A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Christie Inge, life coach extraordinaire. Please take a second to go back and read her guest post!
As I mentioned then, I’m going to be tackling some of the questions that Christie presents in her getting started guide. The good, the bad, the ugly…I’m going to bare it all (well, most of it…no nekkidness) in the hopes that my journey will strike a chord with you.
I’ll start that in a few weeks. This week, though, I thought I’d (re)introduce myself. It’s been a while since I’ve written down how I got started on the crazy roller coaster called weight loss. A little history might give you some insight on where I’m coming from and how I got to where I am today.
It all started in 1976…
No. I’m kidding. I’m not going to go that far back. All I’ll say about my early years is that I was not an overweight kid. I have not struggled with weight my entire life. What I struggled with back then, more than anything, is really bad body image. I wasn’t “pretty” or even “cute”. I had crazy hair and a big gap in my teeth and then braces and blahblahblah. Really, run of the mill stuff when you’re a kid.
I never really thought about my weight as a problem until I was in my 20s. I had survived the teen years knowing that I didn’t look AT ALL like the girls in the magazines, but I was cool with that. My style was different, and it always had been. I didn’t feel the need to fit into that cookie cutter mold.
But when my 20s hit, it was like a switch went off in my head. Suddenly, my body wasn’t good enough. It was proportioned badly and fluffy and oh-my-goodness have you seen me in a bathing suit? I was suddenly very aware that I did not look the girls on the cover of magazines and it started to bother me.
(Full disclosure: This all happened about the same time that I met and started dating my now-husband, Dave. At no point, EVER, has he made me feel like I was not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough or whatever. He’s amazing and likes to tell me that I’m amazing, too.)
Anyway, I started going on “diets”. Eat only this. Drink only that. Slimfast? Yeah, I was all about the Slimfast and still get nauseous when I think of the taste. GAG! I picked up my first weight lifting book (snicker) and was bound and determined to look like the woman in the book. Dave and I had a trip planned to Cancun and I was going to drop 1,000 inches and look amazing in a bathing suit.
It didn’t happen. I gained the weight back.
We’ll fast forward a little. Dave and I get married and then we decided to have kids. I decided that this was the breaking point for me. No more fad diets. No more Slimfast. I wanted to get my pre-pregnancy weight down in a safe way so, in 2002, I joined Weight Watchers.
That’s what I consider to be the beginning of my weight loss journey…which I guess, if you do the math, I’ve been on for 10 years now.
Weight Watchers worked for me, when I worked the plan. I lost the weight, got pregnant, gained the weight back (obviously), but as soon as I was medically cleared, I went right back to Weight Watchers. I really loved their philosophy that no food is off limits. That was new to me after all my fad diets. I also started (and stopped and started and stopped and started) adding some physical activity into my life.
Weight Watchers saw me through early marriage, two pregnancies (where I gained too much weight…I took “eating for two” very seriously), and right up through my new life as MOM. I reached my goal weight, went through maintenance, and became a Lifetime Member. At one point, I even thought that I would work for them.
My time in Weight Watchers took me from my very highest weight of 192, to my very lowest weight of 153. There were some ups and downs and restarts in there, but that’s the succinct version.
A few years ago, though, I was beginning to realize that Weight Watchers just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I really felt like I had learned all I could from them and I stopped going to meetings. I stopped tracking my food but kept weighing in weekly at home. The weight would creep back on a little in the beginning, but I was really able to nip it in the bud and get back to (about) where I needed to be.
Through all of this, though, I was beginning to sense a mental shift. I didn’t want to THINK about food so much anymore. I just wanted to be able to eat and enjoy myself without wondering about points or calories or %’s or anything like that. I realized that Weight Watchers had taught me what to eat, but I never really tackled anything about how I felt while I was eating…other than the guilt that came with overeating.
Slowly but surely, I’m getting myself to a point where food does not control my life. I don’t track anymore. I tried to get back to it, but then realized it put me in an unhealthy mental state. I wasn’t enjoying my food because I only saw it as a plate of calories. I was too worried about protein/fat/carb balance to enjoy anything I was eating. I’m trying my best (key word: trying) to eat clean(er) and really enjoy what I’m eating.
I still struggle with working out because I want to not because I feel like I have to. I was looking at Pinterest not long ago and I saw something along the lines of “I work out because it’s good for me, not to punish my body for something I ate.” I would like to be there, but I’m not there yet.
I don’t weigh myself anymore. The last time I weighed myself was the first week of January. It’s very freeing to not worry about a number on the scale. Pardon the expression, but it’s like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. My clothes still fit. I fell good when I eat well. I feel crappy when I don’t eat well.
The aim is to feel good more than I feel crappy.
I’m hoping that the next several months of answering Christie’s questions will offer some insight as to why I eat and feel the way I do. I hope to make some breakthroughs. I hope to change some habits. I hope to let go of some of the stinkin’ thinking’ that still goes on in my head.
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