This is going to be long…
My daughter is almost 4 and I’m still under 200 lbs after the holidays. I didn’t document the start of this journey because I wasn’t ready. I was an emotional mess, disgusted with myself, and unable to meet the demands of my very hyperactive toddler without getting winded. At my heaviest I weighed 257 and I will now admit that I was 3 lbs more than my mother that day. We always weigh ourselves together when she goes in for appointments. I’m not sure why we started that trend, but it’s always been a quirky thing we did together. My mom still struggles with obesity and now lots of loose skin to boot. It’s something I didn’t want to allow to hinder my life, but I allowed it. This was the moment that I felt ashamed about my weight, but more importantly, I felt ashamed that I was managing my emotional turmoil with food instead of dealing with it.
A number of things happened to me and there were a number of excuses I gave myself. The other factors were people surrounding me telling me I was “thin” enough and not understanding why I wanted or needed to lose weight. Breathing aside, I was healthy. All of my levels were good. I was just exhausted and couldn’t breathe. My blood pressure even stood at a wonderful 120/80. My norm has been about 90/60 most of my life, but I would get those black out issues standing up too fast or dizzy spells often. It was time for a change and the only two people that were on board were my doctor and another friend.
I began with small changes like cutting out soda. I shouldn’t say cutting out, because once in a while I will have some. I just can’t have that much of it anymore because now it makes me feel unwell when I do drink it. Yeah, I’m that lame mom filling her cup or water bottle up with water at the soda fountain. I started drinking more water. You know what happened? My lips weren’t dry anymore so I stopped biting them. When I was hydrated, my body felt a lot better. I peed a lot at first, but as I continued having about 100oz a day, my system seemed to regulate itself.
I worked on other rules for myself like reading on my laptop while standing up. I started washing dishes by hand and I would put on netflix so I could watch some of my favorite show. I also tried cutting back on how much I ate by implementing rules like only eating at the table. No more couch and bed eating. I was able to get down to about 215 with these changes.
Then my friend and I started walking in the evenings every night. Once in a while there would be one night a week that we wouldn’t walk, but for the most part, every single night we walked for months. I still remember we started out just walking around the block a few times. Then after few weeks in we extended that to three blocks with a hill. We took turns pushing each other up the hill and would huff and puff loudly trying to catch our breath as we kept going. One day, we just weren’t breathing so heavy anymore and could each walk up the hill without much difficulty.
Once I reached the 200 lbs mark, I started tracking what I ate on myfitnesspal.com. I got my first smart phone and loved the fact that I could scan in bar codes and select serving sizes. It made logging a lot easier. I didn’t try to stay within the ranges, but try to be more aware of portion sizes. It was to help me recognize eating patterns as well as what foods affected my weight more than others. My biggest problem is eating sweets. I have to eat something salty after eating sweets and thus gorge. However, tracking also helped me learn good things! It got to the point I could pour out 1 oz of chips without weighing! It helped me to relearn what correct portions are, as well as financially because I could extend food based on servings. Its something I want to do again because I got off track.
Due to walking frequently, we garnered interest from other friends who wanted to walk with us! The only reason we stopped was due to sickness and weather. It’s been too cold to walk at night and far too slippery. Side walks are almost never cleaned off after snow and I’m not fond of walking in the middle of the roads.
There is a gym available, but I’ve got to get over my fear of being around other people I do not know and working out. For some reason I have a hard time with this as does my friend. We tried it a couple times and it just felt too weird.
The changes have helped both of us and we’ve been a source of encouragement for one another. When people say that having a buddy helps, it really does, but only if you both are on the same page.
I gained weight back after being sick. I had severe bronchitis and pneumonia. I went back to habits like sitting while watching tv and eating. I’m not drinking enough water consistently. And I was so excited that I was wearing a size 10, the weight gain has caused me to be unable to fit into those pants. I’m starting to grow sluggish and tired again, but I also had the IUD removed due to an allergy to it and I’m sure the heavy bleeding doesn’t help any.
So here I am, back at it. My doctor wants me down to 180lbs and it’s something I agree with. I will still be considered obese by my BMI, but when I was 185, my energy was so much better. I was starting to sleep better too (when I wasn’t coughing up a storm from being ill). My head was in a much better place because I would have to deal with my thoughts and feelings directly. I know I can do it, because I have done it. It also gives me a sense of freedom and peace that I need so I can better attend to my daughter’s needs. I was at 193.5 this morning, but I’m still going to take things slow. I’m not in a rush to do this. I want to learn how to make better choices and what will work best for my needs and my body. It’s about me. Not anyone else. I have to be accountable to myself.
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