So I’m on the treadmill, busting to my ass to work of a full year of a complete junk food diet and I have this lightning bolt moment - one of those scary and unsettling moments of pure lucidity.
I got fat in an attempt to make my mother like me! Holy crap!
My mother and I do not get along - at all. As a teenager I was very, very skinny - to the point that my grandmother (coincidentally nicknamed Skinny Nanny by my kids many years later!) insisted that I was anorexic. Ha! I ate everything I could get my hands on - and I mean everything! I live on Shreddies loaded with sugar and diet Coke for my entire teenager-hood.
My mother told me at one point that, and I quote: “No one will ever love you because you are too difficult to live with!” Talk about a self-esteem booster for an awkward teen!
So I got fat - I had my bouncing baby boy in 1993, got married to his father in 1994 and then had my precious daughter in 1995. And I continued to eat. I so wanted her approval, that in my own twisted way I thought that if I no longer was thin, maybe, just maybe she would like me!
After my divorce in 1997, I men the most wonderful man. We lived together for a while and then in October 1999 we got married. I had managed to diet my way down to a pretty reasonable weight for my height, and I looked pretty good.
I had my second bouncing baby boy in late 2000 and then my fabulous little girl in 2002. And by little I mean gigantic - she weighed in at 12lbs 1 oz. Yeah, take a moment and ponder that!
And I ate. And ate. And then in 2003 I had jaw surgery and went on a crash diet of nothing but liquids until I healed. And again I looked great.
Then we moved to Winnipeg and I got sick. I couldn’t move. I had zero energy - and some days it felt like I had been hit by a truck. I missed my dad, my sisters and brother and my gaggle of nieces and nephews. So I ate. And ate.
And the numbers kept getting higher and higher. And of course I blamed everything but myself. It was the meds, the fibro, the depression, the homesickness….yada yada yada.
But a bout with a brain tumour told me otherwise. I went to see an Endocrinologist about it - it’s called a prolactinoma - who seriously put me to rights with just a few words that have stuck in my head.
When I told him about my weight gain, he simply said, “Calories in must be less than calories out!”. The same thing you learned in health class and the last thing that diet companies want you to know. No fancy formulas - no thyroid troubles - only calories in must be less than calories out. Simple really.
Unfortunately it took me another full year of pondering to get off my ass and move. The couch is my buddy. Not now though.
Although I’m only able to run for a very short time, I’ve started walking three times per week. I’m also lifting weights and taking it slow (I’m generally an all-or-nothing kind of girl so I have to temper my enthusiasm to make sure I can keep it up!)
I’m watching what I eat - no more 4000 calorie days full of sugar and carbs.
So I’ve decided that since I have cut the toxicity of that woman out of my life, so can I cut out the toxicity of my bad health habits.