Sunday, March 22, 2009

Before and After

I tried to find the pictures that showed what I really looked like when I was at my high weight. I tried hard to cover myself most of the time but I do have one of me in a bathing suit that I am now brave enough to post. I never was happy with my weight even though in high school and my twenties and thirties, my weight was reasonable, and rarely overweight. I always thought I was fat even when I was clearly slim. In fact when I was full term with twins at age 18 I weighed about 156.
True obesity occurred in the year 2000. I had lost weight in 99, starting at around 170 and losing around 14 pounds to 156 or so. But after that restrictive program I began to eat heavy and in a matter of a of months I was in the 180's for the first time in my life. Then it climbed to the 190's. In 2001 I probably hit 200 and a bit over. I would go long periods without weighing. I lost 14 pounds again one year but gained it back plus a few. During this phase of my life I would often eat large volumes of food in the middle of the night. I made attempts here and there to eat less but it seemed impossible. I ate out frequently, ordered pizza often, went out for ice cream and buffets regularly. I was a combination of denial and self loathing. Often not in touch with how overweight I was, but feeling despair whenever I was.

During those years I managed to enjoy physical activity from time to time, dressed nice, and even dated but it was very uncomfortable and I hated my body for many years. I had a happy home life with my daughter and we enjoyed vacations and trips that involved hiking, swimming, biking, etc. But I was not happy with myself in many ways. I hit bottom in January of 2005. I wrote my doctor a letter telling him I could not go on like that. I took it with me to my appointment. I wanted to document my weight problem. Up until then doctors never really pushed me to lose. He sent me to a nutritionist. In 2005 I lost ten pounds and went to the gym regularly. I started getting healthier and a little smaller, but it was slow and difficult.

In the Summer of 2006 I started blogging and did a month or so of Kay Sheppard eating. I also read her books. I lost nine pounds in a month and then I continued a slow and steady loss. I would approximate that about 25 pounds came off the first year of blogging and then another 20 the next. With the ten I lost in 2005 I got to an all time high loss of about 58 pounds at some point.

My method was simple. I kept track of food, sketched a plan out on most days, calculating what I would take in that day, tried hard to stick with it and got exercise. I used what I learned from the glycemic index, Kay Sheppard, South Beach, Weight Watchers and other programs. I make better choices and eat less volume. I don't always stick to an exercise program. I have phases where I get lazy but I get back to it.

The pictures show the difference. Sometimes I need to look at them to appreciate my body today. I did not like my shorts photo from last Summer but after seeing my 2003 bike photo I am amazed and grateful.

I keep on moving. I don't give up. If I have a setback I don't let it take me completely under. Gaining ten pounds through the holidays was a setback but I am losing it now and will be back where I was, at a normal BMI - soon.

If I can do this anyone can!! Sometimes I call my program the lazy girl's way to permanent weight loss.