I have been fighting flab my entire life. My mother tells me that she had to put me on a diet when I was a baby because I wanted to eat all the time. Taunts of “fatty fatty two-by-four” from neighborhood children caused a lot of heartache along with my desire to be thin. As I grew I lost my baby fat but continued to view myself as being overweight. I was constantly dieting in high school trying to get rid of those unwanted 10 or 20 pounds. Then one of my friends introduced me to bulimia. “It’s great” she said. “You can eat all you want and then just make yourself throw up.”
I tried it and was hooked. My life became a cycle of binging and purging. But even though I was able to maintain my weight I knew that bulimia was wrong and hated the fact that food controlled me. Finally, when I was in college, after much prayer and struggle, I was able to stop the vicious cycle. Having learned about calories in my nutrition classes, I began counting calories to control my weight. I kept a running total of how much I ate each and every day, making sure I didn’t exceed 1200 calories. The problem was that I didn’t always make very good choices about what I ate, despite the fact that I was a nutrition major. My weight was under control but I was not very healthy. Sugar was like a drug to me and I was addicted to it. I chose to eat sugar and carbs instead of protein: junk food instead of fruits and vegetables. And I hardly drank any water! As a result, I had very little energy and needed more sugar along with caffeine just to be able to function. I was again enslaved to a vicious cycle, which continued for decades.
Calorie counting went by the wayside, but the poor choices didn’t, and as a result my weight gradually increased, until one day I realized I was overweight. In my twenties I had weighed in the 120’s, in my thirties my weight was in the 130’s but now in my 40’s my weight was approaching the 150 mark. My clothes were uncomfortable and I knew I had to make a change. I signed up for Healthy Inspirations (now the new well). The combination of a great plan which didn’t involve calorie counting, which limited my sugar intake, increased my protein intake and encouraged me to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water, was perfect for me. I started feeling better immediately. The exercise plan helped even more and the accountability through keeping a food journal kept me honest. Six months later I was 25 pounds lighter and thanks to the maintenance plan I was able to stay at that weight for a long time. But the battle of the bulge continued as I gradually fell back into some old habits.
Then about a year ago, I had major leg surgery which prevented me from exercising for several months. As a result, I quickly gained back the remainder of the 25 pounds I had previously lost, those 25 extra pounds that have haunted me my entire life. For a while I tried to lose it on my own through exercise and dieting, with no results. I was very discouraged, thinking that maybe since I was now in my 50’s I wouldn’t be able to lose the weight like before. Finally, when I got totally fed up with feeling fat and lethargic, I decided to go back to the new well. I’m SO glad I did! In just three months I have lost 15 pounds. My clothes fit better and I feel better than I have in a long time. It’s amazing what a difference 15 pounds can make. It’s also amazing how much more energy I have now that I am eating healthy and drinking more water. Instead of feeling like I am 55 going on 70, I feel like I am 35 again. Life is good.