And the story unfolds...
OK, when my father died in his 50s, he was pushing 500 lbs. Needless to day, I am genetically predisposed to being overweight. I faced many challenges as a child, and learned to be an emotional eater at a very young age. Combine that with parents and grandparents that thought food was the panacea for all ills, and it is no surprise that I have battled my weight for most of my life.
I spent many, many years losing and gaining the same 80 lbs. The cycle is a familiar one: find a new diet, commit, work like a dog, fall of the wagon, give up, slowly re-gain some weight, realize that I had failed – yet again, give up, gain more weight.
And, what does it really matter, anyway? So, I am a bit chunky. I am successful in other areas of my life. I have great kids, I have a career where I help a lot of people, I have a wonderful church family that loves and appreciates me, I have an adoring husband that loves me unconditionally. I have a nice “fat girl” wardrobe that is professional and fun and makes me feel OK about myself. Who needs to be thin, anyway?
… and the cycle continues – over and over.
Then, with age 50 is just around the corner, I slowly realized that I CAN’T do all of the things I want to do. I can’t hike with the kids. I no longer cross-country ski. I abhor cleaning the house. I have neglected my gardens. And - if I keep up like this, what will the future hold?
So, how did it come to this?
Slowly, sneakily, stealthily - a pound here, less activity there, leisure activities that require no physical effort. Who has time to exercise anyway? Portion control and mindless – emotional eating have always been at the heart of my food issues. I like food – too much. Eating triggers something in my brain that makes me feel good. It makes me happy. It comforts me.
It is said, that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again, expecting different results. Thus, if I was to lose weight - yet again, it had to be different this time. No diet. No deprivation. No regimented plans bound by time goals.
I have read hundreds of articles and books on losing weight. I know the science and the math involved. I can spout out the calorie count for most foods the way a baseball fan knows RBIs. Obviously knowledge is not enough. Action was required. A PLAN was required.
And thus began my journey to health and fitness on July 4, 2007. The journey has evolved; the plan has changed as the year has unfolded. It will continue to change. That is the way it is with lifestyle changes.
Currently, I count calories, eat 6 times daily, exercise 5-6 hours per week, balance 40/30/30 (carb, fat, protein) my calories, limit simple carbohydrate rich foods, and drink plenty of water.
are two new pieces for me on my weight loss journey. Recording my weight, exercise, and food intake; and using the information to adjust my plan has really been eye-opening. And I can’t stress enough, the importance of community. Finding 3FC in August was a God-send! My husband was getting really tired of my soliloquies on weight loss. My friends were in the same place. I needed to connect with people that “get it”. People that wouldn’t think I was crazy for getting excited about being able to do a push up, or finding a great salad dressing or the marvels of a “stretchie” band.
Through 3FC, I have learned that it really is about life-style changes. It is about learning, and growing, and getting back on plan when you stray. It is about celebrating success, comforting each other, and holding each other accountable. Thanks to the wonderful maintainers here, I have learned that I can expect to follow my plan for the rest of my life. They have taught me that maintenance is hard work, but it is doable, and it is worth it.
I couldn’t have done this without all of you. YOU made the difference for me. And, if you are still reading this, I leave you with one last thought:
If I can do this, YOU can do this. It IS worth the effort, sacrifices, and changes that you need to make. It won’t happen overnight, which is actually a good thing. You will grow, and change along the way. Enjoy the journey
– celebrate each and every day that God has given you. Love yourself enough to do what is required to succeed.
Do it now - don’t wait, your life is calling.