Occupation: Retired Teacher
Sometimes it seems I have been dieting most of my adult life. The reality is I have been! Not in one straight line, but intermittently with many peaks and valleys. A graph of my weight over the years would probably remind one of a bear and bull market.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a weight problem. The interesting thing is that for the most part, I never thought of it as a “problem”. When one grows up above the desired weight for age and height… chubby, it becomes who you are. You either embrace it or let it bring you down with a poor self-image. Consciously or unconsciously, I embraced it as who I was. I was never obese in my own eyes, but always 30-40 pounds above my “ideal” weight. Living most of my adult life in Wisconsin which has more than its fair share of overweight women, I didn’t feel that “big”. While I was moderately active, food, especially sweets, were my rewards for just about anything and everything—a bad day at work, a fight with my spouse, a good golf game, a bad golf game, etc. They were my addiction!
Many people were not aware of my “weight” problem. That is because I was a subtle overweight person. I prided myself on never wearing tight clothes. Sometimes I would try a fad diet to get down not to my desired weight, but to where I had been. Other times, and more likely, I would go out and buy clothes that would fit me and hide my weight. Over the years I had a wardrobe of three different sizes, ladies 14, 16, and 18. When the size 18 would get tight, it would internally sound an alarm and off I went looking for a diet to get back to where I was. And the roller coaster would begin—up and down, up and down. I think I have tried just about every diet there is—the grapefruit diet, the protein diet, counting calories, weight watchers, eating right for your blood type etc. With all, I would lose weight, but just as research on fad diets states, the weight would slowly creep up. A pound here, a pound there, and then I was off and running. Of course I knew the reason was I didn’t change my eating habits and as soon as I returned to my “old” ways I would gain.
It was only when my husband developed heart problems that my eating habits permanently changed. Not by my choice, but in order to keep him healthy, I had to prepare well-balanced low-fat meals in measured portions. Eating out became a once a week event, not every other night. Doing that allowed me to lose weight and remain a fairly steady weight—but still overweight. I convinced myself that where I was at my comfortable normal. I was in a size 14 and that is where I would stay. That is until my husband called me out on the perpetual array of sweets I was consuming. I would willingly pass up a meal to have a great dessert, or two or more. I too was aware that I was eating way too many sweets and decided as a New Year’s resolution to go cold turkey off sweets. Being a strong-willed Irishwoman, I threw away my candy, cakes, cookies (Oreo’s) and just stopped. For about 20 days, I really missed my sweets. (I craved them). But, after that and with the reinforcement of losing weight, my body stopped craving the sweets. It was not easy, but I was duly impressed with the outcome. After about a month, I could look at sweets and be very objective and tell myself I wasn’t interested. I decided not to become fanatical about it and didn’t remove foods with sugar in them from my diet, but I looked for foods very low in sugar. Within 4 months, I lost 25 pounds and went down to a size 8-10.
I now view myself as what I call a “sweetaholic” and realize that I shouldn’t eat the sweets or I will begin the cycle all over again. I have abstained from sweets and usually don’t crave them anymore, but like all “olics” I am always a dessert away from going back. My new skinnier wardrobe is growing. Am I cured forever? I hope so, but evidently not totally since my “fat” clothes are stored in the basement. When I have the courage to donate them to St. Vincent’s, I will know I am cured!
Losing Weight Guest Post: “How’d you do it?”
4 thoughts on “Losing Weight Guest Post: “I was never obese in my own eyes. I was a subtle overweight person.””
Pat – good for you!!! I love your story and how you have changed over the years. I can understand how hard going cold turkey must have been. But the truth has set you free as Jesus said. Knowing and living with the fact that you are a ‘holic’ is liberating. Knowing where the boundary lines are gives you freedom. You look great in that picture and that must be Europe in the background. I bet you had lots of energy to walk all over that city and up the heights!
Thanks Maria, It is liberating to be in control. The picture is Edinburgh, Scotland taken from the castle looking down. Walk, I really walked and enjoyed it. My dog and I walk 2 miles every day, so I was prepared.
That’s so cool that your dog has benefitted from your fitness, too! I love the UK!