Hey there! MrsJim (my husband calls me "Karen"
What a cool idea this is Meg!
I think most of you pretty much know my story - I'm one of four girls (the middle one!) and the only one with a 'weight problem' - definitely the black sheep of the family...Dad (who went to medical school at UNC - Chapel Hill but decided to pursue chemistry as his life avocation) and Mom were concerned about me to put me on a diet at the tender age of 7 - something I would never advocate nowadays. I tried a ton of diet programs and at the age of 11 had read just about every diet book in our town library...but also became a sneak-eater, a binge eater, etc. Anyway, I reached my high weight in 1990 of 265 pounds before I decided that was IT for me - it was time for me to make some lifestyle changes. At one point around 1988 or so, I tried to go the Fat Acceptance/Big is Beautiful route...
At that time, I was at a point where I just said "screw it. This is too HARD to try and lose weight. I'm just going to accept myself as a fat person". I read all the literature, the BBW and Radiance magazines, shoot, I even joined NAAFA for a year or two. In fact...my first real exposure to exercise as enjoyment came from a book titled "Great Shape" written by a nurse at Kaiser-Permanente who was (and I presume is) a large woman herself, who lives in the Bay Area. She had a one-day "large woman's movement seminar" that I attended. It wasn't sweaty aerobics as I recall (this was almost 15 years ago remember) - it was just movement, dance-style steps, getting into the music and all that. From there, I started walking - and at first I could barely walk around the BLOCK without going out of breath - let alone climb a flight of stairs without resting.
In doing a lot of journaling to "find myself" I came to the conclusion that I did NOT want to spend the rest of my life being fat, and that this Fat Acceptance/Big is Beautiful idea that I was taking comfort in (and using as an excuse to eat whatever and however much I wanted...a lot of fat people will say they don't eat that much or didn't eat much...but trust me, I ate a LOT...I could go through 1/2 gallon of Mocha Almond Fudge icecream without even realizing it...followed up with half a large pizza...) was actually holding me back. Bottom line was I realized that however much I was trying to buy in to that Big is Beautiful line, I desperately DID NOT WANT TO BE FAT. But when you weigh over 250 pounds...it felt to me as though someone gave me a plastic spoon and instructed me to remove a mountain with it. Fortunately I heard about the Stanford research study on weight maintenance. Thank GOD I got accepted...I lost 90 pounds during the course of the study which started in May 1990 and lasted 18 months and have been on a downward trend (with some tiny ups) ever since...at this point I fit comfortably into a size 6 (last year I was on a pre-comp diet and got into a size 4 which is the lowest I've ever been - I think at this point a six is more 'natural' for me and I'm cool w/it).
One thing I have always tried to impart in my time at 3FC is this:
Losing fat permanently IS difficult but YES IT CAN BE DONE
Maintenance isn't as glamourous as the losing stage - it's tough in the beginning but it gets easier as time goes on (trust me!)
And speaking of that, it's time for me to do my Sunday AM cardio...