Opening the Door to a New Life: the Struggles of Weight loss and Maintenance

Finding your way

Everyone has their vices in life; some count their bottles of beer; I count my calories and measure my foods!

Everyone has their vices in life; some count their bottles of beer; I count my calories and measure my foods!

I come from a long line of Italian women who had too much around the middle and too much pasta with anchovies and olive oil.

The recipes were great, especially the ones with the lard for the Christmas cookies. Lard was considered a food group; the best way to make just about anything.

And so on the first day of Jr. High School at 12 years old, I was called Porky by some guy who wanted to make me cry, and I did cry after I hit him.

The shoe fit throughout high school until I went on a starvation diet for 2 weeks while my parents vacationed in the Bahamas.

I was staying with my Aunt Phyllis while my parents were away and she said it was alright to eat small meals.

She supported my efforts and even helped me pack a lunch of ½ a sandwich and an apple, salads for dinner and toast for breakfast.

It was about a 500 calorie starvation diet, and I did it for 2 weeks. I ate virtually the same thing every day for those 2 weeks; apples, toast and ½ sandwich!

The sandwiches were mostly tuna fish with a small amount of mayonnaise. That was the beginning of slimness. I stayed slim for quite some time until I became pregnant at 18 years old and gained most of the 30 pounds that  I lost in those 2 weeks plus another 30 pounds!

Why did I struggle so long?

I did not know anything about nutrition, good healthy diets, or portion control because everyone around me was obese, and if they were not, it was not because they successfully lost weight, they just were able to eat anything they wanted to without gaining weight.

I could not figure out why some people had to watch their weight and others did not.

And today I am still baffled by the metabolism of some people.

I became a registered nurse in order to figure out the obesity crisis, and it seems like it is getting worse instead of better.

Now there are so many diets out there, no one can figure out which one is the best for them. And the only thing that I have found to be true about weight loss and maintenance is that it is truly different for everyone.

On being slim

For the first time in many years I am slim again. But this time it is through healthy living not starvation diets, low carbs, high carbs, detoxing, lap bands.

What does healthy living consist of?

A healthy life consists of many aspects of living well in mind, body and soul, and I decided that my wellness had to begin soon before I became so obese that I would want a lap band. Never got to wanting a lap band; I was always able to control it before it controlled me.

My control of my weight is a daily struggle with food. I still have to measure some things such as my grains before I eat them.  And you can have too much of a good thing! Even healthy eating can be overdone.

Ingredients of successful weight loss and maintenance

If you want to stay slender throughout your life, portion control is necessary, do not fool yourself with this easy step.  The other important step in living life at a reasonable weight is exercise.

I know that many people believe they can lose weight and keep it off just with portion control and calorie reduction but it will catch up to you again if you do not begin some kind of exercise program; it does not have to be strenuous, just do it like Nike! The other thing that really helps people to stay on track with their weight loss and maintenance is a buddy.

Find someone else who is in the same place you are and become their best friend; comparing notes about food intake and maybe even starting an exercise program together.

Get rid of the garbage

Take a look at your refrigerator and cupboards and get rid of all the bad stuff Stop eating processed foods, sugar, inflammatory foods such as red meat, dairy products that are full of fat, and put some healthy foods into your refrigerator so that you eat healthy when you are hungry. If it is not there, you cannot eat it, so clean house.

And after it is done, make sure that you are constantly replenishing your good foods.

Stick to it, be resilient about your new goal. Weight loss and maintenance is all about you; you have to make the necessary and permanent changes in your life.

You also have to become mindful of your bad habits; things such as gobbling food down or  eating standing up can no longer happen; you have to eat slowly and mindfully, no matter how busy you are. You have to take the time to help yourself get healthier. It is not a diet anymore; it is all about your life and how to get healthy in mind, body and spirit.

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