Mac n Cheese and hot dogs wouldn’t be caught dead on our families dinner menu!
My Italian mother with recipes from the “old country” was an excellent cook. Vegetables and fruit were a staple in our diet and we all loved them.
Zucchini and eggs was and still is my favorite.
My dad was from the deep south, and a chef in the AirForce. First a “mess hall” chef, then moving on to the NCO and Officers Clubs for all the fancy dinners. Later he went on to work in some of the most prestigious private clubs in our community. He brought the more exotic dishes to the table, like“boiled peanuts, pork rinds and grits.” So I guess nutritionally I had a pretty good start.
When my dad was in his 30’s he was diagnosed with type2 diabetes, and our diets changed somewhat then. Because my mom already cooked wholesome and healthy foods the changes were not that noticeable. I do remember a lot of jello desserts because she used the sugar free versions.
It was then that I began to see and embed my dads behavior of comfort eating and covert eating.
He would often take a mysterious run (and I don’t mean on foot) to the store at night, only to be found out the next day when we would see candy wrappers and empty cartons of chocolate milk in the car.
As a kid I never had a weight problem as I was fortunate to grow up in the 50’s and 60’s when kids were either at school or outside playing.
It was bike riding, playing baseball, swimming and games like red rover, night hide and seek (which required running really fast) and other games made up. Believe me, “I’m bored” were 2 words that never came out of my mouth. Seriously?
In my 20’s I began weight lifting and by the time I was 30 was in the best shape ever.
After my third child I even lost a significant amount of weight that I attribute to my stressful divorce and… by the way, I looked like crap. I wasn’t cachectic but mentally I felt “ugly” because of the emotionally abusive relationship I had been in.
Freshly divorced one of my male friends decided he wanted to ask me on a date. So I agreed and we were to meet at my house for a visit. I will never forget the look on his face when I opened the door. Startled, shocked, scared, he wanted to turn and run the other way. It was so embarrassing. Needless to say we DID NOT ever end up going on that date. He wasn’t my type anyway.I began gaining weight after the purchase of my current home 20 years ago. I was 39 years old.
So there I was in;
- the beginning of “the change”
- a new home
- 3 kids to raise on my own
- a new man in my life
- and a career to provide for all of it.
At first all was wonderful. I loved my home and making it beautiful. I loved gardening and the whole idea of keeping it up. My kids were just starting school and I was getting involved in all their wonderful new experiences. Soon time became scarce for myself with all their activities and the amount of time it takes to maintain a home. As far as my new man…well I just had to get rid of him. (don’t worry I didn’t kill him he is still alive and kicking as far as I know)He was excess baggage and an unnecessary distraction. In order to have time for everything I started working night shifts in my career as a registered nurse. I continued to work these hours until all my children were graduated from high school.
The combination of:
- my age and life cycle,
- the up keep of my home and all of it’s never ending demands,
- my kids their events and all the time commitments,
- my job and
- the altered circadian rhythms caused me to over the past 15 years to go from a perfect size 8 to a size 12 or 13. Albeit gracefully as no one ever thinks I am fat, but I felt fat and to me… I looked fat especially in pictures.
Throughout those years I was totally aware of this gradual increase and became an expert on all the newest diet trends, weight loss herbs and natural weight loss pills. I also became an expert at utilizing “comfort eating and covert eating” just like my dad. The point is that even with a good sound nutritional basis I still gained weight.
The only time I ever lost any weight was on the “south beach diet” and I was only able to stay on that because I was training for a new job for 7 weeks and I could to stick to the diet to the letter. I took pilates, zumba, jazzersize, water aerobics, step classes, tai chi. you name it I did it. I really became an expert in the field of weight loss and weight gain.
One day I was at the dollar store and saw a video dvd that I thought was titled “3 minute workout”
I grabbed that thing like there was no tomorrow, but to my disappointment when I got home and stuck it in the dvd player found out that the zero had been cleverly disguised and it actually was 30 minutes and well I just didn’t want to do 30 minutes. So I did some research seeking out a 3 minute workout. Anything out there on the world wide web was always having to look at these ultra fit bodies doing exercises that were impossible for me to emulate. I began to do my own 3 minute workouts while cooking dinner or breakfast, while waiting in line or strolling down the aisle in the grocery store.
My kids would tease me and say mom you should make your own videos. I took their advice and my three year journey began. I started out just 3 minutes a day.
3 minutes turned into 6 minutes because it was so easy. Then 9 minutes and soon 18 minutes was totally do-able and fun. I also began walking regularly and now if I don’t get my walk in I become anxious until I do.
After 365 days of 3 minute workouts videoed with all my trials and tribulations that I experienced. I have lost half of the weight that I had gained over the years and am happy with my body…mostly.
As a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience I have seen just about every cause and condition that manifests with weight loss and weight gain.
I started my nursing career as a young 20 year old working on a Gastrointestinal Unit that specialized in the “jejunal bypass surgeries” Which if you are familiar with this surgery it is for people who felt so hopeless in their attempts to lose weight that they decided to have part of their bowel removed. Which then gave them a life of watery stools, and limited enjoyment of what they could eat. Many then had to have plastic surgery to remove the apron which is the flap of skin left hanging. I did mostly pre op and post op teaching for these people.
I became a Lamaze instructor and taught women and their partners who wanted a natural childbirth. I did this long before I ever had a child myself, but because of my expertise and knowledge of the process, I was able to arm all my students with the ammunition they needed to be successful. My students had a very high success rate as far as attaining their goals of a natural drug free birth. They did so because of the knowledge they had been given on the process, what to expect, and how to manage each scenario.
Later I taught breastfeeding moms who were having difficulties with milk production or fussy babies.
I was also a massage therapist for 12 years and became certified in infant massage teaching moms to massage their babies as a form of communication and to help alleviate symptoms of colic or birth trauma. I specialized in massage for pregnant women. I taught their partners how to massage them during the birthing process, to be helpful, not irritating and not get their heads knocked off by a laboring woman.
I later went on to work in rural nursing, geriatrics and emergency room achieving certifications in the following:
- trauma nurse certified and also received my
- Pediatric and Adult advanced life saving certification. I have worked as a
- psychiatric nurse and now am a
- Hospice nurse.
I have seen the effects that poor lifestyle choices have made on the elderly, and how excess weight can become not only a burden on ones bone structure but a threat to ones life. I also know from my experiences that there is only one true way to lose weight. It is really the basis of every plan out there stripped of all the fluff.
EAT LESS EXERCISE MORE.
It’s really a simple concept, but we all know not so easy to implement
I would love to know more about you and how you have lost weight in the past or what you are doing now. Your story will be kept totally private and secure with me unless you want to help others by sharing it. I am a medical professional and abide by the Health Information Privacy Protection laws. Any information you chose to share would be done so in a totally anonymous way.