Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hello. My name is Laura and I'm a Junk-Foodaholic.

Junk FoodThey say the first step to recovery is being honest about your addiction. Mine is junk food and I know I'm not alone. America and many other nations are suffering with a growing obesity epidemic.

I have gained and lost weight many times in my life. However, I was never an overweight child. The first time I remember gaining weight and being concerned about it was when I was 15 years old. I noticed that my jeans were tighter than usual. Since I never weighed myself, I'm guessing I probably gained 5 or 10 pounds. By the time spring and summer rolled around I lost the weight easily.

When I lived at home, my mother would keep me in check. She cooked healthy meals for me and my brothers. If she thought I was gaining weight, she would mention to me that I needed to do something about it.

In 1981, I became pregnant. I gained 30 pounds during the pregnancy, which put me at 182 pounds. Once my daughter, Rachael, was born, I lost the extra weight by drinking Slim-Fast. This is when my dieting roller coaster began.

By this time, I am newly married and living hundreds of miles from my mother. I ate whatever I wanted... however much I wanted. I gained 30 pounds over a period of three years. I then decided to do the Atkins low-carb diet and lost 20 pounds.

In 1986, my husband and I decided to separate. My daughter and I moved back to Texas to live with my mother. Shortly thereafter, I read a book about fasting that my mom recommended. We decided to do a 7-day fast together. We broke the fast by getting on the cabbage soup diet. I lost weight with each thing I tried, but eventually I gained the weight back. Being 30 pounds overweight again, I decided to try NutriSystem. The diet worked and I lost the weight. You know the drill by now... I slowly gained back the weight.

There were times when I lost weight by eating less and exercising daily. But once I started eating what I wanted again and stopped exercising, the weight came back. It's a vicious cycle, but I've learned many things along the way. I've learned that losing weight is the easy part. Keeping the weight off is the real challenge.

I have learned many things about myself while on this journey. I discovered that I love junk food. I love good food. I even love healthy food. The truth is I love food a little too much. Instead of treating food as a necessity for the health of my body, I have a love-relationship with food. Food is my friend, my very very close friend. I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm happy and I eat when I'm sad. I also eat when I'm bored. But I seldom eat when I'm hungry. I may think I'm hungry at the time, but often I simply want to eat because it tastes good. Food makes me feel good.

I love Ding-Dongs, chocolate donuts, and powdered donuts. I love chips. I love Schlotsky's sourdough bread. I love French bread. Come to think of it...I just love any kind of bread. I love Snickers, Milky Ways, Butterfingers, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I love lasagna. I love Mexican white cheese dip. I love Pizza Hut's pan pizza. I love cheeseburgers with fries. I love Coca-Cola. I love Dr. Pepper. I love an ice-cold IBC root beer. I love fried shrimp and fried oysters. I love eastern North Carolina barbecue. And that's the short list! I like a lot more junk food than what I've listed here. If I took enough time to list it all out, it would probably shock you.

In 1990, I remarried. Three years later, I had a baby boy. I was 189 pounds when I became pregnant and I had gained 35 pounds by the time my son, Dylan was born. He weighed 10 pounds, 4-1/2 ounces. Six weeks later, I lost all the pregnancy weight. I didn't diet to lose the weight, it just came off. I breast-fed my baby, so I know that helped.

Unfortunately, my marriage was rocky. We had just separated when I found out I was pregnant. We stayed separated until our son was born and reunited as a last-ditch effort. By the time my son was 13 months old, we separated again and eventually divorced. I was overweight and miserable. My daughter, son, and I moved in with my mom. She helped me lose the weight by dieting and exercising with me. I felt so good about myself, I decided to take acting lessons and even posed for some Glamour Shots.

However, I was soon back on the roller coaster ride again. It took a year and a half, but I succeeded in gaining all the weight back. In October 1995, my divorce became final so my mom, daughter, son, and I decided to move to Arkansas to be near family.

Over the next four years, I lost and gained weight several times. Then I watched the movie, You've Got Mail and decided to give online dating a try. I was 30 pounds overweight, but wanted to check it out anyway. I posted a really nice picture of myself on my profile, thinking it might help attract interest. Well, it worked! I met my husband, Paul on a Christian matchmaker site. Of course, he thought I looked like the picture I posted on my profile! His first email to me said, "Wow." I said to myself, "Uh oh".

From the moment I received his first email, I knew I had better lose the weight. What did I do? I started a fast. For the next 30 days, I didn't eat a speck of food and I exercised every day. By the time we met (a month after our first email to each other), I had lost 30 pounds and looked great. We married four months later in November 1999. I know it's crazy, but we were in love! We still are, thank the Lord.

After Paul and I married, I did a pretty good job of keeping the weight off. Paul introduced me to juicing and whole food supplements. Though I was doing some things right, I eventually gained the weight back. I heard about the Body-for-LIFE program, so I bought the book and read it from cover to cover. I decided to do the Twelve Week Challenge. I followed the program religiously. Along with dieting, I did cardio and weight training six days a week. I managed to lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks. I was thrilled! Do you think I stuck with the program that was delivering such fabulous results? No, I sure didn't. I sure wish I had, though. I was really looking good.

On January 1, 2003, I made my annual resolution to lose weight. I did the Atkins diet again. I lost 20 pounds, but eventually gained it all back. I couldn't figure out why I was not losing weight, even though I was dieting and exercising.

After a routine pap smear, my gynecologist asked me if I had anything I wanted to talk to him about. I told him that I was very concerned about my weight gain over the last year. He referred me to my family doctor to have my thyroid checked. My doctor tested my blood and confirmed that I had hypothyroidism. In case you don't know, your thyroid helps to regulate your metabolism. The doctor explained that my thyroid was under-performing. He put me on thyroid medication and I still take it every day. I thought that by taking this medication, my weight problems would be solved. Boy, was I wrong. Instead of losing, my weight continued to climb. Keep in mind, I was eating whatever I wanted and that meant junk food. I reached a point where I just didn't care about losing weight anymore. I was disgusted.

In July 2006, I found out I was pregnant! It came as quite a shock. I thought I couldn't have a baby because of the perimenopausal signs I was experiencing. I was 42 years old! Well, God has a sense of humor. Even though I was overweight and as the doctor put it "of advanced age", I was delighted to be having a baby. My husband, Paul, was thrilled that he was going to be a daddy, as this was his first child.

The pregnancy went exceptionally well. Two weeks before my due date, I was at my OB appointment and was told that my blood pressure was too high. The doctor sent me to the hospital so they could monitor me closely. After an hour, they decided to admit me. Labor was induced the following morning but things were not progressing as expected. Because the baby was large, my doctor advised a C-section. Brady Thomas Eilers was born March 29, 2007, weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces. Six weeks later, I lost all the pregnancy weight. I breastfed Brady for 9 months, so I didn't diet during that time.

On January 1, 2008, I made my final resolution to lose weight. I am so tired of making that pledge. Year after stinking year. I am finally ready to change my junk-food eating ways.

On February 18, 2008, I put my healthy eating plan into action. It's been 3 weeks since I started and I have already lost 10 pounds!

My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week. If I lose more than 2 pounds that will be great. If I lose less than 2 pounds, then I will take a look at what I did the previous week and make changes accordingly. I know as soon as I start exercising, I'll lose even more weight.

I want to be fit and trim. Once I lose this weight, I want to maintain it and never have to go through a challenge like this again. I know it won't be easy, but with much effort and great determination, I will reach my goal.

© 2008 Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Please feel free to peruse my blog for more great content.

My Other Websites: Are Your Vitamins Safe? Whole Food Nation Affiliate Link


Liberty Lessard said...

OMG girl!!! Were we seperate at birth???? LOL Really I completely know where you're coming from. I'm still very young and I feel as if I've been on that roller coaster my entire life. Like you I had my thyroid checked out and it is always normal. For a while I was doing every diet possible and instead of losing weight I gained be thankful you could at least lose the weight when you tried to eat properly. Just this past year did I start to lose any weight. I started the South Beach diet and lost 30 lbs, but sad to say...I again have gained the weight and am thoroughly disguested with myself. I'm so glad I read your post. I've been trying to "psych" myself up to get back in the saddle again. I think you have inspired thank you. Congratulations on walking out your journey! I pray the Lord continues to give you the strength and wisdom to continue your walk.

Laura said...

Thanks Liberty! I appreciate your comments. I have updated my post with what I'm actually doing to lose weight. I hope that my blog does encourage you and others. Thank you for your prayers! :)

bookieboo said...

Wow, you've lost alot of weight and gained alot of weight in such short amounts of time! I can relate with the weight gain during pregnancy. I gained 70 lbs. with my first son. It took me two years to lose a little over 100 lbs. (I was a size 14 when I got pregnant and delivered at 253 lbs). I'm pregnant again and am gaining more weight than I wanted and am a little hard on myself. I can't wait to breastfeed again, because I want to kick start my weight loss. I did weight watchers while I was breastfeeding and they have a great program geared to breastfeeding moms. They allow you more food, dairy products, etc. to make sure your milk supply isn't affected. I loved it! I also started doing Taebo with Billy Blanks and fell in love with that exercise because it was exciting and challenging. So I thank Taebo and Weight Watchers for all the help. I even ended up appearing in his recent Taebo video, T3, because I got to meet him and told him about my weight loss right before they planned to film.

Anyways, enough about me. I wanted to say that losing two lbs. or more per week seems to me like alot. I always shoot for one pound per week, unless of course I'm breastfeeding and you know how that goes. I've just been touched by your story and don't want you to yoyo anymore.

Laura said...

Bookieboo - Thanks for the nice comments. I don't want to yo-yo anymore either. That's cool about you meeting Billy Blanks and appearing in his video. Don't be too hard on yourself regarding weight gain. Just take care of that little baby. You'll lose the weight... that I'm sure of.

James Reno said...

Wow, I can relate. I love(d) junk food, but it does not love me. Got type 2 diabetes and now working hard to get rid of it thru a raw food diet and exercise.

To Your Health!
James Reno (editor)

Anonymous said...

Laura, I am looking for inspiration. I am 26 years old and I have struggled with my weight since junior high. I have never been obese but I have always struggled to lose anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds. Two years ago, I was down to 122 from a previous high of 148. I felt great! I told myself that I would never let my weight creep back on me BUT it did. I am now 136. I am very active. I exercise at least 5 times a week however I am an emotional eater. Right now I am in grad school and the stress of being single, away from family and studying is wearing me down. Food is my only comfort yet it is making things worse. I have a horrible image of myself right now. I just feel like giving up. I shopped for interview clothes today and I just wanted to cry in the dressing room. I am so sick of this battle. I feel like I will never win.

Lasagna guy said...

I have same problems as well, always trying to lose some weight with those low fat diets but in the end I end up with even more kg around my stomach :(

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