Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Good day, everyone!  I wanted to share with you my journey to health- where it has been and where it is going.

It all started back in elementary school. Boy, that's sad. I remember waaaay back in first grade, we started learning about healthy snacks. We were taught that any snack that had 5g of fat or less was a good choice. For whatever reason, one day we were all sitting in our 'tables' (group of 4 kids together), talking about how much we weighed. I was the only girl, with 3 boys. One of the boys was tall, one was short, and one was really skinny. It turned out that I weighed more than each of the 3 boys. Being the only girl at the table (mind you, I was only 6 years old thinking these thoughts!... stupid hormones in the meat and milk), I wanted to begin to diet to lose weight.  This is where it all began.

In my family, it was just myself and my sister and of course, I was the... larger... of the two of us. Granted, I was never ''BIG'', but I wasn't small, either. Vacation pictures were the worst- us in our little bathing suits, her legs stretching from here to high heavens, and then there's my sausage-legged self... ugh.  To this day, she has the build of a dancer, I have the build of a German log thrower.

Throughout middle school and high school I 'dieted' (what I thought was dieting?), but by the time I was a senior in high school, I had ballooned up to my highest weight ever- 168 lbs. I was eating fast food every day at lunch time because we could go out and I didn't know any better (as most high school kids do, right?). Boy, if I had known then what I know now... 

When college started, I had a really hard time adjusting. Call it 'home sickness', 'separation anxiety', 'PTSD', whatever you want. I was LITERALLY sick with a cold the ENTIRE first semester (I'm not kidding...), and would only eat canned pears for breakfast and a small salad for lunch and dinner because that's all I could gag down. Needless to say, I lost a lot of weight. 30 lbs to be exact. That was a dark 3 months. Lots of crying. Lots of acne. Lots of OTC cold medicine.

The following semester I began to make friends and settle in some. Over the next 3 years, I gradually gained weight back, and by the time I graduated, I was back up to my heaviest weight of 168 (again...sigh). I had to lose weight, however, because I was engaged to be married and needed to fit into my wedding dress!! Enter crash diet #1. Eating a piece of 'cake' for breakfast, protein bar and fruit for snack, 'cake' for lunch, protein bar and fruit for snack, and 'sensible' dinner. ...o...m...g.  It did work; I went down to 160 or so, but then shot right back up within a couple of years again.

Then I got the scare from the doctor.

I went in for a physical after the wedding because of a doctor switch. They did blood work and it all looked good, except for my sugar level. I was borderline Diabetic. The doctor told me that I had to lose about 30 lbs. before I even THOUGHT about having a baby or I would get Diabetes. WHAT?!?!

Now, I am a very competitive person, and decided that enough was enough. Enter diet #2- Weight Watchers. I competed in a 'Biggest Loser' competition at my work and paid $10 to try to win $100 if I lost the most % of body fat out of everyone that competed. I did the Weight Watchers thing of counting points, fat is the devil, sugar free is king, chemicals chemicals chemicals, and the weight started to come off. I looked GRAY and yucky, but doggone it, that scale was going down! Unfortunately, I didn't win the competition- I lost to 'Paul from Finance' by %0.2. SERIOUSLY?! I was sooooooo close. I made it down to 145 lbs. (which was really 148 lbs.- the last 3 were all water), and felt (and looked) weak and crappy.  Not glowing like I look now-  I looked sick, like something was wrong with me.

Thank goodness for my sister and brother-in-law. They helped me see the light that chemicals were bad, whole food was good, and fat (plant based) is NOT the devil! Enter diet #3- Whole Foods. (sigh of relief)

Brenton and I have been veggies for almost a year now, and I have been able to maintain a weight of 152-154 without any work, for almost 3 years. I would LOVE to be in the 140's again, though. 148 is my ideal weight. According to the BMI calculator, 154 lbs. at 5' 6" is the high end of the normal weight, so ideally I would want to be in the 140's somewhere. I can do it, I can do it. Will you help motivate me?

It's all a mathematical equation. 3500 calories is a pound. If I want to lose a pound a week, I need to have a 500 calorie deficit per day. My BMR, before my regular daily activity, is 1520, and after activity it's 1670. I'm aiming to eat at 1520 and have my deficit be made by my activity (150) and exercise (380).  Calorie King and my heart rate monitor will be my best friends over the next few weeks!!

A pound a week... can I do it??  We'll see.  I haven't tried to lose weight since being veggie, so we'll see how this goes!!!  I'll keep you in the loop, and hopefully this will help those that want to do the same.


MrsKruse said...

Hang in there! I went from 165 (my highest) down to 140 my sophomore year of college on Weight Watchers...then gained 5 lbs back but kept off the rest. Then I went from 145 down to 122 with just smart eating and exercise over the last two years. I think I'm back up to around 125, but I'm more than okay with that.

The danger for me has been that my drop from 145 to 122 has only been two dress sizes. For some reason, I was convinced that I'd be a 2 or 4 by now, and it just hasn't happened. And 120 something is a good solid weight that is easy to maintain, so I'm hesitant to try to lose any more in fear of falling off the wagon and getting up really high in frustration.

Ameena said...

I can't believe you knew about calories, etc. when you were 6! I had no idea what any of that stuff was until I was 23 at the earliest. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this kind of stuff for so long.

I'm glad that you've had a good experience with becoming a vegetarian and I think a pound a week is very doable. Good luck! Can't wait to hear about your progress.

nicole said...

Thank you for your very honest post. I have gone through many of the same struggles as you and can definitely relate.

Ali said...

Thanks for sharing that. I have always struggled with my weight, even when I was thin. It seems like a vicious cycle; when you restrict something from your diet, you lose weight but feel terrible. Eventually you have to add it back and the weight comes back on. So, of course, then you pick a new "diet" and start all over again.
After gaining 100lbs during pregnancy, I thought I would be overweight and miserable forever. I didn't even give it a good try to lose weight because I didn't think I could. But after about 1 year of eating whole foods (real food) I have nearly achieved my goal to lose 100lbs. I feel great, I look great, and I've never been this healthy.
So good luck with your goal! As for me, I have at least 15lbs left. The last 10 are the hardest but I know it's so worth it to just hang in there and do it right. So yeah, good luck and keep us all posted!