Gaining Self-respect, Discipline, and a New Wardrobe

· by delijan · Read in about 5 min · (904 words) ·

When I graduated from High School, I weighed 105 pounds. I’m 5’4” tall, so that was probably a bit less than I should have. However, I was active.. I danced a lot, swam a lot, roller skated a lot, walked everywhere (I didn’t have a driver’s license yet!)

Over the years, I’ve gained weight. A LOT of weight. It crept up gradually, almost unnoticed because it was a slow climb.

First there was being on my own, in charge of my own food planning, purchasing and cooking. I could have whatever I wanted! I didn’t make the best choices, and I wasn’t really a very good cook.

Then came marriage. I was now cooking for someone with different tastes than mine. Mexican food was a favorite, with a lot of cheap cheese and fried tortillas. We didn’t have a lot of money (most newlyweds don’t) so casseroles with pasta, cream soups, fatty proteins and more cheese were served often. We weren’t all that big on veggies and fruit was rare.

A couple of kids later, I’m eating whatever I can get in my mouth between housework, outside work, and parenting. Lots of sandwiches, more casseroles, and BBQ chicken. Somewhere in there, I did have a vegetable garden. I finally had as much veggies as I could eat. My weight fluctuated a bit, but it was still creeping up.

A decade and several moves later, kids are in school, I’m working away from home, no more vegetable garden… I finally realized my weight was creeping up. I was having to buy larger sized clothing, no longer making my own. Still on a limited budget. My husband was young, but told his cholesterol was too high (over 200).

Then I decided I needed to learn how to REALLY cook.

It turned out to be a double-edged sword. I wanted to learn how to make healthier food. In particular, to make the things my DH wanted to eat… but healthier. I joined up with a bunch of Foodies on the internet. I learned a LOT. I wrote a software program to help me with shopping. It contained a recipe catalog, allowed me to make menus, and then shopping lists from the menus. I learned a LOT… more than just cooking!

But back to weight…

I learned how to make muffins. I learned how to bake bread. I learned how to follow recipes. I learned that I don’t like tarragon or fennel. The weight kept going slowly up the mountain.

Creep… creep… creep…

Flash forward to the last few years…

My weight was out of hand. I was wearing blue jeans and big t-shirts as a daily “uniform”. I had back problems, I ached everywhere, and I got out of breath climbing the stairs in my house. I didn’t even own a dress that fit. I developed severe allergies and migraine headaches.

But I can cook! You name it and I can cook it. Well, almost anything. I LIKE to eat! Unfortunately, with the kids grown and gone, DH and I eat in front of the TV… a LOT. We also ate out… a LOT.

I’ve recently lost a lot of weight. Almost 60 pounds. It was a bit of work, but I did it, and I’m proud of myself!

The inevitable happened (given the current economy)… DH is let go from his workplace. He’d been there for 13 years. I realized I may have to work away from home. I had no clothes to wear for interviews. The size I realized I wore… I hated.

Things HAD to change. In order to find suitable work, we decided to move to a different city.

I made a resolution (several actually) to change my size, along with the move. And I did. I started on October 1, 2011. Since then, I’ve stopped drinking diet pepsi and switched to iced tea. I eat mostly vegetarian, although not completely (meat is a treat!) I am trying to go gluten free, not as much for health, as to force me to eat a wider variety of grains, nuts and seeds. We can’t really afford to eat out, so no more huge portions.

I also made an iron-clad rule: No food in a room with a turned on TV! It was easier in the new house because the main TV viewing area is upstairs and food happens downstairs.

I don’t have a garden yet, but I will! For the time being, we participate in Bountiful Baskets. More about them on a different day!

Along with loosing weight, I’ve also learned some new things… Unfortunately, my back still has some problems. My allergies seem to be getting better. I’ve had fewer migraines. And now I’m wearing a size 12! My feet don’t hurt and I can touch my toes. When DH hugs me, his arms go ALL THE WAY AROUND!

DH is working at a new job that he loves. I’m working on my creative endeavors. I still love to cook, but I make better choices. You’ll see some of my recipes and other food-related commentary on Fridays:Foodie posts.

Note: DH is being paid a lot less, now… so I have to get sewing on some new clothes for me! I have exactly 1 pair of pants that fits! Everything else is just WAY too big. Including my underwear! I can’t afford to buy, so I’m going to have to be super creative…