Since I have started this blog, I have had many people ask me many questions about my weight loss journey. They always want to know how I have done this. As I have moved farther along, recently I have had quite a number of people asking: What are you doing? How are you losing all this weight? There is also the continued question of how do I make myself exercise so much.
Even today (which was actually yesterday), I was chatting with someone about their personal weight gain. This is a topic VERY close to my heart. It breaks my heart when I hear of fellow sufferer’s in the battle of the bulge. Some folks are a little more shy about talking about this than I currently am. So I am writing this blog for them. 🙂 To answer questions and hopefully encourage them to believe in themselves. Count themselves as worth another shot and that they are WORTH what ever it takes to have the best health they can. Also, I want to say they are valuable just the way they are. They are of NO less worth than they were before gaining weight, just less healthy. I understand feeling less. I felt a deep sense of shame about my appearance as I shot up the scales after my illness. Sixty pounds in less than six months time, all the while I was dieting and exercising like a fiend. Then, trying new meds that drove me further up the scales, until I didn’t even want to know what I weighed anymore. I avoided pictures, I avoided gatherings of people who knew me “when.” I found excuses not to attend my school reunions — most of them were real, but deep down I was relieved because I didn’t have to show myself.
The years eaked on, and I grew to realize that I could NOT continue to avoid people, it hurt my children’s feelings that I never wanted to be in a picture with them. I avoided places that might embarrass me. I sat in corners at restaurants so that my rear wouldn’t hang out in the open, bulging over the edges of the chairs (my buddy OptiFast Loser gives a good explanation of this terror). My husband was always such a blessing because he never treated me even one ounce different all the way up that 130 pound gain. Mike never saw me as fat — he would freak out at my “large” pictures with me and tell me there had to be some kind of lighting problem or that it was taken at a bad angle. I have to tell you I so love him for that. If I could have only looked into his eyes, I would have been fine and felt beautiful everyday. I would have been at peace. However, those where not the only eyes that saw me. Sadly, not even my own eyes were so kind.
I became so much larger than my “normal self” that no one who knew me would even make a comment about my size — simply out of pity — they felt bad for me. I loved their hearts, but knowing that they felt such pain for me was a HORRIBLE demoralizing feeling! It made me sick, at times I really hated myself. I doubted my self. If Mike had not been there to recount to me how hard I was working, I would have thought I was lying to myself. How could I be working so hard with so little results??
Relatives, kind wonderful people (I actually mean those words), would say things like you used to be so beautiful. Oh, my do you remember how beautiful Shonnie used to be. What a looker she used to be — I always loved those. Remember, before you get mad for me, that some of these people thought they were encouraging me to work back to that place. They just couldn’t get their minds around the fact that I was doing everything I could to change things only to be frustrated.
Since I started losing weight and the folks at EatRight helped me figure out what was going on with my body and got me on OptiFast, my world has changed. I am not sure if we (Mike, Donna the Trainer Nazi, and I) would have ever figured out the keys to my losing without the help of Doctor Ard and the whole group up there at UAB. You should see the confused looks on people’s faces when I tell them that I had to stop, and then seriously slow down my exercise, while lowing my caloric intake to shock my system back to working. I have to tell you, my body wasn’t a textbook case, it was more complex. More output and less input did not equal a loss for me. I am VERY thankful for the EatRight program and their staff with hearts to serve and help the obese find solutions to a healthy life. I have no real words for how much these people mean to me.
It has been a very wild six month ride for me to go from a size 22/24 to the here-and-now and be trying on and then buying size 12 and 10 jeans! Yea! I can hardly believe it. I should have purchased my jeans in sizes 10’s and 8’s because they are already stretching out — but I couldn’t emotionally deal with that — I always try to get them super tight so they last longer. I know that “emotionally dealing” with purchasing smaller sizes sounds crazy, but I wasn’t ready. This journey has been HUGE for me. So I pick my battles wisely. 🙂
So to answer the questions without the clutter of my past, here are a few of the things that I do that help me:
–I log everything I eat with my iPhone app that logs it at loseit.com (join and we can be friends). This keeps me honest with myself. I can keep up with what I am eating and doing.
–I have doctors that specialize in weight loss. They think outside the box. They do tests to make sure you are healthy and consider all the angles to helping you lose. I think this is invaluable. If you have a lot of weight to lose or a stubborn 20 or 30 pounds these type Docs know how to get it off you and help you keep it off. I am following a medically supervised liquid diet–some think it is costly, but works better than anything I have ever tried–and way less costly than medical bills for weight related illness. Well, in my case NOTHING I have ever tried worked, before OptiFast. I have tried a lot of things before getting here.
–I love the exercises that I do — that is my trick to actually working out — find something you LOVE! Then you will be upset, like I am, when you can’t do it. I haven’t ridden my bike for a week, and I feel very frustrated about that–why?–because I LOVE IT! Feel cheated if I don’t get to do it. I love my reformer classes–they make my body stop hurting. I love rowing a boat, because it is outside and fun. I even like running because it makes me feel young again. Biking is my favorite. I enjoy pushing myself where bike riding is concerned.
–When I was at my heaviest, and I couldn’t lose no matter what I did, I got myself a trainer at the YMCA. That was some of the best money I have ever spent. She helped me work around all my problems–I have a LOT of injuries. So, even though I couldn’t lose, I was healthier than ever! 🙂
–The food that is working best for me as I add back in the “real food” is low fat, low carb. I mean I eat tons of red bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots (I am worried about turning orange), celery sticks, Apples, and some VERY, very thin bread that has only 40 calories a slice (you can barely call it bread–melba toast maybe).
Keep in mind if you keep being frustrated with your efforts — enlist some good help. Trainers and Doctors are money well spent. Most people can flip around with a good trainer, unless there are deeper problems a foot. Then, finding Doctors that specialize in weight loss at a university hospital will probably be the best bet.
I know this was long and beyond late, but the hubby begged to go for a ride on our bikes … who was I to say NO! 🙂 On with the fashion show.
Love and stuff …my post for weigh in #23 is coming up …S