The history of the “Plateaued” Housewife
A couple of long time girlfriends came back in to my life for a short time last year.
We were out for lunch talking about one of my usual conversation topics
Over pizza and a salad I complained
“I have tried so many times to exercise and it never seems to work and I diet but it never seems to work”
I will never forget my previously robust teenage friend looking at me with her “stop complaining” eyes and replying
“You have to do both diet and exercise together. It is the only way to lose weight”
What she said changed my attitude forever but not my motivation. I was tired of my excuses too but everything in life had to come easy for me or I wasn’t interested in pursuing it. I didn’t want to try. I didn’t want to have hardship (like sore muscles and boring aerobic exercise) and so like always I didn’t follow through.
Shortly after this I was visiting the family doctor and while waiting in her office I noticed the BMI chart. I knew I was overweight but not OVERWEIGHT. I discovered I was almost in the obese category. I was shocked. The chart also noted that at my BMI the chances of getting an “obese related disease” was likely and the chance of dying of an obese related disease was high. My thoughts immediately turned to my ancestors who died of heart disease and my father who had just been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes. Days that followed I began to notice that my body was not functioning well with the 20 years of inactivity and poor eating habits. I was having trouble sleeping feeling like the flab on my neck was closing my windpipe and the heaviness of my chest made breathing difficult. However I still didn’t follow through.
Last winter I was on vacation at my parents snow bird home in Arizona and while swimming under the water and holding my breath I felt a great pressure in my chest that worried me. My heart was hurting really hurting. I was scared when I admitted to myself that I had been suffering these pains for a least a year and ignoring it. I sat in the pool saying to myself is there nothing that can motivate me? My health didn’t seem to motivate me, living for my children didn’t motivate me, wanting to look good for my hubby didn’t motivate me…what was going to motivate me???
An email from a friend.
She was offering support and her email said “want to start “Insanity” when you get back? I bought it today and I need you to help me stick with it.” I emailed her back that I was in and that I wouldn’t let her down. I returned home and we made a plan – meet at her house after dropping the kids at school, weigh in and exercise for 30 minutes.
I weighed 194lbs or 196lbs I forget. I will never forget day 1. It was hard and I wanted to stop. It hurt my muscles and my knees. My friend whom I will call the “desperate to lose weight” housewife was shocked at how slow I was going and told me that I needed to reach a certain number of repetitions before the 30 minutes was up. I did it. I had to. I needed to be accountable for my friend as well as myself. The weight started to come off quickly and I was hooked.
I had found motivation in helping someone else be motivated.
Days passed, months passed, favorite videos were played, the elliptical became more of an exercise machine than a towel rack and then “desperate” housewife said something that has become my mantra every time I weigh myself:
“I never want to see that number again”.
She probably doesn’t remember saying it nor does she know the impact of what she said . I never want to see those numbers again and I never want to go through this struggle again. This was the hardest thing to dedicate to and I was using every bit of my will power to achieve the most important gift I could give myself. I never wanted to go back to being OVERWEIGHT ever again!
I truly believe that being overweight robbed me of my confidence. As the great Marcus Messiah Garvey said
“If you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started. ”
I realize that working on looking good makes you feel better about yourself. Now I know that it is okay to be pretty. Everyone already loves me for what is inside it is my turn to be loved for what is outside. I do not want to be lazy about my appearance and I don’t want to hide anymore.
This is a brief summary of the psychology I used to get this far:
Sacrament/Sacrifice – My spiritual belief teaches that I should cover my hair but for many years it was the only attractive attribute I had. My sacrament was to give up wearing my hair open in public and in return I would reach my weight loss goals. This technique works, whether you believe that the Creator granted my wish and accepted my payment (which is what I choose to believe) or whether you believe that it is just the psychology of having a constant reminder of your goals. I have overcome eating sugar and salt with this approach wanting to be granted all of my greatest desires.
Exercise – sweat everyday don’t let a day go by that you don’t exercise for at least 30 minutes. I am a mother of 4 children ranging in age 2 – 8years old. If I can make time than everyone can make time.
Water – I now don’t allow myself any other liquid until I have drank all of the water that needs to be drank in a day. Remember water has no calories and only drinking water prevents drinking sugary things or teas and coffees with additives like cream and caffeine (however when I started out on this quest I replaced snacking with coffee drinking (black coffee that is) and it really helped! But I still made sure to drink my water.)
Changing my relationship with food – I wanted to enjoy fresh food for its natural taste no dip, no sauce, no cooking just raw. I call this the ITAL approach. Eat fresh just like the Creator cooked it. Change your mind about what tastes good and focus on what ITAL natural raw food can do for your body
Diet – I had done some research on canola oil and found disturbing information. Canola oil was genetically modified from Rape Seed (which can not be ingested by humans). Canola oil was found to give people headaches, I suffered from migraines that were strange and scary (loss of vision and numbness up my arms into my throat) and life stopping. Can’t really drive my kids when I have tunnel vision. I wanted to be rid of them so I vowed that I wouldn’t eat canola oil. Well you would be surprised how many things have canola oil (Montreal Steak Spice – REALLY? Peanut Butter – REALLY? Broth – REALLY? Certain fried nuts – REALLY) It seemed canola oil was the oil of choice. I switched to grapeseed but when I returned from my vacation in Arizona I gave up eating any processed oils. Especially the fatty oils in cheese. No it doesn’t have canola oil and I know it is hard to give up cheese but I will tell everyone that cheese is not a weight loss food and no one can convince me that it is healthy. Eventually I gave up sugar and now have given up eating salt as well. I eat mostly raw food, boiled food and nuts. I am never hungry. This diet isn’t for everyone but remember you must change your relationship with food.
I would rather look good than eat good!
Posture – This is an emotional subject for me. I am not ready to get into great detail here but have discovered that poor posture can create chaos in ones life. There is a posture and shape of body that is ideal for good health. I know I will write more on this later. Basically sitting up straight helps your pelvic health, it burns more calories than slouching and makes you look thinner.
Going to bed early and waking up early – You can see from my self portraits that some were taken at 6am or earlier. Getting up early helps you have enough time in the day to exercise. Going to bed early prevents eating late at night and gives you more energy to exercise.
This is my approach…what is yours?
Let us know.