There used to be this girl I know.
She had a positive energy and always smiled. She was confident, personable, and enjoyed helping others. She could wear anything in her closet and feel good about it. Despite her daughter's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, she slept pretty well at night and didn't spend every minute of the day feeling as though she could fall asleep on command. She spent her days playing with her children around town, instead of worrying about what to make for dinner. She had a career that kept her mind alert, made her feel useful, and, quite frankly, one she was really good at.
Something happened to her 2 - 3 years ago.
It started subtly after celiac entered her world. She went from being carefree to feeling stuck. And from stuck to feeling resentful. When she would have been taking her children to the library or the park, she now felt compelled to stand in her kitchen for hours pleading with gluten free flour to make the perfect loaf of bread ... pizza crust ... biscuits ... cookies ... muffins ... pancakes ... She cried over carb counts and squirmed when her daughter's blood sugars were obvious that she had gotten it wrong. She spent almost every minute obsessing over the next gluten free replacement she needed to figure out. When her own celiac diagnosis entered the picture a few months later, she hardly had time to digest it. There was no time to think of herself, her own health, her own needs...she had a family to care for, a child with diabetes to manage, and a gluten free kitchen to keep.
Around this time, that girl I knew was entering her late 30's. She also stopped nursing her last baby, which marked the end of an era -- you see, she had been nursing one child or another for SIX years straight!
Let's face it.
It's easier to maintain your weight when your not absorbing food due to the internal damage that years of gluten has caused.
It's easier to maintain your weight before that "slow metabolism" sets in.
It's easier to maintain your weight when your body uses the excess calories to nourish your babies.
But let's be HONEST too.
It's easier to maintain your weight when you aren't feeding your sweet tooth.
It's easier to maintain your weight when you don't reach for comfort carbs, especially when you know you aren't hungry.
It's easier to maintain your weight when you don't eat at all hours of the night.
That girl has tried a lot of things. Diets, pills, and exercise. She gives up on herself pretty easily and, inevitably, she'll end up drowning the pain of failure in Cheetos.
She was determined to keep this part of her life hidden.
But you can't hide fat.
So, she's coming clean.
She needs to lose 50 lbs.
This week, she's embarking on an 8 week journey to get started.
She's not sure she can do it. To be honest, there are some people very close to her heart who aren't sure she can do it either. Then someone gave her this yellow shirt as a reminder that she's worth the effort.
The message resonates deep.
So, she'll try....even though she's been feeling defeated, deflated, and disengaged lately.
The next few weeks will bring a transparent, honest look deep inside the road ahead.
It's going to take all the strength she has to crawl to her first class on Wednesday evening.
Will she be standing tall at the end?
That remains to be seen.
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