Have you ever gone to great lengths to lose weight, only to gain it all back again?
The highest weight I remember being is 256 pounds. I only know this because I had to hop (waddle) onto the scale at the doctor’s office. It may have been higher at some point, but the only way I was getting on a scale is if someone made me do it. I was in denial about my weight, my health, and my relationship with food.
Some of my health conditions included:
- Sleep apnea
- Torn meniscus and ACL that eventually required surgery
- Pseudo Tumor Ceribri (double vision that could result in blindness)
- Anxiety treated with prescription medication
In short, I was a hot mess!
I tried EVERYTHING to lose weight:
- Hundreds of dollars on unused gym memberships
- Richard Simmons videos and stretchy bands that I ordered in a moment of desperation from a middle-of-the-night infomercial
- Expensive treadmill that I barely used
- Low fat diets (Susan Powter)
- Low carb diets (Protein Power)
- Point-counting diets
- Calorie-restricting diets
- Time-restricting diets (don’t eat after 8 pm)
- “What Would You Feed Your Baby Diet” (I made this one up myself, years before I was even a mom!)
- Three different food-related 12-step programs
- High doses of anti-anxiety medication
I was desperate. All I wanted was to live in a right-sized body and live my life without the exhausting thoughts that went through my head like:
- You’re fat
- You’re ugly
- Why can’t you just stop eating?
- What is wrong with you?
Each day I would wake up saying this was going to be the day that I would do it! And each day by the time my head hit the pillow I had spent hours on the couch with a bag of popcorn and a box of cookies and wondering how I could justify having more. Again.
I had some success with every diet and every exercise program I tried. The problem was when the diet stopped or I got bored with exercising. When I got close to my goal weight and people started noticing me again, I felt vulnerable and scared and went right back to food to comfort me. Each time I lost weight and returned to food, I ended up bigger and heavier than the last attempt. I started wondering if I could ever figure this thing out, and if I should even try.
Something started clicking for me over 15 years ago and instead of restarting at a new high weight, I was able to catch myself sooner and readjust more quickly so that I could get back on track and become healthier and healthier. There are people that have known me for 15 years and have never seen me overweight. They never knew the pain I endured to be where I am today.
I have learned a lot through the past 23 years on my journey to health. I have realized that until I learned how to deal with my emotions and anxiety in healthy ways, that I will eat my way through everything.
I ate when I was:
- Happy (celebrations, holidays, gatherings)
- Sad (grief, gloomy day)
- Anxious (I felt anxious ALL the time!)
- Angry (mostly at myself)
- Afraid (of failure, of success, of people, places and things)
I ate over EVERYTHING. Holidays, birthdays, celebrations, funerals, parties, alone. I ate a lot all alone. I did a lot of things alone.
Isolation was a key component keeping me miserable. I wanted to hide. I hid behind my clothes, my hair, my work. When I got home it was lights out, curtains drawn and me on the couch with my food. Alone.
I found out that connection is essential for my emotional health. And I started to ask for help. What I got was support and love and a new way to deal with life on life’s terms.
If you can relate to any of what I am saying then I want to help you. I want to help you to connect, and thrive and live an amazing healthy life that is just waiting for you when you are ready to take my hand and begin.