Weight Loss

I’ve decided to talk about my weight loss journey, as it might help someone understand themselves more. I know all bodies are different and every weight loss/gain story is different. I am not encouraging or discouraging anyone from doing what they think is right for their body, but sometimes, it’s nice to hear a success story that is less drastic than most. And I think it’s good for my own sake to write about it, as I’m really happy with what is going on.

As a kid I was not fat. My mom is French, and we learned portion control early on. Also, she cooked dinner for us every night, from scratch. We had processed foods and fast food on special occasions.

I graduated high school in 1993. It was a long time ago, but that’s where it starts for me. I was 5 foot, was on the tennis and swim team in my senior year and weighed 110 pounds. I was in great shape, and didn’t know it, due to low self-esteem.

I left home to come to college and on the way here, gained a few pounds. My parents drove me from San Francisco, to Rockford College in Rockford, IL. We stayed in hotels and motels and ate at restaurants for every meal, as that’s all there was. By the time I got to college, I was probably 115-120 pounds.

I stayed pretty stead in that range for most of my adult life. I got to be probably around 130 by the time I was diagnosed with MS in 2006. I stopped trying to exercise at that time, as it made me too tired. If you know anything about MS and exercises, I don’t want to hear it. I know it already.

Weight stayed steady until I started working at my current job in 2012. They cater lunch, and have a kitchen that is open all the time. And the food is free. Including soda, coffee, chips, cookies, ice cream, and lots and lots of candy, including Peanut M&Ms.

I ate too much once a week at lunch. I know this as I started gaining more weight, and my stomach hurt once a week from eating too much.

Then in 2013, my husband died. I filled the void he left with LEGOs, sex, and food. (All things considered, I could have filled the void with far worse things).

I gained more weight, despite finding out I had Graves Disease (hyperthyroid) which makes people lose weight, due to overactive thyroid.

I went on meds for that and continued to gain weight. I didn’t have a scale for a long time and only found out how much I weighed when I went to the doctor. I tried to ignore the steadily increasing numbers but just didn’t care. Though I started dating in late 2014, I wasn’t taking care of myself as I should have been. I kept eating too much. Peanut M&Ms are soooo easy to eat. They were not my only downfall, but they were my greatest weakness.

This continued until, in 2016, I went to visit my mom. She has a scale. I stepped on it and in horror, got off quickly when I realized it was settling in at 170. (Old scale, analog, not digital.) That’s when I knew I had to do something. I was uncomfortable in my skin and I found out I had high cholesterol. Not too high, but it didn’t need to get any higher. I tried eating less on and off, but didn’t really start anything real until September of 2019. By then, I had gotten down to 157 pounds.

I decided to download a calorie counter to see if that helped. Also, by July of 2019, I was taking off my hyperthyroid meds, as my numbers were nearly normal. My doctor felt they weren’t necessary anymore. I saw her in October and had already started losing weight. She was fine with the amount I was losing as it fit with normal weight loss and not uncontrolled hyperthyroid weight loss.

A few things to note:

  1. I don’t drink soda. I hate most sodas and even the ones I like (Dr. Pepper, Orange Soda) I can’t drink more than a few sips before I’m done. The exception being A&W Cream Soda. Which I get vary occasionally. This meant I didn’t have any “easy” thing to remove from my diet.
  2.  I like food and I’m not willing to cut anything out. Life is too short to eat foods I don’t like.
  3. MS makes it impossible for me to starve myself. My symptoms flare if I get hungry and stay hungry for too long. And fuck that. Not going through that discomfort.

Once I downloaded the app, I realized how little I understood about food portions, but I did the best I could. I also cheated a lot. I didn’t always write down what I ate, as I didn’t want to know the calories. I knew the calories, as I would look them up, but didn’t write them down. What I did was keep it in mind for the end of the day and made sure I didn’t eat more than the allocated calories. Yes, I cheated badly. What it came down to, is the calorie counter helped me to be more aware of how much I was eating, and I therefore ate less. For me, it worked.

In January of 2020, I weighed 148 pounds. I had to know the number, as I was getting an MRI with contrast. I told the tech I lost weight and told him what I weighed. He told me that January of 2019, I was 162 pounds. That made me feel really good.

I continued the course, kept eating better and less (carefully). I was never hungry, because fuck that. Then the pandemic hit. And my job stated we would be working from home. And I stopped eating Peanut M&Ms on a regular basis. I had stopped eating them every day, but I was still consuming a lot of calories because of those yummy suckers.

Now, it’s not that I didn’t have sweets at home. I like to bake things. We often have more than one homemade dessert to eat. I just don’t over indulge.

As of this writing, I am 136 pounds. I’ve lost a good amount of weight. My goal is 130 pounds. I’m not that far away. I have added using my treadmill to my day, and hope that continues to help.

So far, for me, eating less and being more mindful of food intake has helped me a lot. I’m glad to be down to a weight that I’m more comfortable with and hope that I am able to continue eating with forethought, rather than stuffing yummy food into my mouth and overeating.

Almost forgot to mention, I am now 5 feet 1.5 inches, therefore I know it is impossible, impractical, and probably an unhealthy idea to get back down to 110. I’ll be satisfied with 120-130 pounds, but currently aiming for 130 pounds.

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