What to do when you’ve lost your groove
I used to say that I have always been a big girl, because that’s what people have told me my whole life. Now that I really AM a big girl, I can look at pictures of myself from high school and realize that I wasn’t all that big at all. Sure I was a size 13, but my body was evenly distributed and I had a great figure. I wish someone had of told me that then, because maybe if I knew for myself that I wasn’t big then I would have been able to control myself a little bit better. But when you already think you are fat and people like you, why not keep eating? Oh so wrong, the blinders that I’ve worn for so long, sheesh.
Anyways. Last year, a week before Thanksgiving, my mom and I started phase one of the Kevin Trudeau diet. The man is crazy, and we knew this going into it. But phase 1 of his plan is such a great lifestyle change….and in my opinion, that’s the key to getting healthy and staying healthy. By April I had lost 60 lbs of the 120 that I wanted to lose. I was feeling great, water was delicious, my favorite treat was melba toast with organic peanut butter and banana, I looked forward to salad for my lunch and holy crap….I was almost into a size 16 down from a 24!! And then something happened.
I started dating my husband in March. We did great for the first month, and I still lost weight. We encouraged eachother. My now-husband is a big man. When I first met him a year and a half ago, he was 380 lbs and I was 280. Over the course of the time I’ve known him, we seperately got motivated and both lost about 60 lbs. I guess when we started dating though it got easier and easier to eat a burger instead of that delicious salad. Brownies and cookies and ice cream were no longer untouchable. Water turned into Mt. Dew and Starbucks Frappacinos. What was once motivated encouragement to help eachother turned into an encouragement towards the opposite direction. He would get on a kick, and I would blame my cravings on a bad day, or my period, or whatever. I would get on a kick, and he would cockily inform me that he was fine with what he was eating and that I didn’t have to eat any.
I am worried about our health. I haven’t had children yet. What am I going to do after I’m pregnant and have the extra weight to deal with while already having been over weight pre-preggers? My husband is young, and overweight…what am I going to do if he gets diabetes or has a heart attack and leaves me a single mother in 10 years because we couldn’t get this under control? That sounds so extreme, I know. But if we don’t get this under control, that is the future that we are headed towards. And I feel for our kids, because children learn from their parents and if this is all we have to teach them it is just going to be a cycle of obesity contributing to the New America that has somehow developed.
Here is the real problem: I can control his portion sizes and food intake just fine. It’s easy for me to tell him to back away from the chips, don’t eat another brownie, buy water instead of an Amp. I pack his lunch, I typically make dinner, and I can control that just fine (as long as he lets me anyway). It’s me that is out of control. How can I expect him to deny the brownie if I can’t? How can I encourage him when I am just as guilty? And where the heck do I get my motivation to say no? I was doing so good, losing so much weight, getting healthy, had a great outlook on my well-being and where I wanted to be physically and all in a matter of 9 months, I lost it. My husband has maintained his weight, he even still loses weight some weeks. I, however, have gained some pounds back. I can’t get back in the groove for the life of me, and my closet is slowly shrinking.
I know it’s about what I put in my pantry and in my freezer. But fast food is so cheap! I want affordibility and health…not bankruptcy and health, and I’m not sure how to tackle that. I will start cooking my meats and veggies with coconut oil like I did before, or do them on the grill. I will eat apples and grapefruit and watermelon and try and swallow those incredibly dry carrots. I will do turkey burgers over a salad with salsa or balsamic vinegar for dinner. It all sounds so easy when I put my words down on paper. It’s the nights when work went horrible, we have somewhere to be at 7, I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer and Italian Joes down the road is so much easier to order from than make dinner. Unfortunately, we have somewhere to be at 7 a lot.
I need quick, easy, and ideas. Grilled cheese and soup kind of easy, but something not involving cheese and bread. I want this so badly. I want to be healthy, I want to be thin and attractive. Attraction is not a problem between my husband and I, despite size. But I’m sure weight loss can increase that attraction among many other things. Help! Please help me become the woman that I want my future children to love and respect and appreciate, not the mother they resent and regret because they too have become victims of obesity.
Stephanie, I haven’t been in your exact situation, but I totally understand the challenge of trying to stick to a healthy eating plan when life seems hell-bent to make it as hard as possible to do so. I think it does take more effort and planning ahead to eat well, especially when you’re first making changes to your food habits and you’re in that stage of not being totally sure what’s “okay” to eat.
I have a couple suggestions for things that have worked for me personally:
• Weight Watchers. It’s not free, but I really found that the Weight Watchers website was a big help when I was first losing weight. Their formula of calculating “points” for the food you eat is, in my opinion, a very sane approach to eating, and really helped me understand the value of the food that was going in my mouth. It sounds simple — fiber, vegetables, lean proteins = good! Fat, simple carbs = not so good! — but with WW (and their system of earning “activity points” by exercising) I really got it. I started eating a LOT better after doing that program for a couple months, and it became easier and easier to whip up healthy meals without having to put a lot of thought into it.
• Focus on yourself. If your husband’s totally on board with a joint weight loss plan that would be awesome, but if not, turn your attention inward for now and only worry about you. It’s hard enough to stay committed to this effort without taking on the work for another person. I’m guessing that the more you stick to it, the more your husband will want to do so on his own, too.
• Try and be more active. I find it incredibly hard to diet without exercising. Which isn’t to say I find it super easy to exercise, it’s just that if I DO exercise, I have more self-discipline about my eating habits. I’m more likely to want to do what I can to reap the benefits of the (pain in the ass) exercise, you know? I think that once you start moving more often, it all starts falling together in a more positive way: the exercise makes you feel better, you feel more confident, you’re less prone to making bad food choices.
Readers, here’s where I hope you will hit the comments section and hit it hard with some ideas for Stephanie. Different strokes work for different folks, so some varied advice would be great.