Dropping Pounds, Not Bombs
So I hope that none of us is planning on becoming the next Uni-Bomber, because if that’s the case you are definitely in the wrong place.
I debated actually writing this post for several days. Eventually I decided to just do it for two reasons.
1. My downfall in the past has been not sharing.
2. I’m proud of myself.
Once I started writing I realized that because this is such a big issue for some people, myself included, and because there’s so much involved, there was no way I could say everything in one post. I wasn’t even finished and I was edging in on 3000 words, so to spare you having to read a book I decided that it would be better to break things down into bite sized pieces, which will also give me more space to share at the heart level and go into more detail.
This summer while we were away I decided, like many times before, that enough was enough. I desperately needed to lose weight. I had finally reached a place where I was not only waaay overweight, but putting me in line for some major health issues, and I don’t know about you, but as a wife and mom I didn’t even want to go there. I knew that it was no one else’s responsibility, or even ability, to help me lose weight. I had to do it myself. And, I needed to do it for myself. In the past I’ve done it for other reasons, but I knew that if I was doing it for real this time it had to be for me.
In truth I’ve known all of this for a long time, but was really good at making excuse after excuse about why I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t. I’m really good at starting things, but not necessarily finishing them. I’ve started losing weight before and done really well for a while, then sabotaged myself, but would call it other things. I knew that if I was going to make this thing work this time, I needed to do it differently and be really honest with myself.
I was feeling really tired all the time, didn’t want to do anything physical, would let Chris go do things with the kids because I knew I would struggle, and just felt bad about myself. I usually always stock up on new clothes during the summer for myself and the kids, and in the past couple of years the sizes kept going up and I wasn’t liking what I was seeing in the mirror. And here’s a fact for you – it’s more expensive to buy clothes when you’re plus sized. Even if it’s only an extra couple of inches of fabric you can plan on spending at least 1/3 more than the regular sized clothes. And let’s face it, most plus sized clothes aren’t that flattering. They’re meant to mask rather than accentuate the good stuff.
It was definitely time to do something.
What I’ve Done In the Past, And Why I Think It Didn’t Work
I’m not a crash dieter, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t made an effort in the past. I did Atkins for a couple of weeks and did really well initially, but then started to hate it and myself because I love food. I love carbs and sweets and felt really deprived. Kudos to anyone that can do low carb full force, but I know I can’t do it religiously. Eventually I crack and then feel crappy about myself.
I used SparkPeople to count calories and exercise and did really well with that for about a month and a half. Then I started to get angry with the calories because I wanted all the things I loved and felt angry that I “couldn’t” have them. This is in fact a fallacy. I could have them. I was just angry that I couldn’t have them in the quantity that I wanted and still lose weight.
I did Weight Watchers and did really well for several months, and then, lo and behold, got angry at the points because I couldn’t have what I wanted. See above.
Are you sensing a common theme here? No? Let me lay it out for you. I had bad self control and rather than taking baby steps would jump right in and then feel deprived. I would blame the diet/plan/system when the problem was me just not wanting to.
I realized I also struggle with accountability in this area. If Chris said anything about my weight or what I was eating I would get defensive. I still do, but I know it’s coming from a place of love and am working on communicating better. But, I don’t like having to be honest about when I “mess up” so the tracking became hard for me when the going got tough. I’m going to talk about this more in another post because I think it’s been an important thing for me to learn and try to work with and through.
In every case I would also start exercising, then find reasons to make excuses. My body was aching. It was too hot. There wasn’t time in my day because I was just too busy. Everyone needs something from me. Blah, blah, blah. Eventually I would stop and let my excuses win. And then the cycle of shame and self loathing would kick in, I would ignore it and probably go eat something. I’m also going to talk more about this in a future post, so stay tuned.
Basically, in everything, I was letting my excuses win. At the core of that was thinking deep down that I didn’t deserve the time and investment into myself, that everything else was so much more important. But you know what? It’s a lie. If Chris was able to carve out time from his day to take care of himself, then so am I. No one else is going to set a better example of what it looks like to do self care to my kids than me or my husband, and I was doing a bad job in that department. My kids are old enough now to notice when I’m not doing things and to ask why. It’s hard to give them an answer in those moments and not feel like I’m cheating the whole family. They all love me and want to be with me and do things with me. I also want to raise a daughter who loves and appreciates her body and uses it well to love others. I was a poor example of the loving and appreciating part.
So, it was time to do something, and I’m happy to share that I’ve been doing just that for the past month. Part of the reason that I wasn’t sure about writing this was that it has been only a month, and I was feeling like it wasn’t enough time to speak with any authority on the subject. But you know what? It’s my story and I can share it whenever I want. Maybe someone out there is going through the same thing and they’re struggling to just get started. If I wait until I’m at a certain milestone that might be information that could have been useful to someone else sooner. And, I’m sharing for myself. In the past, because of my own shame issues, I’ve kept quiet until I felt like there was something worth sharing, but what is that point? 5 lbs? 10 lbs? 30? 100? When is the right time? I don’t know that there is one.
Now that it has been a month I think I’m through that initial honeymoon stage and stuff is getting real, so it’s a good time to share. This is when it gets harder to stick with things and be encouraged, so by sharing I can have more people cheering me on. I hope. Please cheer me on.
I’m excited to share more of the details of how things are going. I will leave you with this – since we got back at the end of July I’ve lost just over 13 pounds. Knowing how much I need to lose to get to a healthy weight that doesn’t seem like much, but then I remind myself that it was in one month, I wasn’t starving myself, and I’m starting to see a difference in my body, and that’s all very exciting!
Looking forward to sharing the rest with you!