Look back, but just for a minute!

Personal Photo Archives Who is that girl in the tight jeans with a drink spilled down the front of her? ME, 33 less pounds ago! I’m going to be honest. I’m embarrassed to admit I gained so much weight. But, I did and I’m very excited that I have finally turned the corner to see that I need to take better care of myself. Why did I gain weight? How did I let myself gain so much weight? The answer is simple. I stopped loving myself. My marriage ended in 2007, my businesses folded in 2008, I had a second back operation, I was jobless for a long period of time, I had bills to pay, a mouth to feed, I moved, and the list goes on… We all have life challenges, and I used mine as an excuse to eat. Eat junk! Yes, I’m one of those. I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am happy, I eat to reward myself and I eat to punish myself. Can you relate? French fries were my friends and cheeseburgers my dates. If only I could rewind…

There are many cliches that tell us to not look back, to keep moving forward… and, that sentiment is one I generally agree with. However, history is relevant to the present and the future. So, for my futures’ sake I need to examine my past to help relay how I got to the present. Phew…! Are you still with me? I think I burned 150 calories just writing those few sentences! The picture here was taken in 2010. I weighed 165 pounds. Mind you I’m now 198.8. I’m 5’8″ and my comfortable weight zone is 155-175. I’d like to be back at 165. My clothes fit well then, and I felt good about myself.

At that time, I had a dual family income and was able to enlist the help of a personal trainer. I was eating to live and not living to eat. I had found out just by my own process of elimination that lactose and gluten did not agree with me. While I can tolerate both of those substances, I was sensitive to them. Nevertheless, I cut them out of my diet completely. If you know anything about lactose or gluten, you know that these substances are in most of the foods we eat. So, I limited my diet to only meats, veggies, gluten-free carbs, etc. It’s no wonder I lost weight! It’s also the best I’ve ever felt. In examining my past success with fitness and nutritional balance and maintaining a comfortable weight for several years, I look now to my present strategy. I’m not a fitness guru, I’m not a nutritionist, but I do know, having lived with myself for the past 39 years, what works for me.

I need to eat, and I need to move. Do I need to get fanatical about it? No! That doesn’t work for me and it certainly won’t stick as a life style change. So what should I do? I need to be able to eat things I love without the guilt and I need to be able to exercise without compromising my back issues. I know my plan as I write, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. What has worked for you? Is it something you can maintain for the rest of your life?

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