Growing slowly thinner!
I am posting about my journey to lose weight and get a healthier lifestyle going.
The last week was productive as I lost a pound/half kilo. I have learned after years of yo-yo dieting that extreme is not the way to go on this. I used to crash diet and would lose the weight fairly quickly for some goal I had in mind, mostly if I was going to see someone I hadn’t seen in a long time or if I had to dress up for some occasion. As soon as that was achieved and the event had come and gone, I would slowly put the weight back on by rewarding my success with…more food! It would seem that all common sense would say to keep on with what I was doing to lose the weight, but because I had gone so extreme, I needed a break and a reward…only I chose the wrong way to reward myself. All of the bad habits were back into place and the weight was back on. I think I spent the last 15 years doing exactly that and not really getting anywhere to keep the long term goal of keeping thin and healthy.
Things have changed! I have learned from my own past behavior that what I was doing, certainly wasn’t working. I have learned a lot of this from the coaching I was getting. I had to change old patterns! (Thanks Leah!) So that is what I have done in these past three months. I’ve become more aware of what I was doing and what I was feeling, and tried to change the belief system as well as the patterns.
The first belief I had was feeling shame for being overweight. I live in South Korea and weight is a big thing here…and being overweight is an even bigger thing(no pun intended!). I was more noticeably overweight as there are fewer over weight people here than in Canada, and people were not shy to point it out. My first year was my toughest. I thought before coming to Korea, that I would lose weight when I got here because Korean food was much healthier and I was going to eat better. Didn’t happen. I comforted myself with the grocery store down the road that carried foreign cheese and American chocolates. I remember eating a small package of Danish Havarti cheese for dinner…that is gooood cheese! I was in a difficult job situation and adapting to the changes here wasn’t easy and I relied on familiar foods to comfort me. In no time I had gained…are you ready?…I had gained 15lbs…and by the end of my first year and a half here I gained 30lbs!! I was binging alone at home and in denial of my weight, (not weighing myself) and not fitting into any of my clothes. Soon I knew I was going back to Canada and started at a gym. Desperate to lose weight before anyone at home would see me, I went on my famous crash diet. I was able to lose about 12 lbs. Oh the shame! So I was back in Canada and determined to lose more weight. I stayed at my mom and dads’ place for 3 wks before scheduling a visit with any friends. I walked 10 kilometers a day and ate very well as my parents are active and healthy . By the time my first visit was due, I lost another 8lbs. Now I felt I was at an acceptable weight to be able to see friends. In my mind, I didn’t deserve that right til I had at least slimmed down a bit( more shame). I continued to lose weight in my 3.5 months in Canada and dropped down 35 lbs in total! I was looking and feeling good! In fact, the clothes that I bought when I first arrived in Canada were way too big for me. And I vowed to never go back to my terribly bad eating habits again!
Back in Korea I found myself feeling really good! And so I rewarded myself with Kentucky Fried Chicken with sweet ands sour sauce about 3 nights a week. (This of course being before I knew the horrors of how the chicken actually got to my plate…wouldn’t touch the stuff now!) Soon I was back into my clothes that I had bought in Canada and not eight months later I was back up 30lbs. I would lose 10lbs before each visit to Canada to make me feel somewhat better and come back and gain it back until the next visit.
This continued for 8 years!!!!
How things have changed now! I have learned that in keeping with my old ways, that nothing would change. I have learned that going at it slowly and changing habits for good, in a way that wasn’t extreme, has helped me to lose weight and change my whole outlook on the process. The first thing I had to do was to remove the shame…I am still in the process of doing this. I was embarrassed to be seen out exercising because as a foreigner in Korea, I stood out already but being a chunky one, was making that matter worse. I realized through the help of my coach, that most of that was in my head. I didn’t really know that everyone was taking notice of me or taking notice of my weight or seeing me in a negative light. Those were my beliefs that I was projecting on them. I also realized that if I wanted to lose the weight and get active, that I indeed had to exercise (my treadmill had broken down, so I was forced to walk outdoors). So I got a walking buddy and we walked together and it was great! We also walked at night when there were fewer people out. However, soon my walking buddy moved back to Canada and I didn’t feel the same motivation to go walking or feel that it was safe to go so late at night. I had to brave it to walk alone and during broad day light(God forbid!!). Well I did it, with my dog, and it has been great! I am loving it so much that I don’t even think about how others may see me…or about my worries of being seen as overweight. I just decided I wasn’t going to limit myself and I was going to feel good about the fact that I was taking control of things and taking steps forward(literally!).
Part of making this whole journey public on a blog is another step to address the shame I was feeling for being overweight. So here it is: I am Alison Johncox-Oriko and I like to eat! hehehe! I am overweight and I am trying to make a difference in my entire lifestyle to get healthy, lose weight and be more active. I am trying to over come the feeling of shame for being overweight and also trying to overcome being out of control when it comes to eating. I am doing really well so far! By confronting the shame that I feel for being overweight, the negativity is diminishing day by day. I am putting it all out there because I am challenging myself, I am being supported by wonderful friends and I think it’s a fun idea to document this journey.
This week my goal is to exercise by walking at a faster pace and at least five times a week for an hour or more, I am going to be more aware of my portions~even with salad! I am going to allow 20 mins before I go for a second helping if I still feel hungry, I will make that second helping a glass of milk or seeds or one of protein and not processed food like crackers. I will continue to feel positive and keep my good habits that I have created over the last three months into place.
More on this journey next week!
For more blog entries, check out growinginwards.wordpress