Saturday, July 13, 2013

A "Weighty" Issue



Yes, I’ve blogged about Perseverance (because I believe in it so very much) but normally, I’m talking about writing. Today, I want to talk to anyone struggling with the issue of weight loss. Or, maybe it’s better to say, the struggle is actually with wanting to eat like a pig at a trough 24/7. Yup, that sums it up for me. I have a love/hate relationship with food. Mostly love...

But today, while I’m at the keyboard, I have a huge glass of icy water sitting next to me, and I’ve just finished the evening snack, some spicy hot homemade guac with sliced peppers to dip into it. ALL FOR ME! NOT SHARING A SINGLE BITE.
Let’s back up a bit. A year and half ago, actually a tad longer, but I digress, my husband had a massive stroke followed a month later by a milder one. Is there such a thing as a mild stroke? Sheesh. I don’t think so. At any rate, we won’t go there; he’s actually doing very well now, but for the first six months, we were both emotional messes. Me trying to deal, and him trying to find his way back to reality and life.
At the end of the first six months, he’d lost weight, common with strokes, I’d gained. I was now well over 200# and climbing. I had been preparing all of his and my favorites foods—comfort food in any and every form. If I hadn’t figured it out before, I now realized I was totally a stress eater. Well, no, I was actually the pig at the trough. If it contained sugar and flour, chances were very good, I was consuming it in massive quantities. And in this picture, I wasn't yet at my full figure.
Okay, fast forward a few months to my yearly checkup. Let’s not go into too many embarrassing details, but I’ll just say the blood work, blood pressure and you name it were all over the charts. Off the charts to be more exact. “Yes, continue on bp meds. Only double them,” the doc said.
DOUBLE THEM!?!?!?!?!?!?
Major bummer! And the tests even showed an increase in fasting sugar.  CAN’T BE, NO ONE IN MY FAMILY HAS SUGAR ISSUES.
Until now.
I’ve dabbled in karate my entire adult life, ran soccer games and taught it for 25 years, so always felt pretty decent about the extra 20# I carried, because underneath was a very fit and healthy woman. Always good tests, etc. Very healthy.
Until B-Day. Bad report day. And that did it! Pulled on my running shorts, Dear Lord in Heaven when did they shrink? Oh well, and running shoes and headed for the old high school track behind the house. I wheezed and puffed one lap. Had they lengthened the laps since I’d been there???
Went home, cleared out all the sugar, bought some Stevia and lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of lean meat, nuts and berries.
Now, here’s where the participant normally admits to failing miserably, but I took my own writing advice about perseverance, and refused to put sugar or grains into my mouth. Went back to the track each day. And by the end of the week, the   ¼ mile came easier, so I added another lap. End of the month, cranking out a full mile daily, but feeling lightheaded. What could be wrong? Checked the bp and it was VERY low??? Interesting. Talked to the cardio nurse daughter who said you’d better back off half a dose ‘til you talk to your doc. Later that week, she asked if it was better now and I told her it was. “So stay with half a dose.”
Now I’m cranking out a couple miles a day, sometimes more. Eating very healthy. Mind you, this was all about getting healthy, not particularly weight loss, but EUREKA    ! I’M DOWN TWELVE POUNDS AT THE END OF THE FIRST MONTH.       
Getting a tad lightheaded again, take the bp, whoa. 98/57. You got it. No more blood pressure medicine.
By the next doc visit three months later, I’m down 21#, no bp meds, and ALL OF MY BLOOD WORK IS LIKE A HEALTHY TEEN’S! OH YEAH, GIMME THE HAND SLAP, YIPPEE SKIPPEE.
Do I celebrate with hot fudge sundaes? No, because now I’m happy with the fruits and veggies, the occasional sweet and sour sauce on my chicken. I don’t crave the junk anymore. I have adapted all of my food so that I can enjoy EVERYTHING just converted to healthy.
DO I STILL STRESS EAT? Yes, occasionally, but I eat healthier versions of the killers I once ate. It’s been over a year now, and I’m sticking with it. I’ve lost over 35#. Gone from a tight size 20 to a size 12. My teen size was a 10, so I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I feel fit and happy and full of energy. I like myself again and am still pounding the track! Here, at Christmastime with my family just half a year after starting. Feeling good, healthy, and happy.
There’s no secret formula. Each person’s body is different. But we all know if we consume gigantic amounts of snacks and sugary foods, we’ll gain weight. If we aren’t active, we’ll gain weight. What’s the only answer?
PERSEVERANCE!
And if I can do it at 62 years old after battling weight all my life, then anyone can do it. I promise you, YOU CAN DO IT IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP!
PERSEVERANCE! Ten times over…not just for the writer!

25 comments:

  1. I needed to read this today! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  2. Thanks for this encouraging post, Linda. I'm a yoyo dieter who has twice lost 70 pounds (almost two people)in the past 20 years, but it has come back "with friends" because I wouldn't maintain the weight loss. I have lots of excuses -- stress eating, a terrible car accident that left me unable to exercise, walking even bothers me. I've even tried two Christain based weight loss programs through my church. When I read posts like yours, I'm encouraged and want to try again.

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  3. I applaud your transparency, Linda, and rejoice at your perseverance and your progress. Even with sensible eating and exercise, fighting weight gain as we age is a daily battle. Your words are encouraging. Thanks.

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  4. I'm amazed by how much younger you look. That in itself is motivation for many of us. Plus, you're just living a healthier life. Thanks for encouraging us to persevere.

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  5. You look great, Linda. So happy for you!

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  6. Excellent, inspiring post. Thank you, Linda!

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  7. Am willing to post hideous pics any time it might help someone else. I may even post an exerpt from one of my very first novels to encourage folks in writing as well. Sheesh, I'll really have to think about that one, there are lots of dangling body parts with bodies attaches. (I thought that made it soooo suspenseful) oh well. I'll have to think on that one. :):):)
    So glad to encourage, never give up!!!

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    1. Linda, you posting those dangling body parts just may make us all braver

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    2. Sheesh, I meant...without bodies attached. A hand creeping around a door, etc. You get the picture.

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  8. Such an inspiring post, Linda! Thank for sharing.

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  9. Linda, I love & respect not only your gumption to lose the weight, but your desire to help others by sharing. May you be blessed with continued health.

    I'll Tweet this :)

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  10. I used to be 142 pounds at 5 feet tall in my 40s. I blamed it on Menopause, because I was never heavy in my life. Now, at age 60 (ack!) I have several health issues and at times was debilitated by pain. (I am not happy as a limited kind of gal.) So, for me, it was a blessing to discover, Dr. John McDougall. A doctor who'd had a stroke at age 25! He did intense research and experiments with diet and has helped so many people lose weight, go into remission from chronic arthritis diseases, and even MS. All through diet. BUT...it is not easy at first. It is a total vegan diet without the use of ANY oil as well. But lots of starches allowed and I am never hungry. Even some sugar and wheat is allowed. I am on the eating plan and have 40% less pain than before after three weeks. I am around 110 pounds. I've given up all meat after a colonoscopy last year while viewing my very long intestines and decided that meat didn't belong in there...it sits for days and stagnates before digestion takes place. But, I ate fish, cheese, eggs and lots of olive oil, as well as chips. No more.
    So, Google Dr. John McDougall...he's been doing this for thirty years, so is not a quack. The Starch Solution is his newest book.

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  11. And...congrats on the progress you made, Linda, with YOUR eating plan. Obviously that one works doe you. I was on a similar plan, but it didn't help ease my pain/inflammation, and for some reason the McDougall one does. Like you say, we are all diff. I bet your docs were amazed. :) Right on!!

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    1. You are totally right, Linda. Each individual's body responds differently to diff ways of eating. I'm a firm believe that blood type DOES make a diff as well. I know I'm built more like a guy--HUGE SIGH--short legs, longer torso, muscly thighs and calves. Sheesh! But that is a meat eaters body, and so meat and I are really good friends. I was a vegetarian for a year and while it got rid of PMS headaches, I gained weight like crazy and didn't particularly feel all that well. So after 63 years, I've started to eat more like the hunter/gatherer, lots of fresh veggies and fruits, and meat. I also eat tons of beans, dairy, etc. And I DO eat a LOT of food, just not sugar and grains. But I've figured out some amazing treats using the stuff I allow myself. Can't give up the goodies, but can make them healthy!!!

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  12. Thank you for such an inspirational post, Linda.

    Kathy

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  13. Trim enough for naked snoopy dancing! Congratulations! So proud of my agent!

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  14. Proud of you. You are now passionate about it. I have lost 30 lbs and kept it off for ten years, and it is amazing how few people want to do what I did. But I am grateful to God for giving me the ability, and that he removed my attachment to food. Very detached am I, and I have actually lost a lot of my former interest in eating, which helps with keeping it off. Slim, and lovin. it.

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  15. Hilarious and awesome post! I'm so proud and inspired by you. Also, you're looking pretty hot in that bottom pic. :-)

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  16. That's so wonderful! There's so much emphasis on size and weight, but I'm so much more impressed with how much ENERGY I have when I'm slimmer.

    Congrats on the healthy changes!

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  17. I'm trying to get healthier and lose weight too. I just started blogging a bit about my journey and goals. I'm a stress eater too but I also take meds and have health problems that contribute to the problem. I'm very inspired by your success and would love any input you might have on my strategies.

    This is my first post about it all on my blog:
    http://margaretmetz.blogspot.com/2013/07/fresh-start.html

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  18. ARGH! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Can you *please* stop doing that and tell me where you're hiding in my house?!

    I have figured out that I'm a stress eater as well. I try so hard not to eat sugary junk food, and whatever I make for dinner is from scratch. I need to add fresh fruits & veggies, with a mighty dose of perseverance, though. My downfalls? Coffee with brown sugar and hubby loves to treat me with...you got it. Food. Vicious cycle.

    But, I will persevere, Linda! I'm so proud of you ~ fantastic job. You put your nose to the grindstone, set a goal, and are achieving it. What a blessing that testimony is to me today.

    By the way, I'm so glad your husband is doing much better. I would be completely lost without mine, and it always touches my heart when I see couples make it through struggles, whether health or otherwise. :)

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  19. Way to go on the weight loss!

    I've been losing weight too--watching my calories and running more. I feel so much better.

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  20. Congrats! You're definitely losing weight the healthy way. :)

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  21. Congratulations on your perseverance. I started a lifestyle change three months ago. I hope I'll be able to report that I'm still doing well after a year has past. Good for you!

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