Friday, November 08, 2013
When it comes to weight loss and dieting, I am a seasoned veteran. Ever since I can remember, weight has been an issue for me. As a young pre-teen I remember my parents talking about sending me to a teen “fat camp” for the summer. Unfortunately, the cost exceeded their income. I grew up a chubby, insecure teenager with horrible self-esteem issues. Later, in my early 20s, I continued to battle with self-esteem, addiction and an eating disorder.
It wasn’t until my marriage of 15 years ended in my mid 40s that I decided it was time to take control of my life and my weight. I was able to drop 65 pounds simply by what I like to refer to as “eyeball portion control”, skipping meals and walking. As wonderful as that was, I really wasn’t making a serious effort to control what I was eating (not to mention the unhealthiness of it all), so when the weight stopped coming off (and some started creeping back on), I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I honestly believed in my mind that I had the caloric deficit that one is suppose to have to lose weight, but how could I honestly know? I wrote nothing down.
Then, after a sports-related injury, I was put on Prednisone. In less than 2 months, I had gained 15 pounds and was back over 200. The depression started coming back. I believed it was hopeless.
Then I noticed a program through my employer’s health insurance that (free of charge) would put me in contact with a licensed dietician/nutritionist who would put together a program based on each individual’s needs. One of the things she asked me was “do you have a food journal?” Me? A food journal? No, and I really don’t see me ever having one. The thought of writing down EVERYTHING I ate and their nutritional values sounded like the most tedious, annoying thing that I could do with my day. But, she persisted. She told me that if I didn’t like to actually write it down and look it up, I could use my Smartphone. With the help of the MyFitnessPal app, synced with the Runtastic app that I use for exercise, I was able to keep perfect track of what I ate, their nutritional and caloric values, along with taking into consideration the exercise I was doing (and automatically adding it to my caloric needs of the day). Seriously, it was so ridiculously simple, I can’t imagine doing it any other way. Sure, going out to eat is a pain having to analyze what I was eating, but it also keeps my eating in check. I mean, it’s a whole lot easier ordering a salad with the dressing on the side and entering that in, than it is to try to figure out what is in the gooey chicken alfredo.
As of today, I have dropped 17 of those extra pounds that found there was back into my life. I know that it is still going to be work, but I’m finally feeling great about myself again and what I can do once I put my mind to it!
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
It was 2009 and I was at the end of a two-year relationship and weighed over 245 pounds. I was completely out of shape and in clinical depression. I put everything I had into finding myself and by the summer of 2011 I had lost 70 pounds. It was becoming a struggle to lose more and reach my goal, but I wasn’t giving up. Then I injured my back and shortly thereafter had carpal tunnel surgery. I was out of commission for four months and gained back some of the weight I lost. Again, I struggled and by the summer of 2012 I was within five pounds of the weight I was the year before.
And then something happened. All I could see was another holiday season without “a special someone”. The depression came back and it typical addict-style, I fell back into my destructive ways. After all, did it really matter? Fat or thin, it was obvious that nobody wanted me. I began over-eating and finding excuses to avoid the gym. Oh, occasionally I would find my way back there, but not my regular routine.
The next thing I knew, it was another dateless New Year’s Eve and I had gained 15 pounds since November. So then I really hated myself. I felt horrible and my clothes didn’t fit, making me even more depressed than ever. I was in a full out-of-control spiral.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and said “hold on, Rose. You didn’t start all this for anybody but yourself, so why are you now looking for someone to justify it? Yes, it is horrible being alone. Sure, you haven’t had a date in over 3 years, but why are you destroying yourself over it?” I know I certainly didn’t want to go back to where I started and at the rate I was going, I would be there in no time. All the effort that I had put into becoming a better me would be gone and I would have to start over from scratch. Or, worse yet, just continue until I was so overweight that my own legs could no longer support me.
So, I said enough. It doesn’t matter that there is no guy out there that I matter to, I matter to ME. I know what I need to do; I’ve done it before. It’s time to put on my big girl pants and get moving. It’s my choice to either let depression consume me or take control of my own life. I’m choosing the latter.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Making bad food choices wasn’t my only issue; I historically made bad choices when it came to relationships. I seemed to gravitate towards men with “issues”. Of course, no matter how long these relationships lasted (or didn’t last); they were obviously just as unhealthy for me as the bad food choices I was making. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I chose these relationships so that I could focus on their issues and avoid mine. Typically, this made my problems worse, as my self-esteem plummeted and my weight soared.
It has been one year since the last relationship I was in ended; I haven’t even been out a on a date since. This certainly isn’t by choice; I simply have not been afforded the opportunity. It is much harder the older you get and being almost 50, there is less and less of opportunity out there. But as I make better choices with food and my spare time, I know that this knowledge will carry over with other things in my life. I work each day to make myself stronger, both physically and mentally. Some days this is quite easy; other days it is a lonely struggle. I would love to have someone to share my new life with; but each day I face this rebuilding of me as a single person, I become a better person for that relationship that I hope is out there for me.
Monday, June 21, 2010
A friend of mine was trying to “explain” to me the other day why she will always be overweight. I heard a long list of I can’t do this or thats followed by “dieting is so much easier for you.” My confused stare was complimented by about 30 seconds of silence, to which I replied “First off, I am not on a diet. The changes I have made to my life are just that, changes. From what I eat to what I do, I cannot go back to the way I was, EVER. However, if you are really and truly interested in making beneficial changes in your life, you need to accept a few things. 1. Announcing to yourself and the world that you are on a diet will not cause weight loss. 2. Refusing to accept that you have to make changes only means that no changes will be made. 3. Since the changes that are to be made are for you, first and foremost, you must believe that you are worth it.
I did not get where I am easily. It was August 2009 and I was overweight and miserably depressed. I was at the surprising end of a two-year relationship and was left with a broken heart and felt terribly used. I had to make changes in my life if I wanted to live. I started slow. Walking for more than 15 minutes left me winded. I couldn’t do more than 2 minutes on an elliptical. After I got past my “I’m too depressed to eat” stage, I had to realize that what, how and when I ate had to be changed. Feeling sorry for myself just wasn’t working anymore.
Today, those changes I made now have become habits. As easily as I did nothing before, I am now doing something. I am 2/3 of my way to my goal weight and to be honest, have worked very hard to get here. Making excuses doesn’t work. Accepting less than you know you truly deserve doesn’t either. Some days it’s easy, other days incredibly hard, but believing in yourself in the first step. I certainly could have made a ton of excuses why I couldn’t do what I have already done. I’m sure glad I didn’t.
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