Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Journey

On February 7th of 2000 I began a diet. Now, more than 9 years later, it is truly a lifestyle. Never did I imagine that I would be succesful on a weight loss plan much less make it a lifestyle! A lifestyle? Now that was a new word to me. I must admit, in my lifetime, I have never followed through with anything except childbirth and that, only because I had no choice. Hey, I just wanted to lose weight! I wanted to be thin, and I wanted it now! I have been on many diets in my lifetime. Interestingly enough, many of my childhood struggles were finally figured out through my weightloss journey and nutrition education. I think this might be the most valuable self discovery I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

Let's take a look back so you have a better idea of this discovery I speak of. This is important to me because if I can help you or someone else understand the value of optimum nutrition and our children, it is my hope that one less child will be medicated un-necessarily, garner self esteem, focus, complete projects, express creativity in a controlled manner and blend in just like the rest of the children. Yes, I was that child. I can take this a step further though and share with you not only did I have at that time Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms but as well, a slight tick and some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tendencies. I am not nor was I ever officially diagnosed. This was the early 1970's and while I did see a therapist off an on, I can honestly say it did not contribute to any success for me. I had an average childhood, loving parents and plenty of activities to prevent boredom. It wasn't enough though to keep me busy, hire tutors or trips to weekly therapy. Fortunatly, medication was never introduced and as far as I remember, never even discussed. You may be wondering at this point why I've decided to go so deep into my childhood rather than just give you my diet story but my revelations have been so huge that this is in fact an integral part of this journey of self discovry, weight loss and the road to better health. The key to my story is my constant thoughts of food as a child.

I was about 15-20lbs. over weight for most of my childhood. My Mother was conscisous about not only her weight but mine as well. We went on diets frequently but they were always forms of fad diets to lose weight only to discontinue it after several weeks or upon arrival of an event we were preparing for. My best memory of dieting was the TWA Stewardess diet that was quite popular in the 1970's. What do I remember most? I was always hungry. I remember constantly thinking about food. A box of candy, a plate of fudge or cookies, I would try to eat as much as I could as frequently as possible. If it was in the room, it was constantly on my mind.

Fast forward several years, many diets and still, I am un-focused and 210 lbs. on a 5' 4" frame. I guess it was time once again for Weight Watchers. I was succesful with this plan after my third child but never without the assistance of diet pills. I had what I thought was a ravenous appetite but most importantly would consistently chastise myself for a lack of discipline. I can't say "nothing worked" or "that diet failed me" because truly, I never really completed a plan to a goal weight I would be happy with and never was I ever focused enough to complete an exercise program that others might say would garner great results. As I mentioned earlier, follow through and persaverence is not a virtue of the ADD person unless there is a great deal of interest and when I mention the use of diet pills, the ADD person is also more inclined to become addicted to substances such as appetite supressants. My husband and I always shopped together, tried to make healthful choices usually serving chicken and some form of vegetables but it was always either low or non fat choices. As most parents, we did the best we could with the information we had.

In December of 1999, my oldest daughter just a Junior in high school heard me comment on a neighbor who had shed several pounds on The Atkins Diet. Now, at this time, nutrition was not a word I was even vaguely familar with. I knew that vegetables and fruit were healthy but the extent of which I consumed vegetables were minimal and high glycemic fruits were always my first choice ie: corn and bananas. Enter my daughter at Christmas and my very own copy of Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution. As I had done with everything else started in my life, I only read the first few chapters and began the diet without first completing the book. The only books I had ever completed were Danielle Steele novels so why would anyone expect I would finish my copy of DANDR? Fortuanetly, we had also purchased our first computer that year and we were on-line! I am so thankful for the internet because I attribute my success to the access to bulletin boards directly devoted to the Atkins Diet. While I don't currently follow the Atkins plan, it's a great start for one truly interested in transitioning to a whole foods lifestyle with weightloss as a fabulous benefit. My losses were great, the food was filling and for the first time in my life I was losing weight without diet pills or starvation! I was elated. I have never looked back, I have not gained and I most importantly, have discovered the secret to my constant hunger and cravings. It was all in my head and I figured out how to fix it. It hasn't been an easy road, I did not slide right into goal rather I made many mistakes along the way. These mistakes and stalls have allowed me to learn new things about myself, the food I was consuming and the choices I was consciously making. While it was frustrating during a stall, I knew there were changes I could make to get that scale to budge. Sometimes I made those changes and sometimes I did not. I knew though that I was eating and I was eating well. Maintaining wasn't a bad thing, it actually assisted me in realizing what my body would sustsain on. Never did I count a calorie or carbohydrate rather I would eat intuitively which was a control that I never once had previously.

What I have realized is that when one is properly nourished, one does not have cravings or impulsive food thoughts. It's almost miraculous the control I now have over my food choices. While I learned a great deal about food and nutrition on my own, I had a need to learn more. A desire to help others discover the secret of my success! With much thought, I decided that I needed an education in this new found passion. I enrolled in my community college and Nutrition 101 here I come! Well, 6 weeks into this mundane class, I decided studying the USDA Food Pyramid was not my gig. It had not worked for me in the past why would this course make it any different? Though I wasn't educated in nutrition, I knew these conventional teachings did not work for me and there had to be something different. This leads me to my formal education at The Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition. I finally found what I had been looking for. Answers to 40+ years of struggles with weight, Attention Deficit Disorder and the slight OCD I had suffered so many years. I discovered the relationship between a healthy mind, body and holistic nutrition.

Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to building this as well as an interactive website with lifestyle recommendations.

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