Take Time to Remember

It is close to Christmas & everyday someone asks me to try a piece of homemade candy or cookies. They know I’m low carb, but all say the same thing, “One little piece won’t hurt you.” What they’re saying is true, one little piece won’t hurt me, but what they don’t realize is that one little piece could easily turn into many little pieces, which in turn, may become a lot of trouble for me…and I will NEVER, NEVER allow that to happen. I love myself too much!!!

When those moments of temptation occur, I take time to reflect on my successes, small as they may be. I made a decision 18 months ago that has completely altered the course of my life. It is important to take time to remember in order to truly appreciate the journey.

Two years ago, I was at the heaviest weight of my life. I don’t know the exact number, but I know a ballpark (I’m not brave enough to share that with the world quite yet). I felt awful! I had no energy, my legs, knees & ankles hurt all the time, I would get winded after walking a short distance, no clothes fit properly, & I adamantly disliked myself. I felt I was worth nothing & deserved the issues I was experiencing. I knew the health risks I faced–high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc, etc, etc…but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to hear diet/exercise advice from anyone; mainly because those dispensing advice never had weight problems & didn’t understand my situation. I knew I was on a destructive path, but I felt so out of control I could do nothing about it. I was in the second year of my PhD work, and honestly thought I probably wouldn’t be around to finish my degree. My outlook & overall view on life was bleak. I don’t think those around me, including my husband, realized my level self-loathing. I did a very good job of masquerading as a happy-go-lucky gal, but the reality was that I desperately, desperately disliked the person I allowed myself to become. I was a very unhappy, miserable person.

I am a very tall, larger-boned girl, & wiIl NEVER be thin (well, I’ll never be society’s definition of thin). I have always battled weight issues. I remember my Mom making me go to a fitness program for children when I was 12 years old…”just in case”. My Mom kept me on some kind of diet all through my high school years. At 16 years old, she enrolled me in Weight Watchers. My Mom is a very petite woman who wanted her genetically larger framed daughter to fit society’s definition of thin. Anyway, I’ve ALWAYS had issues with my weight.

Two years ago, when I was at my highest weight & lowest emotional point, I had 2 choices: 1) keep going as I was going, or 2) make a change. Somehow, even through the self-loathing mindset I had developed, I decided to make a change. I honestly didn’t know what kind of change I was going to make, but I wanted to do something. I told my Husband that I wanted to try to do something. Physically, I felt so bad, I didn’t know if I could withstand a lot of exercise. So, in effort to start small, I purchased Richard Simmon’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies. Well…I didn’t do such a great job with those videos–that was very, very short lived. My lack of follow-through drove me into a deeper depression. I was so sad–I can’t even describe the sadness & despair I felt during that time in my life.

I felt like more of a failure then I ever had. That was around the time I started this blog. I didn’t know what to do, & I wasn’t exactly sure I could do anything. I felt very hopeless.

One Saturday night in mid May of 2011, my Husband & I were sitting in our living room after dinner–I remember this vividly. This was the moment that changed my life! We had just finished a dinner of grilled ribeyes, huge baked potatoes, garlic rolls, salad, & Hershey’s pie. I felt AWFUL, absolutely awful (however, this was normal for me–I always felt awful after eating). As we sat in the living room, I began to cry. I told my Husband I wanted to change & lose the weight. He was sympathetic & told me he would do whatever he could to help me. Then, he said the words I truly needed to hear…he told me that he was surprised I never really put my mind into losing weight. He said, “You’re the most stubborn, hard-headed person I’ve ever met. Whenever you set your mind to do something, you always do it. I’m surprised you’ve never set your mind to losing weight.” When he said that, something in me clicked, at that moment I knew I was ‘stubborn & hard-headed’ enough to do this! We were leaving in a week or so for Indiana to watch our niece graduate from high school, so I decided that when we returned from our trip I was making big changes in my life.

Before our trip, I spent time researching exactly what type of changes I was going to make. Through my research I found that a low carb diet would best meet my needs. During our trip we indulged in every high carb food imaginable–doughnuts, pasta, breads, you name it. I knew that once I got home, my life would change. That trip served as a goodbye to my old self. I needed that trip.

Once I got home, I stuck to my new low carb lifestyle & I’ve never looked back. Why did I finally have success??? I think it’s because I finally realized I was just stubborn enough to make this work (my stubbornness became an asset). I’ve always heard people who’ve had great weight loss successes say that you know when you’re ready, something inside clicks. I’ve found that to be very true in my life…something inside clicked.

I try to make it clear to those around me (in a nice way, of course), that I do not eat carbs & PLEASE don’t offer me any. It doesn’t bother me if those around me are indulging in carb-laden treats, I’m honestly not tempted by foods anymore. I hope when I turn down those candies & cookies people aren’t offended. I hope they understand that I love myself too much to even take one little bite. One little piece of homemade candy may not hurt, but I’ve experienced too much hurt caused by candies & cookies to take that chance. Sometimes we have to take time to remember to help us move forward. 🙂

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