If there is a safe eating plan out there I’ve done it! I think I should have a plaque on the wall in my office underneath my other certifications that says, “Certified Diet Diva.” Seriously, I’ve done them all in my short 35 years. I have struggled with my weight since the age of 2. I went on all the low fat diets with my mom (who was also very overweight), we did the cabbage soup diet as a family when I was around 10, Atkins when I was 12, Weight Watchers more than a few times, Trim Healthy Mama, Paleo, more recently I’ve dabbled with the Ketogenic Diet. You name it, I’ve tried it! After being on steroids like Prednisone from age 2 to 25 the weight had literally PILED on. I was miserable and sick. Finally, I met with a sweet Naturopath who put me on the right path toward wellness naturally and I lost about 100 lbs in about 3 years. During that time I wasn’t focused on weight loss as much as I was on feeling well. For literally the first time in my life I was able to run! Not just down the street, but miles and miles and miles. Those miles represented freedom. Freedom from all the illness I had carried for so many years. Freedom from all the medicine that had more side effects than benefits. Freedom to be the person that had always felt hidden inside my sickness.
Fast forward to when I was 28 and was carrying my first little girl. The weight just started piling back on! It was insane how fast I was gaining, considering I was throwing up 5 to 7 times or more each day all through my pregnancy. By the time I delivered her I had gained 64 pounds. I came home from the hospital and jumped on the scale expecting to see a dramatic drop only to find that I was still at the same weight I was when I went into the hospital. What was going on!?! I proceeded to gain more weight and I remember the tearful day when I got on the scale, when my baby was 6 weeks old, to find that not only had I not lost weight, I had gained an additional 12 pounds…and I was nursing, folks! It didn’t make sense. Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe my situation. The harder I worked toward weight loss, the more I gained. Oh, I’d lose a few pounds here and there, but the extreme diligence it took to budge that scale was frightening. I’ll never forget getting on the scale after a violent stomach bug that lasted three days to find that I had gained 4 pounds. When I got pregnant 10 months after my oldest was born I was at my highest weight up to that point. Then 8 months after my second baby was born I got pregnant again. So three babies in 3 years and over 100 pounds weight gain!
Why am I telling you all of this? I’m telling you all of this to say, I understand–more than anyone–what it means to STRUGGLE with weight loss. To not feel comfortable in your own skin. To see others loose weight with mediocre effort. To have a super skinny husband who struggles to keep weight ON! In my journey (a journey I’m still on) I have found the following 5 things to be my biggest reasons for why the weight doesn’t come off!
- Underestimating the power of STRESS! – Stress is a HUGE factor in our weight loss struggles. Stress is unavoidable in our day and age! There is little we can do about some of the stressors in life. There are some things we can do to help our bodies respond a little better to those stressors.
- Underestimating the Power of REST – I literally haven’t slept well for the last 8 years! When I lost all that weight years ago, my Naturopath put me on a strict sleeping pattern. I went to bet at 9pm and woke up at 5:30am. I remember being mid conversation with my room mate noticing the clock had reached 9 and I would abruptly say, “Can we pick the up later, I’ve got to go to bed!” Having babies has taken away the power to control my sleep, but I have noticed that when I get sleep, my body rewards me with losses, albeit smaller ones than I would like. Recently I have had to focus a little more on quality of sleep as opposed to quantity. There are lots of ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Underestimating the Power of HORMONES! – I could write a blog all by itself on this one. For women, our hormones are a powerful force! Improperly balanced hormones can lead to a multitude of weight gain woes! Balancing hormones takes TIME! It doesn’t happen overnight!
- Underestimating the Power of SUGAR! – Studies show that sugar is 10 times more addictive than cocaine! Cocaine! WHAT?! We have all done it, we have been following a strict eating plan and then we decide to cheat, “just this once” for a birthday or a party! What happens! The sugar dragon rears its ugly head and our cravings take over until we get fed up and start year another diet plan!
- Underestimating the Power of EXPECTATIONS – I am a GOAL setter! I love to set a goal and CRUSH it! Post babies, I’d set goals like, by the baby’s first birthday I will be at my goal weight. I put too much emphasis on the scale, and not enough emphasis on the goal of wellness. When I didn’t see the scale move depression would set in and I wanted to throw my hands up and give in to the food comforts of my past!
Maybe your are struggling like I am with weight loss. It is such a difficult journey in so many ways. If you are interested in learning more about how to balance these areas, call Natural Options to make an appointment. I would love to help you by teaching you some of the things I have been learning as I have researched ways to help the body in these 5 areas. I’m still on my journey and have a lot of weight to lose myself, but I’m committed for the long haul. One day at a time. One hour at a time. To be healthier tomorrow than I am today!
Wishing you, too, a healthier tomorrow!