A compilation of the thoughts in my brain, the questions I have and the journey of life. Not meant to educate, but merely to entertain and (hopefully) initiate some good discussion. Comments are welcome...come join the conversation.
Monday, August 9, 2010
The emotional side of weight loss
First the good news: since I had M in 2006, I've lost about 40 pounds. Some of that came off easily, some I really had to fight for. The "bad" news: the last 10-15 are a big fight and that's where I find myself now.
Weight loss has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. It's played a big part in my happiness/unhappiness throughout and it continues to be a measurement of how I feel about myself. I'm working against some pretty dominant genes, but I also know that I haven't always made the best choices for myself and while I'm on the right path (again), I often get annoyed with myself that I wasn't paying attention and let it get this far.
When J and I started dating, I was in pretty good shape. But, as it often goes, I put on a lot of weight the longer we were together (more eating out, more watching movies on the couch etc). When we got engaged in May of 2001, I knew I had to do something so I would be at my "best" for my wedding day. So, I joined WW the first time and with the support of my best friend R, lost almost 30 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. It seemed easier then...my life was totally predictable, I wasn't cooking for anyone but myself and I had a BIG goal...fit into the overpriced (but beautiful) dress. And I did and I LOVED the way I felt. Confident, attractive...like every bride wants to feel.
Then, May of 2003 hits and I have to take a medical leave from work and my life got totally unpredictable. Adding to the stress was the limbo state we found ourselves in terms of where we were going to live. For about 2 months, we weren't sure if we were a. staying in MA, b. moving to Kentucky or c. moving to Germany. When the decision was made to move to Kentucky, it took the stress off but not the weight that I had gained. In 2004, I got pregnant with S and it's been a roller coaster ever since.
But, now, with the help of friends also doing WW and my new found love of running, I have begun anew and am pleased with the results so far. It's definitely harder now..life is slightly less predictable and I'm cooking for three other people, but I feel more in control and able to make choices. I have a great support system of people that I can simply bitch to if I'm hungry and have no more food to eat that day. I have the support of my husband who not only applauds the running, but is happy that I am taking active strides to NOT turn out like my mom has in terms of her health (which is poor, very poor). It's helping our marriage, it's helping my health and best of all, it's helping my mental state. It's showing my girls that a healthy body is a priority.
Getting back to "wedding weight" (although maybe not wedding body since I have had two kids and things have "moved" :-)) is both a physical and mental goal for me. I have friends who say "You look great" or "I can't see that you have to lose weight" and while I am grateful for their compliments, I know that it's all about self-perception. I NEED to get to a place where I can look in the mirror and not see those 40 pounds-which I still do even though they aren't there. I need to get back to a place where I feel confident in my appearance and comfortable in all of my clothes. I need to get back to a place where I can look at someone with my version of an "ideal" body and feel like I've finally made it.
Losing the weight is "easy". It's the mind games that will get you every time.