Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Diet Story, short version

One of my earliest memories regarding weight was when i was 11. I had injured my knee in a bicycle wreck and when i was telling my grandmother that it hurt she said it was because i was so fat and heavy, that my knees couldn't handle the strain. Later, as a grown woman, I saw a pic of myself from that time and i was skinny as a rail. I asked my grandmother why she had said that, and she said it was because she was worried I would gain weight in puberty. Her comment was to try to prevent that from happening. (we put the 'fun' in dysfunctional!)
I don't remember being particularly concerned about my weight until after I had my son at 22yo. Up until that point I had a general feeling that I was overweight, but that it wasn't really a problem and it wasn't worth any extra effort. I was about 155 lbs and a sz 10-12 in college, 175 lbs when i had my son.
After I had my son, i made many half-hearted attempts at dieting. My first really serious effort came in 2008, with my enrollment in Jenny Craig. That diet was working, though i see now it wouldn't have lasted long-term because of my mindset and lack of knowledge. That diet was cut short with an emergency hospital stay and diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. I feel the quantity of preservatives in the shelf-stable foods (I took the cheaper route on the Jenny Craig meals) led to the flare that hospitalized me. Needless to say, I did not resume the program when i got home. I promptly gained back the 20+ lbs I had lost.
By 2010 I was weighing around 200 lbs, I had resigned myself to being fat. I made fat jokes about myself, which further degraded my self esteem, not to mention it made people uncomfortable.
My best friend had been dieting in 2010, and perhaps that got me thinking about it. When she moved I was bored and depressed. Maybe for a distraction, or maybe because I was 'on my own' now, but i started seriously considering dieting. I decided I would start the day after my birthday - my own personal 'New Year'. I read all I could in the 3 weeks of waiting. Coincidentally, i got a new phone and discovered apps, and then Fat Secret.
I also decided that since i had always told myself that i shouldn't eat whatever, that while waiting for the start i would all I wanted of anything. The good side of that was that I realized that food didn't make me happy. In fact, I was disgusted with myself. The bad side of the plan was that I gained up to 207, so I had extra to lose. Oh, well!
So, on August 13th (a Friday!), i started my diet. I have counted calories, and unlike with Jenny Craig, I have exercised. My plan was to eat anything i wanted, but in moderation. I learned quickly that some foods aren't worth having because of the deprivation i will face later in the day. Along the same lines, some foods aren't worth the miles I would have to walk to burn the calories.
This has been very rewarding, but ironically i worry all the time that I will gain the weight back. I still think of myself as fat (my mom calls this ghost fat), and I wonder how long that will last.
Since I've almost reached my goal, mt next effort is to figure out how to increase my muscle mass and be really fit, not just smaller.

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