Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Weighting Game

This is a post that has always been there, but I haven't been brave enough to share.

Now I'm ready, as the topic has become the root of many discussions with Ty and me.

The truth is...I have always been overweight. I don't really remember when it started to become an issue when I was a kid, but I have been forever affected by the teasing that has followed me most of my life. Whether it was boys in my class pretending to ask me to "go around" as a big joke, never having a boyfriend when my friends did, faking that I had no gym clothes so I wouldn't have to change with the other skinny girls, never being able to wear the same clothes as my besties, making poor choices with boys in University just to be has always been there.

Not to make excuses, but I do think part of it is predisposition to being overweight. I would say it has been an issue for many women and men in my family...but the fact is, I eat when I'm stressed. There have been times in my life where I have gotten to a great weight for me, a healthiness in the way I eat and a comfort in not only the clothes, but the skin I am in. I know that it is a lot of work to get to that weight, but I've done it and I know I could do it again.

This time I feel I really need some help. Not only help to get to eating healthy again, getting moving, but also to get my mind into putting my health first. When the twins were born, I was instantly down to a great weight because I had been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and I had put the boys first and controlled my sugars with eating really well.

If I could do this for my babies, why can't I do it just for me?

When Zackie's health became overwhelmingly stressful for me, I ate....for three years. My health just wasn't another battle or job that I could bring myself to attack. Life was hard, and I didn't want to make it harder. Now that Zack has died, I find comfort in food.

That brings us to today. I'm uncomfortable in my clothes, I question going out because I don't know how to hide my weight, I find comfort online as it is not necessary to show my body in my avatar, I don't have the energy to enjoy time with the kids as much as I would like and my weight consumes my thoughts most of the day.

In recent weeks, this issue has impacted my sweet 7 year old son. Ty has been coming to me telling me he want to be "honest" with me. I know what he is about to say, before he opens his mouth.....he wants me to skinnier like other moms. My heart sinks each time he says this to me. The worst part of this is not how I feel about hearing his honesty, it's about how my sweet son has internalized and worried about how I look and been even thinking about his own body. He looks at his own little belly and says he needs to lose weight. On our vacation to the waterparks, he was so concerned that he wanted to wear his t-shirt whenever he was out of the water. Even a member of our family, who works in the Eating Disorder clinic at SickKids, has seen a rise in anorexic boys as young as age 10 in her work!

I take my time, to talk to my introspective boy about the importance of what's on the inside of a person, without looking at the outside but at the same time....I get how he feels. We talk almost daily about accepting people for the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair and now the size and shape of their bodies.

The easy solution would be to lose weight so that I look like the magazine women he compared me to yesterday....but is that the real way to address this issue?

While I think that this discussion with Ty will not be solved as the numbers get lower on the scale, I'm ready to show him that with the start of the new school year, I am committed to getting myself and our family, healthier.

I just don't know how or where to start.


jessicagv said...

Good for you. Its not easy, but it is absolutely worth it. Make sure to set yourself goals through the process.
For me it was little things. the first 10 pounds got me a pedicure. teh next 10 got me a new pair of shoes. At 30 pounds I got a new outfit, (because boy did I need it!)

It is easier if you conquer it in little goals. Make it not a diet but a change that you can sustain over a lifetime.

Surround yourself with people who will help you on the journey but not judge when you falter....

Jessica (@ZandCsMom)

Natasha C. said...

Start slow and include him in your journey. It is what I am doing and it is working. We talk about being a healthy family and what we can all do together to accomplish this. We go for walks after dinner, we just bought all of us new bikes and I have a babysitter 2 times a week so that I can go to the gym and get some just for me time in. I am a big stress eater as well and I did a huge house purge to get rid of all the bad stuff (cookies, candy, leftover halloween candy, etc...) so I can't even go there if I try!

And if you can, I would highly recommend that you find a personal trainer to help you get going....I know that I need that kind of outside accountability to keep me going and so we made room in our budget for this extra expense.

You can do this Mama! For you and for your boys!

Much love, Natasha~

charlene said...

You've taken the 1st step-admitted to yourself that you are ready to make a change.That is the hardest.Now talk to your doctor. My experience with weightloss is that medical supervision is a key to keeping it off.Taking it off is the relatively easy part-keeping it off is what matters in the long run!
You CAN do this. And you know you have to-for yourself first and then for your family. Baby steps!

wratwrds said...

Big hugs, Heather. And good for you. The best move in this game is to talk about it together, honestly, and to take action. (I think it's a head game too. You all deserve to feel good and feel good about yourselves... : )
It can be a family plan to feel better via eating more healthfully and getting active together. It can be fun.
Incentives have always worked for us and lots of active playing around.
Anyway, I'm rooting for you.

Dara said...

Hi Heather! This is so great - you can absolutely do this! Where do you live?... I want to help!

Sherry C said...

I know you can do it!! You seem to achieve everything you set your mind too. I'm cheering for you!! If you ever need a walking/running or work out buddy I'm just around the corner and way out of shape even though weight is not an issue for me I haven't worked out in years.. James is 11 and it's been that long.

Kath said...

You can do it my friend and I am here and want to help you! Putting your health first will help set your family into motion and get everyone on track. Start with you and then do it as a family- it will be the best thing you ever did for all of you! You can come with me anytime to the gym and we can work together! I highly recommend getting a trainer they are worth every penny and will make you accountable to a plan of action.... XO

TJZMommy said...

wow...great support will make such a difference.
I hope that I'm mentally ready to take on a challenge. I know that with help, I can get to a point where I feel like the best ME.

Dara...I'm in Richmond Hill, near Kathryn. I'd love to talk to you about some ideas.

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

Heather -- you are such a beautiful woman! You are strikingly beautiful.

Something that has helped me deal with stress is exercise. Why don't you join a club and purchase 6 personal training sessions so you will have a specific routine and someone can show you how to do everything?

The club is also a time for you to be on your own and have a hot tub, etc. -- treat yourself!

People are so friendly at the club I belong to -- everyone is rooting everyone else on.

Please -- don't ever try to look like the women in the magazines -- they don't even look like that in real life.

It sounds like you have a great discussion going with Ty. Hugs xo

Lisa said...

I like what Jessica said, "Surround yourself with people who will help you on the journey..." You are such an amazing parent. The way you communicate with Ty... awesome. Hugs to you mama.

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Michelle B said...

Heather! You are amazing and no matter what you think about yourself you need to know you are a beautiful person inside and out and you need to believe this! We have been going through something similar. A couple of weeks ago a car full of "boys" drove by me and yelled "Ewe, you fat pig!" I have never experienced anything so horrible in my entire life. Not that their opinion matters much to me, but it still hurt. And it triggered those feelings I have about my body shape. So I talked to my hubby and we got a game plan together. We set up proper meal planning, following the Canada Health food guide to ensure we are getting all the nutrients we need. And we sat with Ana to explain that we are going to eat healthy as a family, and explained to her that healthy doesn't mean being skinny, but means making sure that your body has the right fuel it needs to run properly and that your body also needs exercise to run properly. So we set up activity nights. Slow start, but a good one. We go to the park and play tag, or soccer or catch with Matthews ball. We do this 2-3 times a week right now for an hour. We plan to try and move this up to a higher frequency. The most difficult part is sticking to it. We also allow for treat day. Every Friday. We all pick one treat that we really wanted throught the week and we enjoy it! And once a month we will have family junkfood night! We order in and watch a movie. I have heard the key is not to deprive, but to make healthier choices. We want Ana (and Matthew) to know how to do this themselves and enjoy it! Its been only a couple of weeks, but we are doing well with sticking to it. I found using a calendar for meal and activity planning seems to be the key. We know its there and has to be done! Good luck! xoxoxo

Gingermommy said...

I too struggle and always have. I wish I could offer you advice and I would take it myself, but it is hard. I have joined gyms, dieted and eat healthy but nothing changes other than my stress levels. I am so scared to go to the upcoming conference because I have nothing to wear. So much of what you wrote reminds me of myself. Thank you for sharing your struggles, it comforts me to know I am not alone. Be healthy and healthy