Lorna’s real “journey” began about a year and a half ago. In December of 2012, she realised she carried 222 lbs/ 101 kg on her 5’2 frame. Lorna is here today to tell her story of how she arrived at that place and how she has lost 50lbs / 23 kgs so far, with a goal to lose 50 lbs more.
In Her 20s There Were Ups And Downs And Fad Dieting
In my first 20 years there were many ups and downs, but I was not ever an obese child. There was always a tug of war of genes in my life, my mother’s side always had to struggle with it, whereas my father’s side never had to. For all of my life I knew about how hard my mom had to work to maintain a healthy weight and it was very difficult for her. My average weight was around 120 lbs / 54.5 kgs. I was never “skinny”, more average.
Though I have always had to really watch my weight, like many people I put on the “freshman 15”, which by the end turned out to be the college 30. The year after college I was overworked and underpaid, and paid little attention to my health. I survived on candy and fast food. I have had many bouts of chronic depression throughout life, and knowing what I know now about sugar and antidepressants, I had to have been just making it worse. I hit a breaking point out of sheer frustration over where my life was NOT going, and I forced myself into a little weight loss place called “Creative Health”.
I knew this place was all quackery and gimmicks, but I was pretty desperate. Still I followed the program to a tea. I lost the weight. I got back down to 125 lbs / 57 kgs and all of a sudden I had boundless energy and an incredibly active life again! For about 6 months….
Then I moved to a new city, started couple of new jobs, and started creeping up from a size 8 to a 10, to a 12. During this time I still did not have a good handle on diet and nutrition, but I always tried to stay active with walking and biking.
The Misconception The Entire Time
My misconception was that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I burned it off, and at the time, that worked for me.
In Her 30s She Fooled Herself Into Thinking She Was In Control But Kept Putting On Weight
For all of my 30s, I focused on my career. I went back to school to get my masters. I was chronically stressed and kind of dead to my own real life. I almost had to do that to focus enough on the tasks at hand. I wildly ate food anywhere I could find it. Usually that meant Indian food and Thai food takeout, pizza, frozen dinners, tacos, kind of anything I wanted. I can’t imagine how much time and money I let that addiction swallow up of my life.
From about 32-36 I never really took my finger off the pulse of my growing weight problem. I kept a calendar by my door in my apartment and I would write my weight on it every week. I also kept track of what I did for exercise, as I was still under the notion that as long as I exercised, I’d be fine. It had always worked that way in the past, after all! I could see correlations between the times I swam, walked, etc. and maintaining a STABLE weight. But each year it seemed like that stable was another 10 pounds heavier. I was at 192 for about 7 years!
But Darkness Hit And Things Got Worse And She Turned To Fad Dieting Again
Then the bottom fell out. My father developed brain cancer. We spent two years in hospital waiting rooms, surgery after surgery, physical therapies, appointments, and eventually he lost his ability to move. My mother took care of him like a pro…but into the second year of his battle, she developed cancer of her own, a very deadly and fast moving cancer. I officially told myself “I don’t care anymore” and threw myself into care taking for my parents and stopped censoring myself in any way with regards to food.
I was chronically stressed. Through the 3 years of my parents’ battles with cancer, I went from 192 to 222 (possibly higher but I refused to weigh myself after that). The summer before my father died I went to a place called M——–. I gave them $3,000 from my savings and they gave me dehydrated soups, meal replacement shakes, and meal replacement bars. Within 2 days I could NOT stand it. The bars tasted like gravel and the shakes were no replacement for meals…especially for a food addict. I went back in that Monday and got $2000 refunded. Talk about money down the drain!
And Then There Was Some Progress But More Fad Dieting
In November of 2012 my father passed away. I started going to the gym and even shelled out for a personal trainer. I got over my fear of group classes and started doing Zumba, Bodyworks, and yoga. Having something on the schedule to do with other people really helped. I would say I was going to the gym 5 days a week, for about an hour and a half at a time. By default, I was drinking more water, which meant less Diet Coke.
The food issue was still really there though. I bought a book called The 400 Calorie Fix. It was good because it got me thinking about what was in my food, and possibly that I was consuming WAY too much. I then tried Body By Vi shake mix and I got back down from 222 to 192. And there I sat for almost 6 months! I let go of the reigns for the summer, as we moved to a new house and I kept really busy with that and teaching summer school. When the fall rolled around, I was still distracted by work, or shall I say engrossed in work!
How She Finally Got It Together Stopped Fad Dieting And Lost The Weight
But then I really sat myself down. I said “Look. You have been 192 pounds for the better part of a decade. And it SUCKS! Come on!!!”
I pulled down every diet book and weight loss book I could find. I poured over them. I didn’t ever find that I could follow any of them to an exact science, so I made a Frankenstein version of my own diet. I made a list of all the vegetables I liked. All the fruits I liked. All the meats I could tolorate and where I could get ethically grown, organic protein. Each week I would create a menu of what I would be eating, along with evening activities and workouts. So I started back to the gym. I made a calendar every single week of my workouts diet and hung it by the door, and stuck to it. I am now 176 lbs / 80 kgs.
I’m a little hung up on this number, but I have some time off coming up. This should help release some stress and allow me to zone in on preparing vegetables and fruit. I have cobbled together a diet of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, and occasional turkey or tuna, and very rarely roast beef. I Do like to fix shredded chicken in the crock pot. I have cut out fast food, mostly cut out eating out, and when I have to be on the road I hit the grocery store for apples and cut up veggies for snacking.
Lorna’s Goal To Lose Another 50lbs
I aim to lose another 50 pounds in 15 months or less. I am MOTIVATED to lose this weight so I can be more active and enjoy life more.
I learned, from losing my parents and my sister-in-law in one year, that life is fleeting. As long as I am here, I might as well not waste it being sad, insecure and depressed. I do not hate myself for having those issues, and I will stand up to anyone who tries to knock people down who are struggling with those things. It’s not their road to walk and it’s not their place to comment.
While some people are well intentioned, they actually do more damage by making “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and “it’s all in your mind, just get over it” comments. It’s not. It’s related to the food you consume or don’t consume. The support you have or don’t have. The knowledge you have or don’t have, and of course, your “WHY”.
Lorna’s Words Of Wisdom
People need to find a reason for themselves, WHY they want to be healthy, and they have to want it for themselves. I just remind myself: life is short. Make it count.
What an awesome story Lorna!! Thanks so much for sharing with us and we look forward to sharing the next stage of your journey when you lose another 50 lbs.
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