Probably most everyone reading my story will not relate to me. I do not have an overeating problem. I grew up eating healthy food and participating in physical activities that I enjoyed. When I got married at the age of 31, I was a slim 110 lbs.
I naively moved forward into wanting to have a family. I guess I needed some humility. After pregnancy difficulties and failures, I finally was pregnant with my daughter. I soon developed complications, high-risk issues, and forced on bed rest. I ended up delivering my daughter, losing the initial weight and settling into a body 45 pounds heavier than I had started. I was assured that as I continued to nurse, the weight would just drop off. Well, after over two years of nursing, that idea wasn’t working.
After I delivered my son, I settled right back into that same chunky weight. I continued to eat well and exercise, including racking up hundreds and hundreds of miles pushing the kids in a double jogging stroller. I moved into being Mommy, going through the various stages from newborn to infant and toddler and on into elementary years as I dragged around the same excess weight. I then moved into more challenges as my “difficult” second child was diagnosed with autism and then with mental health issues. My “easy” first child also began to need more of my time away from her intense brother and I moved into home schooling her. My life became tending to my children’s needs. More and more, my needs moved to the back burner.
When we moved to Southern Oregon in 2004, my children were 9 and 6. They were too old to be put in the jogging stroller, so I had lost my main form of exercise. Although I joined Club Northwest, I didn’t make it there too often. As life moved forward, my parents, who were now 7 hours away, became needier and needier. Soon it became apparent that I would have to take on more responsibilities as a caregiver. I moved my parents up to Grants Pass in 2007. The care giving responsibilities sometimes became too overwhelming. Typical healthy meals became “healthy convenient meals” with more added fat and sodium than needed. My needs continued to be put farther and farther down the list as I tried to balance everyone else’s needs. My father was moved over to hospice care as he was expected to last only a month. The month expanded to a long nine month vigil. My mother became the yo-yo of health problems being independent one minute and in the ER the next. During this time, my brother died at the age of 56. His life-time of poor nutrition, over eating and a lack of exercise caught up with him. Also, during this time, my son managed to get himself expelled from school… for good. Now a home-schooling plan was needed for him.
Just before my father’s passing, I went to see my nurse practitioner. My chunky body that had baby weight on it now had ballooned to an embarrassing “obese” category of 178 pounds on my petite frame of only 5’3. She matter-of-factly started writing out prescriptions for elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides and high sugar levels and asked me to come back in one month.
I decided that it was now time to take control of my life and to make myself a priority or else I wouldn’t be around to care for anyone else. I chose not to fill the prescriptions, but to seriously “diet” for the first time in my life. I did successfully lose 10 pounds and when I went back to my nurse practitioner she was very impressed. She suggested joining Healthy Inspirations (now the new well) to finish loosing the weight in a healthy way and to get back into a healthy lifestyle. I met with a wellness counselor and immediately signed up for their program. The weight dropped … 165… 155… 145. Then I sat there, but maintained. I felt great, but still wanted to lose more.
As my daughter turned 18 and was heading off to college, I told myself that it was time to finish losing her baby weight. I signed up for The Biggest Winner contest and really tried to stay with the weight loss plan. Maintaining was not the problem for me, it was the mind-set of weight loss. The competition and the team camaraderie really helped. After the end of the 6 weeks, I was 18 pounds lighter and so, so close to my ultimate weight goal.
I let the summer settle in, began to bulk up some areas, tone some others, and tweak the scale a little. I am now just several pounds away from my 100% goal. I’ve lost a total of 48 lbs, 37.5 with the new well.
The new welll is amazing. I completely understand and embrace their healthy life style of nutritious foods, an exercise routine and stress reduction. They helped me with my stumbling block – the weight loss. I feel as healthy now at 54 as I felt in my twenties!