As I turned 49 last year, I took a good hard look at myself. After the birth of my last child 15 years earlier, I had slowly put on weight until I had packed on an excess 70 pounds. I hated going to the beach or clothes shopping, got winded while hiking, and barely recognized myself in the mirror anymore. My doctor sat me down and read me the riot act after my blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels had reached concerning levels at my last physical. She gave me a few months to take off weight, and then she'd reassess about needing medication.
I'd dropped 20-30 pounds in the past, but had always put it right back on. This time, I was determined to totally change how I shopped, cooked, and thought about food and exercise. I love to cook, so had to find ways to creatively still enjoy cooking and eating or I knew I'd be miserable and doomed to failure. I also found an exercise routine I could stick to, and between a new treadmill, Netflix, and my son's castoff weights, I began forcing myself to exercise for 40 minutes a day after coming home from work in the late afternoon.
The weight began coming off, and I began to learn how to practice portion control, enjoy half an entree when going out to eat, make wiser choices when cooking and eating. I eat loads of vegetables, lean protein, fruit and am very careful about the type of carbs and fats I eat. My tastes changed, to the point where I don't miss the salt and fat any more. I began to drop sizes, from a 16, then 14, then 12... eventually down to a 4/6. From 195 to 115, give or take 2 pounds. Thank goodness for a good thrift store nearby. Sure, some areas of my body are looking a bit like a National Geographic photo, but I figure it's a fair price to pay.
I have energy to chase after my students on the playground, to hike and kayak, and no longer see myself as too heavy to enjoy outdoor activities. Clothes shopping is fun again. My doctor is happy, and all my levels are well in the normal range. My husband has also lost 15 pounds from our healthier meals and increased exercise.
I really think that the difference for me this time was the lightbulb moment I had after lurking on these boards for a few months, and seeing that the successful "losers" were those who didn't see this as a "diet" but as a total lifestyle change--not something to stick to for a few months, but forever. My health and happiness became more important to me than a plateful of pasta with creamy sauce. I can have that smaller plate of pasta every now and then, but it's just as satisfying when the everyday one is crammed with fresh vegetables, some fiber-rich carbs, and moderate amounts of healthy proteins and fats. As long as I'm back on the treadmill in the morning.
So, thanks to all you Chicks who post with your triumphs and disappointments; fighting the good fight. I didn't post much, but learned from all of you. Best of luck in your own journeys!