Friday, February 12, 2010

Love Thyself

Because I believe in brutal honesty (see here September 2009 - Happy Birthday!) I can tell you at my heaviest - when expecting my second child, I tipped the scales at almost 210 pounds.

And I say "almost" because I started blacking out a the Ob/Gyn's each time I stepped on the scales.

Now SBS was indeed on the larger side - dressing out at 9 lbs 4 oz, but the fact remains, roughly 200 lbs stayed with me. And lingered. I completely admit I did not help myself. I gained more weight than I should have after First Born Son and it seemed to snowball into the next pregnancy 3 years later.

I never had a weight problem growing up. If anything - it was the other way around - I was too bloody skinny! I look at photos of myself and wince. Nothing but hip bones, shoulders, looooong hair and even longer legs. I remember laying on my parents' picnic table to suntan (don't like the bugs when laying on the ground and they didn't have a lounger) and getting up to roll over and giving myself Loonie-sized bruises.

I remember the day I hit 150 lbs. I remember think at the ripe old age of 17 that I was going to have to keep an eye on my weight - but I had also just stopped growing - topping out a hair under 5'9. My metabolism was so fast I could eat two bowls of cereal for breakfast. You could literally put your finger in the spaces between my ribs. I was a poster child for malnourishment, although I was eating like crazy.

Then I went to college. My German landlady's diet of a full roast dinner with mashed potatoes and desert for every meal (mmmmmm apple dumplings) helped me top out at 160 lbs. I looked a bit better than the rack of bones I was, but after several months of eating like a ranch hand and I slow started getting pudgy.

It didn't get any better when I joined the work force. Faced with being strapped to a desk, the amount of energy I exerted in no way burned off the amount I was ingesting. I looked good the day I got married but I had eating habits that had me going in a downward spiral.

Fast forward to 2006. My crappy back was not doing well - I had been hospitalized for torn muscles. I was two children later and I wasn't dropping the weight and I finally put 2 and 2 together to realize I wasn't far from a doctor telling me I WOULD HAVE TO STOP EATING.

Now, I am the first one to admit - I. am. stubborn. Not outwardly rude to other people but determined enough about myself that if I say I'm going to do something - well, you can to go the bank with it!

I decided I was going to do something. With my mother in tow, I stopped in at Herbal Magic to discuss what it would take (and how much it would cost) to carve my old body back. After discussion with The Big Guy, we decided that the value of my health, self esteem and my lack of vices such as smoking, drinking and gambling (hmmmm I sound boring!) meant that I SHOULD invest in myself and put down the cash. I stepped on the scale and was ashamed when the counsellor announced I was 192 lbs. My mother was in denial - what could I say - I carried it well.

I didn't want to tell anyone I was on a program for two reasons 1. I didn't need the "sympathy" as I didn't feel I deserved it - "Oh good for you!!!" 2. I didn't want to explain to people if I failed - which was the lesser evil because if you know me - you know that me failing to lose weight would have been a bad scene all around.

Within the first three months, I lost more weight than any other client my home office had ever worked with. Why? Because I followed the program to. the.word. I learned more about eating, and portion sizes and food than I had learned in my previous 34 years. The Big Guy was supportive but hesitant. The wife's new body now needed new clothes - wait a sec - we didn't calculate THAT in our decision! Life became about drinking water (oh, so THAT's what I've been missing!) and standing on a scale - which I ALWAYS hated.

Two years later I was 35 lbs lighter and deemed to be "done" the program. However, for an additional $XXX I could stay on as an affiliate member to check in on my maintenance.

Uh - no - while I appreciated the support and guidance - I felt confident in my progress. And since then - I've had a target weight of 160 lbs. In the winter, I've been a pound or two higher, and in the summer, a pound or two less - but I like how I my close fit and can tell without standing on a scale where I'm at.

It's never been about being "skinny" so much as being "healthy" although beautiful magazines would say I'm straddling the line of "full figured" since I can wear anything from a size 10 to 12.

But four years ago I made a decision that I have benefited from ever since. The back hurts less - I can feel better about myself and enjoy a more varied wardrobe.

So in honor of Valentine's Day - if taking care of yourself isn't the best way to demonstrate Self Love, I don't know what is. (Doesn't hurt that "other" people appreciate it too!)

Happy Valentine's Day!

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