How I’m taking it one step at the time

Losing weight is hard you guys!

Yes, I know, water is wet, the sea begins on the shore and losing weight is hard. Cue sarcasm.

I originally started this blog almost a year and a half ago. I was working out at the time with a personal trainer and we wanted a space where we could chronicle my weight loss journey. It didn’t work out. I went from training 3-4 times a week to training none at all. During the last year I got a mild tear on my knee due to falling on ice, I managed to tear my soft tissues in my shoulder, plus hairline fractures due to a fall from the bike (there went my summer) and also, I spent about 3 months investigating what my doctor initially told me might be ovarian cancer, but what ended up being inflammation of the small intestine – still bad, because the drugs I took were aggressive AF, but hey, at least it wasn’t cancer. Also, we were trying to have a baby, so that meant visits to a fertility specialist. Between bad luck with multiple injuries – the shoulder one really was horrific and still hurts, even though I went through a bout of physical therapy and I’m trying to do exercises at home continuously – and my other disease and the fertility assessment, I’m pretty sure I saw more doctors last year than in the rest of my life combined. And I’m 33 years old. It got to the point where I got blood drawn 4 times in 5 weeks. I was looking like a drug addict, with needle marks all over my arms and my colleagues at work were starting to really give me the side eye.

So that happened. I’m counting as a win the fact that I managed to not put on more weight. I am also counting as a win the fact that I managed to squeeze a nutritionist visit among the other doctor visits. I’m also counting as a win the fact that I don’t actually have cancer, ovarian or any other kind and I also don’t have Crohn’s Disease, which was also something that was considered at some point. I have “just” the acute version of Crohn’s Disease. It’s responding to medication. Yeey! Go me!

This blog fell through the cracks. It wasn’t exactly a priority and I think anyone can understand why. Writing this list here, I’m not entirely sure how I held on to my sanity, to be honest. I’m really grateful to have a wonderful husband. The man is a miracle, he held my hand when I was really in the dumps and he can make me smile even when I’m down. He also knows how to live me alone when I just want to sit on the couch and mope, because life is not fair. My dogs are also really helpful. We now have 2, we got Pipsqueak in the autumn, she was just waiting on the side of the road, a small, young, stray dog with no owner. She’s now queen of the yard and always first to face off with the neighbor’s cats (No cats are harmed, they stay in their yard, my dogs stay in ours and we all get along like a house on fire). Having dogs is a blessing, truly.

I mentioned that I managed to see a nutritionist. I’m weary of them, usually, because I *know* what I need to do in order to lose weight. I know that veggies are good and that’s what we should be eating the most of. I *know* soda is bad. I *know* refined anything is not as good as healthy, from scratch, home cooked food. I *know* all that. I don’t need anyone else to tell me about it. I’m perfectly aware of what I *should* eat. It’s just so damn hard. So. Damn. Hard! I come home at 7 o’clock after a long day of work, when I’m dealing with shitty health problems and I don’t want to spend 1 hour cooking a gourmet meal that is going to get eaten in like 5 minutes and then spend half an hour cleaning the dishes. I don’t have the energy for that. It’s hard. Sure, I’m quite aware that there are bigger problems in the world right now. There are people who have nothing to eat. They don’t have the choice between veggies and pasta with cheese sauce because there is no pasta and there is no cheese and no veggies either. Sure, there are people caught up in war torn countries that would change their life with mine in a heart beat. Somehow that doesn’t make it easier for me. Somehow that doesn’t make me more energetic, it rather makes me sadder and angry at a society that permits this to happen and angry that I can’t do anything to fix that. I can’t stop Assad from bombing his own people. I can’t end world hunger. My donations only reach a very limited number of people and they might even do more bad than good. And sad people make bad food decisions. And we’re back on the wheel of shame and recriminations.

So I stopped watching the news. I stopped using Facebook. I went to the nutritionist and she was nice. She told me about their program, which is based on some scientific mumbo jumbo that translates to: everyone is different and everyone needs to eat stuff that does not promote inflammation in their bodies. I got my blood drawn – again – and it was sent to Germany to be analyzed. After 5 weeks I’ll get my detailed diet plan, with types of foods that are good for me and types of food that are bad for me and stuff that’s neutral. I need to stick to the allowed foods and eat 3 times a day, at fixed intervals of at least 5 hours and no snacks in between. I’ve asked her how many people managed to lose weight with her diet. She told me that out of 4000 people, only 8 did not manage to lose any weight, mostly because they really didn’t want to. She also told me that it’s up to me to lose weight, she can only provide guidance. At least she was upfront about it. I like that in a person. Her Facebook page is full of people who managed to lose astounding amounts of weight in a very short time. For example about 20 pounds in 6 weeks for one lady. That would feel amazing, to be honest. She told me that if I follow the diet to a T, then she can guarantee that I will lose at least that amount of weight just as quickly so I’m pretty hopeful. The entire program lasts for a year, so I’m not too worried that it’s going to be a lose weight quickly and then put it back on kind of thing.

3rd of March is when I start on the plan and I’m getting ready for a shock to the system. Since I had 5 weeks I started to prepare for it. I slowly changed my diet to resemble what it will be when I’m in the program. Every week it’s one change and one change only and then the next week is building on top of that with one more good thing. For example, my first week challenge was only to do 5 minutes of therapy for my shoulder first thing in the morning. Sure, it might seem simple to most people but it taught me consistency. Just 5 minutes is not a big deal. I can do anything for 5 minutes. But once you stop yourself reaching for your phone or computer for the first 5 minutes of your morning (ok, after the regular stuff like going to the bathroom and such), then your entire morning can change and become more productive. At least it did for me. I stopped checking my email and instead focused on doing something good for myself. The impact was quite big for such a small change.

The next week, I changed my diet a bit on top of the early morning exercises. I still could eat whatever I wanted, but I had to do it in 3 main meals. No snacks between meals, not even “healthy” snacks. It was .. not easy. We had guests that Sunday and It’s not easy serving snacks to other people and have nothing for me. I caved on Sunday but was pretty consistent during the week. It feels so empowering to take charge of what I’m eating. Sure, to most people this is a no-brainer, but I love having the headspace to saying no to food. I love knowing that I’m doing good things for myself. And it feels good to celebrate my small victories.

This week I’ve added an additional challenge to the queue. One of those 3 meals is going to be healthy. The breakfast to be precise. I’m going to have veggies and protein for breakfast every day for a week. So yesterday it was boiled eggs and roasted pepper, today it was pork cutlets with assorted veggies and I’m planning fish and veggies for at least 2 days and probably some soup for the rest of the days. The healthy breakfast has the added benefit of having actually 2 good meals in it. Since I’m cooking for breakfast,  I might as well cook for lunch as well, so both my husband and I are eating good stuff for lunch, even if I’m eating some chocolate as well. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and my diet won’t change completely in a day either, but a million good decision will add up to a healthier lifestyle and lighter body in the end. Baby steps!






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