I weighed 112 pounds on the day Art and I were married in 1988, which is a bit on the low side for my height. I really wasn’t watching what I ate, but I was riding my bike every day, walking when I could, and never ate much for dinner anyway. Also, I had essentially stopped eating for the 3 days prior to the wedding, so within a month afterwards I was back up to my normal 120.
I have never been a gym rat and was pretty agoraphobic the first few years of our marriage. I pretty much gave up on exercise during that time, although I would occasionally go to the gym with Art to play racquetball. Over the next few years my weight went up to 135.
After the births of my boys I stabilized around 140 and was quite happy at that weight for another 7 years, taking regular walks with Art and occasionally attempting the gym. I knew I had gained weight, but I still liked how I looked in clothes and was so busy running after two little boys that it never occurred to me I was out of shape.
In October 2001 Art was recalled to active duty in the Air Force. Fortunately, he was never sent into a combat area, but he was gone from home more frequently than before. I turned to comfort food more than ever. Cheetos, Cheez-its, Velveeta shells and cheese, popcorn with lots of butter, tortilla chips with queso dip and Nestle’ King Size Triple Chocolate cones were my favorite. One one of Art’s overseas trips I gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks. By 2003 I was up to 155 pounds.
I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight However, I still didn’t see the benefit of exercise. I was still walking one or two days a week with Art and doing crunches whenever I felt guilty (not that often) but that was about it. Family Circle magazine published an insert based on their Eat What You Love and Lose diet and I decided to try it. I learned some new recipes and some easy ways to track calories and lost 2o pounds. Back to 135!! I was ecstatic.
That fall I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Not just high – ridiculously high. How could that be when I was at a healthy body weight? I had no family history of heart disease. I started on two different kinds of blood pressure medicine. It never occurred to me that lack of exercise might be part of the problem.
In June 2005, Art and I opened our golf shop. I was so busy running back and forth and up and down the stairs and moving boxes, not to mention doing the books and manning the cash register during busy times, while still homeschooling Bud, that I was pretty much able to eat whatever I wanted. I was so stressed I went right back to my comfort foods. I didn’t gain any weight, but I certainly wasn’t healthy. As business and life stabilized the weight slowly started to creep back up.
Christmas 2007 brought a brand new treadmill and soon after that I discovered Sparkpeople. For a few months I used the website to track my exercise, learned some new strength training exercises and some more new recipes. For the first time since high school I attempted pushups!! In May of 2008 when I had a partial hysterectomy I was very glad for all the exercising I had done. I was back to work in a week with one of the fastest recovery times the doctor had ever seen. By July it was too hot to exercise indoors or out (no air conditioning, except in the bedroom) so I gradually fell out of the habit.
To be continued on Friday, January 13…