I have always struggled with weight. After high school, I just kept gaining weight. I gained about 140 lbs when I hit my heaviest weight (316) after pregnancy!
I tried different diets, most of them very extreme, like the Atkins & HCG diet because I wanted to lose weight, and I wanted to lose it FAST!!! I would get super focused, make extreme changes to my diet, and sometimes, I'd even work out a little. I lost weight on the diets, but soon after gained it back. I just couldn't seem to stay on a strict meal plan for any given amount of time. The cravings for everything horrible would take over me until I gave in to them. No wonder I couldn't stick to the diets, they felt like a punishment rather than a good thing. In June, I started noticing my clothes were fitting tighter and there were some that I couldn't even wear anymore. I got on the dreaded scale to discover that I had packed on 25 lbs in the previous 3 months. Off to the gym I went! After nearly two months had passed, I noticed I wasn't losing any weight. It was my diet. I ate whatever I pleased, whenever I pleased. I craved sugar badly all of the time. I couldn't seem to escape it. When my husband went to the hospital for stroke-like symptoms, I freaked out. Thank goodness he didn't have a stroke, he's only 26 years old. During an ultrasound on the arteries in his neck, the tech said, "these look like that of a 40 year old's arteries". That really hit me! I felt guilty for allowing us to eat so unhealthy and then wondered what my arteries look like. Scary! I knew I had to get a handle on our eating at that point! I prayed for God to give me the strength to start this journey.
I have a wealth of knowledge abouit losing weight, it is just a matter of practicing what I preach. People always say it needs to be a life style change, not just a temporary diet. I never fully adopted that concept until recently. So when trying to come up with goals, I kept asking myself, can I do this over a long period of time? If I couldn't, then I made modifications. I started calorie counting and set a range of 1200-1800 calories (it's seldom less than 1500). I write everything down in a journal, not just my food, but also my workouts and how I felt that day. Surprisingly, this has been working well and is something I feel like I can stick with. After a week of doing this, and losing 1.2 pounds, I was thinking, "Ugh! This is going to take FOREVER!". Then I had a huge lightbulb moment.
I thought to myself, how many YEARS of my life have I wasted on failed diet attempts and being severely overweight?? 10+ years! College and most of my 20's, I have been fat and missed out on a lot of stuff. I felt embarassed to go swimming, shopping with thinner friends, wearing shorts in 100 degree heat and being seen naked when getting intimate. It is sad to see how much of my life wasn't lived to the fullest potential because of my weight. It makes me sick to think about how much time I have wasted. However, this realization helps me in 2 ways. 1) I've already spent so much time dieting, why am I in such a rush now? Why not do it the right way, even if it takes longer? and 2) if I mess up on my diet, quitting isn't an option. Look where quitting has gotten me... nowhere. I'll just be wasting more of my precious time if I give up. So keeping these things in mind, I have tweaked my diet into something that I can do long term. So in a year or two from now, I will be much better off than I am now! This realization makes me happy and helps me be more patient with my body transformation.
After having my revelation, and still doing great on my food intake, I began setting more goals for myself and feeling better and better. It's like a domino effect. Once I got it started, the changes kept coming. I started drinking 8+ cups of water every day, sleeping 8 hours every night, taking multi-vitamins and fish oils, making healthier food choices, and working out 5 days per week. I have done all of these things consistently for over a month now!
Last weekend I experienced the dreaded food gorging. Rather than give up and continue to stuff myself, I got right back on track. I was disappointed in myself on Monday, but remembered that there is absolutely no point in giving up. Every goal I set for myself is doable and quitting won't help me lose weight. So I continue on my journey, knowing that no matter how long it takes, I WILL reach my destination eventually! "A journey of one thousand miles must begin with a single footstep."