November 15, 2013

What a Difference a Year Can Make, Part 1

I'm really about thinking forward and what is next, and I don't always find it convenient to spend time looking back.
But I'm coming up on my one year start on Trim, Healthy Mama.  I've done an evaluation already, mainly because the whole weight loss thing to me is so much more mental than physical, and I was honestly having a hard time wrapping my head around it and seeing any change.
No, I don't have a history of eating disorders.  I have never been anything more than just overweight, but when you live most of your life in that place with your body, it's hard to check your head out of it sometimes.

I started THM last November.  I am not tiny or small framed and when I was a teen I always felt so much bigger and heavier than everyone else.  I also had horrible eating habits and lived on mostly junk food that I ate in excess.  I thought I was too big or clumsy to exercise and never wanted to think of sweating.
In my 20s I discovered a more natural style of living that led to a transition to vegetarianism and veganism, but one that included lots of snack foods and sweets.  I was an overweight vegan actually.
Then at 29 I had my first child..  I was working in a high-stress, fast-paced job about 50 hours a week while pregnant and lived on simple carbs and junk food.
After the baby was born and I spent more time at home, I needed a physical outlet so I joined a gym.  I was working out 2 hrs a day 5 days a week and I loved it.  I also started counting every morsel of food that I ate.  I knew the fat, fiber, carbs.... everything.  I kept a food diary with me at all times and if I didn't have the information memorized or a label to copy, I'd look it up to keep on file.
For the first time in my life I was at a healthy weight, but was constantly looking to tweak my food to lean my body down further.  I was enslaved to counting every calorie going in and afraid to not exercise.

Flash forward a few years and I had another baby, moved, started back to work full-time to support our family on the night shift while homeschooling my kids during the day.
I was determined that whole foods were the way to go and no longer counted every bite.  I thought I could eat all the raw milk, bread from grain that I ground and raw honey, but then the pounds started creeping on.  The stress was causing hormonal issues, and I was falling apart.

I think I figured this was just what happens when you hit middle age.  I was in my late 30s and it was just the way it was going to be.
I'd fight and starve to lose 1-2 pounds, and the old things that always had worked in the past for me didn't help at all.  I was still exercising, but with the extra weight it was difficult.

It took me about 5 years off of nights to truly heal my adrenal system.  I felt that I was peri-menopausal as I was still having some issues, I wasn't ovulating, and at this point in my early 40s, I decided on a return to a low-fat, vegan diet, this time without the junk food.  I focused on vegetables and fresh, raw foods.
Fall 2012
After a few weeks I was feeling great and realized that I must be in menopause early.  Turns out my hormones got the resetting that they needed as I was pregnant, not menopausal.  I delivered a healthy baby boy at 43 and felt great.  I had exercised and run through most of the pregnancy and even though I was heavy was in great shape except for my weight.  

And I was putting more and more weight on each week.  I wasn't eating any more.  Again, I figured I was middle-aged and it was just something to deal with and accept.
I didn't feel that I could cut back or return to vegetarianism and keep a milk supply that wasn't great to begin with, and I was just so hungry all the time.

Then I heard about THM.  It was food combining, and I was dubious.  $35 was a lot to spend on a book.  Any book.  And what if, like everything else, it didn't work?  It just seemed to be a gimmick to me.

But I bought the book,and it was delivered the day before Thanksgiving.  I read the book the next day, and started the day after that on Friday.  
I was amazed after a 6.5 pound loss the first week.  And my milk supply was up.  And I wasn't hungry or going without.
Yes, I have a history of counting foods and a nutrition background so I knew what carbs and glycemic index were, but I will add it was still a daunting plan to start.  I took it one day at a time.  I planned out meals the day in advance and initially would have either all S or all E days so that if I got hungry I could eat when I pleased.
I also still enjoy coffee each morning with a muffin, and often in the evenings have a glass of merlot with laughing cow wedge and wasa cracker.  The fact that I could enjoy what felt like splurges and still lose weight was amazing to me.  No other diet plan said to enjoy coffee or wine.

I don't have to be a slave to food or exercise.  I can enjoy them both for the tools that they are, but they don't rule my life.

It's now been one year and I've been successful at maintaining a 40 pound loss for a few months now.
The first 25 pounds came off in just over 3 months and then things slowed at bit.  It took about 10 months to get to my goal and where I am right now.

There's been a lot of buzz in the blog world lately about THM, but my metabolism hasn't suffered at all.  I have not had any hairloss or skin changes that were negative.  I actually have thicker hair and better skin now than I've seen in many years.  I am still nursing the toddler as well.  I have energy and strength.  When I was sick with mastitis my body was in such a good spot that it didn't linger or get really bad like when I had it with my other babies.
I'm exercising at a higher intensity (using Focus T25) than I've been able to do in a long time.
And I am almost able to wrap my head around the fact that I'm not overweight or dowdy or fat.
I got over it, and need to see myself as a vital and capable person.

I think my next step is not to worry about how to maintain.  It's actually not been difficult so far.  Sometimes fear is what is holding us back and I can't live in fear that I'm going to get heavy again.
The next step is to take the new-found body and energy I have been given and discover what my purpose holds in the coming years.  For so long it's been just about getting through or just keeping my head above the surface, but I feel potential and life that I haven't felt for many years.

I am not someone who likes putting themself out there.  Yeah, I have a little blog that gives me something to do and a place where I know I'll be able to find recipes or herbal info that I want to remember (I'll forget where I put it otherwise).  But there seem to be so many people who have given up or who are still searching.
I want people to not give up, but to have hope.  I want to see healing and people recapturing their lives.
Not all things will work for all people, and not every plan is  a good fit for all people.  I don't have any health issues and have pretty good genes overall.  But this plan has worked so well for me and given me my life back.  I was at a point to where I thought I had to accept things as they were and as a  part of growing older, but that's a lie.  It is possible.
November 2012 and 2013

And I hate things that are 2 parts personally, but this is already too long already.  Part 2 is going to be more about how I integrated THM more specifically.  Find Part 2 HERE.

This post is shared for Trim, Healthy Tuesday at Gwen's Nest.


Anonymous said...


Cat said...

Thank you for this. I appreciate the encouragement. Approaching 40 in a few weeks myself and am in the "dowdy" feeling camp. I've also had my book just over a year but didn't really implement it till April and then just sporadically. Your story inspires me. :) And you look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your encouragement and insight--and for 'putting yourself out there' to support a great eating lifestyle like THM. It's great to see the pioneers of THM having long term success (frequently maintaining goal weight is the very hard part!). You are lovely, and I appreciate your inspiration!

The Skinny on Staci said...

Found your link in a THM post. I did the program for 3.5 days, then fell off and have been eating SO horrible. Went to the doctor yesterday and was 233.... never in my life have I seen the 230s. In fact, 215 was my heaviest until this year. Scary! My main issue with THM was needing to plan ahead and stop stressing and figure out just how to incorporate my husband and four homeschooled children into the mix. They aren't overweight. :::sigh::: Looking forward to reading your blog for tips, ideas, and encouragement!

Gwen said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I agree that there is a mind aspect to losing weight that is important to look at. It's an major part of being a whole, balanced person to be self-aware like this, and you really capture that in these reflections.