Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Journey so Far

It seems that all my life I have struggled to lose weight.

Beginning with a 900 calorie diet when I was in grade 9, I spent my teens and adult life trying to lose weight, which of course, means that I have spent most of my life unhappy with my appearance.

I look back to photos when my kids were little and remember how I hated myself….how I sat out from playing ball with my kids, for example, because I thought everyone would laugh at the fat lady trying to run.

But you know what?

I wasn’t fat.

Maybe a little overweight, but I looked pretty good for a woman who was pregnant 8 times in 12 years! Of course, there are precious few photos of me because I hated having my photo taken because I was “so fat”.

Oh to be “so fat” again!

Of course, eventually, I realized that the more I hated myself, the fatter I got.

Then, when I was in the 180 range, I it hit me that dieting and depriving myself had messed up my metabolism – I mean, no amount of calorie cutting seemed to do any good…really.

I made a vow to never diet again, but to learn to eat healthy and to move more.
My vow crumbled, however, once I discovered Nacho chips with cheese! I still ate lots of salads, but…..contrary to what we would all like to believe, salads do not negate the damage done by cheesy chips. And movement? Please….I was homeschooling 5children – when was there time to move? At least, that is the self-pitying excuse I made.

Of course, there were moments of disgust and humiliation and more self hatred over the ensuing years……culminating in my low point on Dec 12, 2007.

Here is an excerpt from my journal that day:

“My clothes are feeling tight. I am terribly uncomfortable. I never thought I would ever weigh two hundred and fifty-three pounds!
I want to just cry.
I hate myself.
I feel ugly – like I cannot look good, ever.
It is hard to do anything – even just sitting is uncomfortable. Laying down is ok until I have to roll over because my shoulder and hip are in pain from all the weight on them. Then I can’t just roll over, I have to heave myself over.
I am going outside to sweep the patio and walkway. If it is not too blame hot, I will walk to the store. I have to start doing something.
I deserve a better life.
Jim deserves a better wife.
My kids deserve a mom who can work, physically
My grandkids deserve a grandma who can play with them. And hold them on her lap.
I have become like the women I always felt sorry for and slightly disgusted with.
My upper arms are the size my thighs should be.
I feel like it is hopeless.
I need help.
Real help”

I cried a bit, then decided to get help.

Hubby and I were living in a city in Louisiana at the time so I decided to take advantage of city living and called a few weight loss centers.

My first consult was at LA Weight Loss.

Miss Lisa was so understanding as I shed tears of despair and hopelessness in her office. She shared her own journey of weight loss and encouraged me that I could make the changes necessary – one day at a time, and that she would be there for me whenever I felt I could not make it on my own. At no time did I feel like I was simply a client or that it was my own fault I was so fat (things I had been afraid of) I didn’t go to any other consults….the warmth and understanding at LA won me.

I started on plan Dec 14.

Seven days later, we flew home for Christmas – I was to stay home for an additional 4weeks because we had 2 grandbabies about to be born!

I was hesitant to begin when I felt that I had little chance of success over this period. My husband (and Miss Lisa) encouraged me that at least I would begin to think about being accountable for what I ate and learn to make choices. I could call in for accountability, if I wanted to. Even if it was a slow start, it would be a start and I would not be putting it off again. So, although hesitant, with my food journal in hand, I embarked on "another" kick at the can.

I did not want to tell my kids what I was doing – they’d seen me begin diets and fail at them so often, I just couldn’t tell them I was at it again….see, I still didn’t believe I would succeed. I was approaching the whole idea with a “let’s see if it works” attitude. I was putting the onus on the plan, not me. Because I really didn't believe in me....that was for sure!

Then, I was able to make this entry into my journal:

“January 6, 2008

Somewhere between deciding to sign up with LA Weight Loss Centers and yesterday, I have moved from “I’m going to give this a try” to “I’m going to lose the weight”. I’m not sure when this change happened, and there isn’t even any real concrete evidence to make me feel that I’m going to do it this time. I mean, I began December 13 at 253 and today I am 246.5. “only” 6.5 lbs in 3 weeks. Actually, that is not terrible, although at first, you’d think I’d lose more. Then too, I don’t know how accurate that is since I am using a different scale here at home than in Louisiana”

January 10 Grandson #1 was born….I was in the labor/delivery room all night (I gained a lot of respect for my husband during that experience….it is hard to watch someone you love experience so much pain and work so hard!) That evening, Grandson #2 announced (by way of breaking waters) that he wanted to come into the world as well! He was born 24 hours after his cousin – an hour away.

I spent the next 2 weeks going back and forth between the 2 new moms, spending as much time with my babies as possible, and helping the girls adjust to being mommies. This meant a lot of compromises on my plan….mostly not eating as much as I should have.

Imagine my surprise and satisfaction when I reported back to the Weight loss center to find I had lost 12 pounds! I know that it was my change in attitude that did it, more than anything. It would have been so easy to stop for fast food on my way to and from….but I didn’t, and it paid off!

This was the beginning of this part of my journey…..the last leg, I know it! I WILL go all the way to my goal. I don’t care if it takes longer than I originally thought it should, I am not going to give up!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great site. You need to figure out how to get more folks to find your site to receive encouragment through the journey of honesty and self-love.

ryry the adventurous said...

Hi Karyn! Thanks for your comments on my blog, and it's very nice to meet you! I totally hear you about that hurdle-like mindset... going from "I want to lose the weight" to "I am GOING to lose it" is like a big excited lightswitch going off in your head. You KNOW you are going to do it. Sounds like you have the most amazing family and I hope I have one just like it someday. :)

spunkysuzi said...

Wow what an amazing start! You are on your way and i have a feeling you are going to succeed at whatever you try!!

Donna said...

You sound so real and down-to-earth! I'm looking forward to reading your journey to success =) Welcome and good luck on Cara's 18 week challenge!

->cara said...

Nacho chips with cheese! Man, that has been the downfall of many-a-good persons. :)

Man, I actually cried when I read your journal excerpt. I said those exact same things about 15 months ago. I just sat there and cried at how disgusting I was and your journal reminded me of exactly how horrible I felt.

And I know what you mean about not telling your family you were starting "another" diet. I was the same way, but I changed, too, like you, and I told everyone I could possibly tell. I figured the more people knew, the more I'd have to stick with it.

Oh my goodness, two grand babies born 24 hours apart. What a blessing!!!

I feel like I'm watching a movie when I'm reading your blog. I can hear the strings in the orchestra in the background with the sweeping music as you narrate your story. I'm so excited that you've gotten the right attitude now to stick to this and make it work, no matter what.

I know you'll make it too!