This post really isn't about being a mom. It's about being a woman. And for every woman I've ever known that includes worrying about weight.
I've had a weight problem my whole adult life. It all started in college. The "Freshman 15" hit me hard and that was the beginning of my struggle with weight I was no longer active in sports and instead spent my days sitting in class during the day, studying at night, and eating way too much fried food.
I controlled my weight relatively well, always hovering 10-20 pounds above where I wanted to be but still "average".
Then I went to grad school and everything got worse. I was stressed, lonely and inactive. I gained probably 50 pounds in a year. And that was the beginning of my struggle with obesity.
I stayed very heavy (weighing up to 240 pounds at one point) through my move to Pittsburgh and finally got the courage and determination to join Weight Watchers. I lost 50 pounds. Then I met my husband, got comfortable and gained back nearly all that I lost.
When we got engaged I vowed to get thin for my wedding. I watched my diet and exercised like crazy. I lost 75 pounds and was the fittest I'd been since high school.
Then came babies and the fight started again. Eventually I lost most of the weight I'd gained being pregnant, but still struggled with not gaining. I've always said I have a terrible metabolism....if I'm not dieting, I'm gaining.
Last year I started running and lost the rest of my baby weight and kept it off by eating whatever I wanted and just running a LOT.
But suddenly in January I gained a few pounds. Then a few turned to 8. And no matter what I do, I just can't get the scale to budge.
So I'm going on a diet. A crazy (yet not really crazy) diet. I'm eating nothing but fruits, vegetables and lentils/brown rice all week. I looked up information on "cleanse" diets and just went with a general idea of the concept. My goal is to get rid of all the crap in my system, maybe lose a pound or two and just work healthy, whole foods back into my diet. I feel like if I can "shock the sugar" out of my system it'll be easier to give it up. I eat way too much processed crap and I'm hoping this gives me a nice clean start.
Last year I did an even crazier diet. I did the 7 day "Master Cleanse" where I didn't eat a single bite of food for nearly a week. I just drank this weird lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper stuff. It was an interesting mental challenge to see if I could give up the emotional response to eating. I found it to be great, actually. I had a lot more time since I wasn't spending much time eating/preparing/shopping for food (I still feel my family, though, so it wasn't a total switch) and I learned to find other things to do in the evening instead of snacking. I was much more productive overall and actually felt great. I lost about 5 pounds (which I'm sure I gained back), but the lessons from disconnecting the emotional attachment to food were great.
I'm a big believer in diets that are true lifestyle changes, rather than fad diets or short-term solutions. I'm ok with my fruits/veggies/whole grains thing this week because I'm really doing it more to help break the cycle of snacking and making bad choices, not to "fit into a dress" or lose weight really. And really, that's how I should be eating anyway. If I keep it up and just add lean meats and proteins after a few days I'll be thrilled.
When I was a kid I remember a friend of my moms doing a "soup and popcorn" diet. She would have nothing but soup and popcorn for what seemed like months. I ran into her last year and she told me she actually lost a ton of weight on that diet. Of course, it was, like most fad diets, a temporary solution.
More than anything, I want to eat healhier and to teach my kids how to be healthy. They already see me and my husband running several days a week, so there is a lot of talk about exercise and health in our house. Above all, I want to be a good example to them.
How do you feel about dieting?