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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weight Struggles

I often wake with nothing in particular on my mind. Thoughts of the day ahead, what is on my plate, what do I need to accomplish and coffee go through my head. I stumble out of our bed and start my day with the scale. I've been trying to lose weight and get healthier for months now. It was February break and I realized I was abusing food far more than my usual. I was in a rut, using sugar for the quick high, but then crashing hard. This just created the vicious cycle of using sugar to get the fix again. The February school break and the Winter as a whole had been especially rough this past year. We had a very brutal Winter here in Upstate New York, it lasted long and it was especially cold and filled with much snow and many blizzards. I've never been much of a Winter lover and often gain weight, but this Winter I really packed on the pounds. My seasonal affective disorder or SAD, has been a problem for me my whole life. There were many changes in our life this past year though and I believe those changes made it worse. Our son moving out to a local college changed the dynamics of our home. I missed his company, I missed his sense of humor and how he supported me in times of struggles with Teale. Beau had become a confidant, a person who lived our life, so he got it and could understand when Teale was unstable and I needed help. With Mark working outside the home, Beau was the person I had counted on for years as a back up. If I couldn't get home on time for Gwenn or Teale's bus, if I was suddenly "in trouble" with Teale in a rage, if Mark and I just needed a few hours out at night with the girls in bed, sound asleep, Beau could often be counted on to help. His not being here meant I was on my own and besides the loss of a helper, I also just missed him. With Mark's Mom's death in December, we were all dealing with our grief differently. There were times there was relief that she was gone from the pain and suffering of her final years, as dementia had progressed and it was difficult to watch her deteriorate. But her warmth in those final years was stronger for me than it had been much of my life as her daughter in law, so I missed her too. It also brought back feelings of my own Mother's passing and the of that loss. It was official, Mark and I were both parentless and worse yet, our children no longer had a Grandparent. I felt sorry for myself, heck I have friends who still have Grandparents themselves. The changes may have exasperated my Winter blues? I wasn't particularly down or anything, but I was eating my way through the Winter. Then like an epiphany, I saw it, I HAD to change. I needed to feel better about myself and I needed to feel better! So the February school vacation was my breaking point. I set a goal for myself that on the Monday after break, when the girls went back to school, I was going to start walking on our treadmill. My goal was 15000 steps a day and my recently purchased FitBit was going to keep me honest. I started that Monday and for weeks I kept my promise to myself. As my husband Mark, practiced sax and his singing at night after putting Teale to bed, I walked, jogged and even ran on our treadmill while watching Netflix on our daughter's iPad. Mark would tell me how proud of me he was and I was encouraged by his support. Months would go by and I was diligent, it helped my mood and the Winter blahs seemed less, but my weight wasn't budging. I had cut back on sugar, I gave up diet drinks and drank more water, a huge step for me, I cut calories and I even tried Weight Watchers again. I tried to eat three meals a day, even though I have hated breakfast my entire life, I listened to much advice from Facebook friends and improved my eating and my nutrition. The weight stayed. I felt better and maybe I built muscle, maybe I toned some, but the weight wasn't budging. IT WAS SO FRUSTRATING! So now when I wake every morning and my first stop is my scale, I am pleasantly pleased with what it says. It took me a long time to finally hit a bigger wall than I had in February. After months of trying to lose the weight with reasonable exercise and diet, in June I decided to take a much more drastic step. I went on a very strict diet/detox and dropped about thirty pounds. I finally feel like myself again and have learned much from my experience. Weight should not define us, a number on a scale should not be a definition of my worth. I know this with my head, but the truth is, I personally feel better about myself when I'm at a reasonable weight. I can fit in clothes more easily, I feel more attractive for my husband and the sense of control and accomplishment lifts me.  It's funny, I have probably gained and lost my body weight by now in my lifetime. I'm a really good dieter, but not so good at maintenance of a healthy weight. I feel like this time is "it" for me though. I feel like this time I will and I can stay at a reasonable weight. I feel like this time I finally know what drives me and why I gain. Weight should not define a person and as a woman who has struggled with this, I hope it is not defining you... 

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