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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How To Mentally Prepare Yourself For Losing Weight

Hi there. 
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.

The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!



Honestly, like most things in life, it wasn't a light bulb that went off or a sudden epiphany. It was a build up of things that slowly clicked into place for me. After many years of failures, I started to truly understand that starving myself was not working and in fact very harmful and causing me more problems each and every time. 

But there was one event that changed my path slightly. My very best friend of 25 years, Diana, starting dropping weight...and every time I saw her, she looked more fabulous. Her and I had always lived pretty much parallel lives. We were always fat together or skinny together. She was my yo-yo partner in crime and we both pretty much made the same exact mistakes along the way. So when I saw her having success and losing weight the healthy way, I thought 'I can do this too!' At the very tail end of 2007, Di decided to join a gym. She started going every day, had a personal trainer, and was NOT starving herself. In fact, other than making the obvious changes (cutting out fried foods, sweets, etc), she was eating what she wanted in normal-sized portions throughout the day. She inspired me. I took how that made me feel and I ran with it.

We were mere days away from the New Year, so I made the same resolution I made for the past 10 years in a row and the same resolution millions of people make every first of the year...to lose weight. But this time was different. It wasn't just something I said I was going to do, it was something I promised myself I would do, it was something that I willed myself to do, and I wasn't going to stop...ever. I just knew it. 

Well, two weeks into the New Year and I already effed up. Bad. Back to binging and being a sloth. Ugh, there goes 'knowing' I was gonna really do it this time. Apparently I didn't 'know' shit.

Then shortly after that debacle and epic fail of my New Year's resolution (just like every other friggin year). I had a defining moment. It was here that my path didn't just slightly change, I was catapulted into a whole new world. A world of despair. A world of sadness. In this one moment everything changed. It had been building up for 10 years but this was the straw, the straw that broke a sad and lost woman's back. 

It was here that I finally knew I had to change. I knew I had to find a way. 

Did I know it because I was ready? Hell no. 
Did I know it because I had motivation and will-power? Hell no. 

I just knew I couldn't go on living this way. I just couldn't. For a detailed and very emotional look into my true defining moment, my rock bottom, check out my brutally honest tell-all here. 

Did I want to put in the work to lose 120 pounds and get healthy? Hell no. 
I didn't want to put the work in. In fact I tried to talk myself out of it hourly.

But I willed myself to do it anyway. I looked at it as a war and I was going to fight one battle at a time. It was a fight for my health. It was a fight for my life. Am I being overly dramatic? No, I'm not. I was about to turn 36, was tipping the scales at 262 pounds (and gaining), and I was literally days away from developing full blown diabetes.

When I got pregnant with my first child in 2003, my endocrinologist told me I would develop diabetes within 5 years if I didn't change my lifestyle and get healthy. I ignored it. I was gambling with my life and by the beginning of 2008, my sugars were starting to read too close to the 'diabetes line'. 

During both pregnancies, I had to check my sugar 6 times a day and inject myself with insulin. It was not fun...at all. I got nervous every time I had to give myself a shot. I hated it. After I was done having kids, I'd pull out my glucometer out every once in a while and check my sugar. By January of 2008, I was feeling the effects of my poor eating. After big meals, I would nearly go into a coma. I'm not kidding. I'm not talking about feeling sleepy from a full belly. I'm talking about I could NOT keep my eyes open. I'd get a bad headache and have to lay down. I would lose 2-3 hours. I'd wake up feeling like shit. I was done feeling like that, I was done being fat, and I was done feeling like I was 80 years old. I had two little girls that needed a healthy mother to take care of them, not a mother who willingly dove into a world of injections, constant health problems, loss of sight, and possibly the loss of limbs. It was time to get my head out of my ass. Nothing was going to stop me. 

 At this point in my life, I did feel I had some knowledge on nutrition. During my pregnancies, I began to learn how to be more healthy. Having gestational diabetes with both pregnancies taught me a lot, not only from the nutritionist I saw regularly but from the countless hours I would spend researching the net for information. I finally learned exactly why good nutrition is an absolute must, in both losing weight AND being healthy. 

The problem was after my pregnancies, I ignored all the signs that I was pre-diabetic and I didn't put to use all the priceless knowledge that I had learned.

Every time you put something in your body, it has to process it and figure out what to do with it. If you are eating refined foods and junk foods filled with preservatives, sugar, and artificial ingredients, your body has to decipher what it can use for fuel. Unfortunately those foods usually don't provide much fuel, if any, because they have no nutritional value. When you eat these bad foods, your pancreas must release insulin into the bloodstream to counteract the flood of sugar and glucose that the food puts into your system. This is a very dangerous game for somebody who is pre-diabetic. And sooner or later, your luck runs out.

So 'how I started losing weight' isn't very easy to explain. But I finally got to a point where even though I didn't want to do it and I didn't want to change, I knew I had to. For my kids, for my husband, but especially for me. 

I would never forgive myself if I was the reason for being unable to care for my girls and unable to live the life that I was given because I couldn't put the brownies down. 

My emotional eating started as a coping mechanism to deal with my problems, but it BECAME the problem. A problem that was by far bigger than all the rest.

I had always been a gregarious person. I loved laughing and having fun. I was always joking around and finding the fun in everything. I loved being around people, old friends as well as new. But this depression that swallowed me up made me lose who I was, it made me into a different person. I was someone who didn't want to leave my house, not only because I was embarrassed at how I looked but I didn't have even an ounce of energy. The thought of getting showered, getting ready, and going somewhere exhausted me just thinking about it. 

I wasn't living, I was just breathing. It wasn't enough. 

I wanted my life back. I wanted to laugh. Not just the fake laugh that hides what you're thinking and feeling. I mean really laugh, like I always used to. Laugh until my stomach hurt. Laugh until I started snorting and cackling.

I wanted the old Gabby back. And I was hell-bent on going into the depths and dragging her ass out of this complete and utter stranger she was hiding in. 

So how you mentally prepare yourself to lose weight and get healthy is simple. You choose to live, not just to exist. Having a life is VERY different than living. Living is making the most of your moments and finding joy. 

Being overweight doesn't mean you can't have a happy, fulfilled life. But for me, I just couldn't. I had 120 extra pounds on my small frame and I felt crushed by it emotionally. Physically I couldn't even go up a flight of stairs without stopping half way to catch my breath. Emotionally, I had fallen into a depression. I lost who I was and I felt like a shell of who I used to be. I used eating as a coping mechanism and it ended up becoming my downfall. I finally came to the realization that this was not living. I had no joy. I only felt shame and disappointment in myself that I had let things get to this point. I needed to buck up and take responsibility for my actions. I had to stop stuffing my emotions down my throat with cake and BigMacs. I needed to DO something about it.

What was I afraid of? Hard work? As far as I'm concerned it was MUCH harder work living with this depression. I mean now THAT'S hard work. Living every moment in despair. It's torture. I could surely put in a different kind of work to make that go away, right? Well I sure as hell thought it was worth a try. And guess what? I was right.

The hard work it takes to lose weight and get healthy is a damn cake walk compared to living with morbid obesity. 

So take a good hard look inside of yourself. Are you happy being obese? If you are, more power to you! Then instead of focusing on losing weight, focus on being healthier because we ALL should try to be healthier whether we want to lose weight or not.

But if you're not happy. If you're depressed or upset over your obesity. I promise you, you have the strength to overcome it. Wanna know how I know that? Because you have lived with such sadness and emptiness for so long that it proves how strong you really are. Living with that kind of soul deep sadness is HARD AS HELL. If you can do THAT then I know for damn sure you can handle what it takes to change.

All you have to do is choose it. Choose to work hard. Choose to start living. 

One decision. That's all it takes. One decision can save your life.

" To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself" 
Soren Kierkegaard

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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.


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