Saturday, January 22, 2011

Before and After

(c) Summer 2006

It’s been a lazy Saturday morning, and I’ve been reading a few blogs and finding new ones. Quite a few blogs feature women who share stories of their journey from being sick and overweight, to being healthy at a normal weight. I thought it might be good to share my story.

Before: The above picture of me was taken about the time I was at my heaviest. I hate this picture. Even at the time I didn’t like it. I was waiting for my son at his guitar lesson when my parents happened to drive by. Mom wanted a picture to send to a long-lost friend and this is what she took. Bleck…not my best moment.

How S.A.D.

I was raised on pretty much the same diet as the rest of my generation, the S.A.D. or Standard American Diet, also known as the Western Diet. Some of Mom’s favorite meals were hot dogs and chips, spaghetti, tacos, boxed pizza (remember Apian Way?), crumbled hamburger on bread (UCK), and one of my favorites, chicken casserole, which was mostly sea shells and cream of chicken soup. (Notice not a lot of veggies? Mom didn’t like ‘em, except corn or potatoes.)

Eating out was rare in those days but usually consisted of McDonald’s, Burger Chef, Burger King, Chicken Coop, or Dad’s favorite local chili dog place. Fortunately, I was a scrawny kid and this awful diet didn’t affect me too much.

When my first child was almost 2-years-old, I discovered a holistic chiropractor. He was ALL about a whole-foods diet and encouraged me for years to eat vegetables and take walks. His loving encouragement was usually met with, “Yeah, I know” and I’d come home and continue in the S.A.D. ways.

In the fall of 2006, I reached 149 pounds. Not a terrible weight, but it was overweight and the most I ever wanted to weigh. I never saw that number before and I never want to again. And there was no way I was going to allow the scale to say ‘150’.

In November 2006, I began a contest with my friend. In 12 weeks I lost 20 pounds. (I won!) I prayed a lot and made sure anything I ate was OK with God. I stayed away from sugar and soda for the most part. Honestly, I don’t remember what meals consisted of, but I’m sure I was still not getting enough produce. Portion size was probably the biggest factor on that aspect as I made myself aware of how much I was eating.

In February 2007, I got a part time job and gained 10 pounds back in the course of one year. I told myself it was ok because I was still down 10 pounds from my highest point. But I was not happy because I didn’t like the way my clothes fit. Pants that were once baggy became too tight, but I was able to maintain at 139 for quite awhile.

I was still not satisfied.


In April 2009, I began meeting with Doc’s staff health coach, Tina; she was my accountability person. She taught me how to incorporate veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and protein into my diet. She helped me eliminate sugar, dairy, and processed food. I also exchanged the insane amounts of Mountain Dew I was drinking for lots water. (Hey, my gas station filled my 44 ounce cup for 25 cents!)

From April 2009 to November 2009, just seven months, I lost 33 pounds! I felt SO good!

I had energy, my memory got better, I wasn’t sluggish and tired, I didn’t crave sugar or salt, my hormone levels evened out, the aging process slowed, and shopping for new clothes was not only necessary, but FUN.

I don’t have a testimony of being healed from any great sickness like diabetes or blood pressure problems, but I DO have a testimony of feeling great and being a normal weight! And the whole-foods lifestyle I’ve been on for almost 2 years is an easy, sustainable way to eat! And I believe the way God intended for us to eat.

After: My profile picture was taken a couple of months before I reached my goal weight, but I love it so much I continue to use it. (My daughter is an amazing photographer!)

So, there’s the short version!

Note: I know many out there struggle with food issues and weights higher than 150 and wish I wouldn’t complain about having reached it. This is in NO way meant to make you feel bad for the place you are in life, but simply a telling of my story. If there is any way I can support or encourage you, let me know and I would be glad to.

Please find an accountability person because they make all the difference! YOU CAN DO IT!