Weight loss is hard.
There’s just no other way around it. If you want to lose weight, you have to work at it. There’s no magic pill you can take that will instantly make you slimmer (dang!).
Before I had kids I was slim, if not fit. Skinny fat, I think they call it. I ate whatever I wanted and was active enough socially to ward off any weight problems.
When I got pregnant with Alexzandra, I gained 60 pounds, had borderline gestational diabetes and feared for my baby’s health. She was born healthy and full of spunk, but I knew something had to change.
I went to Weight Watchers and lost all the baby fat. Not only that, but I looked and felt better than I had in years.
Then one day my life went sideways and I turned to my old friend junk food for comfort. It was like I had healthy eating amnesia. I threw out all the knowledge I’d gained and scarfed down crap food like I ate before the baby. I knew I was hurting myself, but I didn’t care.
The guy I was dating when my life went crazy actually told me that if I gained weight he would break up with me.
Wow, did that totally mess with my mind!
By the time I met David, I was pretty heavy – in the 170 range. And bitter toward men. I think I looked at my weight gain as if it was a personal challenge to David – if you want to love me, you’ll have to do it when I’m fat. David didn’t care. He loved me as a person, not as a number on the scale. Yep, he’s a keeper.
Along came my son and I gained even more weight with him. I was sick for ten months with that pregnancy and tried to eat healthy, but ended up eating poptarts because they would stay with me.
After I gave birth, I was heavy and miserable. I was tired, had two kids to raise and felt like I’d somehow failed David. Deep inside I harbored the fear that he would leave me because I’d gained so much weight. If one guy told me he’d leave me, then all guys must secretly feel that way, right? I felt unloveable and unworthy to be loved.
Over the years my weight fluctuated up and down as I tried various diets. I hung out at South Beach, Watched my Weight, got into the Zone, worked on Eating Clean, visited Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and a host of other diets that would work for awhile, but then I’d lapse into my old habits.
About this time, my good friend Laura suggested I work out with Nicole, a personal trainer and all around gorgeous creature.
I started working out with her and, to be honest, I was phoning it in. I looked at our workouts as an hour of social time, nothing more. When I went home, I still at like crap and did little work beyond the hour or two I spent with her.
David and I started walking and I saw some weight loss, but still nothing to get excited about.
And then the injury happened.
While riding bikes I snapped something in my foot. My doctor told me it was tendonitis and I’d be fine. Three months later I had reconstructive surgery on my foot and well, it sucked.
During those months of non-weight bearing loneliness, I was scared.
Would I be able to walk again? Would I be able to lead the active life I led before? Go to the beach? Run with the dogs and kids in the surf? Go to Disneyland?
Nicole wanted me back and I hedged. Only after I went to physical therapy for six months and my doctor finally okayed weight training, did I finally call her to start again.
Still, as much as she worked with my injury, I held back. This time because I was too freaked about hurting myself again. After all, the injury occurred doing something mundane, like pedaling a bike. Certainly I was at more risk squatting and lunging, right? Um, not really.
Something had to change and it needed to be me. My attitude about working out, eating right, living well, it all had to be re-evaluated.
I took a close look at why I made self destructive decisions. I’m lazy. If I have a choice between making a healthy sandwich or eating a Snickers bar, I’m going for the Snickers, every time. Why? It’s easy.
At 46 I was happy in my life as a wife and mother, but as a person, not so much. I knew I was letting myself and my family down. I weighed 232 pounds. One day, while watching Biggest Loser, it occurred to me that I could be a contestant on the show and I was mortified. How did I get so unhealthy?
Snickers bars and laziness.
My blood work always came back positive, low cholesterol, no risk of diabetes, good, good, good news all around. I was the healthiest fat girl I knew. But. There it was, looming large in my future was a giant BUT. I was already on a sleep machine for apnea, how long did I have until I would have to give myself injections for diabetes? When would I ‘get’ it?
Back in May my sleep doctor told me to go to a weight clinic and get professional help. I called that afternoon and made an appointment.
Amazingly enough, it hasn’t been that hard. In fact, it works because it’s so easy. I don’t have to think about breakfast and lunch which is fabulous. As long as I remember to get my fruit and veggies in with my snacks, I’m golden.
And Nicole? Yep, I’m still working out with her, but I don’t phone it in anymore and I have lost my fear of injury. My foot will never be 100% and that’s okay. What I have works just fine and I can run, jump, skip, and play. I can even walk around Disneyland almost all day. Nicole once told me that you never regret a workout. A Snickers bar? Yeah, you’re going to regret that, but never a workout. She was so right.
I actually look forward to my walks with David and my workouts with Nicole. I enjoy the feel of my muscles as they strain to make me stronger. Each time I put on clothes in a smaller size, there is a feeling of accomplishment that makes me swoon.
What was weighing me down? Me.
I stopped sabotaging myself with thoughts of, ‘I deserve this’ or ‘I need this’ or ‘Just one won’t matter’. I replaced my negative self talk with positive mantras like, ‘I like the way clothes fit me now’, ‘These veggies will give me the strength to get through the afternoon’, I’m making positive changes that are reflected back in more energy, better skin tone, and best of all, more self love.
It’s still hard. I’m only twenty pounds down in my journey, but I have a clear vision of where I want to be and if it takes me a year or two to get there, so be it. I have the rest of my life to enjoy the benefits of all this hard work.
I’ll be checking in with you often about my weight loss, but I’d love to hear your story. Have you ever struggled with something, perhaps not weight loss, it could be a fear of speaking in public. What did you do to overcome that fear/struggle? Are you on a weight loss journey? We can work together, cheering each other on. Share with us, I’d love to know!