In 2004 my dad was diagnosed with metastasis melanomas in his brain. I cannot put into words how I felt when he was diagnosed. He was sick for 10 months. In those 10 months I gained 17 kgs. My friends from church said they watched me get bigger and bigger every week. I was 31. I was grieving.
2005- We moved again, to a bigger city.
After Dad died, I felt I could begin to move on. My sisters began to gain the weight after he died, that I had while he was deteriorating. I didn't feel that I was eating more, I think my body just shut down working properly in order to keep me functioning on a pseudo normal level. Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was being over 30?
This is the beginning of my weight battle. I was just under 80kgs- 10 more than when I was full term in my 3rd pregnancy.
I gave up.
I watched a season of biggest loser in 2006 and was ashamed of myself when at the finale these people, some of which had been overweight their entire lives, were thinner, lighter, fitter and healthier than me.
I joined the gym again.
I was able to attend two classes that suited my schedule, now working every day for half a day, having three kids in school, and running a house. I enjoyed the weight work. I was always disappointed that I wasn't seeing the results that I had at 22-24 years of age. I worked hard, got fitter, but didn't feel that I was losing any weight. I probably ate more carbs rather than less. I probably just ate more...
There was a massive change in staff at this gym. Within a month about 12 staff left and went to work at a gym that had been closed for a year or so. It was up and running again. The new staff at my gym were very young, not so personable, didn't understand family commitments, didn't chat and were not as confident as the previous staff. Their classes were not as rigorous. The people from my classes also changed gyms.
A new young 20 year old instructor told me that I was expecting too much and that I couldn't expect to ever look the way I did when I was 20. She said that bodies change and me expecting to get back to 50 kgs, was unreasonable. I had feared this already, but accepted it as truth, as much as I didn't want to.
I had months of my annual membership to go and couldn't afford to join another gym simultaneously. I began to feel guilty that I had dogs that I should be walking instead of running on a treadmill.
My gym membership expired, the gym closed down and went into receivership, and I began walking my dogs 4 kms a day.
I began to lose weight!
I got down to 57kgs over 12 months.
I changed jobs. This new job required me to make appointments at different times on different days, giving me little routine. I was not able to have a set time to walk my dogs.
I gained weight.
Over two years I regained all but 5 kgs. I felt I was never going to be able to keep this weight off. I felt that I was destined to be overweight like my parents and my sisters (who were still the same size they were after our dad died).
I hated my body. I felt ugly, frumpy and exactly the person I never thought I would become.
I hated my body, I had no energy. I had trouble driving the car! Getting in and out behind the steering wheel was an effort, I couldn't turn my neck far enough to see out the back window, my clothes were getting tighter and tighter. I was 5"3 and 70+ kgs.
I embarked on a fashionable, fad, mass produced diet of no carbs, no dairy, with a limited food intake. I lost over 20kgs in about 4 months. I was down to 52kgs at my lowest but hovered at 53-54kgs.
I kept it off for 12months!
I went away to visit friends and felt rude not eating anything they served as I lived on salad and steam veggies only.
I ate their food.
I began to think that I could eat normally now. I felt that I finally had my own body back and that it was going to function as it had throughout my youth. I felt that my overweight stint had just been a blip caused by grief for my dad and that it wasn't my destiny.
My husband loves food, junk food, good food, sweet food and any food. My husband is overweight but couldn't care less. His lineage is thick with stories of longevity despite reckless living. Men who have smoked, drank and worked physically since their early teens, live until their 90s. My husband has great confidence in his genes and sees no reason to change his diet or shopping habits.
If food is in front of me, I eat it. I don't buy biscuits, chips, cakes, soft drinks, but if they are there, I will eat them.
Again, I got cocky and thought I could eat what I liked, after all, I do love the taste of food. I felt that after being so strict, I deserved to let my hair down a bit, or a lot!
I rewarded myself for my weight loss by allowing myself treats and snacks and a little more than usual and eating the same sized meals as my family.
I began to gain weight.
I got back up to 70kgs in what seemed like no time at all.
In 2010, I got very very sick with gallstones. while I waited for my appointed surgery, I couldn't eat anything except strawberries, watermelon, lettuce and coffee.
I lost a lot of weight.
I was down again to about 56kgs.
By some miracle, and after about 6 months, I got brave and tried a bit of this and a bit of that, I was able to eat again and I hadn't had my surgery. My gallstones had been located just above the opening leading to my bile duct- had they passed through? Dissolved? I still do not know to this day. I have the x-ray showing their presence but have not had any surgery or any further problems since April the year after diagnosis.
I maintained my weight loss for about 12 months.
Again, my job changed and I was working full time in a position that caused me a lot of stress. I gained 17 kgs between April and December.
Again, I felt that I had failed.
I had disappointed myself and felt I had no control.
BUT....I refused to give up.
In January 2012, I took charge again and derived my own diet of smaller portions, filling my plate with green leafy vegetables, limiting protein intake, few carbs, drinking 3 litres of water per day, no snacking.
I became aware of the Michelle Bridges 12wbt and tried to rally friends to join with me. None were keen. I didn't feel I could do it on my own, I didn't join. Instead, I organised a group of ladies to participate in a weekly walking group. I tried hard to stick to my guns regarding not eating high calorie foods.
I discovered another friend had started the 12wbt and I was envious but at the same time kicking myself for not asking her when I asked all of my other friends to join with me. She just didn't seem the type.
Was I wrong?!?!
She transformed not only her body, but her life and mindset as well. She inspired me. I began getting up at 5.30am and walking my dog.
My 17 year old daughter expressed an interest in joining me, but was keener on 6am than 5.30. We started walking/jogging together daily.
I lost 3 kgs in about 4 weeks. My husband, now working away, was also inspired and began walking as well. I got my first iphone and discovered apps that count calories, apps that count steps, apps that track progress and more. I shared these with my husband who said these apps are just what he needed to get him motivated.
This brings me up to only about 6 weeks ago...it started to get cold, I went away, I got out of the habit of exercising, I ate more liberally than I should, I gained 4 kgs.
I refuse to become a victim to my laziness, to my old habits of rewarding myself with a vanilla slice, chocolate sundae, and those maccas fries. I must not drink more coffee than water, sneak that kit kat or even that extra yoghurt, let alone that whole packet of rice crackers!
Last weekend, I paid my fee and joined 12wbt round 2, 2013.
- I plan to learn discipline, to not give in, to know how much and how often a treat is reasonable and what type of treat is the better option.
- I plan to show that gym instructor (wherever she may be) that I can get back to 50kgs.
- I plan to change my thinking about exercise, that it IS a part of life not just a way to achieve a goal and then to disregard.
- I am not conceited enough anymore to think that when I get my 'body back' it's just going to stay that way without effort.