4lbs 4oz....

Nope that's not how much one of my daughters weighed at birth LOL That's how much I lost at my first week weigh-in! Woo hoo! Our goal for me was to lose 3lbs =) So I reached that goal! Jodi was really proud of me, and it made me feel great! She is so encouraging to me and that's exactly what I need right now. But she didn't let me celebrate too long, we got right on with our workout. We did strenth training for an hour. I thought it would be great that we weren't doing "cardio", but I think I got more nauseous than the first night!! She is tough!! But man do I feel good the rest of the night! I'm so excited I cannot wait till next weigh-in to see my progress again!

I was really shocked to see how many other women can relate to what I'm going through. And honestly it doesn't matter their size, each woman has their own insecurities. Even when I was a size 5, I still had parts of my body I didn't like. And to look back at pictures of me then, I think I was crazy haha...I'd do anything to be that skinny again! So I'm hoping once I reach my goals that I will finally be happy with the body God has given to me. I've been reading another blog about a woman's struggle with weight-loss, and I agree with 100% of what she's saying!! It's amazing how much women have in common. Here are a few more reasons why I want to get healthy.......

#11 - The power food has over me
Do you ever sit there eating breakfast, and start to think about what you want to make for dinner that night.? I do. Then I think that since it's so cold, maybe it would be nice to have the oven on and bake something. But what about lunch? What should I make for lunch? Then it occurs to me. It's 9 am and I'm already planning my food for that day. I disgust the power food has over me. I always seem to be thinking about and planning my next meal. Whether or not I'm on a diet, food is front and center in my life. I hate that! I think a lot of people blissfully float through the day only thinking of food when their tummies begin to grumble. I would love to be like that! I think for me it’s a boredom thing, which is probably true for many people. You're home; you're bored; you eat. Maybe instead of planning my food day I should be planning to do other stuff around the house to keep me busy. Maybe it's time to learn to sew, or maybe I should organize my photos, there's always laundry, or even cleaning the house. Whatever I do, I really need to try to keep myself busy on boring days! Hopefully I can distract my brain from constantly thinking about food.

But it's not just boredom that makes me reach for yummy treats; it's pretty much any emotion. Are you like this too? Do you find yourself reaching for chips when you're sad, mad, glad, or, frankly, feeling any other emotion? I sure do! We probably get introduced to emotion eating from celebrations. We always have special cakes on our birthdays, or a special treat for a job well done like getting a good report card or scoring a goal for the soccer team. We eat for these good emotions. We're happy, excited, elated. Then someone eventually gives us something to eat to help us heal. You're sick? Here's some chicken soup. You're sad? Here are some cookies. So these friendly gestures ended up turning into me trying to fix my emotional issues with food. I'm sad, I need a cookie. I'm stressed out, I need some chips. I'm bored, I need to go look in the cupboards for something to eat. I'm tired, I need something to eat then I'll feel more energy. Somewhere along the line I went from saying "I want something to eat", to saying "I NEED something to eat". Food has become this guiding force in my life. It's taken over a big part of me. I hate that! I hate that food has such a power over me!So what can I do? I guess I need to re-learn how to cope with emotions. Like when I'm bored, I need to find ways to keep myself busy. And what if I bake something? Well, then I need to eat whatever I make in moderation - no half a pan of brownies for me! Most of all I can't beat myself up if I do end up turning to food sometimes. It's gonna happen. If I feel guilty about it, I'll probably self-destruct and just eat more. I guess I just need to take baby steps. Try not to let food dominate my life. Listen to music if I'm sad. Workout if I'm frustrated. Sew or clean or read when I'm bored. And to celebrate? Well I'm still gonna have cake on my birthday! You can't give up food in every situation. LOL

#12 - The bathroom scale
I think we all have a phobia of our bathroom scale. Will all my hard work of diet and exercise be reflected on the bathroom scale? Did I lose any weight after that 3 mile run? Will I gain ten pounds from that box of doughnuts I ate yesterday? How many times have you weighed yourself twice in one day, three times, four, ten, more? We all play the bathroom scale dance, repeatedly weighing ourselves and moving the scale around our homes. If I move the scale to the far side of the bathroom, will I weigh less? Or if I put the scale in the hallway, will I see a lower number? Why do we do this to ourselves? Do we really think it's possible to lose weight every single day? It's not!

I just don't know why I think that weighing myself three times in a row will help me lose weight. Third time's the charm? I guess that's my reasoning, however crazy! Do I still hate my bathroom scale? I think hate is too a strong word to describe my relationship with my scale now. Loathe? Despise? Abhor? Fear? Tolerate? Maybe sometimes. But some days I think I like or even love the scale. You know those days! We're so wrapped up in numbers , like clothing size and weight. But really in the end, weight is just a number. Weight doesn't always reflect how hard we've worked. Weight can't reflect how we feel about ourselves. I hope that someday I can put away the scale and just be happy with my healthy self. I really want this journey to be about health and not some elusive number. But for now weight is one physical way I can measure my success.

#13 - I'm too young to feel this old
Stiff joints, bad knees, short of breath, weak, tires easily, not able to walk long distances, issues with blood sugar control, and high blood pressure. Does this sound like the description of a 27 year old woman? It is. It's me! I am way too young to feel this old! I should be running around enjoying the prime of my life. Instead, I need to rest and conserve my energy as I deal with health issues (health issues brought upon me from excess weight). How did I ever let my weight get this out of control? It's like all this weight mysteriously sneaked up on me. Didn't I notice I was starting to have health problems? Or did I get fat first, and then the problems showed up? I just can't remember. I have fat amnesia. "Doctor, I just don't know how it happened. I don't remember gaining any weight. I was 150 one day, 200 the next. What happened to me?" I fear this amnesia has cost me my youth. I'm to the point now where I don't remember being young and healthy. How sad. I'm never going to feel younger unless I get this weight issue under control. I really have been working hard to eat better, eating more fruits and veggies and lean meats. It's so easy to squeeze a little exercise in while watching TV. Jodi recommends getting up during commercial breaks (3minutes) and doing jumping jacks or kickbacks, just something to get that heart pumping! I think a lot of people race to lose their weight, losing 5+ pounds a week. Like those people on Biggest Loser. They lose 10-20 pounds a week! That seems great and all, but what will happen to them 5 years from now? Experts say slow, steady weight loss is more likely maintainable, while rapid losers usually gain their weight back. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to focus on health and wellbeing right now. If I adopt healthy behaviors I will lose weight, although slowly, but surely. I hope that my slow and steady method will mean that I will be able to maintain a healthy weight. I know that if I keep working at it, one day I'll feel young again!

#14 - Not recognizing myself in the mirror
I can be having the best day ever, but one look in the mirror can crumble my ego and my spirits. I hate this about being fat! And some days when I'm feeling all girly and pretty, and doll myself up all nice, I look in the mirror and am reminded that all the makeup and pretty clothes in the world won’t hide the fact that I'm fat. Maybe this is why so many of us don't bother with dressing up or wearing makeup, cause why does it matter anyway, right? Well.....it does matter! Taking care of yourself makes you feel better. If you feel better, who cares what you look like in the mirror? If you feel good, you feel confident, you really do look better. In the past I've had people ask me if I had lost weight when I had in fact gained weight, because they just happened to catch me on a very good day where I had my head held high and beamed with confidence. Really, it's confidence that we all find so attractive. Sure a body like Jessica Alba helps (haha), but confidence can be just as appealing. But on the flip side, when I look at myself in the mirror and can't even recognize the image looking back at me, I have a hard time having much confidence.I'm not making overly optimistic weight loss goals. I just want to get down to a healthier weight range. In my journey to achieve a healthier me I want to be able to look in the mirror and say, "Yup, that's me," and not have it negatively influence my life. I know most people are never truly happy with how they look. But I think as we lose weight, we just need to remember back to our heaviest selves and realize how healthy and beautiful we've become, to realize that even if we're not perfect, we're so much better off than we were. I guess we need to remember where we've been and how far we've come, then maybe when we look in the mirror we'll be happy with what we see.

#15 - My outer body doesn't match my inner self
Looking back on my life, I find it ironic that in high school I was pretty much anorexic and thought I was fat, and now that I’m overweight I feel sometimes that I’m skinnier than I am, HAHAHA!! What in the world!! Maybe that's why I got so fat anyway, because I never noticed the pounds creeping on. So I know that I’ve gained weight with my last two kiddos, and in my mind's eye I see myself as about 50lbs thinner, when in fact I'm not. I guess it's a good thing that I have pretty good self esteem, but maybe I need to work a little harder at noticing the true reality of my body, that yes in fact I am quite overweight. I guess this is why I try to pay attention to the numbers on the scale. I know a lot of experts that say not to focus so much on weight, but rather pay attention to how you feel or how you look or how your clothes fit. That's just too hard for me. I wonder if when I lose the weight if my mind continues to play tricks on me. Will I always see myself as thinner than I really am?

I think it’s a vicious cycle for young women. I notice this in my 9 year old daughter already. How can a skinny little thing like her look in the mirror and feel like she’s fat???? She had a complete meltdown the other night trying to find clothes to put on. She was hysterically screaming that she was fat and nothing fit her!! I couldn’t believe my eyes; it was like watching my childhood all over again. Why? What have I done as a mother to cause my beautiful daughter to feel this way? I’m still not sure. I NEVER talk about my body in front of the girls, ever. So I think it’s just society’s way of passing down the body image thing. I’m not sure how Hunter feels like she should look, but she’s not happy with her body and I need to help her change those feelings now!

So wanted to share that I've found this AWESOME free online diet program, Spark People. In the past I've used Weight Watchers Online, but money is super tight, so I couldn't fork out the cash for a diet plan. I was referred to Spark People by friends, who very enthusiastically recommended them. You can track your nutrition; they have a huge list of food comparable to WW Online, Nutrition Data, and Calorie-Count. You can track your fitness, not only cardio, but also strength training. But best of all, is that they supply a diet plan (a very reasonable calorie range), meal plans (for those of us with little creativity when dieting), and a fitness plan (it's like a personal trainer). They have tons of articles on nutrition, fitness, motivation, health and wellbeing. They have a huge community with lots of supportive message boards covering virtually every topic. You can even join a team and lose weight together. They have a great selection of healthy recipes, and they even have a recipe builder so you can calculate the calories in your favorite homemade sticky buns! And what does all of this cost? Nothing! It's free! They have private sponsors, so yes, there are ads. But hey, it's free! Check it out, I bet you'll love it!


Nicole Benjamin said...

CONGRATS on the weight loss!!!! That is AWESOME!! I love reading your blog!! #11 is a TOUGh one to over come!!! I like how you said that it doesn't matter the size, each woman has their own insecurities!!! That is SO TRUE!!! Keep up the good work :) & keep posting about it b/c it's VERY motivating :) Reading your post just made my day!!!

The Gingerich Family said...

Great Job, Leah!!! We need to start a neighborhood walk group or something. Anytime you need to just walk, give me a call.

Audrey said...

Way to go! We're cheering for you!

Ashley said...

I have alrady posted it on fb but I wanted to tell you again. Way to go!!! Keep up on the posting...It seems like it is motivating other people out there (even me) and is probably helping you type these feelings/thoughts. I agree with Jess. Maybe some of us should get together and walk, bike or run sometime!!! I'm in:)

Crystal said...

I am thinking of you and so excited with your progress. You are a beautiful person inside and out, and it is amazing to me to see that we all struggle with something. Thank you for sharing with us. I will keep you in my prayers.

Chelsa said...

thanks again for being so open and honest. when you talked about hunter being 9 and worried about being fat it really hit home. i was probably right at that age when weight started becoming a concern to me... and i was SCRAWNY. it's def. society and how girls feel the need to compare themselves to one another... it's so sad!