I have been on diets since I was 6 years old. Dieting in my house only equated to eating less, not changing what we ate.
My family has roots in New Orleans, which means we ate rice with everything. Rice wasn’t my only vice; cereal was my absolute favorite food. I would eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks if I could. I was addicted to those sweet crunchy carbs and cold milk.
My first devastating incident with a scale happened when I was in 4th grade.
There was some program going on where all kids were weighed and measured. All my friends came back spouting off numbers like 40, 50 and 60 pounds. I figured I might be 80. One hundred and fourteen pounds…Yikes! I was eaten up with embarrassment.
As the years progressed, it did not get any better.
By the time I was 12, I had my own gym membership. I was active…even athletic. But that activity did not change the scale because my eating habits stayed the same.
In 2008, I got the gastric sleeve. I lost 97 pounds and I thought that I made it to the promised land. I became pregnant in 2010 and that started the scale going in the opposite direction. Baby number 2 came in January 2014 and after delivery, I was within 20 pounds of my pre surgery weight. That June, 6 months postpartum, I sat in the office of the cardiologist and he told me that if something didn’t change, I was going to have some serious problems in about 10 years. This may be a little dramatic, but I imagined myself dead and my two kids getting acquainted with a new stepmom. Two weeks later I started the Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith. In 8 months, I lost 80 pounds!
Everything was great. I was back to my wedding weight and I felt like a million bucks! Then testing season started (every educator knows what I am talking about, it is our “March Madness”). I stopped drinking my smoothies and went back to carbs. That summer I got a promotion with a one-hour commute. My husband was working 12-hour shifts overnight, so I found every restaurant where kids ate free and we ate out every day. A year later, I had a third baby at age 42. With a proven history of weight gain and sluggish metabolism, I felt destined to keep the weight. To add icing on the cake, in January of 2018 we relocated and I moved to an executive-level career while mothering three kids under 7.
It’s taken some time, but I have finally realized that stress is my trigger.
Also, me and carbs are not friends — more like frenemies. I love them, but when I eat them, I get bloated and sluggish. When I’m stressed, I eat them more. Then I’m miserable…which adds to my stress and the cycle continues. I feel like I’m always starting over.
Summer 2020 arrived, and I decided it was time to get back to my journey.
I was tired of feeling “blah” and I realized that if I didn’t make some changes soon, I wouldn’t live long enough to see my kids become parents. I had become pretty good at avoiding the camera, so to force myself into action I booked a photoshoot with Brandi Stage Portraiture. I didn’t want to look bloated, so I went back to doing what I know works for me, green smoothies. I started June 1st and by my photoshoot on June 30th I had lost 18 pounds. I got my groove back!
It’s been 7 months of smoothies, eating fairly clean and falling off the wagon…often. I made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both holidays ended with weight gain, but I just got back to it the following week. Overall, I am down 45 pounds since June 1st. I’ve decided that no matter how many times I fail, I am not going to quit.
Here are some things that have helped me:
- I use the LoseIt app on my phone. I plug in my weight every morning. I have been using this app since 2013 and it has all my data stored.
- I drink green smoothies at least 5 mornings a week and I do the full cleanse every couple of months.
- I have an overall goal. I divided that goal into mini-goals of 10 pounds a month. So, in my calendar on my phone, I have plugged in my goal weight for that month on the last day of each month. When I weigh-in, I put the actual weigh-in amount in parenthesis next to it so I can track how close I was to my goal that month.
- My next goal is to add exercise. I have a gym membership and I recently bought some cute workout clothes, so I’m ready. I just need to do it.