Thursday, October 16, 2008

The trip so far.

Growing up I was a skinny kid. I played outside all the time. I used to walk almost everyday after they deemed out bus stop too close to the school. I’d to ride my bike to and from the library 7 miles each way without even a thought. When my father was in boot camp I would ride my bike to the grocery store, picking up milk for my mom because she couldn’t drive.

I also remember growing up and my family telling me, “Don’t eat so much or you’ll end up looking like your Aunt Sue.” All the while they were shoveling more fried cornbread and fried salmon patties with beans onto my plate. I never even gave thought to “Getting as fat as Aunt Sue” … until the day I went to see her and I realized that Aunt Sue wasn’t really that big, actually I was bigger than her.

When I was 16 I started gaining weight. Being out in BFE in Missouri, where to get somewhere you needed to drive and having disposable income while in school did not help. Added onto that the constant ridicule and bullying I went through because I started gaining weight and it all just piled on. By the time my family moved to Germany in 1998 I was close to the weight I am now. And the pounds just kept coming. I love food. And I will eat at the drop of a hat, whether I’m hungry or not. Are we celebrating something? Let’s get food. Is there an emotional crisis? Let’s get food. My eating was directly linked to my emotions, no matter what they were.

It wasn’t until the fall of 2005 that I started losing weight. It started off as an accident. A breakup and me leaving a night job had me eating less crap at all the wrong times. A visit to the doctor revealed that I’d lost 15 lbs. just by not eating junk. So began my journey. Hell how hard could it be? I lost weight without even thinking about it. I’ll never forget the first time I walked from my house to the end of our road and back. I was 25 years old, 265 lbs. and I hadn’t exercised since high school. It took me almost an hour to walk 1.5 miles. But I did it and I continued doing it. Over the next 8 months I walked almost everyday. I kept my calories at 1200 and by May of 2006 I was walking 5 miles in 75 minutes.

Thinking back it seems like it was so easy and the weight just fell off but looking back at an old journal proved me otherwise. There’s an entry from when I’d eaten something during the day that left me with only 500 calories for dinner and I was STARVING. The food I’d gotten at Chili’s wasn’t enough and I was irritated with myself for not having better control and still hungry. My mother who’s never had to worry about her weight in her life looked over at me and asked what was wrong with me? I looked like I lost my best friend.” I then told her I had… food. I looked at my dad and he, the man who’s struggled all of his adult life with weight understood.

At my lowest 2 years ago I was 190. Though still “obese” I could have happily stayed at that weight, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I started working nights back at the paper at the end of May. By Jan. when I left to go to another paper I was 213. Working late and sleeping all day had completely thrown off my eating habits and my exercise.

My partner E was struggling with her weight also. She was living with her parents and restarted Weight Watchers and was having very good success. So I decided to try it also. I struggled while on the program, mainly because my body can’t do carbs very well but doesn’t mind the extra fat in food. But I got down to 194 by the time E moved in in July. But two foodies living together with a lot of extra spending money from two good jobs doesn’t make for skinny people.

Over the passed year and a half I’ve gained 35 lbs. where I’m now sitting at 230. I’m not happy with it, I haven’t been happy since I started gaining but my outlook is now different.

I can’t beat up on myself and expect to be healthy. I realized that I was hating on myself worse now than I was when I was 280. Not because I looked worse or was in worse health but because I had such a good grip on the situation before and I let it slip.

Over the last 3 months I’ve gained and lost the same 5 lbs. Never going above 235 and never getting under 230. But I feel better than I have in a long time. I’ve gotten my eating under control. In part because Eyleen has started going to WW again and she does all of the cooking.

I’ve started walking again and I forgot how much I loved it. I feel so much better after I’ve been for a walk. I would like to get back down to 190. If I went any further than that I wouldn’t care. I’d be happy if I stayed right there. Will I get there? I hope so but for right now it’s more important for me to really truly work on what and how I eat and exercise before I start busting my butt again. I think that was my problem before. I thought losing weight was going to solve all my problems when what I didn’t realize that I’d just be thin with the same issues. So hopefully this time around it will be different.

I want to have kids in the near future. Hopefully within the next 3 years we’ll have one and I want to be healthy for my kids. I don’t want them to suffer with their weight all of their lives like I have. I’ll teach them to eat better from the get go and let them know there’s always time for exercise, even if it’s just a little bit.

It’s taken me years and years but I finally feel like I’ve got it.

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