Saturday, July 26, 2008

Conquering the Weight Loss Woes

In my welcome, I said that I'd be talking about my weight loss woes.

This is very personal for me as I've struggled with my weight pretty much my entire life. Had I known years ago a lot of what I know now, I might be in better shape. But that's water under the bridge.

The reality: I'm 5'2" and as of this morning, I need to lose 77 lbs. to get to my goal weight. Clinical assessments would deem me "obese", which is not a word I ever would associate with myself. I fit well in the back seat of any car. I take up only one seat on an airplane. I can buy clothes on the rack in the Misses department and my two-digit size does not begin with a numeral greater than 1.

Yet I am considered obese.

77 lbs. is a lot of weight to lose. I'm in my mid-forties so I'm not in a good place but I'm not in a very bad one either. I still have the ability to be fairly active and I make the majority of the food decisions for my family.

So what's the problem? In addition to being a middle-aged, overweight wife and mother of four (three living, one deceased):

(1) I am insulin resistant. In fact, I'm pre-diabetic.
I learned this during my third pregnancy. I fought a raging battle with gestational diabetes that had me injecting myself with insulin three times a day to no avail. Insulin resistance makes it difficult to lose weight because the body is not processing insulin, which is needed for proper use of the energy derived from food, correctly. Turns out my family has a history of this, including full-blown diabetes. Would have been nice to know this and understand the potential impact on my life much earlier.

(2) I've never been particularly active.
Back when I was coming up, girls weren't encourated in sports as they are today. (Besides I was busy being The Brain.) Oh, I've had active periods in my life, like when I was 25 and lost 40 lbs. by going to the gym three days a week. I was single, living alone, and working 15 min from home so what better way to spend the evenings? Not so easy to do when one has a family and a 45 min commute, one-way.

(3) I have a love-hate relationship with junk food.
Bypass the ice cream? No problem. I might talk myself out of that piece of cake, those cookies, or other gooey treats. But I struggle with walking past chocolate bars and lose EVERY TIME to the salty, crunchy snacks like potato chips.

These are my greatest challenges.

There's more stuff going on, emotional stuff that I'll deal with at a later point so as not to depress you or myself from the onset.

Now before you offer words of advice, understand that I know EVERYTHING that I should be doing to make a difference in my situation. The key words here are "should be". I find it easy to exercise but not diet, to diet but not exercise, to exercise but not drink enough water...

You get the picture.

My challenge is putting together all of the things I've learned and carrying out a solid, full-throttle attack on my weight problem to conquer it once and for all.

Occasionally, I pull it off. Last year, I lost 17 lbs in about eight weeks. Not bad. Then I rewarded myself by taking a vacation from everything I'd done right, resulting in a net weight gain of 7 lbs.

Do you see the problem?

So I'm trying again to do the things I KNOW work best for me:
  1. Get plenty of sleep.
  2. Drink plenty of water.
  3. Exercise a min of 30 min at least 5 days a week, combining cardio and strength training but focusing on the latter.
  4. Eating reasonable portions of foods that are low on the glycemic index and minimizing or avoiding foods that aren't.
  5. Taking daily vitamins and iron to help my body work most efficiently.
  6. Most importantly, seek God's strength and wisdom, minute by minute if necessary.
What else is there? (I said I know EVERYTHING but I didn't really mean it. Well, I did but not really. If you know of something else, feel free to share.)

Recording my progress (or stumbles) here will help me, and maybe help someone else. So at least once a week, I'll recap how I'm doing. I have no timetable and no goal other than I'd like to lose at least 5 lbs. every month. At that rate, I should be at my goal by October 2009.

Let's pray I begin shrinking in size and gaining in health.

Peace & Blessings,


Chicki said...

That's a reasonable goal. You can do it.

Please pray for me. I am disciplined in every area of my life except for my weight.

Patricia W. said...

Chicki, we'll pray for each other. I know the feeling. I really do. I struggle with it every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. But it's enough to make it difficult to feel victorious in other areas of your life because no matter what you're doing, no matter where you are, your body--and your weight--go with you.