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The Skinny On Me Week 14: Watching the Weight

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I’ve been doing some soul searching lately.

Since you are all loyal readers and know a good bit about me now, I have decided to open up with y’all a bit more about me and the way things have changed since I hurt my back.

I’m sure a lot of you have seen the pictures I’ve posted on this “skinny” driven website and thought to yourself…um…she’s not skinny, so why is she writing skinny recipes?!?

Uuum…I’ve thought it about myself, so I’m sure that a few of you who don’t know me personally have done it too.

That’s totally ok and completely understandable.

And, the fact of the matter is, you’re right.

I’m not a skinny person, and weight is something that I have struggled with my entire life.

I have never been the tiny cheer leading type who wore short skirts and high heels, skimpy bikinis, and skank Halloween costumes that were nothing more than lacy panties and a pair of bat wings.

Instead, I had super long hair, wore corduroys and thrift store tank tops, and walked around barefoot the majority of the time while jamming out to Bob Marley and Sublime. I didn’t eat healthy at all (and that had nothing to do with the amount of pot I smoked, I’m sure :/) , and I wasn’t happy with who I was inside or out. Sure, I tried fad diets, but nothing really seemed to help fast enough so I gave up quickly.

My senior year of college is when a lot of things changed for me and my physical appearance. While I was in school I gained *a lot* of weight. Like, 60+ lbs or something crazy like that. I was depressed and unhappy and was stuffing my face full of food to help myself feel better.

Yeah, a lot of good that did me!

Eventually, I was sick of the number on the scale and sick of the way I felt, so I finally decided to really do something about it. Plus, I knew that I would be walking in front of hundreds (or thousands) of students in my cap and gown and I was the Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding, and I wanted to look good!

I started with the Weight Watchers system. It worked really well for me at first and I lost 13 lbs in the first 2 weeks. As I continued with the program, the weight was coming off super, duper slow and I decided to up the anty a little bit. So, I started adding diet pills to the mix. The weight began to fall off! Then, again, the weight loss seemed to stall. So…I upped the anty again and started restricting my calories like whoa.

I ate salads with no cheese, no dressing, no croutons, would get no sugar-fat free ice creams, and eat the healthiest things I could find.

That’s when my dangerous addictive personality started to come into play.

I would go for very long periods of time without eating, and I started to feel an incredible sense of power when my stomach would rumble from lack of nutrition. I felt invincible and craved the feeling more and more. Eventually, I couldn’t handle the headaches or the stomach pains so I would binge and then feel guilty for it, and then I would get rid of that guilt…fast.

It was really scary how quickly those habits took over my life, but the rewards were just so worth it to me.

I dropped all of the weight that I had gained…and then some.

I felt amazing!

And then I met the hubs.

And then I hurt my back.

You’d be surprised at how much physical activity you can’t do when your back is out of commission.

So, over the course of the past few years, I have gained a good bit of the weight I lost back. Not all of it, but over 40lbs for sure. Getting pregnant certainly didn’t help, and then I lost the baby and was devastated and completely lost my drive to reach a healthy medium.

Over the past two weeks I have started to get my motivation back, but, again, the weight has been coming off so slow, it has taken everything in my power to keep myself from nose diving into super unhealthy habits again.

I’ve kinda already fallen into those habits b/c I bought (and have been taking) diet pills.

I love the energy they give me, and I feel no guilt whatsoever for taking them.

That is not a good thing.

I’ve also started transitioning into using solely all natural/organic ingredients and am going to try my hand at the clean eating craze which has (rightly) taken over the blogging world. I have found myself slowly cutting my portion sizes and skipping meals and looking at nutrition labels obsessively.

I guess, what this whole post is about is…I need your help!

I need to know how to control my patience and be satisfied with a slow moving number on the scale.

I need to know what kind of low impact exercises you do that I can also do.

I feel myself being pulled back into my bad habits…and I’m considering welcoming them with open arms.

It’s terrifying…yet exciting…

And I need your help to stop.

Getting to know you…

Do you have weight issues?

What have you done to control them?

Do you have an addictive personality?

Love y'all!
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16 Comments
  • Haywood Robinson
    July 17, 2012

    Girl, I obvi knew you fairly well in high school, and I never knew about these struggles. I have literally gone through the same exact struggles with my weight my entire life, right down to the slight fluctuations in my teen years and then the HUGE weight gain then drop in my twenties and getting obsessive and unhealthy about how I lost the weight. And my addictive personality hinders my struggle with weight all the time. Whether it’s my addiction to binging or my addiction to that feeling of control when your stomach growls.

    Honestly, for people like you and me (addictive personalities, impatient and needing quick results) it is a constant struggle. The thing that has helped me is to give myself a break and let go of the shame that comes along with negative behavior. I’m not saying to reward it, but say you’ve just eaten an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s the night before. Don’t punish yourself the next day by fasting. Go on a walk or whatever exercise is best for you the next day. If you beat yourself up about it, that will only lead to further negative behaviors.

    As far as exercise, I like taking classes at the gym, but I’m not familiar with your restraints due to your back injury. I would suggest seeing a trainer for just a few sessions so that they can walk you through some low impact but efficient exercises that will help you with whatever you feel are your problem areas. Maybe your chiropractor could refer you to someone that is familiar with your injury. I’m sure they’ve had that question before.

    Ok, sorry I just wrote a novel, but that post really struck a chord with me. I didn’t realize how very much we are alike =)

    • amber
      July 17, 2012

      I love that you wrote a novel! Seriously, I asked for help, and I love that I’m getting it 🙂 In high school, the self-esteem didn’t really bother me all that much until you know who cheated on me and that just completely crushed my spirit. It took me *years* to come to terms with it (I’m still not sure I have), and it threw me for a loop for the next decade! It’s ridiculous that it affected me the way it did, but I can’t change that now. I think another huge thing about the speed/impatience with this whole thing is that I know that I can get pregnant again at any minute and I am *TERRIFIED* of gaining 70lbs like Jessica Simpson!!!! Plus, going off of BC is *not* an option b/c well, hello!!!!, I’m not getting any younger! I don’t want to revert back to my old ways, but I just hear the little voice in the back of my head reminding me how easy it was and quickly it happened. But I have to keep reminding myself I want to be *healthy* not *sickly* and that takes time to achieve. Ugh. I effing hate being impatient sometimes!!! It’s so annoying! My husband is seriously one of the most patient men on the planet and it drives me bonkers b/c I’m not like that AT ALL!!! Le sigh.

  • Christine
    July 17, 2012

    My weight has always been a problem. I was heavy when I moved away to college, but with all the walking around campus I lost a lot of weight and felt great! Then I met my hubby and got too comfortable and allowed myself to gain it all back, and then some. I finally decided to do something about it, so I joined Curves. I was really intimidated by going to a gym, so I liked that Curves is for women. And I like their approach to helping you lose weight. It’s not just about being a size 4, it’s about changing your life and creating good habits, and helping you reach your goal, whether it’s a size 4 or 14. I have lost 48 pounds and kept it off for over a year. Curves taught me a lot of good habits when it comes to controlling my eating.

    Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. I am sorry that you’ve had to deal with some really, really crappy things lately, but I’m cheering for you 🙂

    • amber
      July 17, 2012

      Thanks, Christine!!! Curves is a great program, and I actually joined up with them when I was doing WW. The problem with that though is that I can’t afford to join right now! Bc I can only work on a part-time basis we use every penny I make to pay for bills 🙁 We have a gorgeous walking circle right down the street from my house, and I make plans to walk it every single night…and it always ends up raining like it’s doing right now. I really just need to stop making excuses and get out there and do it rain or shine! Thanks so much for your support. I love this blog and am more committed to it that I ever had been with any other profession in my life, so I promise I’m not going anywhere!!! Now, if I could just get picked up by Foodbuzz as a Featured Publisher then I’d be set!!! Also, thanks so much for your cheers, I really appreciate it. I do have to say though…yes, I’ve gone through some really tough times lately, but I have been so incredibly blessed in my everyday life that I really can’t complain all that much. I have a husband who loves me, two precious fat kitty cats, two amazing parent’s who have been married for close to 40 yrs, an older brother who is an incredible inspiration, amazing sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, beautiful nieces and nephews, cousins, grandparent’s (up until 2 yrs ago I still had all 4, now I only have 3…but still)and amazing readers that help me hold my head high and keep me motivated to continue doing what I’m doing! XOXO

  • Jessica Stackhouse
    July 17, 2012

    Try water aerobics- no impact at all since you are in the water. I loved it! I know St. Andrews Family Fitness has a pool and offers classes on a regular basis (in West Ashley). You could also try pilates or yoga and just change the movement a bit if the angles hurt your back. Pilates would actually be really good for you bc it helps people with back pain. On the same idea of water aerobics, you could swim laps. If you can’t go to a gym for water aerobics, you could buy the special floaty weights and a video or something to learn the moves you do and just use your neighborhood pool or a friend’s pool.
    You could try the diet using the glycemic index- that is supposed to be real good- and weight isn’t supposed to come off fast- you didn’t gain it in a month so it won’t come off in a month. 1 lb. a week is the max you should be seeing come off- otherwise it is unhealthy weightloss and will pile back on if you change your habits the slightest bit. I have been working off the 50 lbs. I gained from my last preg. and I am down to the last 5 lbs. . . it does not want to go away!!! The past 15 lbs. have been challenging and now the last 5 are almost impossible. I know you’ll have a baby sometime soon, so just keep in mind that while you are pregnant, healthy eating is best- don’t deny yourself or limit things. and no pills!! If you are trying to conceive, the pills may not be helping you either…they may cause you to have complications getting or staying pregnant. Just something to think about. And after you have a baby, a ton of weight will fall off right away since it is a lot of water weight, but then you’ll have the fat you gained to deal with. So I suppose you will be dealing with this problem for a while 🙂 It has taken me 7 months to shed 45 lbs. (30 was lost the first 2 months-water weight, baby,placenta,etc) and the next 15lbs have taken the other 5 months to get rid of with LOTS of walking involved. Sorry to go on and on-you asked, so I am just giving you my thoughts 🙂 and I had no idea- when we were in high school you seemed to be so outgoing and sure of yourself- I had no idea how you felt 🙁 I always thought you were so pretty and cool and wanted to be more like you! 🙂

    • amber
      July 17, 2012

      Do not apologize for writing so much! I *LOVE* it and it is exactly what I needed and asked for. I’ve actually heard a lot of great things about water aerobics, and the hubs and I just started swimming laps on Sunday! I was so sore on Monday, but we have already said that is totally our new workout. I’ve tried Yoga before, but my Dr told me the bends and twists weren’t good for my back. Pilates, on the other hand, is something I long to do and I know it would be great for me b/c it strengthens your core. I used to have the VHS tapes, but obviously those are null and void now. Maybe I should look into getting some DVDs or something. As for the baby talk, I was told by my Dr that I would more than likely be on bed rest after my 1st trimester, so as soon as I realized I was pregnant all natural/organic eating started happening right away…and I have been on the fast track to making that a priority ever since. I don’t care if I spend more money for better ingredients…I’ll deliver pizzas to make the extra cash if I have to! And I’m totally not even kidding you right now…I have printed and plastered pictures of a ginormously pregnant Jessica Simpson all over my fridge and pantry doors…not even kidding. Not only do I not want to lose control like that (hello!!! she ate buttered poptarts!!!!), but I also physically *can not* carry that much weight. I could end up hurting my back a bajillion times worse than it is now!

  • Deetz
    July 17, 2012

    This blogger lost like 135 lbs because she started walking. I thought her blog was good 🙂
    http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/my-exercise-history

  • eiren
    July 18, 2012

    Hi Amber,

    I know how frustrating it is to hurt your back. I throw mine out almost every 6 months. I fell off of a horse when i was about 10 years old and have suffered from injuries since. It took me a long time to find the right program that i could stick to and enjoy. I do workouts at home through dvds, but hold myself accountable through logging daily workouts and motivation from my team. I recently became a beachbody coach, and believe me, i am by no means trying to sell you a product… but these programs work. Have you ever considered becoming a coach for others? You have a following through your blog, so it would be easy for you to succeed and possibly make some money while MORE IMPORTANTLY holding yourself accountable. You don’t have to have experience with the programs, you can just start them and then blog your results to your fans, and then they can see your success and sign on under your team… it’s like waterfall effect. But by using social media to talk about your results you have to do it! you don’t have a way out because you know your fans/team are rooting for your success=more likely to succeed. If you want more info about the programs or anything, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It took me a LONG time to find my “soulmate” workout and i STRUGGLED with yoyo diets and weight loss all through high school and college. Heck, i even turned to some disordered eating habits, but I have been doing this for the last 7 years and have not fell off the wagon since and have had wonderful results. I not only feel better, but i know i’m healthier, happier and much easier to be around! If you want more info, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to share the details.
    It sounds like whatever you do, you’ll succeed as long as you have the drive to do it! 🙂 Good luck! but I hope to hear from you!
    -Eiren

    • amber
      July 18, 2012

      You know…you are the second person in the last 24 hours who has mentioned this whole Beach Body Coaching thing to me! My friend just sent me a link yesterday, so I’m definitely going to check it out now. Thanks for your comments and support!!! I truly appreciate it!

  • Mia
    July 20, 2012

    Hey Amber! Its really brave of you to share all of this with all of us 🙂

    I have never been skinny, but I’m smaller than a lot of people in my family, so I always get hassled when I try to lose weight (or when I bring healthy food to family functions). Earlier this year, I realized that my clothes were all getting really tight, so I started Weight Watchers – that’s how I eventually found your blog. I would not say I have an addictive personality, but I do have a type A/slightly obsessive personality. So once I started WW, I basically memorized how many points practically anything I regularly eat contains. I also got pretty competitive with myself and was/am constantly trying to eat as few points as I can in a day (which is not really how its supposed to work, obvi).

    I haven’t mastered this and don’t have the best advice. I do hope you keep in mind:
    1. Fast weight loss virtually always leads to fast regain. That’s a scientific/medical fact. I think part of it is that you can’t really develop new habits that quickly, so you’ll go back to your old ways soon enough.
    2. If you’re a spiritual/religious person, then pray. Prayer changes things.
    3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect and you won’t get it right every single day. Take note of what went wrong, and why. Forgive yourself, then try to do better tomorrow.

    I think your blog is great (even if you’re not a size 0! Because seriously, what kind of person is? And will that person have cocktails with me? Probably not!) As long as you keep trying, you’ll find what works for you.

    • amber
      July 23, 2012

      Thanks, Mia!!! You always have the sweetest and most encouraging comments! I hope you know I truly appreciate it 🙂

  • Kathy
    November 18, 2012

    Hey Amber! I hear ya! I know of so many people in a similar situation. I have been through a similar battle myself. Now that I am studying to become a registered dietitian, am a yoga instructor, and have been doing a lot of research about holistic health, my addictive tendencies have slowly been surpassing. I am learning new ways every day in how to love my body and be kind to it through gentle exercise and lifestyle changes. Every success counts towards your ultimate goal! Remember, also, that every slip up will also make your stronger in the end if you accept it and move on. You have so much support in your life and be thankful for all the wonderful things you can bring to the world!

    • amber
      November 18, 2012

      Awesome, Kathy! What sound advice! Seriously, I love your positive outlook, and I appreciate your encouraging words. It’s also good to know that I’m not alone in my situation. It always helps to hear from others, especially from someone who has been super successful in their own battles. Keep it up and thanks so much again 🙂

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