My Weight Loss Journey
Monday, April 30, 2012
I separated from my emotionally and mentally abusive ex-husband almost 3 years ago. I had always worked out on and off, usually for a month or so at a time, and would stop when he started complaining about how my working out was inconveniencing him in some way. I would also sneak food when I was with him, as he tried to control every aspect of my life. I'd walk to the store to pick up food for dinner, and also buy a Snickers bar and scarf it down before I got back to the apartment, hoping the sugar rush would make another few hours in his company before sleep tolerable. His idea of a balanced meal was hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. And he deep-fried everything. (Is it any wonder he was on blood pressure medicine at age 26?) He made it seem as though it was impossible to eat a healthy diet, he worked 12 hours a day and didn’t have time, I couldn’t cook (he told me over and over), and healthy food is expensive.
When I finally got away from him (and dropped the first 250 lbs, as I refer to my ex) I weighed about 160 and was a size 10. When I started living on my own and cooking for myself, I was more active, but was also enjoying cooking to please myself, with lots of cheese and pasta, going out to eat with friends I hadn’t been allowed to see while I was married, traveling and eating a lot of fast food. My weight crept up to 165, but I still felt okay with it, even though it was about 15 pounds more than I should weigh, according to my height. I still fit in the clothes I’d been wearing for years, and I was still getting plenty of positive attention from the opposite sex.
When I started dating again, I met someone online, a very nice man, geeky like myself, who lived in Lincoln, NE. I had lived in Northwestern Pennsylvania all my life, an. As much as I loved it and my family, PA was still the site of my failed marriage and the abuse I had taken for so long. The lure of far off places, even a far-off cornfield, was strong. We communicated online for several months. We met in person in Chicago, he visited where I lived, and then I visited there. When I was laid off from the job I had been at for 5 years, I packed my things and moved to Nebraska. I had my own place; we were trying normal dating instead of long distance, before jumping in to living together. After two months of being in the same city, he broke up with me. In hindsight, I can see he was right, we weren’t good together in the long run; we both wanted different things. But at the time, it hurt like hell, and I was only 2 months into a 6 month rental agreement. I had a job in Lincoln, and no job in Pennsylvania, so I stuck it out. But I was panicking when I came home from work at night and had to be alone. I got out of work at 6 PM and never felt like cooking, and why should I when I had Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, all right next to my apartment complex? Some nights I wouldn’t even bother with that, I’d just sit in front of my computer, playing video games and eating my way through a bag of Oreos. I numbed my emotions with lots and lots of food.
I did make some fantastic friends in Lincoln, including a spiritual counselor who taught me a wonderful technique I used to help heal a lot of the emotional wounds my ex-husband left on my psyche. I stopped having panic attacks when I had hours of time by myself to fill. When I came back to Pennsylvania, I moved back to my parent’s house, my childhood home, for a while. I was mentally and emotionally stronger than I’d been in years, but in the worst physical shape of my life. My pants barely fit, and I got winded climbing a single flight of stairs. I weighed in just shy of 170 lbs, and that was standing on the scale naked, first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom, basically, the lightest I would be all day. Any muscle I had developed in the past was gone, my thighs and butt were gigantic and my size 12 pants were leaving red welts around my waist and thighs from cutting into me all day. My Mom was concerned for me, as she had fought a long battle herself to get to a healthy weight and maintain it. She knew that the older you get and the longer you are overweight, the harder it is to lose the weight.
I had heard about SparkPeople from a high school friend who had used it with great success (Thanks Jess!) but wasn’t ready to commit to logging food and all that yet. I found a book called The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (what can I say, the title caught my attention) that I tried for 2 weeks, before getting frustrated. That was my first and last attempt at a gimmick diet. I had done enough reading on SparkPeople at the point to see the wisdom of a balanced diet of carbs, fat and protein. I was ready to see results and do the work. I went from 168 lbs for my first official Spark people weigh-in to 142 over a period of 4 months. I had so much more energy and felt so proud of my accomplishment.
As of my Spark-aversary in February, I was back up to 150 lbs. I became active with Sparkteams and started logging food and workouts again, and I’m back down to 145. The road goes ever, ever on, but I feel like I know where it goes now. Being healthy is not a destination, it’s a journey!
Thanks for sharing mine, Spark Friends!