Healthy choices and swimsuit season: Which diet works?

Sometimes in life we experience a really big pothole.  Losing a spouse can feel like you have fell into the bottomless pit.  Avoiding the reality of loss or wallowing in the sadness are not the best ways to deal with loss. But each person has their own path.  Eventually you do have to come out of that pit and face the world again.  Isn’t it amazing that life does go on?  As a new widow or widower, you look at people and nature and can’t believe that everything didn’t stop when your loved one died.  It’s a fact. Life goes on.

It may take some time to get back to a good place.  You have been through something traumatic and that has changed you.  If you let it, it will make you stronger.  It will give you new perspective.  Little things that used to bother you will no longer phase you.  You know it could be worse.  The heat stopped working? Nothing to make for dinner? The bill is overdue? No big deal.  You can fix these things.

You start to make some forward motion.  Out of the pothole.  Then in my case this question has been knocking lately …

Why don’t those pants fit anymore?

So, some people tend not to eat during times of stress.  That has never been my problem.  I love food.  I love being around friends, and more often than not, I love a glass of wine with my friends.

But why don’t those pants fit anymore?

This is a problem.  My summer wardrobe is jumping up and down with joy to come out of the closet and replace the black leggings and stretchy clothes.  But where is the body that used to fit in those items? I think someone needs to do something about this.

Well, the scale has pretty much diagnostically determined that the reason my clothes no longer fit is because I have gained weight since Mike died.  I didn’t try to gain weight.  My healthy habits that I used to engage in, like walking 5 miles each morning or going to the gym, stopped.  I got tired. I couldn’t sleep.  I took something to help me sleep.  It’s a vicious cycle and it is time to get out of it.

I am in a good place right now.  My job is secure and I still really have fun at work with my kindergarteners.  I am so amazed at how much they learn in just a few months.  I have done some traveling and this last trip was perfect.  I have a new love in my life and he makes me smile. My sons are doing well.  They are furthering their education and engaging in new adventures.  I just may have to tag a long with them. I am still living in my dream home and I do not have to leave any time soon.

So how does one lose weight?

I lost a bit before my wedding on my own by making meals from a Weight Watchers cook book and eating salads at work (I worked at a hotel then and the salad bar was free for hotel employees).  I also went to a gym and did the Stairmaster at the TOP level while reading books. I was my thinnest ever that year.

I tried Jenny Craig when I put on some pounds a few years after the wedding.  The food boxes were convenient but I never made much of a dent on the scale.  I joined that program in California and a nice woman met with me weekly and called during the week to see how I was doing.  I tried hard to eat their packaged meals and avoid brownies and such but it was tough.  When one day I took the pregnancy test and it came back positive I was thrilled to tell them see you later and indulged in nightly hot fudge sundaes instead.

After my second son was born, I joined Weight Watchers with my mom at a local meeting center.  I did have success and met my goal weight.  That lasted for a few years.  But slowly it just seems to increase each year.

Recently, I tried Nutrisystem.  Again, lots of little boxes of food.  A no brainer but it doesn’t help you think about what you should be eating.  That didn’t work for me either.

I exercised regularly and even ran a half marathon in Disney World in 2011, but that was a few years ago.  I don’t run anymore. I cancelled my membership to the gym too because I wasn’t going.

I tried Jenny Craig again but other than providing me with easy box meals, I did not have much success.

SO…I am back at Weight Watchers.  I became a lifetime member after my second son was born. The program has changed. I joined with a friend and am hopeful to start making smart choices about my eating, drinking and exercising. I also started meeting with a personal trainer from a Groupon I found.

So I’m throwing it out there on my blog.   Stay tuned for (hopefully) a success story.  If not I will distract you all with a trip somewhere.

Please send any great recipes or invites to exercise.  I am there! What has worked for you to stay fit?

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