26 June 2008

New Me

I have struggled with weight gain for many years. I haven't seen hide nor hair of my 'ideal weight' since about age 22 or so. With each year that has passed, I've gotten older, more sedentary, more careless with what I put in my body. The results of this have culminated in a myriad of problems in my life...high blood pressure, low energy, frequent minor illnesses that my body just can't seem to avoid or fight off, not to mention the endless cycle of binge eating, and the complete feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that has come with watching my body turn into something that can only be described as a circus freakshow attraction, and believing that I am too far gone to do anything about it. Looking at pictures of myself, I have cringed inside. I'm fairly certain that the majority of my low self esteem in the last couple of years has been a result of my negative body image issues. Going to the doctor has been torture, because, while she is an excellent doctor with a wonderful bedside manner who is very thorough, she tells the truth...my weight is causing health problems I can no longer ignore. I feel humiliated.

I have struggled with attempts to change my lifestyle in the past - dieting, trying to eat better and excercise more, using weight control products. All those attempts have failed, probably because I truly believed that I couldn't change it, no matter what I did.

Back in April, Angie and I decided to get married. As the excitement began to build, so did the anxiety. It might be a bit selfish and shallow, but I truly don't want to be this heavy when I get married. I know it's a sad reason, but I want to be at a healthy weight, basically so the pictures of our nuptials don't look crappy. Sad, huh?

It might be a sad reason, but it is a POWERFUL motivator. I joined Weight Watchers in May. I go to a meeting every week, plus I use their online tools to track my points and activity.

Then, three weeks later, I joined Curves for Women. I work out at least 3 times a week.

My initial weeks in Weight Watchers were difficult, although the program makes it ridiculously easy to change your lifestyle. I was used to eating enough food at each meal to feed probably 3 people, if they were eating correct portions. Also, I'm addicted to sweet stuff...ice cream, chocolate, whatever it is, I can't get enough. When I started following the points system, and measuring my food for correct portions, I thought I was going to starve. The group leader pointed out that I probably wasn't following the healthy eating guidelines, because if I was, I wouldn't feel hungry. She was right. I've been working really hard at it, and it's getting easier. At first, even though my weekly weigh-in's reflected weight loss, I didn't feel any different. I joined Curves in an effort to increase the efficacy of my new healthy lifestyle (translated - lose weight and look and feel better faster.) It has been 8 weeks since I started. I've lost 12.6 pounds to date, an average of about 1-2 pounds a week, give or take.

A couple weeks ago, I went to Six Flags with a friend, and got some pictures taken. It was the first time in I don't know how long that I didn't want to cry when I saw a picture of myself.

Last week I had a little pulled muscle in my arm, and when flexing it to see exactly where the pain was, I noticed a muscle...I'm gaining muscle definition. I can't even begin to describe how excited I was when I realized this.
Also last week, in what used to be a weekly event and is now a rare treat, Angie & I ordered chinese take out. Being a creature of habit, I always order the sweet & sour chicken with fried rice & an eggroll combo. The difference this time was this...before, I would eat the entire thing without a second thought. This time, I barely got through half of it before I was full, and more importantly - I recognized that I was full - and I stopped eating. Amazing.

This week, I went to put on a pair of my pants just out of the laundry..usually when I put them on they are a bit tight for awhile, but not now. This week, ALL my pants are fitting just a bit more loosely.

Yesterday, a couple of agents in my office gave me positive feedback...telling me they could really see a difference. Few things are more motivating than other people telling you how great you look.

I'm starting to see results, and I feel so good, like I have taken control of my body. I no longer feel helpless, no longer feel hopeless. Plus, now that I'm beginning to see small results, it has motivated me to continue. Suddenly, although it's still a long way off and will require discipline and commitment, my goal of returning to my ideal healthy body weight doesn't seem so out of reach. As long as I remain committed, as long as I maintain these changes in my life, I will get there...and come May of next year, dressing up won't be such an anxiety filled event...

No comments: