Monday, August 10, 2009

I Don't Look Like This on the Inside

Isn't this a lovely photo? It was taken at a funeral. That is one of my favorite shirts, too. I always thought it was flattering, until I saw myself wearing it in a picture. I just hate having my picture taken. It shows what I look like on the outside. On the inside, I have a completely different image of myself, and as long as I don't look at pictures, or into a full-length mirror, I feel kind of normal.

I never really had a weight problem when I was younger. I thought I did, because I had more curves than the models in fashion magazines, and I dieted a few times to lose 10 or 15 pounds. Now I would be thrilled to have the curves, instead of the lumps and rolls.

Then I got married when I was 28, and had a baby 10 months later. While I was pregnant, I was always exhausted and craved protein and sugar. I packed on more than 50 pounds. No one could even tell I was pregnant until I was about 7 months along. I just looked fat. After my son was born, I still wore my maternity clothes for a few months because nothing else fit.

I lost almost half the weight just eating more normally and walking. (The grocery store was within walking distance, up a steep hill.) Then about the time my son was a year old, I discovered I was pregnant again. The weight piled back on and the only thing that saved me from going over the 200-pound mark was going into labor. Now I had two beautiful children, both in diapers, and no time to take care of myself. I lost about 15 pounds when my daughter was born, but the rest just stuck, and a few pounds crept back on.

In the past 16 years, I have made various attempts to lose weight, but nothing has worked long term. I've even signed up with Weight Watchers three different times. It's a great program, focusing on nutrition, portion control, exercise, and lifestyle change. I lost around 20 pounds every time, but always ended up dropping out. It's that lifestyle change part that was the deal breaker. I didn't have time to exercise, and I didn't like it anyway, so I didn't make the time. And it's always easier just to fix something I know the kids will eat and not worry about how it will affect my weight. It's always easier to eat whatever is in front of me, or whatever sounds good at the time, and eat and eat and eat. Anything chocolate forces away all thoughts of portion control.

But now health problems (both mine and my husband's) have brought weight loss back into the spotlight. My husband is diabetic and carries about 25 extra pounds right around his waistline, which is the worst kind. He is also developing neuropathy in his feet and ankles. I am pre-diabetic, or insulin resistant. We need to develop some lifestyle changes we can live with, NOW.

My plan at this point is:
1. Drink plenty of water and cut out carbonated beverages of any kind.
2. Incorporate fruits or veggies into every meal.
3. Get some form of exercise six days a week.
4. Write down everything I eat.
5. Blog about the whole process for accountability.

So thanks, Tristi, for starting this blog. I needed this little something extra right now, and all the helpful ideas I can get.


Christine Thackeray said...

Good luck. We sound alot the same.

Tristi Pinkston said...

So glad to have you here, Marta!

Shauna said...

Ah, the ignorance of youth. I miss my curves as well, something I never appreciated until they were long gone. Good luck to both you and your husband!