I’ve never been one to stick to a healthy diet or exercise program and I’m not a considered a healthy eater. I don’t consider myself to be in the best of shape, with regards to being able to run a mile without becoming winded quickly. With that said, It should be obvious that I am not fitness GURU. I just happen to know my body, and what works for me.
I remember being 30-years old, when I got away with eating little Debbie snack cakes every night, and a gallon of Gatorade. I’d exercise in the evenings, after work, doing a 3-5 mile run walk outside around the track, followed by a 2-3 mile run, on the treadmill. After that, another mile on the stationary bike. I was 5-feet 8-inches, weighing in at 115 lbs, at 30 years old. I gauged my size and growth by a pair of jeans that I wore in High School and College. If I could still fit them, I was doing good. If I couldn’t, then it was time to peel back. It was as simple as that. I was hell bent, on remaining the same size, and so when my eating sprees got out of control, my motivation was to get back into those jeans.
Yea, it’s true. I go on ice cream binges, fried food fiascos and red wine Soirees that will make the person standing next to me say WTF! And I’ve always been the topic of discussion when it came to eating unhealthy food and staying the same size.
UNTIL LATELY. This is what they mean when they say it will catch up with you. It tracked me down like an ex from college that I was hoping to never run into. It came to my front door, unannounced and was on my living room sofa before I could say Calgon take me away.
It happened so unexpectedly. 15 lbs in 5 months gripped my waist, hips and buttocks like the seat of a luxury vehicle does, when it locks you by the seat belt, after slamming on the brakes! What was I to do? Age 39, at my heaviest and biggest size in life. 145 lbs and rising….But I only weighed 150 at full term pregnancy, when I was 33-years old, just to put things into perspective. I was panicking now. Not because I was caught up in “image” and societal shaming of belly fat and love handles… but because I could not fit my 20-year old jeans, in a matter of 5 months.
Most importantly- it is you who must be O.K. with your size and weight, your image and your features. Your accents and all that make up the beautifulness that you behold. In my quest to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it had nothing to do with anyone’s idea of my body or their opinions… but it has everything to do with how I wanted to see myself and what I want to look at when I look at myself in my own mirror. It has everything to do with what I find pleasing in my eyes when it comes to my very own body, and that is not a reflection of how I see anyone else who choose to be big, small, thick or thin. Hopefully when you go on your quest, you’ll do it for yourself as well, and not for anyone else.
But understand, my issue wasn’t with weight gain altogether. It was with “rapid weight gain.” My size is still good, considering my height and age…. but at this rate of weight gain, I could easily become the poster kid for many health-related conditions.
Many things contributed to my weight gain. Being home, and not being as active as I was before. I spent less time traveling and being away from the comfort of my bed. I was stressed over many issues surrounding the custody of my child, which kept me inside the house. I was running to the refrigerator every chance I got, for “something sweet to eat” just to pass time. I wasn’t shopping for healthy food any longer, as I did not have my child at home with me full time anymore.
After a visit to the doctor, I discovered I had issues with thyroid. I experienced a brief bout with pressure and a heart related concern, in which medication prescribed had a side effect of weight gain on top of that fact that I was also given a new medication for severe migraines and anxiety; which contributed to weight gain and my hormones were completely out of whack.
This is also why I would recommend that the first thing you do when you decide on any dieting and exercise regiment, to tackle weight gain or rapid weight gain, that you consult with your doctor first. You want to check your health by doing a temp check of the state of your body, so that you know if you’re fighting against something other than the fact that you can’t stop eating ice cream. It could be more. Address those issues, then you can find a diet that works best while addressing real underlying health concerns.
I had to think about it. All these things that I had come face to face with at 38-years old was new to me, coupled with the things I was voluntarily doing, which aided in weight gain. I realized that many of these issues I never faced before the age of 38, which is why I could eat the way I was eating. I lived a more active lifestyle then as well. If your lifestyle isn’t the same with regards to activities and health- you need to make a shift that tailors to the changes. You won’t be able to eat as much on less activity- or eat all day without exercising or watching calorie and fat intake.
So, where am I now? Well, I watch what I eat and I exercise daily. I stay away from scales. Scales are discouraging. I just look at myself until I like what I see. That may be at the same weight, but in more of a tone package. Same weight, with a healthier eating plan and a suitable workout plan that maintains health, weight and fitness goals. I have a note on my mirror that says, “Stand here until you like what you see” It’s like a Mantra of some sort, because it applies to anything related to esteem. When you look better, you feel better. When you feel better, you do better.