Chat with Ruthie… My Weight Loss Story (part B)
To start out this post, I’d just like to say that I’ve been very touched by all the kind comments that were left on Chat with Ruthie… My Weight Loss Story, Part A and all the people that have reached out to me through email and Facebook. Thanks to all of you for your love and support. I’ve realized there are a lot of you out there that are like me, dealing with weight issues and I really appreciate knowing that… it means a lot to me. I hope that this post will be beneficial to any that read it.
SO, I’ll pick up where I left off last week in part A . I shared with you how, at my max weight of 235 pounds, I hit a turning point in my life with all those years of weight loss struggles. I knew there had to be a way to have peace with food and end the ongoing mental battle. (I should state that I am not trained in this field and I write from my own experiences.)
I seemed to lose the weight in phases… I gained important knowledge from each phase:
Phase one: In 2000 I came across a book called, “Back to Health” by Dennis Remington and Barbara Swasey- it taught me that while yeast lives in our bodies and is harmless at controlled levels, it can cause all kinds of problems if it gets out of control in the body. While this book takes an extensive approach to regaining health, I definitely had the signs of yeast overgrowth and the idea intrigued me. During this time we’d moved back to Utah and I discovered that Dr. Remington actually practiced in the Provo, UT area. I scheduled an appointment with him and his staff and found his treatment to be helpful. He discovered that I had a hypothyroid problem. Unless you feel like his book really applies to you, I’d say that it’s probably a little more in depth than most people need. It is a good idea to have a check up with your doctor– talk with them about any concerns you have, and stay on top of a yearly exam.
I lost about 30 pounds following Dr. Remington’s program, but one of the important long-term things I learned from him was how important cardiovascular exercise is to the body. In the beginning, I began by walking outside for 10-15 minutes a day, trying to increase my speed as I was able to. Once I could keep a fast paced walk consecutively for 30 minutes, I picked up my knees to a slow jog. As I was able to increase my jogging speed, I found I had a LOVE for running that has led me on paths I NEVER would have thought possible back in those days! AND I take Acidophilus everyday, (religiously) it’s the good bacteria that lives in the gut and keeps yeast in check. I never want to have out-of-control yeast problems again.
Phase two: At the end of 2001 I read another book that taught me a lot about balanced nutrition (balancing carbs and protein with each intake), eating 6 smaller meals a day (as opposed to 3 large ones), as well as the importance of weight training. The book is “Body for Life” by Bill Phillips; it’s presents a fundamental approach to a healthier lifestyle. I’d never really done any weight lifting (except for the one semester in High School when I took weight training with the football team… you can imagine that the only two girls in the class weren’t that dedicated) 🙂
I am by nature a carbo-loving creature, so making sure that I was eating equal carbs to protein was a new concept to me. I still follow that today… for example, if have a banana (or any fruit) I eat it with lowfat cottage cheese. I also learned the importance of eating whole grains and lean proteins. I lost another 25 pounds after incorporating ideas from this book.
This is the only picture I could find of me from this time frame… This was after I had lost 55 pounds! (hope my ex-husband doesn’t mind!)
Even though I was successful in losing all that weight- I lived in fear that it would come back, in spite of all I learned about balanced eating and exercising… I didn’t trust myself!! I didn’t have peace with food in my mind. There were still times those brownies on the counter would haunted me and I fought cravings and couldn’t get over the guilty associations I’d developed due to years of dieting.
Phase three: Now on to the final piece of my weight loss journey…
After having lost 55 pounds I still had about 30-35 lbs that needed to come off… I read an incredible book called, “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This book changed my life. If I were to recommend a book that FOR SURE is a must read, this is the one!
It gave me peace with food, rebuilt my body image, and cleared out all those old dieting cob-webs from my mind. I learned to listen to my body again– to know when I was hungry and how to stop eating when I was satisfied. I also learned to understand what my body needed for fuel; a protein, a whole grain carb, some vegetables, or even, on an occasion, a Dr. Pepper! SERIOUSLY 🙂
It taught me to get back to my roots and trust my body and it’s signals. I learned that sugar is okay (not the enemy) and I can eat it if it’s what my body wants. But, most importantly, I learned to recognize when I’m satisfied. Having no forbidden or “bad” food took away the extreme swings of the “NO sugar” mentality which would always eventually lead to a sugar binge! The most amazing part of all is the freedom from guilt and peace of mind. I learned to trust myself again, to have peace with food, to love my miraculous body, and be grateful everyday that I am able to live the active, healthy kind of life I always wanted.
I can’t tell you how much healthier and happier my 30’s have been compared to my 20’s… AND I expect great things from my 40’s since I’ll be going over that hill very soon! Last summer my son spent a week with my sister, Louise, and apparently they were watching old home movies. He called me and said,”Mom, I was just watching a movie and you looked WAY different!” I laughed when I realized how young he was when I was heavy and that he didn’t remember that I was once really overweight. I’m SO glad that I’ve been able to run, play, and be an active mom to my three kids.
I am forever grateful that my body works the way it does… I wouldn’t change it for the world! Really.
12-3-2013 It’s been a couple of years since I initially wrote this post and over that time I’ve come to realize another important piece to my weight loss story that I feel compelled to share…
I know that god has a plan for us and even though it doesn’t seem like it when we go through hard things like this, he does. I have no idea if y’all are religious but a big part of my weight loss journey involved trusting that my body was capable of being healthy and fit because that is how god intended us to be. We’re here to thrive- to fulfill a purpose and we can do both of those things more fully if our bodies are healthy and fit. It’s a journey that I’m grateful for because it made me a more compassionate and caring person. I know that without going through this and other trials in my life- I would not be the person I am today. I AM grateful for this experience and it’s role in my life. So have faith, and keep that chin up, and know that in time… all the pieces will fit together.