Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Challenge

I'm participating in the Thankgiving Challenge over at Blog to Lose.

So much has changed since June 21 of this year. I am still a little surprised at my success. I've tried to lose weight many times - succeeded a little here and there. I even lost 60lbs once following an unhealthy, unsustainable diet. Of course I gained it back plus a lot more.

Every New Year, and every other milestone carried with it the "determination" to lose weight. My husband and made many, many promises of starting "Monday" or "after the ice cream is gone". With every other attempt I would have moments of victory and a few pounds lost but then over time the commitment would either dwindle or dissappear outright over some stumbling block. The excuses were like a calendar of obesity:

New Years day - can't start then, we have to finish the leftover Chinese food

Valentines day - we have to have some chocolate

Easter (gotta love mini eggs)

My Birthday


Beach Vacation

Summer, BBQs, etc.

Fall - comfort food, Anniversary Dinner, Fairs and fried dough




This year we tried our usual New Year's Resolution and lost it shortly thereafter. Somewhere between my Birthday in April and our camping trip in June a switch was flipped. There was a new Planet Fitness opening very close to our house. We joined online and picked up our membership packet on opening day - right before we went camping. We came home on Sunday and I think we went food shopping to stock up on healthy food. Monday we changed our diet and hit the gym. I had no reason to believe this time would be any different but here I am 58.8 lbs later and my commitment is just as strong, if not stronger.

What changed?

I now view my obesity and the habits that got me here as an enemy not an old friend. Watching shows like The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian caused me to look at myself more realistically. This allows me to go into things like vacation and even Thankgiving planning to keep my healthy habits intact - not scheming to eat like an obese person and somehow get away with it on weigh in day. That is a huge change. Eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's doesn't seem all that different from doing something inapprpriate with a man who is not my husband. I'd be betraying myself If I let momentary pleasure turn my head from my healthy goals. That's why this has been "easy" this time around. Just like striving to be a loving, attentive, faithful spouse brings the reward of a happy marriage I'm reaping the rewards of my healthy choices:

■I am wearing a size 16 jeans instead of a 24 as I sit here with my laptop on my.... get this.... lap! I actually have a lap for my computer, my Bible or my children. It's amazing.

■I can run and play with my boys, not just watch them from the sidelines feeling exhausted from the effort of normal, every day activities.

■Doing laundry does not make me tired.

■Real food is delicious - I don't need things to be deep fried or drenched in cheese or unidentifiable sauces for them to be decadant and wonderful. I feel like I taste food the way it's supposed to be. I crave real food and I can tell it's for nourishment.

■It's fun to get dressed when I can actually look at my reflection and not see a fat stranger looking back.

■My husband and I enjoy working out together. It's a shared hobby that brings us together in a special way. We know we're doing something great for our family, for our intimacy, for our future and it's wonderful.

■I am no longer a walking testimony to my own gluttony and lack of self control. I still have a way to go but because I know how hard I'm working on it I don't feel ashamed. I find I am more confident and comfortable just being myself.

I think the biggest change is that I've just seen things as they really are. I came to grips with how unhealthy I was and I realized that I didn't want to be in that place for even one more day. I realized that I am the only one who got me here and I'm the only one who can change it. In the past I had the mindset that I knew there would be times I would "cheat" so I couldn't really commit deep down. I laid it out before the Lord and stopped holding on to the possibility of going back. I have made this process a priority and focus. I have the support of my family and that makes a huge difference. Every decision I make is not perfect but each is an individual chioce. I can approach Thanksgiving and Christmas knowing that I can fit special food "treats" in If I'm careful and want to be able to look myself and my family in the eye the next day and be proud of of how I handled it. I may have a little chocolate here and there or maybe 1 eggnog latte while I decorate the tree... but I will not trade my strong , healthy, shrinking body for a whole bag of Lindt truffles while wrapping Christmas gifts or a mountain of crab rangoon on New Year's Eve. Those things were killing me - now why would I want to do that?

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