Where to start with this crazy story that seems to have spanned my entire life.
My earliest memory of being overweight was when my paternal grandmother shamed me for overeating and proceeded to tell my mother how “fat” I was. I was 6 at the time.
My adult life has been a yo-yo journey of serial dieting. I have probably lost and gained the same 40-50 pounds 6x from the age of 19-36 never learning to maintain in the process. I’m really “event” driven. For my wedding in 2011 I lost 50 pounds and got down to 127 pounds just to quickly regain that in the following 8 months. Vacations were always a reason to crash diet and hopefully get at least 20ish pounds off to not feel like a whale in a bikini, and the cycle goes on.
I think there are a lot of different factors that have impacted my weight gain but it seems to correlate mostly with my mental health journey and a reoccurring depression that reared its ugly head most years in the fall. I tend to get super motivated in the spring/summer and lose the weight for some type of event and then fall hits, my mood dips and the weight pours back on.
I have honestly done every diet that you can think of. I did weight watchers after I had my son in 2000 and lost the weight then proceeded to stop going. I maintained my weight for a couple of years but after a difficult break up put the weight back on. Dropped the weight again around 2003 when I was living the single mom life, working full time and overwhelmed doing the starvation diet and was not taking care of myself at all. I think I kept the weight off for a few years because I was balancing school, a twenty something social life, as well as being a parent and I just was so busy I didn’t have time to eat not to mention my budget at that time was fairly limited. I put on some weight after meeting my now husband in 2005 and dabbled in low calorie, low carb, high cardio dieting and a couple more rounds with weight watchers and was able to keep my weight in about a 20 lb range for a couple years until I finally took it all off in 2011 like I said above for my wedding.
My highest weight was 181 pounds on my 5’2″ frame in the fall of 2013 (other than when I was pregnant in 2000 hitting 190 lbs) I was overwhelmed with life once again struggling with work-life balance, not doing any self care or self love for that matter and just eating what was easy, binge eating, and stuffing my emotions down with any and all types of food.
The pain of my depression had hit an all time low and I was overcome with a deep darkness I had never felt before. Food seemed like the only thing I could control and I was controlling it in the worst way possible. It took me 3 years of carrying around that weight before I was finally ready to make a change, and not for an occasion that was coming up but for me. For no other reason than I needed to get my life and my body to a place that actually felt good and normal. It was like I was walking around in a body that was not my own, uncomfortable and insecure.
I could act like I did it all in my own but it was actually my husband who suggested we join weight watchers that day in May 2016. He could see how bad I was feeling and we had ha a conversation about it and being the amazing supportive man he is we joined the next day.
It took my 14 months to lose 40 pounds. The longest it has ever taken me to lose that amount of weight and I am so happy it did take that long because I learned more than I ever thought I could. Don’t get me wrong it was super frustrating losing decimal numbers every week, but it forced me to truly look beyond the scale at what I was doing, how I was feeling and all the non scale victories I was achieving along the way. Those victories compounded into real self worth and a lifestyle that had me tuning into my body cues and actually acknowledging my thoughts, emotions that surrounded food and poking holes into the stories I would often tell myself.
This transformation took months and months of perseverance and making tiny almost ridiculous goals and being able to successfully achieve those goals and then build in them. I now have a lifestyle that I truly and proud of and never really thought I could achieve let alone maintain.
I exercise regularly, listening to my body and giving it the type of movement it needs depending on the phase of the month or season that I am in. I eat whole, unprocessed food. When I started I was more concerned with what was low points but as I grew and learned more about health and nutrition I realized that I wanted to heal my body and feed it accordingly. Therefore now I eat nary a food from a box or a bag, limited wheat, limited dairy, limited sugar, no coffee, no modified food products, and I’m actually happy with this! When I do eat those things (because let’s be honest pizza and cupcakes are also part of my life) I have them once a week during my “treat meal” where I indulge but still count my smartpoints. This is what balance looks like for me and my food relationship now. I cook whole foods meals every night, I actually enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes now. Before heating up processed meatless chicken fingers was too much some days.
More importantly though and quite by surprise my relationship with myself and my level of self care and inquisition to my own body has increased dramatically. I have incorporated so many more healthy practices out of love for my self and my journey into a right sized body. I want to feed my brain with knowledge, I want to journal and have a spiritual practice to ground myself and expand my whole being, I want to connect with other people that are on a similar path and make friends and share my life in meaningful ways, I want to be the best version of myself so I can be a better wife and mother. These transformations where a side effect to my weight loss. As I lost weight I gained insight and excitement about life and where I could go and what I can do.
The final strategy that I had for keeping me accountable is getting a job at weight watchers. Since getting lifetime I have become a receptionist and leader at my local centre and am so excited to be helping other people reach their goals.
So there you have it. My weight loss journey thus far. But to be honest this just feels like another new beginning. Lifetime is just another journey that basically never ends. I’ve finally realized that yes I have a food addiction, yes I need to work at my weight on an ongoing basis, yes tracking will be a part of my life forever and that all of this is ok. This is another piece of self care that I am doing to stay in my right sized body and be free of all the burdens of excess weight.
If you read this far than thank you! If you have any questions about my journey or are curious about weight watchers just comment below or send me a message. I would love to chat.