Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Being Normal
By Joy Bach
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Since we did not have the money for me to eat lunch at school, by the time I reached Senior High my weight had dropped to 120 pounds. Walking all the way home for lunch had its benefits.
Due to arrangements made by my church, I did not complete my senior year. I married in February and moved to another state. That is when the weight came back with a vengeance. During my first pregnancy, I topped the scales at 154 pounds.
Should I mention that I am only 5’ 4” tall?
Not able to lose much weight before the second pregnancy, my numbers went over 160 pounds. Within months I was pregnant again. After that birth, my weight stabilized at 180 pounds.
Several years into the marriage, I became very ill. My digestive system was out of kilter, making me afraid to eat. Eating caused too many ramifications. So the weight dropped off. I finally stopped the downward slide at 106 pounds.
Then my husband left me.
I had no money and a lot of nerves. Macaroni and cheese was cheap. I needed comfort. So I ate. My weight climbed to over 200 pounds.
My sister died at the age of 42…mostly due to overweight. At 5’ 2”, she weighed around 300 pounds. Her death got my attention.
I began to work on me.
At the same time I was struggling to change my lifestyle, I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy. I listened as the doctor explained that sometimes women gained weight after this surgery, I decided as I sat there that I would rebel against that theory.
You don’t gain much weight eating Jell-o. I lost 12 pounds in the hospital. At my first check up, I asked the doctor if I could start exercising. He suggested I walk to the corner and back. That is where I started. As my strength returned, I walked around the block. Then one mile…then two. I gradually built my routine to six or seven miles a day.
I changed my eating habits, eating my last food of the day at 4:00 p.m. With these simple changes, I lost almost 100 pounds over the next two years.
Several years later, I re-married. Now what to do about dinner? It was difficult to cook for someone else and not eat. He really wanted me to sit down and eat with him. I struggled with this issue for several months, even resorting to an appointment with a counselor.
This slim man explained to me that I was being highly unreasonable to not sit down and eat dinner with my husband. He carefully detailed how I could eat just a salad or perhaps just a little of everything. I wanted to ask him if he would tell an alcoholic to have just one drink. I was a “foodaholic”. But I remained silent.
After a weight gain of 40 pounds, I put my foot down. I needed to stick with what had previously worked for me. So I returned to the practice of not eating after 4:00 p.m.
Over the next year I lost 20 pounds. Then our life became very stressful. We gained custody of our granddaughter. Eating has always been my comfort. Growing up in a legalistic church, I learned that smoking, drinking, and drugs were sins. But for some reason, overeating was ok.
Before I knew it I was back up to 190 pounds. Once again, I needed to re-gain control of my eating.
My husband had gone on the Atkins diet. No carbs. So I decided to try it. I religiously followed the “carb counting” for two weeks…and lost ten pounds. But I could not “stomach” the protein diet (forgive the pun).
I finally integrated all that I had learned about foods into a way of eating that works for me. I am now down to 160 pounds. And I’m still on my way down.
According to the BMI chart, I am JUST overweight. Any day now I will reach that magic number that tells me I am “normal”. If I stay with my plan, I will become “normal” by the end of June.
I can hardly wait. Do you suppose anyone will notice?
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