Happy St. Paddy’s Day one and all! I hope you’re all celebrating responsibly and feeling the luck o’ the Irish. If you are one of the many today over indulging, more power to you! Just remember the calories do count, and tomorrow will come, so make smart decisions.
On to today’s topic: Ignorance. Growing up, we were utterly and completely and blissfully unaware of the importance of food. We knew we had to finish what was on our plates because there were (and are) starving children in Africa. But that was about the start and finish of what we knew about food.
Unfortunately for some of us, our nutritional education ended there. I didn’t know eating bread would make me fat. I had no idea there were certain foods you should eat at certain times of the day. I certainly didn’t know eating an entire plate of mashed potatoes was considered unhealthy. I was completely clueless! I lived in a world of blissful ignorance… Until I hit my 20s. Then chaos ensued.
Today’s Uncomfortable Truth:
Ignorance Will Steal Your Bliss
Food only meant pleasure to me growing up. I like Coke. I want Coke. I drink Coke now. Little did I know it was rotting my teeth (which I wouldn’t discover until I went to the dentist at 26 after not going for 5 years and discovered I had my first SEVEN cavities) and it was changing my body in ways I would inevitably grow to regret. We always had sweets in our house. Cookies, cake, pop, crackers, chips, you name it we had it. We never thought anything of it. It was just food! We had no idea that eventually we would grow up, stop running around like maniacs, our metabolism would slow down, and we would get fat. It was an unavoidable truth of which we were blissfully ignorant.
My weight roller-coastered like crazy when my metabolism started slowing down. Honestly it started when I was still a kid, around grade 5 or 6 I started to pudge out. We moved into a new house with satellite TV and I would sit there for hours devouring all these cartoons I had never seen before. Then around the end of Jr. High I started walking more and I slimmed back down again. By the end of High School however my fate was sealed. I had developed the mother of all sweet tooths, and nothing could have stopped that train wreck. Except maybe some information, a glimpse into my future… But even then I doubt it. It’s like I said in a previous blog: Weight gain was some abstract notion of something that might happen in the future. But that pizza was sitting in front of me at that moment looking and smelling irresistible.
After that it was a gong show. I ballooned up to 170 pounds before I even knew what hit me. That’s when I started fighting back. I didn’t have the tools, but I had motivation. I started walking more, I attempted to watch what I was eating. I was broke, living with some friends in the city, so not having money for groceries most weeks really helped me drop some pounds. Plus walking everywhere since I couldn’t really afford transportation was a major bonus.
It all turned around when I met the man I’m still with today. I was in good shape, thanks to the broke girl diet, and we would spend all of our time outside. Hiking, exploring, it was amazing! Before I knew it I was in great shape. Then I went on unemployment and basically became a bump on a log for a few months. The pounds started slowly stacking up more and more… Luckily, he wasn’t like everyone else I knew up until that point. He didn’t pat me on the head and hand me a brownie to make me feel better about gaining weight. He helped me. He started researching healthy eating and gently pointed me in the right direction. He would come over and take me out for walks, show me exercises I could do, basically he snapped me out of it. He showed me that I was the one in control. Weight gain wasn’t “just happening” to me, I was making it happen to me.
And I was the only one who could turn it around.
So I started going to the gym, tracking my weight, really watching my diet. It was fantastic! For the first time in my life I felt like a winner. Then a year later I got pregnant and all hell broke loose again.
Gah! Life. It always manages to get in the way. At that point in the story, most women would give up. Hell, a lot of them have. It’s one thing to gain the “Freshman 15” and bounce back. It’s quite another to gain the “Pregnant Lady 70” and have your skin lose its ability to “bounce back.” But I have fought tooth and nail to get here. I wanted to quit. More times than I can count. But I knew I didn’t want to live the rest of my life like that. I didn’t want to die a little every time I looked in the mirror. I didn’t want to think my partner was lying to me every time he told me I was beautiful. I wanted to earn it. I wanted to be a MILF. Yep, I said it. Vanity is a funny thing. It can be the death of us, or it can be the perfect motivating factor to kick it into high gear.
So yes, ignorance has stolen my bliss time and time again. I’m sure many of you have very similar stories. It’s not fun to put it all on front street. To completely own up to our failures. But when you do, you take your power back.
I am the one who got me fat. It wasn’t the Oreo commercials. It wasn’t the inventors of the Caramilk bar (bastards.) And it certainly wasn’t Ben or Jerry. It was me. I alone put on all that weight.
And I alone took it off again.
I can now state with overwhelming pride that I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant. We started the Slow Carb Diet one year ago. I weighed in at a whopping 186 pounds. I am now down to 135. It is the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced. Second only to having a baby, obviously.
I know you can do it too! It’s never too late. It’s never impossible. The only thing standing in your way is YOU. Stop letting ignorance steal your bliss. Do some research, keep reading my blog, follow me on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/last20pounds and Facebook at www.facebook.com/lasttwentypounds for tons of amazing recipes and motivation. You don’t have to do this alone. I’ve already made the path, you just need to follow it.