Recently, I have lost thirty pounds. In the past few years, I obviously felt the weight coming on. My clothes didn’t fit, I was tired all the time and I moved slower. I lacked self confidence and became less sociable.
I did try to lose weight. I tried different diets and attempted to exercise with some consistency. However, life’s trials, work, spending a lot of time at the hospital with my daughter, supporting others in various things left little time for me. When I thought about exercising or self care it became less and less of a priority.
Why do we do this to ourselves? I know many of you can relate. Life can throw a whole lot at you. Trust me, I do know and understand.
It is a busy world. We all have families, jobs and various commitments.
I stepped on the scale to face the truth. Ugh… It was a mountain of weight I had allowed to pile on. Busy, depressed, stressed, overwhelmed, lonely and overweight.
Emotions play a huge part in weight gain and weight loss for me. Certain stressors decrease my appetite, others cause me to fill the void with food.
When Emberly my granddaughter died, I couldn’t eat for weeks and initially I lost some weight. But when the shock changed into depression I began to seek comfort in food.
While packing on the pounds a whole lot of other garbage was piling on into my personal life. Similarly to gaining weight, the burdens were getting heavier. I was aware I was carrying the burdens and they were affecting my life but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to tackle them.
There are countless diet and exercise programs out there. I used to be a personal trainer and a spinning instructor. I have completed three full marathons, 3 triathlons and multiple half marathons. So I knew what to do.
Let’s face it we all know what healthy choices are, apples and peanut butter or a bowl of ice cream? But we don’t always make healthy choices.
Sometimes we take the path of least resistance. There wasn’t a whole lot of thought put into a steady workout routine and solid menu planning. I just didn’t have the energy. I was in survival mode.
In October of 2018 I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I started with the keto diet to accelerate the plan. Slowly introduced small amounts of carbohydrates and got moving again.
Layers of fat, began to diminish and during my workouts, the brain fog, depression and anxiety decreased.
I started to feel a little more confident, a little more social, a little lighter.
Ever peel an onion? Layer by layer removing the skin, then you get through those layers and you have the onion. Time to slice and dice. When you cut into the onion your eyes begin to water, It’s pretty potent.
That’s sort of how the last few months have went. I was peeling back the layers of fat. Which were also representative of some of the emotions I had been experiencing. Now I’m at the core. Time to slice and dice, deal with past and present hurts, walls, resentments, patterns, behaviors, reactions, emotions and tears.
If you are fortunate, lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it you may not understand what I am talking about. However, if you have had a troublesome childhood, if you have experienced some true hardship, pain and grief you have likely developed other issues that affect your life, relationships, work and even finances.
It can be overwhelming to stare those troubles down, to face your truths and tackle them. You have to start somewhere.
My techniques may not work for you. Find something that does! You owe it to yourself. Nobody is going to do it for you. In truth, most of us know what to do.
My recent approach is to list some of the things I want to address and prioritize. Then look at the list again. What is the easiest thing to tackle? The one with the fastest solution. Pick that one, tackle it and move on to the next.
I work with patients in the field of occupational therapy. My job is to assist them in becoming as independent as possible given their unique diagnosis. One of the first things we do is break everything down into small manageable tasks. I would often teach and work with patients and ask myself why I wasn’t applying those techniques to my own life? I see how effective it is every single day.
The bottom line is you have to be ready. You have to want to make those changes. I can encourage you, your family can encourage you, but when it comes down to it when staring at that bowl of ice cream the choice is yours to make.
You can choose to stay in your current body and your current state of mind or you can choose to start peeling layers one by one.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you make some mistakes. Learn from them, do better next time.
Schedule self care. Plan your meals. Schedule some journaling time, schedule a counseling appointment, improve and strive for some consistency.
Set some short term, realistic goals. I lost weight one pound at a time and before I knew it, ten, twenty, then finally thirty!
I have been in counseling since September of 2018. I learn coping mechanisms and deal with my personal issues one at a time.
My past and present problems will always be with me. It has shaped who I am today.
I have fears and anxiety, because I don’t like change and the unknown. I lack self esteem at times because someone did and said horrible things to me. I am over protective because I know what some people are capable of. I can be weak and depressed, when chores and responsibilities overwhelm me. I felt embarrassed and ashamed of what I had allowed to happen to me, so I tried to hide.
I am learning to turn those negatives into positives. I have compassion because I have experienced trials. I have empathy for others because I can relate to emotional and physical pain. I have character and integrity because I know how important trust is. I am strong because I have had to work hard and fight for the things I have. I’ve gained confidence because I know what I am capable of when I apply myself.
Depression and anxiety can crush you. Life can crush you. Grief can crush you. We all have choices to make. Some people need a little more time than others. We are all individuals. We all experience things on different levels. It’s important to support one another and attempt to empathize instead of passing judgment.
I have always believed diet and exercise was my remedy for depression and anxiety but I wasn’t always equipped to follow through. Maybe it was excuses, food addiction, lack of motivation or time.
Whatever your burdens are, whatever struggles you face, whatever barriers are in your way I want you to have hope. I want you to believe in yourself. I want us all to be better humans, to be gentle with each other. Life really is short, are you giving it your best? Are you giving your loved ones your best? Be inspired, not tired. Lose the weight!
As always, thanks for reading, be gentle I’m not a professional, just a mom.
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