Happy Labor Day! I hope you’ve had a restful weekend and have one more day to enjoy before you go back to work! We originally planned to go to the beach for the long weekend, but changed our minds in hopes to get a few things caught up instead as we start into a new month.
I’m linking up for the first time on my new website with Simple Life of a Fire Wife on their Inspire Me Monday…I am looking forward to reading some of the other linked up blogs as well – Here’s to a GREAT Monday 🙂
As funny as this meme is…Today’s post is meant to be motivation for those who struggle with weight. Like really struggle. Or for those who know someone who struggles. It’s something I’ve struggled with since my teenage years. For me it caused shame and embarrassment, secret eating habits and 20 plus years of binge eating, emotional eating and filling voids in my life with food.
When we found out we were going to Europe last summer, which involved a very long flight across the ocean, I decided I wanted to be serious about losing weight. I did ok, lose some weight, felt a little better but still had to squish in the airline seat barely making the belt fit. We had a blast, didn’t restrict ourselves to what we ate – I mean can you go to Paris and not have a fresh baguette or croissant, or both…let’s be real!
This picture was taken in London and I didn’t think – oh I hate this picture…I was happy to be on the same continent with my husband and we had a blast while we were there. I walked over 10,000 steps most days and didn’t come home heavier than I left simply because of that. There were however some days that I went out to explore that I thought…dang I’m out of shape and overweight as I made my way around unfamiliar streets and climbed countless hills.
When I returned home – I kicked the plan into high gear. After two rounds of IVF and the emotional eating that followed those failed cycles, I weighed close to 260 pounds in spring of 2016. I’m mortified to share that number, but I can tell you I’ll never be there again, and it’s quite freeing to share it and just get it out….I was fat, miserable with how my clothes fit and just felt blah. So began the path of low carb eating that showed me just how addicted to sugar, bread, crackers, potatoes…all of the high carb yuck I was. One day soon, I’ll chronicle the plan I’ve followed, but that’s a whole post unto itself.
There are several things I’ve discovered along the way. One is food addiction is a real problem. It affects so many people who eat their feelings, eat when they’re bored, eat in secret, struggling to find that balance between nourishing your body and allowing food to control you. After my divorce many years ago, I lived alone and ate most of my meals alone (or with a houseful of toddlers who would have LOVED to have an extra cookie or ten with me). I didn’t eat many meals, I mostly ate sandwiches or crackers with peanut butter, I ate a LOT of peanut butter, and Lance cracker packs and cereal, take out from Bojangles, or pizza…well, you get the idea. The thing was, I ate because of depression. Depression from the loss of my parents, an unhealthy marriage and divorce, wanting to find someone to love who loved me but feeling SO completely unattractive – enter the hamster wheel…you eat because you’re sad, then you feel bad because you eat and then you eat some more.
I’ve heard stories about drug addicts or alcoholics that just lack the will power to stop. I confess to thinking – you just have to decide that you’re not doing it anymore. But the thing is with food, you have to eat to live. Making wise choices about fueling your body isn’t always easy, but you can’t just quit eating. When I started working the sugar out of my system, it was not pretty. I was angry, grumpy, moody – I was in detox. It took about a month before I quit waking up thinking about food. We had to clean out what we couldn’t eat from the cabinets because I couldn’t be trusted in the house with it – did you catch that…the secret eating still continues – its completely psychological.
I’d love to say I’m where I want to be at with weight loss, but I’m not yet. I’ve lost about 70 pounds and feel SO much better than I did this time last year. But it’s a struggle, a process and I’d dare say it always will be. You see in southern culture (if anyone reading this doesn’t live around these parts) teaches us if someone dies, you feed their family, if someone has a new baby, you take them a casserole often covered in Ritz crackers and drizzled with a stick of butter. We celebrate everything with food – birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions, etc…I’ve even caught myself saying if I lose X more pounds, I’ll celebrate with food! How messed up is that? Never the less, it’s what has been ingrained in my brain for 43 years and is just a way of life around here. You can absolutely eat healthy, but there are MANY occasions where food takes center stage rather than the time spent together.
I still question why it’s so expensive to eat healthy and so cheap to eat fast food and convenience food. Why there are never coupons for healthy stuff…it’s mostly cookies, crackers, processed food…just junk. Seems it would make sense to help folks eat healthier and reduce the strain on the medical system by actually preventing diseases and ailments caused by obesity and the effects of putting junk in your body, right?
So, I’ve taken the long way around on this post about motivation – but I want to do my part to reduce the shame surrounding bad eating habits, emotional eating and secret eating. It’s a choice and you have to make your mind up that you’re going to start making better ones – pick your day one. Eliminating carbs for me was what worked, that may not be the case for you, but I do know that reducing the inflammation that sugar causes in your body makes you feel SO much better. So find what plan may work for you, but I encourage you to reduce your carbohydrate intake for a period of time and see if you don’t feel better. It isn’t easy, but if I can do it – I promise ANYBODY can! If you’re ready to start day one – I’ll be praying for that…It’s as much mental as physical in the beginning and you’ve got to retrain your brain to look at ingredients, measure portions, avoid situations where you are too hungry and nothing healthy is readily available. It takes cooking meals and planning groceries, but isn’t your health worth the effort? Isn’t it worth it NOT to fall asleep in the afternoon because of sugar crash? Isn’t it worth it to not completely hate what you see in the mirror? For me it was – and if you’re reading this and need some encouragement – email me…I am not a nutritionist (and I don’t play one on TV) but I can offer support and prayers to get you started on your path to being a healthier you!