What’s Weighing You Down?

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.

These little bits of deliciousness look comforting, but they are evil. Don’t believe their lies!

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.

Nicole and another client play medicine ball toss.

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.

They put me on a program of shakes and protein bars with a healthy dinner at night. In all, the calorie count for the day is about 1000 – 1200. Yikes! How would I live?

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!

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17 thoughts on “What’s Weighing You Down?

  1. God, I’d love to have my waist back. I traded it for a son almost 19 years ago. Seriously, pre-baby, I was slender and fit. Aerobics, dance, weight training at the gym, you name it. But I didn’t always eat healthy. I figured a Snickers wasn’t so bad because at least I only ate ONE (a day). Then I had to be on bedrest for pre-eclampsia. It wasn’t the weight gain as much as it was the sudden inactivity, after which came the recovery time from the C-section, and then the general fogginess of trying to take care of a newborn, where you feel like you’re running around doing stuff, but it’s not really a lot of energy being burned.

    I got back down to within about 15 pounds of my previous weight, and then started climbing back up the charts when I turned 45. When the 50s hit, it got H.A.R.D. I eat right. I exercise daily. I take my vitamins. I get sleep. I lose five pounds in two weeks. I eat one burrito and gain it all back. Gah.

    Now, I just do everything in moderation and I try not to beat myself up. Yes, I’d love to be twenty pounds lighter. Hell, I’d take ten. But my fear is that I’ll work EXTRA EXTRA hard to get the weight off and watch it pop back on because I’ve been too severe with myself.

    Maybe I could set a goal of losing a pound a year…

    P.S. You always look great to me.

    • Aw, Gayle I love you! You look great to me, too.

      That’s so funny and sadly, true about the burrito. It’s all in moderation, I suppose. As long as I don’t have to stick myself with needles, I’m okay.

  2. Wow – amazing post. I felt your pain!!
    Like you, I’f never had to battle with weight. For most of my life, I was thin and ate whatever.
    In my thirties, things have changes and I’ve ballooned up to my highest weight yet – just topped the scale today at 180 and it hurts. It hurts that I’ve allowed this to happen. That I have chosen this for myself when I know it makes me unhappy. Weightloss and getting fit is HARD and it’s work and I’ve been so arrogant and nonchalant about it.
    And I think that’s what disgusts me most…my lack of determination and lack-luster attitude to handle the situation when I know I can. What’s weighing me down…ME!
    Your post is an inspiration to get our butts off the couch and get our shit together! There’s no better time than the present. It takes a commitment to self and a positive mantra!
    Hubby and I agreed to do a learn to run program starting tonight. Yeahhh!! And we are now stopping and getting a healthy salad every night on the way home from work so all we do is cook our meat. Now to toss out all the snacks at home and we’re on our way! I’ll keep ya posted.
    And please do keep us posted – you are seriously an inspiration and that’s something I need to keep a handle on ME!

    • Yay Natalie! I love your plan – I can’t run so we walk, but hey, do what you can!

      I totally get you about the nonchalance thing. I could lose weight without thinking back in the day. Now? Not so much. I’m forging a new relationship with myself and my attitude about food. It’s harder than I thought it would be and way more mental than I ever guessed. Baby steps.

      I’m here for you, my WANA sister. I’ll keep posting my success and you keep up with yours – definitely let us know how you’re doing and if you need a boost, I got ya.

  3. Tameri I loved this post! I can so identify with you. This year I hit a weight that I had never hit before (277lbs!) and I said ‘enough!’. The weight loss is slow with me (I’m naturally a sedentary person) but it’s coming off (25lbs so far). Seeing your post and your struggles has been a reminder of why I started my weight loss programme in the first place. I stopped going to the gym to ride the stationary bike when the weather got too hot (I have a bad ankle too, the bike doesn’t make it sore, walking does) but you’ve just made me promise myself I’m going to start going back there again.

    Do keep us posted on your progress. Knowing one of my favourite bloggers is going through it too might just help me keep going when the going gets tough 🙂

    • Thanks Cheryl! Great job on your 25lbs – that’s a great accomplishment and I like your slow and steady approach. Each day is a challenge and I’m trying to just take it one meal at a time. If I slip, I don’t beat myself up, I just remember that my next meal I can make the choice to be healthy.

      Swimming might be another option for you with the bad ankle. When you get back to England maybe find an indoor pool and check it out. I know, with writing, blogging, and life, it’s hard to find the time, but you’re worth it!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’ll keep you posted on my success and challenges and you do the same. We’re in this together, my friend!

  4. Tameri, you are not alone on this journey. Growing up, I did dance and theater and wasn’t fat. I didn’t make the turn until halfway through college when I started using food as a comfort crutch. So while there was no freshman 15, there was a junior and senior 79. I lost weight for a friend’s wedding, but put it right back on because I never addressed what was making me eat. I’ve worked on that and did great last year losing a little over 42 lbs. with WW and exercise. I even wrote a few blogs about the journey. Then I was injured a few times, stopped losing weight and faltered. Hence the ROW80 exercise goals!

    So keep sharing and moving and trying. I’m riding shotgun with you with some brownies in a lock box. 🙂

    • Hey Barbara, a junior 79? Yikes. You are so right that if we don’t address the internal reasons why we eat, the weight will just come back on. I’m working on that and it’s my main struggle. For me, it’s not about the food, it’s the ‘why’ I’m making poor choices.

      Good job on the 42 lbs. and WW – I can totally relate about the injury thing. I love your ROW80 goals and I’ll be there with you, cheering all along the way.

      Your goal post (that sounds weird, but you know what I mean) inspired me to write up goals for my own writing and exercising and *possibly* posting them on my blog. Putting it out there, for all to see, makes it real.

      I love your strength and courage. Your posts always encourage me to think a little beyond where I would naturally go and that’s a very good thing.

      Keep those brownies in the lock box, because this ride is going to be wild! Thanks for being there with me.

  5. I can definitely relate to “What’s weighing me down? ME!” when it comes to my gluten addiction. I eat it because it’s easy and comforting on a bad day. I’ve asked myself that “when will I get it?” question many times. For me, it was a health scare two months ago. That finally made me “get it,” though whether I can stick to the diet this time or not is still something I’m concerned about. I’m doing well being 100% gluten free right now, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to maintain it.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Great post!

    • Oh, Angela, I so understand what you mean! That whole, ‘when will I get it?’ thing is what trips a lot of us up. Like I said in my reply to Barbara, my struggle is internal. Why do I sabotage myself?

      I had a friend who had celiac and her daughter stated to show symptoms in 4th grade (she went to school with my daughter). I was the room mom at the time and went out of my way to make sure the girl had treats like everyone else, but I was amazed at what was on the ‘no’ list. You certainly have your work cut out for you, but I know you can do it. You are such a strong young woman.

      Pretty soon, gluten free will be your new normal and you won’t think twice about it anymore.

      I have a facebook friend who is gluten intolerant and she posts recipes she ‘creates’ all the time. I’ll send you here information so you can friend her and be gluten free buddies!

  6. Losing weight is soooo hard. I really feel for you but I also admire you for trying, trying, trying and never giving up! That’s the spirit.

    When I was much younger I could eat almost anything because my metabolism was fantastic. After I turned 30 things started to change, drastically! Two pregnancies didn’t help either, although I was lucky enough to lose the gained weight. Now I have to watch all the time what I eat, how much I eat and the exercise is a must for me. It seems like my metabolism gave up so salads and lean meat are my best companions. Sigh.

    Good luck, Tameri. Don’t give up. You can do it! David’s support is crucial — you are lucky to have a man in your life who loves you for who you are and doesn’t make a big deal about what your scale registers 🙂

    • Oh Angela, you are gorgeous and I don’t believe for a second you’ve ever had to lose weight! Well, baby weight maybe. ; )

      Thank you so much for your support! David really is amazing and has been the best about my weight issues. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life.

      I’m so blessed to have found this online community as well. Who knew a blogging class would bring such joy to my life!

      I’m going to take a cue from you and think of lean meats and salads as my best companions. I love that.

  7. I’ve been overweight/obese my entire life.

    There’s something that ties people who gained weight as they got older and those who have been overweight their entire lives together: the pain and shame of not feeling like you’re ENOUGH or feeling unworthy or unlovable and self sabotaging ourselves.

    There’s something inside of us that prevents us from succeeding.

    I’m so glad you’ve found your strength. Every day I find more of mine.

    • Hey Tee, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story. Isn’t it terrible that we let something like a few extra pounds make us feel unworthy? Every day it is a struggle and I’m trying each day to find something that makes me think, I AM enough, I AM worthy. Even if it’s mopping the floor (usually in a tiara).

      I refuse to let my weight define me anymore. Good luck with your journey and I hope you’ll come back to share your success with us. If you need support, you know where to find us.

      You ARE worthy, Tee. You ARE enough. You ARE beautiful.

  8. Tameri, what a beautifully written post. I also workout with Nicole and have seen the tremendous benefit (that feeling of being “fit” is great!). I am on the sidelines cheering you on, quietly, but cheering nonetheless. You are awesome!!! It’s amazing how ingrained our patterns and eating habits are. It sounds like you are well on your way to replacing those other habits with better ones. I totally used to do the “I deserve this” with food as well. But what we both really deserve (and this applies to everyone) is to feel good about ourselves and be healthy! That’s the best reward around.

    Keep up the great work! You rock!

    • Hey Michelle! Thanks for your kind words. Nicole is awesome, isn’t she?

      Thank you so much for your support – you are one of the women I look at and think, ‘yep, I can do it, I can be like Michelle’. You are so full of energy and have such an infectious happiness to you that’s so positive and alive.

      Keep on cheering (quietly)! You’re right – we deserve to be happy and healthy. That IS the best reward.

  9. Pingback: More blog awards – for me??? – Natalie Hartford

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