One of my favorite lines from the 2006 movie Dreamgirls comes from the character Effie White. The former lead singer of the group attempts to make a comeback in her music career after a long hiatus; during an audience at a night club she asks the owner, “Do you know how I blew $100,000 in 3 years? Drinkin’ that’s how!”
I understand that statement all too well. Imagine trying to figure out how you regain over 30 pounds after working extremely hard to lose it? Eatin’! That’s how.
Coming to the realization I have a weight problem was not easy. For most of my teen and adult life I never worried about my weight. I could eat whatever I wanted, however much I desired, and never have to exercise. I never gained a pound. I had 3 children and lost the baby weight usually within 6 weeks postpartum with every one of my children. You can say I was blessed. Maybe I was lucky. Whichever, I was defying gravity and I loved it!
Once I turned 29 I began to notice my clothes did not fit the same. It was summer time so I did not take time to try on a pair of jeans. Several months of sundresses and elastic garments I was deceived into believing I still had my girlish figure. By the time fall rolled around I attempted to put on a pair of jeans with no luck. I try on another, both a dud. I thought maybe it was a mishap with the laundry. (Honestly, I know that wasn’t possible because I always air dry my clothes to prevent them from shrinking). So finding something to wear I made my way to the mall. To my surprise my old size 9 jeans did not fit! By the time I came to grips with the situation I was walking out of the store with a collection of size 13 pants. To my horror, that is he very last size in the junior section! I was losing my youth to the 30s and now this! I may as well had picked a plot and started digging. What would I do if I had to shop in the old lady Misses section of JCPenny!? Being forever young was a myth.
Shocked! Yes, you could say that. I was more or less livid. Why hadn’t anyone told me I was getting big. Why were my mirrors lying to me, making me think I looked the same! Of course it was everyone else fault not all the steaks, cupcakes, potato chips, and Pepsi I was consuming on a regular basis with absolutely no physical activity at all.
The good thing is realizing my 30 birthday was about 8 months a way I committed myself to losing the weight before then. I got a gym membership, and let’s just say I morphed into an entirely different person. I went to the gym 5 days a week twice a day. EVERY WEEK! I would do cardio and weight training in the morning for an hour; followed by another hour in the sauna. In the evenings I would attend a group exercise class: spin, Zumba, cross fit, yoga, Pilates. You would think that I melted away and lost more than 30 pounds, but I couldn’t transform my eating habits. I actually felt entitled to eat the way I wanted to because I worked out. Go figure.
Needless to say I was successful in making a change to my habits to achieve a goal. Yet, I refused to change my lifestyle which is why I was unsuccessful in maintaining the weight loss. Two months after my 30th birthday I relocated to the South. The transition left me to establish a whole new routine. Unfortunately, the gym did not make the cut of daily activities I needed to complete. I did manage to begin rollerskating regularly when I first moved, but with a Waffle House on every corner you can guess that eventually my old habits were back in full force. All eating, no play, no work.
Christmas of 2013, just six months after relocating, I was looking for something to wear for the holiday. I was slightly more prepared this time when I went shopping. I headed for Macy’s because I knew their junior section went to size 17. Despite being back in my size 13′s I figured the snuggness was due to them being packed away. Lo and behold after trying on a couple pairs of jeans, size 15 was the winner! Here we go again. That was four months ago. It took me this long to accept the fact I had not only regained the 30 pounds I lost, but added a few more to the equation.
As I begin the process to lose this weight, I had to evaluate why I regained it in the first place. It all goes back to lifestyle. This time around I intend to make the following changes so that I can lose the weight, and keep it off to maintain a nice size, and live healthier.
1) Set a reasonable workout schedule
2) Get at least 6 hours of sleep every night
3) Find a way to manage stress effectively
4) Change my diet
5) Be flexible
I learned that to successfully lose weight, and manage it you have to make the transition slow. You have to accept were you are presently. Acknowledge that change will not take place overnight. Be committed to the task, and see it through to the end. You have to want it for the right reasons. Looking good in a dress is fine, but to feel good and be healthy is what is important.
I believe that by setting reasonable goals, I can feel good about accomplishing them. Sometimes it is truly mind over matter. For me I have to remain focused on the bigger picture. I always joke that I am going to live to be 120 years old. It’s time I give my body a chance to see even half of those years. I’m ready!