Friday, June 22, 2012

In Which I Talk About Weight Loss

Do not worry, dear reader. This post will not be focusing or bemusing on how fat I am. (Well, not really). Instead, it will focus on the hardest thing I've ever done: Weight Loss.

It was the hardest thing I had done. Harder than my Depression. Harder than giving birth (that's a given --giving birth takes 9 months of pregnancy, yes, but actual birth is less than 8 hours in my world). It was hard.

As a teenager I had the metabolism of a teenage boy in puberty. I would put away food like I was a bottomless pit! It --my metabolism --didn't really change until I had a child (go figure). Actually, it didn't change much until after the 3rd child. After a miscarriage back in 2006 (that was hard, too) and just before I conceived #4, I realized things were starting to get out of hand. I needed to change; my body was not the same and I needed to recognize it. My friend and I started running and ran our first 5K, ever! It was pretty awesome. We also joined weight watchers and I managed to lose 15 pounds. But pregnancy appeared and so...

After we moved to California (3 weeks after giving birth to #4), PPD (post partum depression) hit me hard --and Brandon and I both realized, at our biggest (him: 50 pounds over, me: 45 pounds over), that we needed to do something. The stars then aligned:
1. Brandon wanted to lose weight as much as I did, which automatically equated easiness for the both of us. When your spouse refuses to eat healthier, it's nearly impossible to do it yourself. Well, it's possible, it's just that much harder! Before, I was making two meals every night. One for him and the kids, one for me. When HE decided to eat healthy, we just made one meal again. So nice!
2. We lived in glorious California where the weather allowed me to run every single day and we spent massive amounts of time outdoors.
3. Again, living where we did (northern CA, btw), we had access to very healthy food.
4. There was a weight watchers really close to us.

It took 9 months, but we did it. It took writing down everything we ate, attending our WW meetings, giving up foods we had loved, exercising 5 days a week. We lost 92 pounds together. I reached my goal weight just after we moved back here to Provo:

(The day I reached my goal weight and my exercise pants started to fall off of me, and then Brandon and I at my baby brother's wedding in Atlanta in August, 2008)

It was hard. So very, very hard. But I figured I had done the hard part, I could relax a little, right? (insert belly laughter here)

Then I had another baby.

Some of you may remember how after #5 I started to really study and research as to what constituted as health. I devoured the Word of Wisdom and sought out "from the best books" things that could teach me about nutrition. This led me to whole foods/clean eating --and I was able to lose 20 pounds on my own. I also discovered green smoothies and the benefits of a mostly vegan diet. I felt amazing!

But then I got lazy again --as did Brandon --and before I knew it, I had gained that 20 back (plus about 10 more) when I found out I was pregnant with #6.

And now here I am. 45 pounds overweight. Again. Fighting the impulse to diet like crazy (but would probably lose my breast milk, which would be devastating to both #6 AND me) and just not care and give into my Depression (and eat everything in sight). I'm back eating too much meat, too much sugar, too many carbs --I find myself eating to fulfill my emotional needs. I eat when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm angry, when I'm bored. And I'm facing reality: Make changes (permanent, this time!), or get fatter. And sicker.

Why is it so hard? People keep telling me to chill out because I have a nursing infant. But I've been down this road before and I know how to lose weight while nursing an infant. People tell me that it's unrealistic to exercise when I have six kids, but what does that mean?! I will ALWAYS have six kids, whether now or 10 years from now --shouldn't I be teaching them the benefits of exercise? Shouldn't I try to keep myself dying from heart disease so those six kids can HAVE a mother? And honestly, I don't want them to think that eating emotionally is a solution, nor is making excuses as to why one can't exercise.

On Monday I walked 4 miles with #1. The only time I could get out was 8:30PM, right after nursing the baby and FHE because Brandon was home. I had plans to walk 4 miles each day this week. It didn't happen. Either Brandon had a meeting or #1 had something going on or the baby decided to be up all night or, or, or...

My beautiful friend Michon found out about Green Smoothies from this here blog (mine). Since November (?) she has been eating a clean diet faithfully, drinking green smoothies each day. Recently, she decided to do P90X as well, and as she puts it, she has never felt better in her life. I admire her so much and want to find myself in that place again. Yes, I have to remind myself that she has a teenager and not a baby, but how hard is it to whip up a green smoothie, hmmm?

My amazing SIL's run marathons and triathlons and bike. They have always been advocates for vegan-leaning eating, too --and it shows in their healthy bodies. Brandon's side of the family is riddled with self-made athletes.

These people inspire me! But, frankly, (and obviously?) not enough. I have learned that in order to get to the place where weight loss is possible, the following needs to happen:
1. You need to feel beautiful how you look NOW.
2. You need to have the desire to change --not just lose weight, but CHANGE.
3. You need to educate yourself about how to do it long term.
4. You need to do it by first, eating differently and second, exercising daily.
5. You need to do it forever. And ever.

So, where am I in the above requirements? Somewhere before #1 but right in the middle of #2. I feel beautiful, but only as in this awesome body has created six children and my husband thinks I'm gorgeous. But I still feel shame when I go in public. Mostly because I know better. I've advocated for green smoothies and clean eating for so long --I. KNOW. BETTER.

Well, that's the rant for today. Rah, rah.


Amanda D said...

I'm right there with you. And you're friend that commented on FB about this saying that it will get is easier when the kids are older is wrong. If that was the case, I would have no excuse. My youngest is almost 7. My oldest can babysit the other two. And here I sit...having gained back about half of what I lost when I was on WW.

I really want to rejoin, but the funds aren't there. What I don't get is: why can't I do it on my own? I know how to do it! I have all the tools.

I did start Couch to 5k (bought the app for my iPod and everything), and yesterday I went to the store and bought veggies that haven't been in the house for awhile, and spinach for smoothies and I am determined to try harder.

Hang in there, Cheryl! You'll figure out a routine that you will be able to do. Put the baby in a carrier, the toddler in a stroller and leave your oldest in charge of the other three and head out for a half hour. You can do it!

Heather@Women in the Scriptures said...

Best wishes. I love your point about loving your body no matter what, i am learning that again after baby number 3. It is nice to be healthy but even better to have unconditional love for yourself. Good luck, you can do it!

Ruth Hall said...


Nice post,
Weight loss is the very boring and time consuming process, its need patience. I have some tips to lose weight fast.