I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I’m 5’2 3/4″ (that 3/4 of an inch matters!) and I’ve worn everything from a size 0 to a size 20. I’d love to tell you how much I weighed when I was a size 20 but I stopped stepping on the scale when I hit 220 pounds, so I don’t know. That was in November 2013. Ironically, I started a new job in October 2013 and part of my role was to travel around Maryland and discuss wellness topics, including obesity prevention. No joke! I couldn’t have been less qualified for that role. But I’m also indescribably grateful that they looked past my appearance and gave me the job because it started me on a really transformative path, both professionally and personally.
I felt like a fraud in that job partly because I was an obese person telling people not to be obese, and partly because I was pretending not to care that I was obese. Fortunately, everyone was always nice enough not to mention my physical appearance, but I DID care, I’ve ALWAYS cared about my weight. That’s why I was always trying to lose weight. Not only did I hate having limited mobility and being winded from barely exerting myself, but I wrongly tied a lot of my self-worth to a number on the scale. There was just so much wrong in my brain and that job brought it to the surface. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that I was a hot mess and I needed to do something that I’d never done before to fix the problem. Instead of trying the next fad diet, I started to learn how to eat best to fuel my body and keep it healthy. For me, this took the shape of meeting with a registered dietitian and building a support network of people with similar struggles.
Weight + Holidays = Disaster but here's how one woman manages to stay sane and healthy. #lifestyle Click To Tweet
The network was especially important to me during the 2014 holiday season (which for me runs from Thanksgiving to the new year) because historically it’s been a time of stress, over-spending, and binge eating. Thanks to my strong network (lovingly called The Herd) I survived the season with minimal stress and zero over-spending or binging. In fact, I lost weight, although nowadays weight loss is only a goal insofar as it gets me to my healthiest me.
The Herd is comprised of friends and family, of course, but also people who give me ideas for low-cost presents, or who I can meet up with when my visiting family is making me want to buy a quart of ice cream and eat it in my car in the dark with the lights turned off. They are people who live close by and across the country and share in the common bond of being human beings who sometimes make bad choices or get overwhelmed and need an understanding ear. I view The Herd as the true embodiment of the saying, “it takes a village,” and there’s always room for more.
So, now that I’ve hopefully convinced you of the importance of The Herd, I’d like to invite you to be a part of The Herd right here on this blog. Let’s all have an unprecedented Healthy Holiday season where we really live the spirit of the season (whatever it means to each of us) and enter 2016 lighter both inside and out. I’ll be posting weekly starting the day before Thanksgiving and I’ll share the things I’ve done to enjoy my Healthy Holidays. I sincerely hope that you will join in on the conversation by commenting on these blog posts and teach us all new things while learning for yourself. I don’t for one second pretend to be an expert on this, but as with all of my posts, I’m happy to share my personal experience, strength, and hope and I’ll always keep my fingers crossed that maybe I can help, or at least entertain, someone in the process. I look forward to hearing your successes, helping you laugh off your tribulations, and making new friends.