Friday, May 22, 2009

Here We Go

OK, so I'm losing weight. So, I'm like one of about a billion people out there trying to do the same thing. Why is it so damn hard? Why is it so easy to eat the 400 calorie doughnut, but so freakin' hard to run the three miles to work it off?
I don't know the answer to that. And to be honest I'm not sure anybody really does. Sure we all read books and magazine articles and watch TV shows and news specials that all claim to know the answer, but why is so often competing information. The truth is that every one is different. Our bodies are all different, and the reasons we got fat are all different, so why shouldn't the way we lose the fat be different for everybody too? Duh.
I am by no means an expert on weight loss. If I was I wouldn't be looking at my 30th birthday coming up at 220 lbs. But I am an expert on what doesn't work. For me.
Let's review what hasn't worked for me: Slim Fast (OK, but I gained the weight all back and more), Atkins (I would have ran over my grandmother for a cracker by the time it was over), The Celebrity Juice Detox (Torture), The Cabbage Soup Diet (let's just say I was not pleasant to be around for a time), Diet Pills of all Kinds (Never a good idea), Running (killed my knees), Alli (gross), MediFast (800 calories a day, what was I thinking?), Jenny Craig and/or NutriSystem (too expensive and unrealistic), Weight Watchers (too complicated). So you see, I really have tried it all. I have had limited success on a few of the plans but I always managed to gain back everything I lost and then some.
Right before I turned 29, I finally reached bottom. I just got fed up with myself. How had I let myself get this way? Well, (#1) I had two kids by the time I was 23 (the first when I was just 19). I love my kids dearly, but let's be honest - teenage motherhood is not the ideal situation. Add to that (#2) parental disapproval and (#3) marriage at 20 to a husband who works away for long stretches at a time. You could say that the deck was pretty much stacked against me emotionally. And we all know what emotional eating does.
So here I am 29 and fat. Not plus-sized or curvy or big-boned, just plain F-A-T fat. I have wasted my 20s on being fat and unhealthy. Am I going to do the same with my 30s? Hell no!
I have decided to take charge of my life and make my thirties the best decade of my life. Why should I look ahead to turning 30 with dread and humiliation, when I should be looking forward to coming into my own as a mother, a wife, and- yes- a damn fine looking woman? I'm going to be hotter at thrity than I was before I got married. Talk about a MILF. I'm bringing sexy back, baby.
Two weeks before my 29th birthday in November I weighed in at 242 pounds. Scary, huh? I even just now cringed a little bit just typing the number. What's even scarier was that I was having heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and aching joints. Not to mention zero energy. And I wasn't even 29. Something had to change.
So I took myself to my local Curves. (a gym just for the ladies) and signed up. Normally I would never have done such a thing on my own. I would have waited on a friend to join with me. But I suddenly realized that I had no more 'wait's, all I really had was weight and it had to go. Now. The first day at Curves I was surrounded by all this equipment and fast paced music and to be honest it scared the hell out of me. But then I looked around at the other women there. Some of them were older (like- your grandma old) and some of them were in really good shape and some of them not so much, but what I noticed most was that while everyone was really friendly - they didn't care about me. Not in a bad way, they just didn't care. Everyone was there for a reason and they were all so focused on their own personal struggles and goals that they just didn't have the time to care about what I looked like or what I was doing. And eventually that's what I did too.
I stopped focusing on everyone else and started focusing on myself. At first it was hard to tell my kids that I couldn't have that ice-cream with them or that they had to quit what they were doing and go to grandma's for a little while so that I could go to the gym. It was especially hard with my nine year old daughter (who happens to be super skinny - I don't even think she's mine)to explain that I was going to the gym and watching what I eat to lose weight without giving her any hangups about her own body. I eventually settled on telling her and her brother that I was just trying to get healthier so that I would have more energy and be around longer to be with them. And you know what? The more I said it, the more true it became. It stopped being some line I was feeding them do disguise my own selfishness. I realized that I had really been selfish by depriving them of the mom they should have had.
So that was then. Now it's the middle of May and I have lost 22 lbs. Slowly, yes. But that is OK. I still have about 40 more pounds to go. (yes- that will still leave me technically overweight, but maybe that's OK too. I will re-evaluate when I reach that goal.) And I am figuring out what works for me (a diet rich in Omega-3s, low fat dairy, whole grains, and vegi's and lots of cardio combined with weight training) and am proud of what I've accomplished. I am no longer ashamed of setbacks, but have learned to accept them as part of the process. I no longer think I can do this. I know I can!!! Corny, yes. But true nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. Hey girl, you left out South Beach. Have you tried it? It seriously isn't a "diet" but teaches you to make better choices. I had a delicious omelet this morning and turkey bacon. The bacon was good too! And I even microwaved it. I have lost 30+ lbs since July. And I have cheated a lot since Christmas. But I am now back to eating healthy and it feels great. Don't get me wrong, I still have my chocolate pudding and my dark chocolate truffles, but it is sugar free pudding and I cut the truffles in half and freeze them. Then I can grab half of one and be satisfied. Good luck to you.