I’ve struggled with my appetite & weight since I was a child. My love of food and the fact that my eyes were bigger than my stomach were the main culprits.
My dad loved to cook. He enjoyed seeing people enjoy what he cooked. I loved to eat ! Eventually there was going to be an issue.
By the time I was in 5th grade, I could inhale 2 hamburgers plus sides… and I do mean INHALE !
The food looked and tasted so good that I woofed it down like a hungry hound but I doubt that I really got the full experience of the food…
I ate so fast that it caused lots of tummy troubles. My food would travel through my digestive system without being properly chewed first. I remember the cutting pain in my abdomen after eating. My mom took me to the doctor to see if there was a health issue and I described my symptoms to him. Thank goodness he recognized the problem and didn’t diagnose me with a condition or prescribe a medication.
Here’s what he told me to do. Chew each bite of food 20-30 times before swallowing it. Really ! The next time you eat, count the times you chew. You may be scarfing your food down too quickly. It takes your brain around 20 minutes to tell your stomach it’s full. Try to focus on the taste and texture of the food as well so you can get the full experience.
I put myself on a strict diet in 9th grade, planning out and writing down what I was going to eat each day, allowing for treats each week. I went down from 128 to 110 in about 4 months. I maintained around that weight even after giving birth until my metabolism dropped off in my late 40s and early 50s. It was much harder after that. Stress added to the problem ~ No surprise that eating was my response !
I started working out in the gym again and here’s what a gym employee shared when I told her I was trying to get rid of tummy fat. She said, “Abs are made made in the kitchen vs. the gym.” I can see the wisdom in that. I had been running for a year in addition to working out… the “tummy” picture bears witness. :0
I didn’t really change my eating habits until I saw that picture ! I was glad that I had been able to run that 5 K but went to work on that tummy.
My daughter was getting married in the fall of 2015 and I wanted to slim down so I started having a salad for lunch every day, cutting down on carbs and packing in the most nutrition for my calories, switching to a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I went down from 120 to 113 between the end of May and September. After the wedding, when I started to include more carbs, my weight crept back up, even though I was running and working out.
It was really hard for me to get rid of the pounds again AND keep them off until I started the intermittent fasting last summer. Now, I try to eat low-carb but it doesn’t always happen on a daily basis…
For example, we just got back from the beach and I ate more fried foods and carbs than I really like to. It’s harder to control what you eat when you are eating out and you just want to enjoy different foods sometimes. The fasting is a way I can control my food intake and still enjoy foods I like occasionally and keep my weight within a comfortable range, not feeling so bloated.
Learning to control your portion sizes is important too. Restaurants want to give you the amount of food that equals the price you’re charged so they give you large portions…. really enough for two people. When I go to a restaurant, I try to “cut the plate in half” and save food to carry out if it’s something I can reheat and eat later.
Fasting for 16 hours and eating within the 8 hour window is something I can do on a long-term basis. That’s very important. I’m not going to diet. I think it way more effective to make lifestyle changes such as trying to include healthier foods. It has also helped to get rid of more of my belly fat too. Pilates and Barre are more effective when you get rid of visceral fat.
When you can cut down your BMI that’s a plus for your health because that extra fat can make you prone to cancer and, if it’s really high, it can put stress on your joints and heart too. (See the link below on how dangerous belly fat is.)
I realize that life is more than weight and that it doesn’t determine happiness but weight is a number that is an important indicator of your health.
I was reading a devotional the other day and the writer brought out this point:
In our 40s we tend to become more sedentary.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul tells Believers that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit. We are not our own. He wrote that we should discipline our bodies in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. These verses were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Christ paid too a high price for my redemption for me to abuse my body and not develop self-discipline. Just as I study God’s word each day to exercise spiritually I need to exercise physically to care for my body and keep it fit for His service.
The devotional writer wrote, “ What’s the point of working to develop the virtues of a saint if you die before your time with blocked arteries ?”
Taking care of my body increases my ability to serve God longer according to His will.
Here are some good ideas on controlling that dangerous visceral fat: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lose-visceral-fat#section13
2 thoughts on “My Journey to Health, Fitness and Weight Loss”
You’re an inspiration, Dinah.
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Mary, thank you so much. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a few years and hope others will find inspiration and value as well.
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