All the hype over the Time magazine cover pic and story “Are you Mom Enough” got me thinking about how many middle age women wake up one day and realize how out of balance their life has become… After years of working, caring for the kids, the house, and everyone else, they see the effects of neglecting their health in order to succeed in all those other areas. But is that really success? There is a price you pay for that un-balanced life. It comes by way of fatigue, frustration, weight gain, aches and pains, and poor health. Women in America often follow a line of thinking that is counter productive to what real success is. First, you think that you have to do it all, and that you have to put everyone else’s needs before your own. That a “good” mother, and wife, sacrifices for the ones they love. I am surprised at how many people actually prioritize around the kids, the house, material possessions, even job advancements over their own health. And before my own Aha moment I did the same thing. The way I see it now, when you prioritize heath and fitness, when you take great care of yourself, then and only then, will you have success in those other areas of your life. The fact is, a strong, healthy, energetic body is the best foundation for which to have true success and happiness in all areas of your life. Getting your fitness back, will have a tremendous impact on those that you wanted to give everything too in the first place. Give then the gift of a healthy, fit YOU. At least that is what worked for me!
When it started: Even as a kid I thought I had to lose weight. As a teenager I was always saw myself as fat, as bigger than my friends. My mother had been severely obese my entire life. She along with the her entire family was always on a diet, tried everything. I can’t even begin to list all of the diets she (they) tried. Including speed in the early 70’s. It never helped her. She would always say “don’t get fat like me.” She was sad, her body hurt, she was diabetic with heart problems. My worry was that I would wind up just like her. I saw myself as fat, from the youngest age, and my self esteem was lost. I started using speed in the 70‘s as a teenager to avoid getting fat. My earliest memory of dieting, I was 11. When I look back at pictures of my self as a teenager, I realize the image I held of myself was so distorted. I was married at 26, had 2 babies in the next 3 years. You can guess, I became obese. I was 200 pounds when I delivered my second baby at 30. I was frustrated with weight loss. I blamed my obesity on genetic, on being pregnant, on stress. But really in my head, It was bound to happen, my mom was fat, and so was I. A few years later I had some personal family tragedy. My brother died, and very shortly after my mother died, and then my father. All with in 11 months of each other. I turned to food as comfort during that time, and for several years after, I topped the scale at 220. I was 38.
Breaking Point: We’ve all have a breaking point. A time when you come face to face with reality. My middle age spread was out of control. I thought about losing weight every day. Especially at night after my husband and kids were in bed. I would say to myself, tomorrow is the day, I’m going on a diet and I am going to lose weight and get skinny.….. And I would have a farewell bowl of ice cream with cookies and cool whip, peanut butter and what ever else I had. But, by morning the thought of dieting was long gone. The day was ruined, and I would vow, tomorrow…. And the cycle repeated, over and over again. The day after my husbands 40th birthday party, is the day I came face to face with myself. I was swirling in a nightmare. I was out of control. What was my purpose in life? My daughter was now the age I was when I started to become aware of my mothers obesity and dieting obsession. I was going to be 40 in 2 years… I was obese…. I hated the way I looked. I knew my husband loved me, but I was still insecure, and stuffed those feelings. I was tired of pretending that everything was fine, that I was OK with being fat. What a lie that was, and I couldn’t go on lying to myself another minute. I was hurting, crying inside and I was the one doing it to myself.
How I Lost It: I was always looking for the magic pill. 1996 was the year when fen fen came out on the market. It was touted as a miracle weight loss drug and I wanted it. I made an appointment with the “Diet Doc” and got my prescription. I was conflicted. Drugs never helped my mother. And the good Lord knows I had dabbled in the past, and look at where that got me. My brother died of a drug overdose. I kept telling myself I can handle it…… but, I was determined to raise drug free kids, I wanted to be a good example… so how could I use drugs to lose weight? I tried to bury those feelings. Why was it so hard? I couldn’t shake the sick feeling I had, and I couldn’t take the pills either.
That experience stirred my soul. If I was going to be fit, then I was going to be the one to do it. I knew at that moment I had to change myself. I had to stop thinking of all my past attempts and failures. The only way to look was forward. None of the past mattered. What mattered was right now, this moment. Sometimes taking it moment by moment. I remembered a paper I wrote in college about breaking the cycle of child abuse. This was the same thing. I had to break the cycle of obesity. I was programmed to think I was destined to be fat. I began to challenge that thought, and realized there was absolutely no truth to my thinking. I had created my weight problem, and I was the only one who could change it. I woke up on the morning of April 1 1996, I was 38, the number on the scale, 220! I knew what I must do……
Take action: I walked immediately into the kitchen and began to purge all the junk. I didn’t wait for later, or think what a waste. I didn’t need it and neither did my family. I took out the measuring cups, turned on the music and began to dance. It felt amazing, to be taking steps in a new direction. I began to educate myself on all things healthy life style related. And none of it had anything to do with being on a diet. Healthier food choices, portion control, and moving my body every day was going to get me to the body I wanted, the life I wanted. For the first time I believed I could do it. I didn’t think about the big number I had to lose. I thought about today! I remember the day the scale read under 200…… I was doing it! and It felt great! I was on fire and knew deep down in my soul that I was never going back. My confidence began to come back. I was in charge. And you know what? Nothing feels as good as that. I was eating delicious healthy food, and learning to check in with my body. I began to understand the signals my body gave me. I learned to wait before diving in to food, and to stop and check in with my stomach. I began to ask myself “am I really hungry, or am I eating for another reason, bored, sad, mad, happy. I decided if I really want something I can have it. No guilt allowed; if I make a choice that was not the best, I acknowledge it and move on.
At 54, I am now officially middle aged. I am in the absolute best shape of my life. My purpose in life is to help others lose weight and get in great shape. I work out and eat differently now than I did when I first got started. Today I use a combination of programs that are convenient for me. My workouts are priority, because I feel good when I do them, and on days when I miss a workout, I miss it. My food is clean, and Yes I still eat chocolate! There is no one and only way to get fit. It starts with Believe in yourself. Stop waiting for a miracle to show up.
YOU are the miracle! Know that YOU CAN DO IT! Believe that.
I want to help you. Change is hard and it is definitely easier with someone. I’ve been in your shoes and I want to help you be successful, sexy, simply in love with life, and living it to the fullest. The journey is yours, but you don’t have to do it alone……. contact me, I will be your accountability partner.
…And She Never Looked Back!