|Before: 232.4 lbs.|
BUT, sadly, it's no longer working for me and keeping the weight off has been a real struggle. Thirteen pounds appeared without explanation and I could not get it off. I was on weight probation constantly. That's one of the reasons I tendered my resignation. I found myself falling into some extreme behaviors in order to stay within the two pound range stipulated by my employment contract. I actually became concerned that those behaviors could develop into a full blown eating disorder.
So I've been focusing on putting GOOD fats back into my diet, and focusing on cutting out sugar. Also, I've decided to stop using food substitutes and diet products. For example, I no longer buy processed protein bars and smoothies, which I once relied upon heavily. Instead I eat nuts or cheese or a hard boiled egg. To get good fats into my diet, I've been eating avocados, olive oil, nuts, nut butters, eggs, seeds, beans, and full fat dairy products. I did away with the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and started using...ACTUAL BUTTER again.
All of those things were high in points on the Weight Watchers plan, and thus, people avoided them. People were eschewing healthy, delicious, vitamin and anti-oxidant packed foods in favor of low fat food facsimiles!! That was a problem for me. And there we have another reason I decided to leave my job, much as I loved it. My evolving personal philosophy about food and nutrition was no longer in line with theirs.
So anyway, when I made the shift, I won't lie...it was scary. We've been indoctrinated with the idea that ALL fat is bad, but interestingly enough, obesity rates started to rise about the same time that the low fat craze hit. I don't think it's a coincidence. I do think we should have noticed long before obesity became such a pervasive and widespread problem. Fat is not the enemy. Sugar is. And it took almost five years for me to realize that not eating fat was entirely counterproductive to my goals.
Now that I am eating fat again, I see the results in a number of ways. Is the weight falling off of me? No. I'm no longer extremely obese, so the losses will never be huge for me. But I am losing. I am MUCH more satisfied after my meals and I do not feel the need to snack as much. I'm not constantly thinking about food. And when the hunger does hit, it's just a little niggling. Not the sudden and terrifying plunger into devastating hunger wherein I would commit homicide for a hamburger. Do you know that feeling? I get it when I eat a bagel or a bowl of cereal. An hour later, I would mug a little old lady if she had a steak in her purse. Why? Because of the metabolic response to sugar; the spike, the crash, the murderous hunger. So the fact that I no longer experience that on a daily basis is pretty significant. And believe it or not, the difference in my hair and skin is pretty remarkable. I think I look younger. I know that sounds weird, but I don't think I'm imagining it.
This healthy lifestyle thing has been such an evolution in thinking for me. I had absolutely no idea how to eat healthy when I started. I thought I was giving my family healthy balanced meals because I was providing a vegetable, a starch and a protein. Never mind that they were highly processed, loaded with chemicals and sodium and swimming in butter, gravy or sauce (sometimes all three), and usually served with an abundance of bread or rolls on the side. And when I did wake up and realize I had to change my ways, it became all about low fat, low sugar, convenient diet foods and food substitutes. Because that's what I was being taught, not just by Weight Watchers, but the media, the food industry, even doctors and nutritionists!
I really do think our food is killing us and making us fat. The additives and chemicals are completely circumventing our bodies' natural metabolic processes and causing us to get fatter and fatter even though we think we're eating healthy. When people say they don't understand why they are getting fat, it isn't denial or excuse making. They really are mystified. I am not a nutritionist, but I think I know now more than most people about how to eat healthy. And I found a lot of that information on my own, with a little guidance. It can be done.
|AFTER: Certified Zumba Instructor|
If I'm being completely honest, it's not just about nutrition. I like being able to slip into a pair of jeans or a short skirt and not worry about sucking in my gut. I like wearing a clingy t-shirt without worrying that my muffin top and back fat are on display. I like walking past a shop window and not being horrified by my reflection. I like looking good. I like feeling strong. I like the whole ball of wax and I am determined to keep it.
So the fat (in my diet) stays. Who knew?