I want to be able to snap my fingers and miraculously never want to eat crap food again. But that isn’t going to happen. I want to wish on a star and wake up thin and in shape. But that isn’t going to happen. Why does being healthy have to be so damn hard?
This post has been a long time coming. I’m not sure why I haven’t been able to sit down and get this all out until now. I’m hoping that by sharing my journey, two things will happen.
- Someone will see my story and realize that their journey is much like mine and they are not alone.
- I will realize that I have come so far and that this is not a destination, but a journey that never stops (or at least when it does, that’s it folks!)
My entire life I have been up and down with my weight and never happy with myself. But I reached my peak in December of 2004 about 5 months after my youngest child was born. I weighed about 185 lbs and on a 5 ft frame…that is a lot. I was tired all the time. I had 4 kids and the last two were 16 months apart and I felt miserable. But it wasn’t just the fact that I didn’t look good. I also had a lot of aches and pains. My stomach hurt all the time. I don’t even look happy.
I decided that on 1/1/05, I was going to make a change. These are the before pictures I took:
Those pictures are very difficult for me to look at now. Even though I had just gone through 2 back to back pregnancies, I can’t believe I let myself go to the point of looking like that. But, I won’t dwell on that. There is more to this story. This time it all clicked. I was tracking my points (Weight Watchers), drank 8 glasses of water every day and I was working out. Why does being healthy have to be so damn hard?
The Ups and Downs
By no means was the process easy. I would go down 10 lbs, then go up 5, then go down 20 lbs and go up 10 lbs. After 1.5 years of this I was down to 135 which was a total of 50 pounds gone from my body. But, now I was stuck! I was stuck emotionally and physically and heading up instead of down. But before I get to that, here is where I was at 135:
I felt like a new person. I had a lot of energy. I could keep up with my kids. I didn’t have a lot of aches and pains. My stomach didn’t bother me. I felt strong and even sexy. But, emotionally I was stuck there for quite some time. I did all the things you are “supposed” to do…change your workout routine, lower the calories, add a high calorie day to the week and nothing was happening. I was really ready to just give up after 6 months of being stuck and decide that is where I was going to be forever, even though my goal was still 20 lbs away. Again, why does it have to be so damn hard?
Then I saw a post in a message board for The Biggest Loser Digi Style. I loved watching The Biggest Loser and I loved digiscrappin so it seemed a match made in heaven. I signed up and was part of the yellow team. That turned out to be the best thing I ever did. I met so many wonderful women who are still some of my best friends.
We supported each other, laughed, cried and cheered each other on. And on May 18, 2007, I hit my goal weight of 115. That meant I lost a GRAND total of 70 lbs. I owe a lot of that goal to the support of my friends on the TBL board. First, the pictures:
I felt on top of the world. I couldn’t believe that I had actually accomplished what I had set out to do 2 yrs and 5 months ago. I swore I was never going to gain any of it back again. Shopping was so exciting. I could go into Old Navy, grab a pair of size 4 shorts and they fit so comfortably. I could wear pretty much anything I wanted and I had more energy than I imagined I could ever have. I would get up early to do yoga, eat healthy all day, and workout at night, get 7 hours of sleep and do it again.
But there was one thing wrong…my brain still thought I was fat. I still thought like I was fat. Like at any moment it was all going to be taken away. I still thought everyone was staring at me and looking at my body. I still thought about food 24/7. It haunted me. Why does it have to be so damn hard? I felt like I didn’t deserve this. And then….this happened….
I ended up in the hospital for almost a week with an unknown pain. This began a long journey of tests, doctors appointments, medications, pain killers, surgeries, and disappointments. No one seemed to be able to figure out why I had what appeared to be an appendix pain, but absolutely no sign of anything wrong physically. Several doctors just washed their hands of me and I’m sure they thought I was after the percoset.
At first, I was able to keep my energy and spirits up, but with each test and appointment with no answers, my spirits started to fail me. Finally, I found a doctor who was willing to go in and do exploratory surgery to see if they could find something that didn’t show up on the tests. I need to back up for a second and let you know this was the 3rd round of this same unexplained pain that I’ve had in 3 years. It all started after I had my gall bladder taken out.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty details (that will be a whole other post, or maybe several posts), I had exploratory surgery in July of 2007 and they found nothing. In October of 2007, I had a total hysterectomy and then in December of 2008, I had my appendix taken out. As of now, my pain is pretty minimal and I can control it with diet and medication. It is better than it ever was, but not gone.
The Roller Coaster
But after my surgeries and months of pains, I slid into a slight depression (and menopause now). I was on Zoloft and estrogen to help with the menopause symptoms, but I completely lost the energy to workout, eat right and live a healthy lifestyle. I blamed my surgery and pains. For a while, that was probably true, but I let it go on for much too long.
I slid right back into all my old habits and cycles. I would start each day swearing this was the day I started my healthy journey, only to eat something bad by Noon. Well, since I messed it up already, I might as well just blow the whole rest of the day and start again tomorrow. The saying “there is always tomorrow” is great, but it can be a good excuse too. Then I would feel really guilty about “failing” and eat more. It is the perpetual roller coaster I haven’t been able to get off (and I hate roller coasters). Why does it have to be so damn hard?
This brings me to the now. I have gained 25 lbs. I do not drink enough water. I do not eat healthy foods. I do not workout regularly. I am tired all the time. I am not sleeping well at night. I am short-tempered. I get sick a lot.
I don’t know who that person is and I don’t like looking in the mirror. I feel ashamed, disappointed and angry. But, yet I haven’t been able to do anything about it. I’m not sure what has been stopping me. But one thing I do know is that I can’t let it go on. I worked so hard to lose the 70 lbs and I can not let the pain and surgeries get the best of me. I have to stop using that as an excuse. I’ve wasted enough time and it has to stop.
Today I started counting my points with Weight Watchers again. I am going to start training with EA Sports Active and run in a 5k on October 17 with my kids and friends. I have set a goal of the December 31, 2009 as my deadline. Deadline for what? To evaluate and set a new goal. I need to decide this is my life. This is the way it’s going to be. It will be a struggle every day and I need to live with that. I’m sure it’s like a recovering alcoholic. You don’t ever stop wanting the drink, you just have to say no.
I will share the journey with you all here. The ups and the downs, pictures, videos, scrapbook pages and all. One tool that has helped me a lot is my scrapbooking. I have scrapbooked the entire journey and printed it out into a book which I keep close by. I will continue to do the same. I will not let this get the best of me. I promise!!
So, once again I ask…Why does being healthy have to be so damn hard? This quote sums it up best:
For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.
~ John Burroughs
Are you with me? I know I can not do this alone. Support is the most important part of this journey.