Jun 18, 2013

weighty subject

(this took some courage to put into words all the feels i've got bottled up inside :) )

growing up as an overweight child

with overweight family members

i saw every kind of diet under the sun

from low carb

to vegetable soup diet

to cabbage soup diet

to switching to diet soda

weight watchers

i basically thought going on a diet meant

drinking diet cokes, eating lays baked chips, and snacking on weight watchers approved diet cakes

those were "health" foods.

it wasn't until i was 20

and saw myself eating "health" foods (and lots of alcohol while in college, which didn't help)

and not gaining actual health and packing extra pounds on to a body that was already overweight

that i realized that fad diets aren't an actual diet

and by diet, i mean the definition of -

  1. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
key word - habitual

fad diets are just that - a fad - and not something most people can maintain the rest of their life

it was the summer before my junior year of college

i was at home living with my mom

and for my whole life i watched my mother be on a "diet"

and never actually change her appearance or her attitude

i knew i didn't want that for myself

i would do what came naturally and i would be healthier

i threw my conventional views of diets out the window

and i essentially put myself on one of another kind

i didn't stop eating carbs

i didn't stock up on diet coke

i didn't stock up on slow churned low cal ice cream

i ate lean meats

i ditched the bun or bread and swapped it for a salad - eating my hamburger sans cheese and bun- with a fork and knife

i ate double servings of green beans

i ate double servings of corn - no butter

when my mom said they were going out to eat, i passed and made myself a sandwich at home.

i drank a lot of water

this was my natural instincts of what "healthy" was and is

my body and mind knew instinctively what i should be eating

i knew instinctively that white bread was bad, candy and ice cream are too

i learned to look at an ingredients list and not just calories per serving

and if i was hungry there's no shame in grabbing fruit

my whole developmental years i had learned with my own eyes that if you want to lose the weight you need to drink a shake for breakfast and a shake for lunch and eat peas and chicken for dinner

don't eat too many bananas because they are high in sugar

if you want to lose weight you have to eat miserable foods and it's ok to eat low fat ice cream, no fat cheese, and extra processed fat-free foods

and throughout those years myself and my family never got any healthier.  some of us may have lost a few pounds by following these methods - but we only gained them back.

but here i was at age 20 throwing caution to the wind, doing what felt right - eating a damn banana whenever i wanted

i never knew anyone who got fat eating bananas

i ate deli meats and cheeses on whole wheat bread.  yes, there's more calories in REAL cheese - but it's REAL food and not severely processed until it's labeled "food product"

and you know what

i was losing weight

the weight came off little by little

but i was sustaining this new lifestyle and for once in my life it all clicked.

i've never really told this story, i mean it was obvious that i lost weight

but the actual journey was something i've kept private.

enough years have passed now that i can reflect

and i just feel angry - angry that this "secret" to weight loss isn't really a secret - it's what we know how to do on our own

it's the same anger i get any time i see a weight loss commercial

or new diet product

or fat free foods that look and taste disgusting - that have corn syrup as the first ingredient and a slew of poly something-or-other sounding ingredients

i know what it feels like to feel desperate to want to lose weight

so desperate that all these "quick" fixes seem like the answer

but i've gone through this journey and know that none of those fixes are the true answer

if you want to see true change in yourself you have to go on this journey too

it doesn't happen in 3 weeks. 

it doesn't happen in 3 months

it's not over after 3 years

it's something you will struggle with the rest of your life - and even after conquering it you will be thrown new wrenches in the mix and you will have to adjust

after falling in love with my husband, i got off track

bless his heart, bill loves bad food.

but since i know this weight loss journey inside and out - i'm here to document those same trials and tribulations again

and with my husband's support, we're making the right choices to live a healthy lifestyle


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