By the beginning of 2009, Art and I both realized our business was failing (see Our Business Failure). We were short on employees, working 10-12 hour days just trying to keep it afloat. For lunch, we would run to one of the myriad fast food restaurants nearby and grab whatever we wanted. I love to cook, but during this time I was so tired when we got home that we usually resorted to more fast food or take out. Sometimes we wouldn’t eat dinner until 9 or 10 pm.
We closed the doors on our golf shop on May 31, 2009 and I fell into a depression. I had two small part-time jobs that I went to faithfully, but most of the rest of the time I slept. Or ate. At my heaviest, in January 2010, I weighed 176 pounds. I hadn’t been on a scale in months and was shocked. It’s funny that when you look at yourself in a mirror everyday, you often miss the changes that are happening to your body. I knew I was up to a size 12 (tight), but I didn’t realize how much weight I had put on.
I decided to go back to Sparkpeople. Started hot and heavy with Wii exercises and the treadmill and tracked my food faithfully for the first 3 months. By March I had lost 11 pounds. Then I caught a bad cold and lost my momentum. I think it was because I had never really been an active participant in the teams. Sparkteams are a way to connect with people in a similar situation to yours and to find and give motivation. I have always been so shy that it was difficult for me to reach out to people I had never met. I fell off the wagon again and was back up five pounds by the end of the year.
January 2011 I went back to Sparkpeople this time at 170 pounds. I knew I had to do things differently – I just wasn’t sure how. The first thing I saw when I signed in was the New Year, New You challenge. Those who signed up for the challenge committed to exercising for at least 500 minutes during the month, as well as following Coach Nicole’s short exercise videos (usually strength training) and tracking our food a few days a week. Nothing huge, but it did feel doable.
I also found a team that was reading the book A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. This 21 week study really helped me to see that my issues with food came from fears and resentments I had built up inside me over the years. As I have found a way to let the bitterness go it has become much easier to find other sources of comfort than food. I also bonded with the ladies in the group and finally understood the benefit of Sparkteams. When the New Year, New You challenge was over I immediately joined another challenge to keep me accountable (currently I am participating in the Winter 5% challenge – Go Teddy Bears!!). I also found a couple of teams that had similar interests/concerns to me. I make sure to check in on Sparkpeople every day – even just to talk to others if I don’t feel like exercising. Over the course of 2011 I lost another 15 pounds for a total of 21. I finally feel like I have found the right formula for a healthy lifestyle.
I haven’t given anything up – I don’t crave many of the foods I used to turn to comfort, but when I feel like I want to have them I do – just in carefully controlled portions. And I don’t feel guilty when I see other people losing weight at a much faster pace than I am. I just remind myself that I am getting there slowly but surely, and as the turtle said, “Slow and steady wins the race.”