29 October 2012

Pro-active rather than reactive

One of the things I determined was important to my general well-being was that I start being more pro-active about my health. To that end, 18 months ago, I started tracking my food intake. I've been a big girl my entire life, and while I mostly like myself, I do have a lot of fat-shame. More importantly than the fat-shame, I have a child who needs a role model. She's going to be tall, and she's going to be strong and healthy, and I want her to know that healthy and strong are not bad things for a little girl to be, but I also want her to know how to plan a healthy meal, and healthy snacks, and get plenty of exercise because those things will allow her to stay healthy.

So I started to think about my health. I've had arthritis since I was 12. I had gestational diabetes, which puts me at risk for type 2 diabetes. I have a history of cancer and stroke in my family. I needed to take control of my health, and do whatever I could to minimize those risks.

Back to the food tracking. I'd been unsuccessful at weight watchers about a million times. I'd recently gone through a 16 week period where I attended and logged faithfully and lost 3 pounds. Total. I was beginning to think there was something physiologically wrong with me.

One of my girlfriends had been using myfitnesspal.com to track her weight loss journey, and so I thought to myself, "Self, if there is truly something wrong with you, you need evidence. You need to track your intake diligently, so that you can take that data in to the doctor and say 'look, this is what I eat, and I am either gaining or maintaining this unhealthy weight.' You need to have evidence because medicine is about evidence."

I started tracking. I didn't get on a scale for the first two weeks, but I tracked. And one day I noticed my pants were a little bit roomier. So I got on a scale. And I chose that as my starting weight. It has been 16 months since then, and guess what? There's nothing physiologically wrong with me. I have yet to see my doctor to wave my 'evidence' in his face and demand answers.

Because I've lost over 50 pounds.

After about 6 weeks, I realized that weight watchers just wasn't working for me for whatever reason, and that this calorie counting business was. And I went with it. If I'd remained as diligent as I was the first three months, I'd probably be down 80 or 90 pounds by now, but I'm operating on 2 principles: 1) Life is meant to be lived and that means sometimes I have ice cream and 2) if it comes off slowly, it means I am finally changing my eating habits, and I will finally be successful in keeping this weight off, and the yo-yo dieting will end.

So now my goal is to lose another 50 pounds over the next year or so. And then I'll be just a little bit heavier than I was when I graduated from high school 20 years ago. I think I can do it, and I hope I am teaching my daughter determination and strength as well as teaching her how to eat healthy.

P.S. There are 2 posts up at the writing blog (http://superheronightgown.blogspot.ca/)

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