Do you struggle with your weight? I do, and I have all of my life. When I was a child, I was one of few…there weren’t a lot of morbidly obese children around. Obesity was not as prevalent as it is today when I was a little girl, or even when I was a teenager and young adult.
If you are struggling with your weight, trust me when I say that I know where you’re coming from. I’ve discovered that there are foods that I used to eat, which were “trigger” foods and what they did was make me want to eat them more and more. Pasta is a trigger food for me and you know what I’ve realized is that pasta makes me feel really ill. In fact, white foods, white bread, white flour, it all makes me feel awful. Many people have food triggers or addictions, I am not alone. Sugar is an addictive food, in fact there is scientific proof that sugar has the same effect on our brain as narcotics.
Food addictions are the cause of many side effects as well, such as depression, hopelessness, shame, lack of self worth, lack of self esteem and self confidence. As a result of food addictions, we can feel isolated, be irritable, unable to focus and in social situations, we just wish that we could disappear into a hole. Relationships are difficult and intimacy is often non existent. All of these things leave us, people like you and me, feeling unfulfilled and as if we’ll never achieve our hearts desire.
When I was a child, my parents had a difficult time finding clothes to fit me, they just didn’t make plus size clothes then. Now, fast forward to 2012 and many of the retailers have a Plus Size clothing department for all ages.
In 2004 I made a major life shift, escaped an abusive relationship, moved to Florida and finally figured out what I needed to do to lose weight. I followed a weight loss program…weight loss [u]surgery[/u] was never on my mind…it wasn’t an option for me. I’m sure I would have been eligible, but it just wasn’t something that I wanted for myself. Weight loss surgery, gastric by-pass, lap-band, they are all life altering surgeries and they change your life forever. Sure, you might lose weight, but there’s no guarantee that you will and unfortunately, the chances of gaining the weight back are fairly high for most patients. The no-brainer for me, was the fact that 1 of every 50 people DIE. Yes, I said it…people die from weight loss surgery, I know someone who did. He had the surgery, but he didn’t do anything to change his mental attitude towards food and not long after he had the surgery, he died.
I think I’ve probably been on every diet that has ever been out there, but I could never lose weight. I would struggle and starve myself, but the pounds just wouldn’t go away. I lived like this, in this struggle, for over 40 years and in 2004, I came to the realization that if I didn’t change my life, then I was going to die…or get really sick.
I remember my highest weight, actually stepping on a specially made scale for people of my size, it was 389 lbs. I was entering into one of those liquid diet programs…I think I lost about 75 lbs on it. There’s no doubt in my mind however, that there was a point in my life that I was well over 400 lbs.
January 5, 2005 is the day I began to change my life and on that day I weighed 354 lbs. I had escaped the abusive relationship and moved to Florida and after a lot of thinking and a lot of self reflection, I decided it was time for me to work on….well, me. I’d never done that before, I never put myself before anything or anyone. I had always made everything more important than I was. There were a lot of reasons that I did that, most of them having to do with my lack of self esteem and self confidence. I was never accepted by anyone, always an outcast and as such, I always excelled in everything that I did, I always had to go above and beyond and in my quest for love and acceptance, I forgot the most important thing, or rather the most important person…me.
I not only left the abusive relationship with my ex, but I also left toxic friendships. I left all of the negative people and the negative part of my life back in New Jersey. When I moved to Florida, I only brought the positive stuff with me. Oh yes, the negative tried to follow, but I kept pushing it aside. Through all of this, there were just a few people who came with me…my friend who helped me to escape the abusive relationship and a therapist who I had seen many years earlier right after I got divorced. Her words, even to today, always remain in my mind.
I’ve discovered many things about my war with my weight. I’ve discovered that my metabolism is so screwed up from being overweight all of my life and from the starvation diets, and my body became pretty comfortable with itself. I’ve discovered what I need to do to maintain my weight loss and what my body needs to be healthy. I’m not a “normal” person…I can’t eat what the so-called experts say that I am supposed to eat. If I do, I will gain weight and I have to work out more than the normal person in order to maintain my weight loss.
However…..IT IS ALL WORTH IT!!
Every struggle, every mile on the elliptical, every arm curl, every leg lift, every bead of sweat, you name it, it is all worth it.