So, I went on my first diet at the beginning of grade 12. I didn't change my eating habits or exercise much. I took some herbal junk that filled me up, reduced my appetite. I lost the weight and was lookin' good for graduation.
I then proceeded to gain and lose the same 10-20 pounds for the next few years. I thought I was looking pretty good though and didn't stress too much about it. Then my first boyfriend made what he thought was a compliment "I like my girls fleshy." Ummm...yeah...I'm fleshy??? That's when I started working out like a maniac. I went from zero exercise to going to the college gym five times a week. I had no idea what I was doing. That's when I messed my back up. Wrong technique and too much weight. My back would be so sore the next day that I couldn't go to school, but I'd be feeling better that night, so back to the gym I'd go. Maybe just a couple french fries short of a happy meal, ya think?
So I continued with the drop ten gain 10 technique for a couple more years. Then in 1998 after finishing my office administration course, I got a job with forestry during a very busy fire season. I worked as office support/radio operator at base camp for 2 months. I would start at 7am and finish at 3am, 21 days straight, 2 days off, back at 'er again. Very busy. No time for exercise, and living off crappy camp food. In those 2 months I gained 25 pounds. That started my downward spiral. I again attempted to lose weight, but I eventually found myself at the heaviest I had ever been. I stopped weighing myself at 197 lbs. I don't know where I finally topped out at.
May 31, 2000 I got some news that changed my life. I'll save that story for another day. Suffice it to say, I had received a second chance at life. I decided to make the most of it. I made the lifestyle change. I started off removing junk food and red meat from my diet completely. I also did exercise right. I slowly incorporated it into my everyday life. I walked or biked to and from work (about 2km). I walked during my coffee and lunch breaks. By the end of summer I had lost 20 pounds.
Once back at college I had full, free access to the gym. I started going a couple times a week, just cardio equipment. Instead of eating at the college pub a few times a week, I would either make healthy choices at the cafeteria, or make my own at home. Soon I started doing something I NEVER thought I would do. I started running.
The next summer I started biking to and from my new summer job. 22 kilometres one way. At the end of the summer myself, my mom, and some friends completed a 360km bike trip.
The following year, myself, my mom, and some of that same group of friends (and some family too!) ran a half-marathon.
You can't tell thanks to the hanajajjas (sunglasses if you missed my previous post on my children's wonderful mispronunciations), but I'm crying my eyes out in this picture. We both are. Completing that half-marathon was such an unbelievable sense of accomplishment from where I had come from. Did I mention that my mom is an amazing source of inspiration for me? She has had the same weight struggles as I have, and has overcome them as well. She is my hero.
My weight issues are still there though. All during this weight loss I would literally have nightmares about food. I would dream that I was eating some forbidden food. I couldn't stop myself in the dream. I could even taste it. I would wake up certain that I had sabotaged myself.
All this happened before kids. When I met my now husband, things moved...ahem...rather quickly for us. Let's put it this way. In July, we will have been together (not married, just together) for 7 years. Our oldest will be 7 in May. You can do the math on that one. Anyways, I promised myself that I would not let pregnancy be an excuse to gain a pile of weight.
I made it through pregnancy #1 relatively unscathed. By the time #1 was a year old, I was below my pre-pregnancy weight. I started training for a 10km run and continued my healthy eating. By the time the run came around in September I had gained 15 pounds. WHAT THE????? It was then that I discovered my thyroid problems.
Anyhoo...pregnant again by that December. Massive sciatic problems during the pregnancy, but they went away by the end, and I managed to escape pregnancy #2, again, relatively unscathed. Never did get back down to the low I was at when #1 was a year old, but still in my happy range. Managed to run another half marathon when he was 7 months old.
Pregnancy #3 went fairly well. Post-partum...not so much. I've mentioned before that I had SEVERE back problems after his birth. Along the lines of a ruptured disc and a separated sacro-illiac joint. As always, thyroid problems returned post-partum. That combined with a forced lack of movement caused me to regain about 30 pounds.
About a year later, I had FINALLY healed enough to start some real exercise. So I restarted, and lost almost all the 30 pounds. I have yet to crack back to that low that I achieved. I falter repeatedly. I've been struggling with the lose 5, gain 5 thing. I've been craving junk. I exercise only sporadically.
I don't know if my issues will ever go away. I think I'm chained to that number on the scale. People tell me I look great, I don't need to lose any more weight. I only see the floppy muffin-top. The number that I can't reach anymore.
I think it will get better. My life is PRETTY busy right now with three small boys and all the volunteering I do for their various activities. Eventually I'll have more time for me. Maybe one day I wont expect perfection out of myself so much either. I think just talking about it will help. Admitting it is the first step, right?
More to come on this Back to Health Topic, and many more. Stay tuned!
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