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I first met Mira (who's been mentioned in this blog a time or three) at a Weight Watcher's event in January 2013, One Amazing Day, even snapping a pic with her that day for the blog. During the 16 months since it's been great fun watching her, but I'll let her tell her story. Without further delay...Here is the first of two guest posts by Mira, thank you Mira!!
I always felt fat, even when I was a teenager and clearly wasn’t. I was lucky with the metabolism until my thirties and smartly got myself into working out (as little as possible) to maintain my figure for my wedding. I was never able to muster the energy to do any extra, I could maintain my weight, as long as I could work out enough to work out the candy and chips I ate daily. Because I had moved across country to a new city to be with my soon to be husband, I used food to feel less lonely and working out as a social activity.
Then came the babies. Well, first came the attempts to make babies, which morphed into fertility treatments and then a triplet pregnancy followed by a surprise “magic” baby made the easy way. During the hormonal and emotional ups and downs of these few years how do you suppose I comforted myself? Right, food. Day after day of 3 infants crying and me running on no sleep just seemed to feel better with a few chocolate bars thrown in and some pizza after they went to sleep at night. Even though I initially lost weight after each pregnancy I quickly ate it back on just trying to get through the day feeling isolated, overwhelmed and guilty for all the things moms typically feel guilty about.
One day I looked in the mirror at myself, which had become a rare occurrence, and said “there is not one thing redeeming about you, you are so ugly.” Wow. That was a new low. I had never in my life been so down on myself. It still took a few months but the first thing I did was sign up for boot camp (Novato Adventure Boot Camp) and start dragging my butt to workouts weekly, but I really was only making it 2-3 times a week. Nothing really changed.
Just before I turned 40 I decided to join Weight Watchers. I had hit an emotional breakthrough earlier in the month when I realized that motherhood and marriage just was never going to live up to the fantasies I’d created in my head so it was about time I started finding the positive in what I did have. I showed up for my first meeting and was angry. I didn’t belong there, none of those people looked like me, and on top of it all, the leader told me that my “hope” that WW would get my eating under control was not going to work. I needed to stop hoping and DO it.
Well that made me more determined. At the next meeting when I was sitting there angrily feeling deprived and alone in my struggle the leader said something else life changing: “It’s not that you can’t eat what you want, you can! You just have to be ok with the results you’re getting.” That spun my head around. No one was forcing me to eat right or make better choices! I WANTED DIFFERENT RESULTS!
I got it. I got positive. I ate better, small baby steps, better each week, like finding a lower point yogurt or taking the cheese off of my salad. I started attending boot camp more often and actually wearing myself out during the workouts. The pounds came off. Most meetings provided me with nuggets of wisdom I could use in my every day choices. The other WW attendees started looking like friends and became my community of support. With a few of the usual hitches and plateaus I lost 40lbs that first year with baby steps and working out. I lost so much that I now had an apron of skin stretched out by my lovely triplets and refusing to conform to my new smaller size. I decided to get it taken off because my belly didn’t match my image of myself in my mind. I was a young athletic 41 year old and my belly looked like a wrinkled garbage bag. I’m happy with the results but I don’t want you to think it solved all my self image problems. I’m still working on that and pursuing new athletic challenges about which I will write on another post.
|With Michelle at our local 4th of July run last year|
And you should know, I’m not at goal yet, but I go to WW every week without fail. Since my mother passed in February I’ve been eating hamburgers like they could bring her back to life if I just consumed enough of them. I have myself and my soul to still work on but I believe that learning how to make good choices and finding the activities that I could do daily to keep fit changed my life. I feel younger at 45 than I felt at 25 and it was all because I chose to change.