My Story - Part 3
So yesterday I left off with the saga of my experience with my Diet Center franchise. That fiasco was over in 1991. And when I say over, I only mean that we closed the business. I was soon to learn that in some ways it would never be over for me and for the next 20+ years I would allow it to affect much of what I did or did not do. I continued for most of that time to avoid going anywhere that I might run into someone associated in anyway with Diet Center. That included clients, other Diet Center owners, their employees, my ex-employees, etc. So every time anyone wanted to go to The Renaissance Fair, Taste of Colorado, an amusement park, a fair or festival of any kind, I would make up an excuse why I couldn't go. I was so ashamed that I had failed. I felt like I failed all of the people that I had worked with over the 7 years that my business was open. I had believed we could all keep our weight off and now I proved I was a fraud. At least that is what the voices in my head continually told me.
Meanwhile, I was continuing to gain weight. I just felt like I didn't care anymore how big I got. I am very blessed to have a husband who loves me in spite of any dumb or crazy thing I do but I didn't love me.
This was at my son Eric's wedding and as you can see I had gained a lot of weight, for the first time I was well over 200, about 235 or so.
Finally, I had another chance to get healthy. I was offered a chance to be part of a 10 year study looking at the effects of even a small weight loss on the heart health of diabetics. As with most things, Ms. OCD jumped in with both feet. While I weighed about 198 when I started the Diet Center program I now weighed 243 when I started the LookAHEAD study. I was in the intensive lifestyle intervention part of the study and met with my mentor/counselor, Marsha, once a week and started on a healthy plan that included 2 liquid meals a day (either slim-fast or glucerna) and 1 healthy meal of real food. I even got my developmentally disabled daughter, Shannon, following the regimen with me. Over the next year I dropped 60+ pounds and was looking and feeling pretty darn good. Shannon and I even went on a Scrapbooking Cruise to the Caribbean during this time and did pretty well with our eating plan. Then came Christmas and we went to Arizona to spend it with my mother-in-law and brother and sister-in-law.
This was in AZ at Christmas.
Steve's mom was one amazing, amazing cook and she loved people with food all of her life. When she discovered that I wasn't going to be eating her wonderful concoctions she became upset. She kept looking at me and saying, "Really?" I am saying it to myself now in her voice. "Really?" Well, eventually I caved and that was it for me. I have always had an issue with not doing something perfect and if I was going to go off my plan it was going to be all the way. After all, it was Christmas, I had been perfect for a year, I almost never got to eat my MIL's food so Katie bar the door!
The big problem with me or someone like me with all-or-nothing thinking is that I couldn't (or wouldn't) get myself back on track once we were back home. I stopped going to the visits with my counselor or any event that the study put on. I put all my weight back on and got back into my mode of not wanting any of those people to see me and see what a failure I was. What a vicious cycle I put myself in. And the really sad part is how many years I have wasted not having any kind of a life. I have become so much of a recluse.
But...I am ready for that to be over. I am ready to take whatever years God will give me and start doing things and having a life. I am ready to spend time with people I love. doing things that matter. I am ready to take whatever health I can regain and have some fun. I want to see my grandchildren grow up and graduate from high school, go to college, get married and have children of their own. I am ready to live!!!!!!
I hope I can be an influence for good to other obese people who are in the same boat I have been sailing in. To be a force for good in helping others to avoid losing years and years of their life to the shame and embarrassment I felt. I hope this little blog reaches someone that I can make a difference in their life!