My Weight Loss Journey – Part 2

For Part 1 GO HERE

By the beginning of 2009, Art and I both realized our business was failing (see A Business Lost).  We ewere short on employees, working 10-12 hour days just trying to keep it afloat.  For lunch, we would run to one of the myriad fast food restaurants nearby and grab whatever we wanted.  I love to cook, but during this time I was so tired when we got home that we usually resorted to more fast food or take out.  Sometimes we wouldn’t eat dinner until 9 or 10 pm.

We closed the doors on our golf shop on May 31, 2009 and I fell into a depression.  I had two small part-time jobs that I went to faithfully, but most of the rest of the time I slept.  Or ate.  At my heaviest, in January 2010, I weighed 176 pounds.  I hadn’t been on a scale in months and was shocked.  It’s funny that when you look at yourself in a mirror everyday, you often miss the changes that are happening to your body.  I knew I was up to a size 12 (tight), but I didn’t realize how much weight I had put on.

I decided to go back to Sparkpeople.  Started hot and heavy with Wii exercises and the treadmill and tracked my food faithfully for the first 3 months.  By March I had lost 11 pounds.  Then I caught a bad cold and lost my momentum.  I think it was because I had never really been an active participant in the teams.  Sparkteams are a way to connect with people in a similar situation to yours and to find and give motivation.  I have always been so shy that it was difficult for me to reach out to people I had never met. I fell off the wagon again and was back up five pounds by the end of the year.

January 2011 I went back to Sparkpeople this time at 170 pounds.  I knew I had to do things differently – I just wasn’t sure how.  The first thing I saw when I signed in was the New Year, New You challenge.  Those who signed up for the challenge committed to exercising for at least 500 minutes during the month, as well as following Coach Nicole’s short exercise videos (usually strength training) and tracking our food a few days a week.  Nothing huge, but it did feel doable.

I also found a team that was reading the book A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson.  This 21 week  study really helped me to see that my issues with food came from fears and resentments I had built up inside me over the years.  As I have found a way to let the bitterness go it has become much easier to find other sources of comfort than food.  I also bonded with the ladies in the group and finally understood the benefit of Sparkteams.  When the New Year, New You challenge was over I immediately joined another challenge to keep me accountable (currently I am participating in the Winter 5% challenge – Go Teddy Bears!!).  I also found a couple of teams that had similar interests/concerns to me.  I make sure to check in on Sparkpeople every day – even just to talk to others if I don’t feel like exercising.  Over the course of 2011 I lost another 15 pounds for a total of 21.   I finally feel like I have found the right formula for a healthy lifestyle.

I haven’t given anything up – I don’t crave many of the foods I used to turn to comfort, but when I feel like I want to have them I do – just in carefully controlled portions.  And I don’t feel guilty when I see other people losing weight at a much faster pace than I am.  I just remind myself that I am getting there slowly but surely, and as the turtle said, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Me - March 2010

 

Me - October 2011

My Weight Loss Journey – Part 1

I weighed 112 pounds on the day Art and I were married in 1988, which is a bit on the low side for my height. I really wasn’t watching what I ate, but I was riding my bike every day, walking when I could, and never ate much for dinner anyway. Also, I had essentially stopped eating for the 3 days prior to the wedding, so within a month afterwards I was back up to my normal 120.

I have never been a gym rat and was pretty agoraphobic the first few years of our marriage.  I pretty much gave up on exercise during that time, although I would occasionally go to the gym with Art to play racquetball.  Over the next few years my weight went up to 135.

After the births of my boys I stabilized around 140 and was quite happy at that weight for another 7 years, taking regular walks with Art and occasionally attempting the gym.  I knew I had gained weight, but I still liked how I looked in clothes and was so busy running after two little boys that it never occurred to me I was out of shape.

In October 2001 Art was recalled to active duty in the Air Force.  Fortunately, he was never sent into a combat area, but he was gone from home more frequently than before.  I turned to comfort food more than ever.  Cheetos, Cheez-its, Velveeta shells and cheese, popcorn with lots of butter, tortilla chips with queso dip and Nestle’ King Size Triple Chocolate cones were my favorite.  One one of Art’s overseas trips I gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks.  By 2003 I was up to 155 pounds.

Art & I on Alaska cruise 2004

I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight  However, I still didn’t see the benefit of exercise.  I was still walking one or two days a week with Art and doing crunches whenever I felt guilty (not that often) but that was about it.  Family Circle magazine published an insert based on their Eat What You Love and Lose diet and I decided to try it.  I learned some new recipes and some easy ways to track calories and lost 2o pounds.  Back to 135!! I was ecstatic.

That fall I was diagnosed with high blood pressure.  Not just high – ridiculously high.  How could that be when I was at a healthy body weight?  I had no family history of heart disease.  I started on two different kinds of blood pressure medicine. It never occurred to me that lack of exercise might be part of the problem.

In June 2005, Art and I opened our golf shop.  I was so busy running back and forth and up and down the stairs and moving boxes, not to mention doing the books and manning the cash register during busy times, while still homeschooling Bud, that I was pretty much able to eat whatever I wanted.  I was so stressed I went right back to my comfort foods.  I didn’t gain any weight, but I certainly wasn’t healthy.  As business and life stabilized the weight slowly started to creep back up.

Christmas 2007 brought a brand new treadmill and soon after that I discovered Sparkpeople.  For a few months I used the website to track my exercise, learned some new strength training exercises and some more new recipes.  For the first time since high school I attempted pushups!!  In May of 2008 when I had a partial  hysterectomy I was very glad for all the exercising I had done. I was back to work in a week with one of the fastest recovery times the doctor had ever seen. By July it was too hot to exercise indoors or out (no air conditioning, except in the bedroom) so I gradually fell out of the habit.

To be continued on Friday, January 13…