Thursday, September 3, 2009

Here’s a weight loss post. I wrote it in response to a woman’s post on an on-line weight loss/fibromyalgia support group I’m involved with. She wrote in that she was slacking off due to stress and a flare up of fibromyalgia. Stress happens; flare ups of chronic illnesses, injuries, and so forth happen, too. You have to roll with it sometimes!

It will happen when you're ready! I carried around almost 50 extra pounds for 15 years, trying like crazy to lose it the whole time. I would make progress then have setbacks, like problems with my feet preventing me from really exercising, my pregnancies, (I gained the weight before I had my first child, so I was heavy for all 3), the stress of renovating and moving into a new house, and the fibromyalgia diagnosis just to name a few. I finally got to a point where I wasn't gaining anymore (thank goodness) but I wasn't losing, either. During that time I was learning a lot about nutrition and making the switch to healthy eating. I subscribed to Cooking Light magazine, learned to slim down our family favorite recipes, took a nutrition class at the local hospital wellness center, went back to Weight Watchers for a time, etc., etc., etc. I was also trying to walk at least a few days every week with the kids, using a stroller when they were little, not far or fast but just getting out there on a regular basis to develop the habit. I never gave up! Once I was in a good place mentally and physically (in spite of still having fibro, of course) I put the puzzle pieces in place and lost the weight. I started weighing and measuring my portions, switched to a tiny plate AND utensils, cut out "seconds", and started REALLY walking. The Eldest was finally old enough to baby sit for the half hour I wanted to walk, so I stopped taking the kids with me which meant I could go farther and faster. (I still take them with me once in a while for their health!! They can mostly keep up with me now.) The weight melted off, but it was all the work I did leading up to that point that helped me succeed.

What I've taken away from that experience is that if you aren't in the right place to lose right this second, you can still gear up for when the right time arrives. Find healthy recipes your family will enjoy and that work with your cooking abilities, budget, and time limitations. Work on preparing healthy foods. Work on gentle exercise and daily MOVEMENT of some kind so you are building up for the time when you can REALLY start exercising. Read about nutrition and exercise. There are a TON of websites out there to help you, too. Prevention magazine is one- they have free diet motivation tools. I cleaned up my bookmarks last night and ran across a few others:

Healthy Yum: It's like Food Gawker only healthy! Click on the picture to get to the website with the recipes.
Meals Matter: Healthy meal planning
Spark People: More healthy eating! Includes meal finder
World’s Healthiest Foods
National Weight Control Registry
Mediterrasian: I found this one yesterday; it looks promising!!
Prevention Magazine
Cooking Light Magazine: (but when you look for recipes be careful; they've combined their recipe site with Southern Living so not all of the recipes are healthy; check the nutrition info. If it has it, it's probably from Cooking Light, if not, it's probably from Southern Living. But even Cooking Light has some recipes I wouldn't use for every day, and vice versa- some of the Southern Living recipes are pretty healthy and tasty.)
Recipe for Living: More healthy meals and info
Healthy Monday: endorsed by all sorts of good-for-you organizations

These are such a small sample of what's out there!

I'm rooting for you!!! :) (And for myself, too; I'm still struggling with the weight I gained on vacation- NINE POUNDS!! I keep doing the yo-yo thing with 2 or 3 pounds, and I still have 5 to go after that. It's a constant battle, even at maintenance, or close to maintenance, anyway.)

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