Chat with Ruthie… My Weight Loss Story
Let me just begin by saying that I’m writing this post because several people have asked me to share this part of my life. The NEXT thing is, I feel very vulnerable sharing all this. Even though I really don’t want to write about it, I am–in hopes that maybe someone out there who may have the same struggles will benefit somehow…
Whew, OK… here we go!
I’ve never had the type of metabolism that just “rocks” AND I’ve never been able to eat whatever, whenever, and that sort of thing. To tell you the truth… I always felt a little cheated because my body didn’t work that way. Like all those skinny-minny friends of mine who could eat junk 24-7 and still be skinny minnies! Now, that I’m older and a little wiser I’ve realized that ultimately this fact about my body has worked in my best interest. How, you ask?? I’ve had to really get to know my body and in doing so I’ve learned a lot about health, balanced eating, and exercise habits.
In early elementary school I was a pretty normal-sized kid… until about 3rd grade when I started to put on weight. I remember kids making fun of me at school. I remember being called names and being sad a lot because of what kids said to me. Quite honestly that whole experience has given me so much compassion for people, that I’m really careful about passing judgement– we never know what another person is going through.
The summer before seventh grade I went to my first Weight Watchers class with a neighbor of ours because she was already going and I’m sure my mom had talked to her about it (just speculating). I remember dreading weighing in at the first of each class. I remember one week I’d gained some weight and they asked me what I’d been eating? I replied I’d eaten a lot of grapes that week, which was completely true. I was totally confused when they said that even a lot of grapes could make me gain weight! I mean it’s not like I said I’d eaten 10 cakes in the past week, right?
Needless to say my body continued to be a mystery to me for many years. I had a love-hate relationship with food. Sometimes it haunted me… that pan of brownies on the counter. It would seriously call my name (and I don’t even like brownies)!
The summer before 9th grade I was finally able to lose about 25 pounds by sheer determination. I gave up all sugar and ate only 3 small meals a day. I remember finally being pleased with my school picture and I felt pretty good about myself and the way I looked. From this time forward began a battle in my mind with sugar… I thought the only way for me to stay thin was to never eat it. Removing sugar from my diet was the only way I’d had success in losing weight–so I thought it was the answer; BUT that way of thinking began my extreme swings– I went from totally abstaining to eventually giving in to a binge! AND back AND forth… Along with that pendulum swing came my good and bad association with food.
When I was able to stay completely away from sugar I was being “good” and when I didn’t I was “bad”… needless to say my weight would fluctuate and so would my self esteem accordingly.
I graduated from High School and went off to college where I promptly gained my freshman 15! (pounds, that is) I, once again, went completely off sugar but I’d figured out that probably getting some regular exercise would help too, so I started to do a little running everyday. I lost that weight and probably a little bit more. I remember the day I stood on the scale in my parents bathroom and it said 141 pounds… I’m tall! 5’10” then (I’ve shrunk an inch now) so that’s a pretty slender weight for someone my height.
I met my kids’ dad and even though we were really young, we decided to get married and then about 9 months later I found out I was expecting our first baby. For some strange reason I started into early labor with her at about 6 months along. Lying in bed for 3 months can do quite a number on your body. I remember how taxing it was to go up even a small flight of stairs after not using my muscles for that long. I weighed 197 pounds when I delivered her and I thought the weight would just fall right off. Well… it didn’t, in fact I became really overwhelmed and began to gain even more weight.
This began my years of trying every kind of diet you can imagine… I tried Atkins, and then one that was even more strict where you tested for Ketones in your urine every day, I tried one where you eat all low carb and high protein except for 1 hour a day… when you could eat whatever you wanted (stuff yourself silly, actually.) I tried a totally vegetarian diet, counting calories, joined a gym, health and wellness centers, Weight Watchers (again!), YOU name it and I’ve probably done it. I can’t even remember them all anymore.
AND the frustrating thing was I didn’t have any lasting success with any of them… so, in the year 2000 I hit my max weight of 235 pounds! YEP, you read that right.
I didn’t enjoy being that size and I knew I wanted a better quality of life. It wasn’t easy keeping up with 3 kids and taking care of a home and family at that weight. When I think back to those days… I didn’t have energy or stamina or vitality of life. I really wanted to figure out how to regain my health and live a more balanced life. Like most things are, it was a process. It took me about 4 years to safely, and in a healthy way, lose the weight.
I think I’m going to break this Chat with Ruthie into 2 parts… Let’s consider this part A and I’ll continue next week with part B! SO, I’ll finish up next week and until then… Thanks for chatting 🙂
Here’s a link to My Weight Loss Story part B