by JDR Instructor Trainee, Amanda Camden
Many of you might not know that for most of my life I was heavily overweight. At my highest point, three years ago, I weighed 287. Shortly after my second child was born, my doctor did some routine blood work and noticed that my liver enzymes were extremely elevated. I was then taken to a specialist that told me I might eventually need a transplant at some point if I didn’t lose weight. I went home and looked at my children and my husband and cried that night for a very long time. I could not sleep. I just kept thinking: I want to see my kids grow up. I want to see them graduate. I want to be at their wedding. I want to see my grandkids. I want to grow old with my husband. That night I decided I needed to change things and be a good role model for my family.
How do I do this was the next question? I had been on so many diets since I was twelve and NOTHING had worked for me. My relationship with food was not good. I was obsessed with it! I loved food. I ate when I wasn’t hungry and kept eating when I was full. I was a very emotional eater and by that I mean I ate while feeling any emotion: happy, sad, mad, frustrated, stressed, etc. How was I going to fix this? What do I do? The first several months were a struggle trying to find what worked. I took away fried foods from my diet, desserts, any unhealthy snacks and bread. Not only did this not work for me, it made me very “hangry” and unhappy. I started to learn that this was a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. I tried to start setting little goals and moving forward from there. My first goal was to add more fruits and vegetables during the day and do some form of exercise for 30 minutes three times a week. Over time, I started to phase out the bad things I was eating and replaced them with healthier options. I still have my treats, but I try to eat a kid sized portion or share it with someone else. I also learned little tricks along the way like to share a meal and add a salad or box up half the meal once you get it. One thing I don’t do now is if I do eat a lot or have a bad day with food, I don’t continue to do that. I jump right back on track. Before I would say, “well I messed up so I might as well keep eating badly and try again on Monday.”