let’s talk about those pounds

8 03 2007


before 2



Since Oct 2006, a big focus has been finally losing the many pounds I’ve accumulated over the past years…so far…65.

How have I done it? Well, the tool was a diet called Medifast, but really, it goes deeper. Weight, for me and many others, has always been an emotional issue and for especially the past 3-4 years I’ve been depressed and just sad. In addition to remnant-of-childhood-insecurities that pop-up occassionally, I’ve always carried around an amount of guilt over the state of the world and the incredibly hard lives burdening so many people. I want to not only fix myself, but the rest of the (broken parts of the) world as well….ummm, bleeding heart liberal, right? Add to that the (forced) discovery of the concept of Peak Oil and the looming end of the world as we know it…and an incredibly sad relationship (long distance with no chance of ever moving beyond that)…well, I’ve been in varying stages of depression for at least 3 years now. And I’ve been putting on the pounds…a lot of them.

So, what changed?

The sad relationship ended and I resolved two things as a result: 1) no dating for 1 year 2) no worrying about the world for 1 year. I gave myself a year off from the 2 things that seemed to bring me down the most to see what would happen. As a result of that year: 1) I became much closer with my friends and formed some new deep bonds 2) I lived a life dream (going to Africa) 3) I realized that by worrying so much about the world, I was immobilized to help anyone 4) I truely enjoyed the year by experiencing life as full as possible AND benefited my local “world” by volunteering…at the same time!

I decided to live a dream each year. Last year was Africa; this year is to lose weight, get healthy and run a marathon…and fix up my house (it was a little neglected last year).

In Tanzania, I lost 10 lbs just from eating healthy, so when I returned, I was ready to keep that going. At the same time, my lost sister, Miriam, started the Medifast diet. I decided to do it to support her…we could suffer together and maybe ease some of the pain. It has been an easy diet to follow because I don’t have to cook or think, but mostly because emotionally, I was SO ready for it. And the support from someone so close was critical. We could complain to each other about how much it sucked to not have pizza and basically, we got each other through the holidays. She’s such an amazing woman and, despite the cliche, she’s my inspiration.

I also have a cheering section in the embodiment of Jen-Jen. She dosen’t seem to have gotten annoyed yet with my “number of pounds lost” updates or dorky photos. I get warm fuzzies when I read her encouraging responses and am just thankful she still needs me around for her therapy sessions (although they aren’t nearly as frequent or intense as they once were).

The two main behavior lessons I’ve learned (and had to practice) are eating small portions throughout the day and that in general, I don’t need to eat nearly as much as I previously did…and consciousness: being very aware of everything that goes into my mouth and the impact it can have on my health. I’ve also been able to experience how easily whole foods can be incorporated into a diet.

The idea of maintaining the weight loss causes a bit of nervousness, but again, I’m in a different emotional state. That’s going to make such a difference. In the past, when the weight came off it was entirely anger based and came back once the anger subsided. This is the first time it has happened as the result of overall good internal health.

I’m still amazed when I see a bone that wasn’t there before or walk past a mirror and am thankful to be in this internal place…with or without the weight.