Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm a future success story - you know, in all of those motivating magazines.

Fifteen years ago I was in great shape. I wrote, with my then-husband, articles on nutrition and herbal supplements, and had them published in bodybuilding and fitness magazines such as Musclemag International. Somehow I put one foot on a slippery slope and ended up tumbling all the way to the bottom of the mountain.

During the past 15 years I have yo-yoed my way all the way from 140-210 stopping at many places in between. I am the poster child for yo yo dieting. I happily lost weight, angrily lost weight, and both cheerfully and grudgingly gained it.

How did I get to the point where I am now? I guess I simply gave up caring about myself and my health. I could blame it on a lot of other things but that is what it all boils down to.

My Dad, my hero, got sick in March of 2009. Despite the fact that he has always been my biggest fan, and concerned about my health I began to shovel it in with no limits at all. I ate cheeseburgers and french fries, pizzas, and entire bags of candy at my desk as a between meal snack. I drank up to 2 litres of Diet Coke a day and (not a surprise) took 4 times the regular dose of heartburn meds, supplemented by an entire bottle of Tums per week. My doctor was very alarmed and prescribed anti-depressants and stronger heartburn meds. They helped a little but not much.

In July, Dad lost his heroic battle and passed on in peace in the middle of the night. My only consolation was that we arrived in Arkansas the day before he died, and his smile lit the room. He was so happy to see "his girls". I didn't grieve the way I thought I would because I was busy taking care of my mother and two devastated girls. I arranged the funeral, fed the guests, gave the eulogy and wrote the thank you notes. After a couple of weeks we went home to Ontario where I continued to eat constantly.

I quit my job, started a business (which miraculously is doing well) and stuffed my face. I curled up on the couch in front of the TV and cried a lot.

My house fell into disarray, my looks were shot to hell and my children suffered. Finally, in the last week of November I got a call from the school that jarred me out of my fast-food fugue. It was my 9 year old daughter's teacher. " Your daughter is having a lot of trouble with organization. Her grades have fallen and she is not turning in her homework. She is arguing a lot with the other kids. This isn't like her. Is something going on at home?"

After I got off the phone with the teacher I burst into tears for the last allowable time. I looked around at the chaos and thought "How could I possibly expect a child to function when I'm not functioning?" I went up and looked in my daughter's room and it was an utter disaster. I had to get things under control or I was risking ruining my children's lives - things were that serious!

My first step was mucking out the house. I toted out bags of garbage - junk mail that had piled up for a couple of months. I hauled tons of stuff to the Salvation Army. I emptied the entire main floor, painted everything a nice soft color and only brought select items back in. I made a homework station in the family room where I could help the kids. Finally I apologized to my girls, truly and deeply from the bottom of my heart for letting them down.

I knew I also had to clean house within myself. I searched around online, looking for a way to get my eating under control, when I stumbled onto some information about Tosca Reno. THAT struck a cord of recognition. I looked at her "before" picture at the age of 40 and it truly could have been me. Same age, same general weight. I suddenly felt an amazing wave of peace. Finally I had a guideline on how to do what I needed to do. There was a book out there with my plan in it and the Internet was positively crawling with supplemental information and inspiration. I was so excited that night I could hardly sleep.

After I shipped the kids off to school the next morning I went out in search of The Clean Eating Diet and Clean Eating Magazine. I bought groceries with clean eating in mind.

And that was Day One. Every stairway has a bottom step and you have to get past that one to get to the second step up, and so on from there.

So far I am on Day Five and I feel fabulous. I have lost 4 pounds (yep I know it's water and frankly I don't care - don't kill my buzz!) I haven't had one sip of diet Coke or anything fizzy for 5 days and yesterday I walked past a sample of a new potato chip at the grocery store without trying one. I'm on a roll. My heartburn meds are down to ONE A DAY!

I'm nowhere near my goal but I feel great! I feel CERTAIN. I have to honor my dad by moving forward and living the very best life I can live, and raising my girls to be joyful women. He would be so sad to be up there in heaven and see me wallowing in potato chips, crying my eyes out. If he is looking down on me, and I know he is, I want him to be saying "That's my girl" just like he has my whole entire life.

So this is my journal, because a trip like this is too good not to be recorded.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Karen and I am a future Success Story.

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