Thursday, June 12, 2008
I've battled my weight my entire life. My medical records from the base hospital read like a nightmare. I was born at a naval hospital in the early 50s and they were big on breastfeeding. And while I completely agree, there is a genetic problem in our family which makes it difficult. I joined La Leche League and was successful, nursing my daughter for 18 months, but my mother had no support.
My first two weeks were spent on sugar water, during which I lost a pound of my 6.5 lbs. birth weight. When they finally let me go home, I was immediately put on solid food. My dad once told me I spent the first two years of my life throwing up. I wonder why?
In my late 20s I finally got away from home and had some control over what I ate for the first time. (Family situations prevented me from leaving earlier) I dropped 17 lbs my junior year in college (the first away from home) and weighed less than I had weighed since I was 8 for the first time in my life.
Unfortunately, one thing led to another and I let the weight creep back on over the years. I succumbed to eating like my husband, never realizing that, of course at 5'6", I really couldn't handle the portions of someone 6'4". All I cared about was that for the first time in my life, I could eat what I wanted and no one would criticize. My siblings and I were kept on strict diets during our teens, so of course, our bodies went into starvation mode and the pounds piled on. We were also discouraged from any sort of physical activity. Such is growing up with a parent who is mentally ill.
I weighed 236 when I got pregnant with our daughter. I immediately lost weight during the first month and gained only 20 lbs. during the pregnancy until the last two weeks, when I added 10 more in water weight. She was a big baby and I immediately lost 30 lbs. Again, despite breast feeding and exercise, the weight creeped back on, until I was at my ending pregnancy weight of 265.
Talk about frustration. I was watching what I ate, exercising and chasing a toddler, but at 40, I was completely stuck. It would be 7 years before I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. My family doesn't test as having problems with the regular blood tests they have these days, so I worked closely with my doctor to get things fixed. Surprise, surprise, my sister had the same problem after two pregnancies.
Although the thyroid supplements got rid of all the other symptoms, my weight would not budge. It took two more years to realize that I was completely allergic to sulpher, not just sulpha drugs and once I cut high sulpher foods out of my diet, not only was I out of pain, but I dropped 11 lbs. in one week from all the water I had been retaining.
But again, I was stuck and nothing I did budged the weight. A year later, I was in horrible pain again and finally was diagnosed with severe endometriosis. Following an emergency hysterectomy, my system finally started coming back to normal and the weight started coming off.
From 2001 until now, I bounced back and forth from a low of 211 to a high of 234. The low was reached from working with a natropath, eating food I hated, exercising a bit and paying through the nose for the appointments. Eventually, I couldn't afford it any longer and the weight crept back on.
I was tired all the time, my joints ached, I exercised sporadically. I live in a dry climate, so I always drink a lot of water, but it never occurred to me to put all four points together: logging food and water intake, cardio and strength training.
Until, that is, I read about Spark People. Since joining three months ago, I'm down 14 lbs and many inches. I love my weight training days and I don't hate cardio any longer. I have another 36 lbs. to lose on my first set goal and then we'll see.
I recently ran into another problem with too much sulpher in my diet, because I like a lot more foods than I used to. So, I have to be careful, spreading those foods out over a week, rather than eat them every day, but that is so easy to do with this tracking system.
I couldn't be happier that I found Spark People. It's changed my life in more ways than I can count.