It's difficult sometimes to explain to someone who has never had weight challenges, what it feels like to be overweight. My loving, amazing partner comes from a family of eaters, most of which are also overweight. He tells me all the time that my weight doesn't matter, it's what's on the inside that counts. But what he forgets is how all that weight makes me feel on the inside.
Stress and depression are the two main factors in weight gain for me. If I land myself in a very stressful situation, my body retains fat. It's a defense mechanism of being in 'survival mode'. When I suddenly became homeless 2 and a half years ago [again] it was unexpected, and it put a lot of stress on my mind and body. I slowly started to retain the weight.
I remained in survival mode for so long it became difficult to switch it off. I kept gaining the weight even after finding a home, which stressed me out even more. I'd eat to numb the stress, which made me gain more weight. And the vicious cycle throws me into a landslide.
So back to my point. In the past two and a half years, I've gained 60 pounds. This put me well over 200 pounds, which some people find hard to believe.
I went ladder shopping for work, and a fella tried to sell me a cheaper ladder that was on sale for a third of the price of the one I was looking at, but I nearly exceeded the weight limit. When I pointed to the sticker and said I needed a stronger ladder, he looked me up and down and said, "is the ladder for yourself?" ... yes. Yes and I nearly exceed the limit on this ladder.
He told me if that's so, I certainly carry it well. I'm told that all the time when people hear what I weigh. Including my doctor. The fact that I don't look like I weigh over 200, or that I "carry it well" doesn't really matter. What matters is that I'm still carrying it!
Imagine walking into a grocery store, and you don't get a shopping cart. The first thing you go for is a 10lb bag of potatoes. Now you walk around with that bag for quite some time, and go back and slowly pick up 5 more. You can never put them down.
Those 6 ten pound bags of potatoes are now putting extra pressure on your feet.. on your ankles and knees. One of those bags lives on your chest, making it hard to breathe when you're trying to sleep. They're getting in the way of performing everyday activities. Carrying all that extra weight causes a lot of pain and discomfort over time, and does damage of it's own.
When I explained this to my wonderful, supportive, rail thin partner, he finally got what I was talking about. Now he really understands why I'm being so adamant about dropping the weight, why my feet always hurt and I'm exhausted after work. And ultimately why being so overweight makes me depressed and uncomfortable.
I'm so thankful that he's on board 100% with helping me lose the weight. For the first year that we've lived here and worked the same schedule, we would come home and he'd do any general maintenance on the yard or house our vehicle while I prepared dinner. But it was always a dinner "for him" that I would end up eating too.
The past week or so I have been juicing for dinner, and it takes time and prep and cleanup, and he's had no issues cooking the "real meals" while I make my batch of juice. He knows that I love cooking for him, but until I master my new healthy routine, he might have to do the cooking for a while. And he's quite alright with that.
He can see that it's paying off. In the past 3 weeks of eating cleaner and adding the juice, I've almost put down one full bag of those potatoes. I feel a little better already. My knees are thanking me (and it's a little easier to do up my pants!).
This is just the beginning. I have 5.2 bags of potatoes left to get rid of, and I'm getting there. Thanks again for reading, and for your love and support. And remember, if you're on a similar journey and you need a little motivation, I'm here for you too!