It’s confession time.
I. Am. Fat.
Oh, probably not obese by serious medical standards, but overweight to the point that I can’t stand to look at myself. To the point where those little charts at the gym point at the “red zone”. To the point that my Wii Fit says I’m obese. (Stupid machine.) I am 5′-4″, weigh 185 pounds, and wear a size 14 jean.
I haven’t always been this way. I was rail thin as a kid, and worked very hard to stay skinny as a teen. My wedding dress is a size 6, and I had to have it taken in a few week before our wedding because wedding jitters had put a huge dent in my appetite. The years went by, lots of babies came into my life, and my weight just kept going up. First to a size 10, then a 12, then a 18. I was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago. It scared me so badly that I busted my tail and lost 60 pounds. I felt great for the first time in years! I was eating sensibly, walking seven miles a day, lifting weights and doing Pilates. I could comfortably wear size 12 jeans! I could run again, chase the dog, jump up and down without becoming breathless!
Then, I had a stroke last May. Nothing serious came of it; there’s no permanent damage to my memory or motor skills. I had to start taking a beta blocker type medicine, and it was devastating to my weight loss. One of the nasty side effects of these medications is weight gain, because they slow down your heart rate and metabolism. The inevitable weight gain happens even if you live on a restricted calorie diet. In the first four months after my stroke, I gained twenty pounds by eating sensibly (low carb/1500 calories a day) walking and exercising every single day. By Thanksgiving I was so frustrated that I just threw up my hands, said “*insert very strong expletive here* it all!”, and started eating whatever I wanted. I did manage to keep up with daily exercise, though not at the extreme levels from before the stroke.
I made it through the holiday without weighing myself, then my entire family was sick for two months – first with swine flu, and then with regular flu. (Yes! We all had flu shots! Both Kinds!) I stopped exercising after my second go-round with the flu. I just didn’t have the energy, and every time I exerted myself past a strolling walking pace, I would start coughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. When I stepped on the scale two weeks ago, I discovered that I’ve gained twenty more pounds.
Last weekend, my husband showed me a NutriSystem advertisement in the newspaper insert, and said, “It’s okay if you want to spend money on something like this.” I was devastated. I wanted to throw myself on the floor and throw a temper tantrum like a two year old. Instead I went to our bathroom, locked the door and cried for an hour.
I’ve calmed down now, and have found a new determination to pick myself back up and shed these pounds. My first step was consulting with my Doctor to find a different medication that will keep my brain from exploding again but still allow me to trim down. We think we’ve found one that works. I had joined Weight Watchers in December, but was only following half-heartedly. I am now tracking every morsel that passes my lips. This is my first time to ever use an outside program to help lose weight. I’ve started exercising again – not nearly at the level I was last summer, but I’ve started. I’ll get stronger again soon enough and will be able to ramp up.
Now I’m starting this blog to track the journey and to hold myself accountable. If anyone picks up and follows, I hope you find inspiration and that you choose to cheer me on. I’ll certainly return the favor.
I love the scripture from 1 Corinthians. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. God calls us to be good stewards of all his gifts, and this includes the earthly bodies He blesses us with. We need to take care of them as though…well, as though God was dwelling there.
So here’s to a new Skinny Me! I can’t wait to see her in the mirror.