Gonna Make a Change: Guest Post by Mary

Monday, May 31, 2010

The following post was written by my dear friend Mary who is helping me through my adventure in changing my life.  I could not do this without her.  Every week, before my weight loss meeting, I meet with Mary and we talk about our lives and out struggles.  I call it "Tuesdays with Mary."  I asked her to write a guest post for this blog.  THANK YOU MARY!


I'm not certain when I actually got "fat" per say, in my memory it seems like it just sort of happened, one day I was fat. I knew I was fat but I guess I always just thought I wasn't that fat, I thought I was just "chunky... big boned ... flabby? Certainly not obese or anything!" I was terribly blind! Somehow from 1986 to 2005 I became this obese disgusting person, I used to see overweight people and think, "boy, I hope I never get to be like that!" When in reality, I was!

Just after 4th grade my family moved to Kentucky, which I was excited about until I found out that the kids down there already had their clicques and I was not invited, down there the kids were not fun, they were very high strung and I hated it there! I don't know if that influenced my eating habits or if my parent's poor example, both my mother and [especially] my father are quite overweight; either way I got up to 228 pounds by 2006.

Luckily in the summer of 2006 we moved back to Indiana and my aunt, Dawn Ayers, told me and my mom about a program that she recommends to her diabetic patients but that anyone could do it!

So I went to a preliminary meeting and it sounded sketchy like the rest of the weight loss gigs that I'd heard about, they all give stories about how people lost so much weight and they keep it off, blah blah blah, but since my aunt wanted me to I decided to give it a try.

The first week I remember trying to cook brownies and chips and pancakes. It was not working, things didn't taste good, I hated the food and I wanted pizza! I remember crying in my kitchen, my mom looking at me being completely pathetic and she assured me that things would be ok, she was going to help me cook. I got really lucky, having her made things so much easier, she would make me chocolate muffins and banana bread to take to class and work! I could make pizza and bread sticks really well and loved them!

Things started looking up after the first 3 weeks or so! I was losing weight almost every week, when I was good of course(!), and I started measuring my legs, thighs, hips, stomach, boobs, upper arms, neck and head, I made a little chart to keep track of my inches lost! It was the little things like that which I looked forward to that really helped! I didn't really exercise though.

I remember one of the lessons was about things you enjoy that you can use to replace eating, I had recently found someone who was giving ukulele lessons at a bookstore in Noblesville, so I did that! My mom and sister and I started an old timey trio and performed for family! Then I also enjoyed scrapbooking, something to keep my hands busy and out of the pantry! Along with scrapbooking comes photography. I had so many things to do! I found it very helpful to try and distract myself! It's things like that I try to use now when I'm having bad weeks!

It was very difficult, the 20 weeks were very informative but I struggled with consistent record keeping, it seemed like as soon as I would do it for a whole week I'd fall off the wagon and it would take me 2 more weeks to try to get back into the habit! That is the one thing that I believe keeps you from gaining back the weight. I am off MRs (Meal Replacements) now, even though I occasionally have some, but the one thing that stays the same is record keeping, I cannot stress how important it is!

That was another thing that I was afraid of in the beginning, I realized that I enjoyed living in my fantasy world where food has no calories and it doesn't matter what you eat or how much! I discovered a darker, scarier world where your favorite foods have the highest calories which means you shouldn't eat them! The simple life of drive thru dinners and pizza deliveries was history and it was an awfully big change, one that I thought I would miss, and maybe sometimes I do, but in the long run it's really not worth it at all!

After a while I started trying new things, I found a new sense of confidence! I went out and did things on my own, I got a job at a scrapbook store, I was going to school still and looking into clubs, I made a friend or two, I felt so much better! I felt like I was worthy of being seen I think. I bought new clothes, which was a bit frivolous but sometimes you need little rewards!

One of the biggest steps was I started dancing! I had always loved Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and I wanted more than anything to take a ballroom dancing class! But they were so expensive I never had! And besides, who wants to see a whale clomping around the dance floor? But now things were different, I felt so much better about myself and I could say it's exercise! So I found a coupon for 4 free lessons down on Keystone. It was so much fun I absolutely adored ballroom! I didn't have a partner but it didn't seem to matter, I just danced with the instructor! After my free trial was finished I tried to find a cheaper place, but I found it all to be very expensive. Luckily I found a bulletin offering Scottish Highland Dancing near where I lived! I called and signed up! I was the only adult.

I had private lessons for about a month because her other interested students never showed up! I was kind of glad. Later she asked if I would help her with her little kid class in exchange for free lessons! "Absolutely!" It was fun, we met up 30 mins before the kid class and had my lesson then I'd help with her kids! Then the real fun, she asked if I'd do the recital! I'd be the ring leader for the kids! I was so nervous, but I said I would. The outfit was not flattering, but I had to match the kids, the best part was the photo shoot, I felt so cute in my new body! As much as I hated exercising it did help and finding something you enjoy doing helps 100%! It was exercise disguised as fun and dancing! The recital was awesome, such a high, I loved it!

I had also started doing theatre, The Little Mermaid, it started an entirely new life, I suddenly had dozens of friends and a busy schedule and very little time to eat! However we did go out a lot, there was more temptation, but with calorie counting I made it through.

Honestly, I didn't do the final steps the right way, I just started eating regular food when I wanted to, I think if I'd done it right I may have done even better! But I have always calorie counted. And I've yoyo-ed once or twice because of a relationship or two, but recently I got back to my lowest weight of 150, I was 149 for a couple days, but I don't count that!
There is no way I could have done it with out this program, that feeling of despair, of being trapped in a fat body, the vicious cycle of fast food and junk food and laziness and mindless eating is all behind me! I'm no where near perfect, but I have the tools now to keep maintaining and working toward my goal of 140 pounds. This is the best program, it worked for me and many others that I know from class! It works because they give you the lessons and the tools to be successful! It's not a miracle drug or a gimmick, it's simply a lifestyle change! It changed my life! I recently fulfilled a goal I had set for myself back at the beginning of my program 4 years ago, I never ever wore shorts, the last time I could remember wearing shorts was elementary/middle school, I wanted to feel confident enough to wear shorts, and I did just a couple weeks ago I went out in public, to class at IUPUI wearing shorts!

It just gets better from here, and even when we slide a little or step off the narrow path we always have the tools to navigate ourselves back on track!

Weekly Weigh-In and STEPPING IT UP!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Well - I weighed in and was frustrated.  I had a pretty low calorie week - but still only lost .4 pounds.

I had to be honest with myself - I HAVE NOT BEEN DOING ALL I CAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL!!!

So my mantra this week is STEPPING IT UP!

Stay tuned later today - as I have a guest post from my dear friend and inspiration Mary.  Every Tuesday - I meet with Mary for an hour or so before my weight loss meetings.  I call it TUESDAYS WITH MARY.  And I'm considering having her post on here so that all of you can also have a TUESDAY WITH MARY to inspire you!

I hope all of you are doing all you can to be successful!  If not - STEP IT UP!!!

Weekly Weigh-In and Comfort Foods

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Well - I'm getting back on track.

I'm learning so much at my weekly meetings, so many things about myself that I need to focus on (or STOP focusing on) in order to be successful.

I hope to share some of these revelations with you in the coming weeks.

This week - I lost the pound I had gained.  So in all actuality - I haven't really changed weight in the past 2 weeks, but I had not been working very hard either.

I have to learn to find comfort in things BESIDES food when stress gets me down.

One of our assignments was to make a list of all the things we can use for comfort.  Here are some of the things I've come up with:

  • Take a bubble bath
  • Walk the dog or pet the cat
  • Get out of the house and take pictures
  • WRITE (blog) about my feelings
  • Play an ACTIVE game on the Wii
This is just the beginning of the list I will use to get out of my rut of using food as a comfort.  I think it is amazing how everything in our culture (and many cultures) is celebrated with FOOD!  And usually - it isn't healthy food! 

Birthdays - CAKE AND ICE CREAM. 



Reunions - Unhealthy food, usually accompanied by alcohol!


So, as Michael Jackson said [paraphrased]:

I'm starting with the [wo]man in the mirror . . .
I'm starting with ME!

One step at a time.

What other things can you use to celebrate or take comfort in, besides food??  Leave it in the comments!!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

And car problems . . .

And excuses . . .

And emotional eating . . .

But all of these are reasons for not posting last week.  I will definitely update with my weigh-in next Tuesday.  I didn't get to weigh in this week.

I'm trying to come up with some great exercise PLANS. 

The one thing I'm learning about is "negative self-talk" - i.e.  THE VOICES IN MY HEAD!

You know, the ones that say "It's okay, you can just have one.  Oh, one more won't hurt.  Oh, go ahead and eat the whole bag - you deserve it."  Dumb voices.

Or that evil voice that says "you'll never be skinny.  You don't deserve to be healthy.  Just keep eating.  Food is the only thing that makes you feel better anyway."


I am learning to turn those things around.


Stay tuned . . .

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