Back to square one...
I’ve been blogging about weight loss on and off since 2005. Twelve years. And that’s not including all those years preceding the internet when I simply never felt that my body was good enough. While this hasn’t kept me from leading a passionate and interesting life, or meeting my wonderful husband or finding professional fulfillment in my 50s, the dissatisfaction and unhappiness over my weight was always lurking beneath the surface. Until one day it had become so much more than just body dysmorphia: a 100-lbs gain that is hard to ignore for the impact it has on the quality of my life.
In January 2017 I hit an all-time low with regards to my weight and health. I had officially become a statistic: decades of yo-yo dieting had left me more obese and unfit than ever before. Dieting hasn’t worked for me. Nor has not-dieting. And I felt utterly defeated and ashamed. Why is it so hard for me to make the kind of lifestyle changes that I know will make me feel better?
The only thing I know right now is that I do not want to stay at this weight. It’s crushing my damaged arthritic ankle and it’s causing my sleep apnea and neither of these are conditions I want to live with for the rest of my life. So I asked myself: at the very core of it, what one habit would help me the most? I do actually like healthy foods, I’m just not so keen on cooking, and making a mess and following recipes and food shopping and meal planning and preparation and all of that. If someone served me healthy meals all day long I would happily eat better; alas, hiring a live-in cook is not an option at this point!
My lightbulb moment came when I read this post by Jules Clancy: 5 reasons I LOVE cooking. That’s it! I need to fall in love with cooking! I eat a lot of junk because I’m a reluctant cook but what if I learned to love cooking? I know that the only way for me to get down to a more comfortable and normal weight is to establish habits and routines that support a healthier lifestyle. My mom was a great cook because she loved it, and so is my sister. Neither of them ever had a serious weight problem. Being a passionate cook runs in my family and here is another thought I am having around this: what better way to honor my mom’s legacy than to cook up some of her dishes and get healthier in the process? I know this would have meant a lot to her.
A plan of sorts
The story behind my weight gains over the years is universal and individual all at once. I eat too much and move too little. That’s what I have in common with millions of people around the globe. Why I do this is a combination of my own personal demons, lifestyle choices and infrastructure challenges. I’ve suffered from anxieties most of my life and food and eating makes me feel safe. I have also never been overly athletic, I like my comforts and this is where living in a culture that is so focussed on convenience and instant gratification can make it hard to stay active. I’m not good with too many rules, but I know that I benefit from at least some structure, so I’ve devised what I call A Plan of Sorts which you can read more about here.
I come from a very diverse professional background in the travel, hospitality, I.T., finance and education industries that eventually led me to starting my own business as a web designer and Squarespace educator. Originally from Germany I now live in Bellingham, WA, with my husband and cat. If you are curious you can read more about my background on my professional website.