Well, it's taken me a long time to write my story.. mainly because I view
success as a finish line, and my journey isn't over. I honestly don't think it
ever will be.
I have struggled with my weight since graduating high school, and even then it
was more of an emotional problem, the way I viewed myself. I never felt pretty
enough, or skinny enough, or good enough at anything. It was then that the
eating disorders and depression first started.
I met my DH 12 years ago, when I was almost 20, married at 21, and had my
first baby 9 months and 4 days after that. Oh the days of your first
pregnancy.. I ate everything and anything and managed to gain almost 50
pounds... puting me at 180+ and thus starting the dieting cycle, the
counselling, and the Prozac.
Jenny Craig worked for a bit, and I was able to lose 30 pounds or so before
getting pregnant with my daughter.
After that pregnancy I did eDiets and starved my way down to 125,
and was not
able to maintain it with a low fat, low calorie diet. It was horrible. I just
could not understand why I couldn't do it. I had no self control.. I would try
to drink one of those mix it yourself froo-froo latte mixes, 1/2 a banana, and
a Harvest Power Bar for Breakfast.. totally healthy by the general population
and eDiet standards. An hour later, I was shaking out of control, and planning
where I was going to drive to for scones, or french fries. I could not figure
why I couldn't make it through ONE day. I started making excuses for myself..
it's ok, you're at goal, you can have treats in moderation... the pounds
started coming back.
Then, pregnancy number 3.. and after that, Weight Watchers, which again, I
could not function on. I was failing and no one understood. I started eating
after everyone went to bed, and hiding wrappers in the garbage.
My 4th was born in April '03, and that May I read South Beach Diet. For the
first time I felt something *click*. SO many of the symptoms mentioned in the
book were things that I experienced. I started the diet almost immediately,
and dropped down to 140 within the first 2 weeks, but that success was short
lived. I was still having horrendous ups and downs and cravings. I'd stay on
track one week, and fall of the next, I seemed ok some days, and not others..
While searching on the web one afternoon for South Beach info, I came across
some menus for low carbing, which led me to a wider search, and brought me
here. Oh the info!!! I read, and read, and read some more. South Beach worked
for me on days that I did not eat certain things, such as low fat yogurts,
legumes, whole grain cereals etc. The days that I ate salads, grilled meats,
and egg beaters, it did. It was not low carb enough, and I have found now,
that that is the main key for me.
I started Atkins on September 11th, 2003 at 146 pounds and reached my goal of
125 by December 5th, 2003 with relative ease. I stayed at 20 net carbs, and
around 1500 calories a day. I could not believe how I felt! I was level for
the first time in almost ten years. No cravings, no mood swings, no obsessing
over food, and mainly, no depression. I have been meds free since.
I continued with my WOE and maintained for a year or so, but
something shifted last fall.. boredom with my food choices maybe? Lack of
progressing through the proper stages? The holidays? Still seeing myself as
overweight in the mirror? My impending trip to Mexico? All of the above? I
started to shift plans, first to CAD, then to a high fat, low protein stint,
which left me losing handfuls of hair and having heart palpitations. I tried
calorie counting. I tried on plan for the week, off for the weekends. Then it
was off for holidays too.. and we all know how we can make anything into a
holiday... Pretty soon I could not control the cravings and blood sugar swings
After my vacation I found it near impossible to get it together and refocus.
We were in the process of building a new home, selling our old one, packing,
and I also watch 3 other children. So much easier to just eat what they are
eating, or what I can order in. I went back to planning everything around
food. Obsessing. Always thinking about my next meal or snack. Feelings of
guilt and frustration. I hate admitting weakness. I fear pity. Outwardly, I
was living the perfect life.. new house, new cars, 4 healthy children,
SAHMommy, vacations and parties.. but on the inside depression was rearing
it's ugly head again and all I could do was hide away and eat.
I tried to find my way back a few times, testing the waters.. failing each
time. But each time I was getting stronger, and learning from my mistakes.
Variety is key. Focusing on everything you CAN have, and not what you can't..
trying new recipes, accepting support and a helping hand when it's offered,
defending my WOE with pride, not with embarrassment, taking it one day at a
time, accepting that I am not perfect, that nothing is.. In the past few weeks
I have realized that the weight loss was only a bonus. It was not the end, or
the prize. Discovering who I am on the inside, and learning what my body needs
to function fully has been what this is all about.
My low carbing journey that started out almost 2 years ago for vanity reasons,
will continue on for health reasons...never-ending and not always easy, but I
WILL do it..