Lisa Commitment Towards Weight Loss

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I have been struggling with weight loss since I turned 20. As a kid I was chubby, but somehow during my teenage years, my weight stabilized. I could eat whatever I wanted to, but I would never gain weight – and this was despite the fact that I never exercised. I could literally down a whole pizza and an entire litre of Coke every day and still maintain my weight. This was not to last – my bad eating habits and lack of exercise finally began to catch up with me, and I never noticed.

In my mind’s eye, I was still the slim and svelte girl I was at 16. My mom would point out the fact that I was developing spare tires and a muffin top, but in my mirror I could see none of them. Gradually, by the time I turned 23, the waist and cheekbones that I was so proud of completely disappeared – yet I continued to imagine they were still there.

Reality hit me very hard when I took out my prom dress, intending to wear it at my cousin’s wedding. The dress did not fit me – in fact, I noticed with great dismay that it ripped apart at the seams when I tried it on. I looked in the mirror and I noticed with horror all the spare tires and the muffin top my mother had been pointing out to me for years. But that did not motivate me. No, it drove me into depression – and I turned to eating to cope with it. The more I looked in the mirror, the more depressed I would get, the more I would eat and the more weight I would gain.

I stopped hanging out with my friends. It would kill me going to the mall and watch them buy clothes that I would never fit into. I avoided grocery shopping as much as I could – I discovered a delivery service in my area that would deliver my groceries to me for a fee, and I started using them. I had become paranoid to the point that I would always feel as if the other customers in the grocery store were watching my every move, keeping an eye on what items of food I was throwing in my trolley, judging my every move.

 

My final OMG I’m big wake-up call came when I went with my boss on a business trip. As I sat next to him in the car, I tried to buckle up and I found the belt would not go around me. I was stunned – the first thing I did when I returned to my hotel room was to stand on their weighing scale. 290 pounds, it said “Two hundred & Ninety”

I knew I was big, but I was in too deep. I began to think there was no cure for my condition – I simply did not know where to start. The only thing I could think of was to swear myself off carbs completely, and that is exactly what I did. I dropped 50 pounds very easily, but, as I was to learn, that is not a healthy or a sustainable way to lose weight. I began to experience dizzy spells as my body was not getting the calories it needed to function. A visit to the doctor informed me that I was malnourished and I need to “eat more”. I took that as a license to eat willy-nilly back to the pizzas, pastas and other fast food. I gained all the weight back and then some!

The weight was beginning to take its toll on my body. I could not climb the stairs to my apartment, I could not lie down for long hours without my arm getting completely numb, and it was difficult for me to bend down and pick something. I had given up on my weight, but I enrolled in therapy to help my deal with my depression. It was my therapist who informed me that my depression was linked to my weight – and pointed me towards the gym I still train at. I shrieked – I did not have the confidence to step in a gym full of people looking like that! I promised her I would do workout DVDs at home, but she would have nothing of it. I am very grateful to her for putting her foot down and insisting I go to a gym – I did not know how to begin to address my problem and had she not pushed me, I know I never would have had the willpower to even start the DVDs.

My trainer took me in hand, and I have never looked back since. Under his guidance, I learned the principles of clean eating. I learnt that not all carbs are bad for me, and that I should nix the white rice and substitute it with the brown. He taught me the importance of the different food groups, and how to balance my diet with the right amount of proteins, carbs and fats. Yes, fats! Through him I learnt the difference between the good fats found in nuts and oil, and the bad trans-fats that my favorite fast food was so full of. He pointed out to me the effects of all the soda I was drinking, telling me it was not only contributing to my problem, but also pushing me towards diabetes – and it is now thanks to him that I make a conscious decision to drink water instead

Most importantly though, I learnt about how to burn off all the calories I was consuming. I could not manage more than five minutes on the machine at first – and I almost didn’t bother – but he encouraged me to keep at it. Now I jog for half an hour on the treadmill. The weight didn’t come off as easily as it did when I first lost it, which was demoralizing at first, but I learnt that that was the best way to do it. The faster I lost the weight, the quicker I would gain it back, my trainer told me.

I still have 40 pounds to go before I reach my goal weight – but I feel so much better. I have more energy, and a lot more confidence. I know I am still not where I am supposed to be, but I know it will not be long before I get there. I don’t know when I realize it, but I am glad I made this investment in myself. I deserve to look and feel good – so why should I not?