First, thanks to Trish and Michelle for inviting me to blog today.
I’ve been on my own journey to try to get healthier and wanted to share a bit of it with you all. I’ve done the roller-coaster weight loss thing, having gained about 75 pounds between marriage and child #2 and then lost 75 pounds between child #2 and child #3, only to regain it all and more ever since. But I reached my ‘tipping point’ about 18 months ago.
For those who haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s work, the ‘tipping point’ is the point at which a market shift occurs, when a trend begins, when a paradigm shift occurs, aka a change in the way you think about something. And mine began about three years ago when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Oh, I wasn’t an immediate convert at all. After surgery and recuperation, I really didn’t pay attention to my overall health. But a followup visit a year later to an endocrinologist brought me to my tipping point. The doctor pointed out that all my tests and levels were ‘fine’, but if one shifted to bad, the rest would topple with it. I went home thinking that this young doctor (did I mention I have children older than her?) was just an alarmist, but her words both troubled and resonated for weeks.
I realized that I was being really stupid! I mean, I’d been given a second chance when my cancer was found early and treated and I was not doing anything to appreciate that chance. Finally, a few months later, I gathered up my courage and took the first step toward a healthier style of living. But, it hasn’t been easy!
I’ve been using the Nutri-system(R) program to lose weight with its focus on portion-control, balanced foods and getting active. I decided to begin at the end of December 2008 and, by October 2009, I’d lost 80 pounds! And, even better, my blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol readings are waaaaay down. My doctors are happy and I am, too.
It hasn’t been easy at all, made worse because I love carbs (breads, pastas, potatoes) and generally hate veggies and don’t like fruits. Although sweets were not a big temptation to me, salty foods are. Why eat a handful of potato chips when a bag would be better? One piece of pizza and a salad when two pieces would be soooo much better? So, I found the structure of Nutri-system to be very helpful in getting control over my diet. It forced me to eat veggies and fruit every day, and it pushed me to get more active. It was easy to follow and worked for me because I only have an older son and hubby to cook for and we usually eat different things.
The exercise part is more of a challenge for me, but something I’m working on. Once I began losing pounds, it became easier to walk. And, in spite of a history of fracturing my back twice (yes, I broke my back twice….), I was able to travel to
My success so far, the encouragement I’m getting from friends and family, and the changes I’m seeing and feeling in myself are pushing me now to maintain the weight loss and to continue to get myself in shape. I’m still struggling and know that I always will, but I’m feeling a bit more confident in my efforts. Potato chips call my name as I pass them in the grocery store, but I know if I succumb to their temptation, all is not lost.
And that is my other tipping point – realizing that one misstep isn’t the end of the world. That if those darned potato chips win the day, I can still reclaim control. And that each day is a new battle…..
Have you reached your tipping point? Can you share it with us?
P.S. – One of the hardest things during this process has been giving up my favorite foods or recipes – but on the Hungry Girl Web site, she shares lots of ways to substitute and change recipes and ingredients to make your favorite foods healthier. Hey, anyone who can tell me how to make ‘better’ cocktail hotdogs is okay with me! Take a look at www.hungry-girl.com .
Terri is a married mom of three sons (two grown and out, one too big but still home!) and she lives in