing what I needed to do. Comfort Food was calling my name and I responded by stuffing myself with it, justifying my need every time. If I felt bad, Food was the answer. If I was upset, Food was the answer. Except it isn’t, truly. I am an Emotional Eater and while acknowledging this is helpful, it doesn’t always curb the bad habits and behaviors. So, for a while, my weight remained in the general vicinity of the 150’s. Not good, but not as bad as it had been.
So what sparked my renewed vigor to get back on the Losing Wagon? Someone took a photo of me from the back. Oh. My. God. I saw that and for some reason, it just…this was my Defining Moment. I knew then that it was time to get severely serious again. How I looked from the rear was just unacceptable to me.
September 3, 2011, I got a new App for counting calories and carbs and resolved to focus on my eating and exercise (which was previously, at best, intermittent for the most part) and I was determined to lose the fat once again.
This time was more serious too, because I had been told I was pre-diabetic and was on 4 medicines at this time: one for diabetes, one for high cholesterol, one for high triglycerides and one for high blood pressure. I hate taking medicines and felt that if I could lose the fat, I could get off of these. That was also a goal that was important to me.
To make things easier, I also bought a kitchen scale so I could weigh my portions out. This has been extremely helpful in order to track calories. Sure, it’s a pain sometimes to have to weigh or measure all my food, but then I know how much I’m eating and can be sure it’s not too much. So I just do it.
Fortunately, not too long after I began my latest plan, my husband asked me to help him lose some too. He was somewhat overweight, most of it in his belly. He also felt bad when he was eating no-no’s right in front of me while I was straining to stay away from such goodies, so he decided to join me.
Long story short, it is now April of 2012 and I am down to 126 pounds and my husband is down 32 pounds to 160. His back no longer hurts him every day too! That’s been wonderful.
Also, I am off all of those medications and unless my future tests come back horrible (which I doubt), I won’t go back on them.
I have gotten rid of ALL of my fat clothes and went on a shopping spree to buy some clothes that don’t look like I’m a little kid wearing a grown-ups’ clothes. I had a bunch of my old jeans TAKEN IN! I have also taken in a lot of other clothes. It is so nice feeling thin and good again. Also, we won’t go back to being heavy because we’ve both learned so much about eating, habits, bad foods and more that we have learned to eat differently for the better and for good.
Besides, I don’t have any more Fat Clothes to fall back on! This is a great thing!
I will be blogging more on this topic as I think of things that might be of interest.
Readers: Have you ever had a Defining Moment? Tell me about it.