So I’m a few days into week one and I figured I’d write a little about what I’ve (re) learned. See, this actually isn’t the first kick at the weight-loss, fitness can for me. I put on a huge amount of weight during and after pregnancy, and when my son was 10 months old I weighed in at 275 lbs. There are a lot of adjectives I could use to describe that number – embarrassing, disgusting, revolting, humiliating – but to me, the most relevant one is dangerous.
Being severely overweight when you have kids isn’t just irresponsible. It isn’t just selfish. It’s perpetuating a cycle; it’s imposing your own hedonistic tendencies on your offspring; and it increases the likelihood of them losing a parent at too young an age.
Kids see and hear everything we do and say. This became obvious when my son was talking about “healthy choices” for snack time by my third day of healthy eating. No matter what you preach, if you don’t practice it won’t sink in. But if you lead by example, then even a four year old will get on board.
Ok. Off the soapbox. This last few days has been tough, as I’ve essentially gone cold turkey (again) from processed sugar. I’ve also cut about 90% of all processed food period. I am still having the odd diet pop (yes yes evils of artificial sweetener etc etc), and also sugar free syrup in my coffee. But I’m drinking water all day long, instead of coffee or pop all day long – the coffee and pop is now a treat, not a default setting.
Sugar is my biggest enemy. I’m addicted to food the way that some people are addicted to nicotine or heroin. Eating, especially high-sugar, high-fat processed foods, is a dopamine-seeking behaviour for me. Because of this I have a really difficult time with the concept of moderation. Please let me stress: that’s ME. Most people can eat a cookie once in a while and it’s not a big deal. I struggle with both the “one cookie” part and the “once in a while” part. I’m more of a half-a-pie-every-night-after-the-kids-are-in-bed kind of a snacker. And a two-candy-bars-and-a-bag-of-chips-in-the-office-every-day kind of snacker. I have a serious eating problem because I engage in these behaviours even though I know that they are terribly damaging. I had them under control for a long time, and then fell off the wagon in February last year. I put on 37 lbs in less than 11 months. This is not a typical yo-yo diet that we are talking about either; I actually have trouble eating all the food I’m supposed to most days. The problem though is that at the same time I’m thinking I can’t eat one more bite of steamed vegetables or baked chicken breast or oatmeal or poached fish or whatever, I’m also thinking about making those awesome brownies I saw on Facebook today or maybe just whipping up some nachos or a milkshake would sure be awesome right now…
But the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. And there’s something soothing about letting it all hang out. Combined with the fact that social media and blogging are shown to have similar effects on dopamine levels as many other addictive behaviours, and you might understand why I’ve decided to blog about this journey!
Thanks for reading. Official stats will be posted on Sunday!
Disclaimer: I wrote this post on my phone so it’s a little bit stream-of-consciousness; hard to write a coherent post when you can only see five lines at a time!
This blog is modeled after the 40 in 40 column by Terry Farrell, which was published in 2011/2012 by the Daily Herald Tribune in Grande Prairie. One of his columns can be found here.
My goal is to lose 40 lbs (or more!) by my wedding on December 13, 2014. I plan to do this through a combination of healthy eating, increased general activity level (walking to work, etc), and at least 4 actual workouts that combine cardio and strength training per week.
I’m blogging this experience to keep myself accountable, and I hope you’ll all help me! If I’m late posting updates (which will come on Sundays at the very least), please tell me! If you KNOW I ate a Reese’s that week, call me out on it! I need all the help and support I can get.
Looking forward to spending the next 40 weeks with you!