In July of 1999, I’d had enough. I weighed 323. I was tired of being tired all the time. I’d come home from work and collapse. I felt self-conscious every place I went, that people were laughing and pointing behind my back. But the worst thing was that my feet hurt. If I had been sitting in my husband’s recliner or first thing in the morning I had to get up and just stand there for a minute or so to let my feet adjust to the fact that all that weight was back, and then hobble along for about 10 steps until the pain went away. The slightest bit of exertion and I’d turn beet red in the face. Another motivation was that my daughters were getting older and I wanted to set a better health example to them (not that its taken yet). My oldest daughter is probably 20lbs overweight, all right in her belly. At 15, I’ve given up hope of her growing any more (she’s 5’6” or so). Her younger sister on the other hand is 5’9” and maybe 120lbs. Obviously not my genes!
I had been on Atkins twice before. The first time, I was in college and at that point vegetables were not included. I lasted a few weeks. The second time was about 4 years ago and I lost about 35lbs but then somebody starting bringing in bagels to work and…..well. I’ve also been on Weight Watchers a few times and a diet program through my HMO that involved group counseling sessions. I lost weight on that too but I hate weighing and measuring. And I never learned how to eat differently, it was always a return right back to the way I’d always eaten
I guess I’m what you would consider a “sneak eater”. I’ve mentioned before that my adoptive parents have never had a weight problem in their lives and considered my weight a matter of self control. They watched every mouthful, so I found times and ways to eat where they weren’t looking. Saturday mornings before they got up were a free-for-all. It got worse when I got a job and could buy my own food. I could eat throughout the mall then, 20 piece McNuggets, chowmein, huge sandwiches, etc. And on Friday nights when they weren’t home I could buy food at Walgreens to cook and then destroy the evidence. After I got married, I could get the things I liked that Mom would never buy. My husband once made the comment that the first thing I’d do when I got home from work was head for the fridge.
So that’s how I got to 323. Then on July 19, 1999 I decided to try Atkins again. My husband tried to talk me out of it because he considered it too restrictive. But I knew that it had worked in the past, and since I’m a stubborn Dane and I love to prove him wrong, I went ahead. The rest, as they say, is history. It hasn’t always been easy. There have been periods of absolutely no progress, when I panic and start thinking about ways to tweak things. One of the hardest things for me was going above 20 carbs. I do keep a daily food journal, in a composition book and on Fitday. I also check the bulletin board off and on throughout each workday. I’m surprised they haven’t fired me yet! I think the boards have helped a lot, both Atkins Friends and Escribe. I’ve learned a lot from others, either by their mistakes or their triumphs. It helps to know that you are not alone, that there are others out there struggling along on a daily basis with the same issues and problems.
As to exercise, I started off by walking. Then it got cold, so I dug out my old Jane Fonda exercise tapes. About 9 months ago, one of the ladies here at work told me about The Firm tapes so I began using those. I have noticed a big change in the shape of my body since then.
I am coming to enjoy clothes shopping again. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in the fitting room of some store and cried because everything looked awful. I hated having to shop for a special occasion because I knew whatever I found would make me look so old and frumpy. I still having trouble though, seeing myself the way I really look. I still think of myself as a heavy person. I am still surprised every time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I wonder how long body image takes to adjust.
Well, I’ve blathered on long enough. I hope this all makes sense to you. I’ve posted a couple of pictures on my website if you want to see them.