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On the Road to Healthy - Part 1

Sunday, October 06, 2013

My mother and I share similar histories of gaining weight. Both of us were slim from childhood to young adults. And, we both gained weight after we got married and we both gained weight after we quit smoking but she also gained weight from bearing 5 children, which I didn’t.

In August 1998, my mother was dying from lung cancer and she was losing weight. She jokingly said to me that she’d always wanted to lose weight but this wasn’t exactly the way she had been thinking. But, then she also said that she didn’t want me to lose my weight the same way.

When I was a teen, I ate whatever I wanted as a teen but given that we lived in an area that didn’t have public transit and given that our family only had one car and 3 teenage girls vying for it, I found it was just easier to walk everywhere so I did.

My weight gain started when I got married. My marriage start weight was 130.

We each had a car and so we didn’t walk everywhere anymore. And, we both loved food so we ate whatever, whenever and however much we wanted. Within the first 5 years we were married, I gained 50 pounds. And, then in 1988, I quit smoking and gained another 50 pounds. And, then just randomly over the years between 1984 and 1998, I gained a further 30 pounds so in 1998 when my mum said that she didn’t want me to lose weight with a terminal illness the way she did, I weighed 260 pounds.

The way that my mum persuaded me to do this was by offering to pay for me to go to Weight Watchers. So, I agreed and I went. At the end of the first week after I had followed the plan perfectly, my second weigh-in was a shock because I had actually GAINED 4 pounds! And, I stayed there for SIX WEEKS! Now, a lot of people would have given up at this point but my mum was very encouraging and told me it would come and to just stay with it. Unfortunately, the first week I actually lost on the scale was because my mum had died in November 2008 and I just couldn’t eat. I quickly found out that I can’t eat when I’m upset/ stressed/crying, et cetera.

However, that said, between 1998 and 2003, I lost 70 pounds in total and I was probably happier more of the time than sad.

To be continued...

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  • _LINDA
    Thank you for sharing our story! Way to honour your Mother's memory by turning your life around!
    I too, was a skinny child and young adult. It wasn't until the second, more severe flare up of my RA when it attacked most of my joints that I got laid up and was unable to exercise that I started packing on the pounds. Was a Rollar coaster ride after that!
    Looking forward to hearing more!
    1625 days ago
  • JMOUSE99
    emoticon thanks for sharing!
    1627 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story Joanna.....you are such an inspiration to me and your Mom would be SO proud!
    1627 days ago
    I can see and feel your determination in your story so far and I know that it will continue to be felt big-time! emoticon emoticon emoticon I admire you so much much for your perseverance through thick and thin! I admire you for how much you exercise and can! Wish that I could do it too like you. Keep pushing! emoticon emoticon
    1627 days ago
    Wow! You lost an amazing 70 lbs! I don't even recognize you in the "before" picture.
    1628 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    We are so alike in some ways it's scary. I was also skinny when young. I gradually put on my weight over the years. However, it took me being diagnosed with RAD to make me take it seriously. That and hitting an all time high, just 1 pound from a weight I'd sworn not to be, because my grandmother died of diabetes complications and weighed about that weight.

    I'm glad you didn't give up and kept moving forward, even when you probably didn't want to. Congrats on your successful loss and getting healthier.
    1628 days ago
    You have been on quite a journey. It looks like you have strongly recmmitted to health and have been losing. I can't wait to hear more. Hugs, Laurel
    1629 days ago
    You are taking care of yourself and doing well. emoticon

    I agree, your mother would be happy and proud.
    1629 days ago
  • LADYJ6942
    Thank you for sharing your story and woo hoo on 70lbs. That is something to be very proud of.
    1629 days ago
    thanks for sharing Joanna. Me too. Skinny. I didn't weigh 100 lbs soaking wet as a teen. Life happens. And it all affects our relationship with food. For me it was numerous hospitalizations on IV steroids ....I gained weight with every hospitalization. A bout of encephala spinal meningitis got me VERY thin...but again I wouldn't recommend that either!

    Somehow we have to find a way to maneuver our way amongst the tangled path either of us travels, withOUT letting it determine our weight. Not easy.
    You are off to a wonderful start. Your dedication to exercise has impressed me. Now if I could just siphon off some of your energy and commitment.....
    1629 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. That is amazing that you were able to lose 70 pounds - and that you didn't give up! Keep up the great work! emoticon
    1629 days ago
  • LINDA!
    I can identify with your youth. I also never had a problem with weight as a young person. I gained after bearing children, eating too much and sitting all day in an office setting, etc. My parents passed away and I also gained.

    I think it is wonderful that you have lost weight. I know that your mother would be happy for you. emoticon Keep going!
    1629 days ago
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