Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Weight Loss Journey - Part One

When your life feels like it has faded away...it is possible for life to bud again into something beautiful.
~ Coloradolady

To read introduction: Click HERE

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned my new weight loss plan, and after much debate with myself...I have decided to go public with my story, my struggles, and my hope for a better tomorrow....I am sure I will most likely say more than some of my family members might be comfortable with....so please accept my apologies in advance. There is a lot to my story.....so I will update every Sunday and Tuesday.....in doing so, I hope to help someone out there that may be struggling with the same issues and give someone else the hope I did not have.....

I am 48 years old, that may come to a shock to some. You may think I am older than that, but I doubt anyone thinks I am younger....that is OK.....In my younger years, I was thin, with the exception of being pregnant and losing the baby weight, I stayed pretty thin. But like all good things...that too came to an end. In my late 30's I began to put weight on, and would diet, try fad diets, weight watchers...you name it, but after I would lose, it would be back up in no time at all. Now, it is very important that I tell you I am not athletic, and I hate working out, walking, etc. I am so much happier with a book, in front of the computer, or doing non-active activities. Just keep that in mind, and as you can imagine, that is part of the problem.

As I got older, my weight became a problem, and with lack of exercise, it could be nothing but a problem. The reason for this was partly because of the cooking I did at home. Southern cooking to me speaks of "good food" and my family loves to eat like that...Fried anything is better than baked....totally was the way it was no matter it be chicken, fish, squash, pork chops, potatoes...you name it...I'd fry it. I thought (and still do) that was my job as a good mom and wife...to fix good food!

After all, the best cook I have ever known was my grandmother and she cooked foods exactly like the foods I cooked for my family all of these years. Cakes, pies, cookies, pudding...always a homemade dessert went with the good meal. See, that is the types of meals I remembered from my childhood and those are the fondest memories I have are those times and meals at my grandparents house. So why in the world would I not want to repeat that for my own family? Well, I have done that for a very long time without really thinking about how unhealthy the foods really were. Oh, they tasted good, mighty good but from a healthy standpoint..not so much. I am sure this type of cooking is perfectly fine for a special occasion or for every once in a while, not every singe day. I think you get the picture here. Now, throw in a good mix of eating out A LOT the past 10 years...and well...slowly but surely the weight crept up and did not come off. I had no idea how much of an impact the eating out part has on my weight until just recently...more on that later.

Eleven years ago, I went to work for a company and unfortunately most of the hours are night time hours. I have worked nights for the past eleven years. That in and of itself is a stress on your body. I never feel right...always tired, not knowing what meal to eat and when, eating all night at work, eating when I got up during the day, trying to fix a dinner for my family and of course wanting to with eat with them....it was a real problem, and truthfully, it still is.

If someone has never worked at night, they just can not understand how one feels working those hours. I never feel rested, always feel like things are messed up and feel off balanced with the rest of the world. It is an ongoing problem.....the only reason I am bringing this up, is because truthfully, that has been a contributing factor as to where I am today with my weight issues, so I feel I needed to mention that. Never getting adequate rest and stress really does play a role in one's overall well being.

I have been married almost 24 years. If you think working nights when your spouse works days has not been stressful, think again. It is. No matter how much they try to understand, they really do not. After all, I am the one home during the day, therefore, I can run errands, make phone calls, etc.....it has gotten better, but seriously, it is hard to get into some one's head that my night time is their day time, and how exactly would you handle getting up in the middle of the night to run to a Dr. appointment or run errands, then go back to bed and get up in a couple of hours and go to work....I am not blaming my spouse, but it is hard, and like I said things have gotten better, but it has been a struggle.

Off days are even a challenge, I am used to being up all night, and well.....I am supposed to go to bed like normal people on my off nights, not be tired, not have a headache, in the mood, blah, blah, blah....and truth be told, it is not like that. I never feel good, rested, or relaxed. Stressed to the max. And feeling bad about ones self does not help, and feeling unattractive does not make for a romantic time in the bedroom.....just being truthful. I know I am not the only person who does/has felt that way.

This is where I can really pinpoint my weight starting to be a problem. Sleeping all day does not leave much time for exercise of any kind and what better excuse to have if you hate the exercise to begin with? Eating wrong on top of that, eating out because it was easier and more convenient and well.....this was the beginning of a long battle within myself.....and a problem with weight. Everyone if they will stop and think about how you have gotten to where you are today, I believe will discover a starting point. It may be painful to admit, to acknowledge, or accept, but for me, in order to better understand myself, I had to dig deep inside and try to figure out where it all went wrong and why......stay tuned if you think this story is going to get any better.....you are wrong....this was just a tip of the iceberg.....to be continued.

22 comments:

  1. Hi Suzanne,
    I can relate to your story .I know it well , except I don't work nights. I have been married 23 yrs , 24 in feb. I think it is brave of you to have a look at why or even to acknowledge it at all . Weight is something that is always in the back of my mind . I want you to know that you being brave enough to post has inspired me:)

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  2. Hi Suzanne,
    For a few years when I was younger, I worked nights..and it was a killer. As you say, nobody understands that their day is your night and all things are expected of you. You're always tired, headachy..etc, in short,you get burned out. I send you hugs,many hugs on the path you're choosing and I'm behind you, cheering for you 100%. Whatever you need to do,I know you can do.xxxxx CC
    p.s. Have you ever thought of writing full time? You have a real talent for bringing the reader to right beside you..

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  3. Suzanne, thanks for sharing this honest journey of yours. It's inspiring already...will follow along as you go.

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  4. Thank you, Suzanne, for baring yourself and sharing your struggles. Many of us are struggling with this issue and need to know we are not alone.

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne. I'll be here to read the rest as you go.

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  6. Thanks for sharing, let us encourage one another.
    cindy

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  7. Girl can I ever relate!! I was a mom of 5...stayed at home..homeschooled..kitchen right in the center of activity..cooked any and all meals (southern style of course)I thought I exercised (keeping up with 5 and a farm) not!
    slow weight gain Never over 130 then bam..40th birthday hit and where the ----did that extra 30 pounds come from? Was told by DR. watch what I eat. I did..and I realized I was NOT eating the desserts, never drank soda,small plates has always been in my vocabulary..so what was happening? Was told by said DR. must be mid life cycle..fun..than @48 while visiting Daughter out of state..Wham bam thank you mamm I got sick real quick.. within hours a trip to ememrgency room..long story short Pancreas ruptured..nearly died...recuperated to find out all this weight gain was generic (I'm adopted) High Triglycerides was the culprit. Mine were 2,830 at 3000 your heart explodes. The biggest silent killer of women!! Have your triglycerides monitored!!!!Praise God no diabetes..tri.controlled with meds (never below 400) still heavy but not as heavy..but embracing every day!!!I will support and encourage you every day!!!!!!Thank you for sharing and we can all do this together!!! email me daily if you need too.Sometimes just a word or a listen helps!!53 yr old momnanasister..friend Cindy

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  8. I hear ya, and I hurt for you. Weight is a tough thing to discuss. I wish you well.

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  9. I applaud you for putting yourself out here. I am sure you will motivate and inspire many. You have me, except for the fear that holds me back. I cannot bear to think of failing again. At 70 I sometimes think I am crazy to still care but I do.

    I look forward to your future posts and if I get brave enough maybe I might give it a try again.

    Iris

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing Suzanne. I think it is a struggle for most women over 40. Metabolism slows way down, and it is so hard to keep the weight down. I look forward to your next segment.

    Jocelyn
    http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

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  11. Suzanne:
    I think all of your friends and blog followers are behind you all the way. I also think your story is going to inspire others (including myself) to make not just our weight, but our health, a number one priority in our lives. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Jane

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  12. Suzanne: first of all *hugs*, then, oh, boy, can I relate. In fact, I was in Hobby Lobby Saturday and I almost bought a sign that made me laugh, but inside feel sad. It said:
    "There's a skinny girl who lives inside of me that's trying to get out, but I can usually shut her up with cookies".
    Eating does bring me wayyyyy to much pleasure and comfort. I wish I could find something else less harmful to do that.......
    I, too, want to use this winter to shed some of my weight---but, I said that last winter, too.
    My heart will be with you....perhaps, I can really do it this year.........

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  13. Your honesty in this post is inspiring.

    Thank-you for sharing your story.

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  14. I know what stress can do to your eating habits. I eat to feel better. I have never worked nights but I am usually up all night these days. I am not sure why. Not sure how to put myself back to normal. Reading your story is making me meditate on my own situation. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Hey Lady - I think you are brave. Its hard to do what you are doing...most people never look into the 'why' and just keep trying quick fix after quick fix.

    Im looking forward to following along with you on your journey...Ill be right there with you trying to lose the pregnancy weight that I have packed on and do it in a healthy way...one that doesnt involve me being obsessive.

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  16. So brave of you to share your personal story Suzanne! And of course, like you said, you are not alone in feeling those things. I too need to lose weight, and it really does affect so many aspects of a person's life, in a negative way. I'm going to start, after the holidays, to do something about it. But not before then, because that would just be sabotaging myself. There is just too much good food shoved in our faces during the holidays. It would be a no win situation for me. But I'll be cheering you on!

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  17. Try wearing wearable weights like “Body Togs” anatomically designed weighted sleeves worn on your arms & legs under your clothes. Put them on in the morning and you literally forget you have them on while increasing your calorie burn, muscle tone & bone density! Weighted vests work great too! Go to: http://www.WomensPersonalFitness.net

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  18. As I said before, you are very brave to tell your story. It is something of interest, and promises things we can all learn from!

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  19. I'm over weight too. And I have a friend who is overweight - a nurse - who works nights - and it is hard on her. Good Luck.

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  20. Thanks for sharing your story. I think sharing is a healthy thing that can only help us in our journey. I have a friend I've known since I was 10. We don't live near each other. We write each Christmas but I didn't hear from her for a few years and was worried. Then she wrote to me and said she'd had her stomach stapled and so had her husband. She was embarrassed but no one needs to be with me. I accept people at face value. It's very brave to admit you have a problem and to examine the why so you can make it better. Now you will be in control, not food. Good for you!

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  21. I work nights too and EVERYTHING you say about energy levels and eating is SO true. I think my working nights is the biggest obstacle I will have to overcome in order to lose the 75 pounds I need to lose to be at a healthy weight for my height. Being single and not feeling like cooking for just one, doesn't help much either. And as much as I love salad and some fruits, I HATE the prep work that is required to get things ready.
    I hope that you meet your goals in a healthy, progressive manner and that the weight stays off.

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  22. Suzanne, I too worked nights...from 7 pm to 7am 7 days a week and off 7,(usually worked 3-4 of those days over time) for over 15 years.. It was no way to get any rest or to adjust. And no, anyone who has never worked those hours have no clue what stress it puts on your mind and body. Get off at 7 take child to school by 8, run and pay bills, buy groceries go to bank, etc; etc. get home by 11 sleep till 2:30 pick child up at school by 3...get home cook supper wash clothes and be back at work by 7:pm...
    Thank you for telling your story, you are 1 step closer to dealing with the stress.

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Sometimes someone says something really small, and it's like it fits into this empty space in your heart!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts here, they really mean a lot to me!

Suzanne

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