I apologize in advance for how long this is, but I couldn’t help it. I’ve been there. Even if you don’t read all of it, read the first and last paragraphs. They are the most important.
First and foremost, I think these pictures are adorable. I especially love the one of your fiance kissing your forehead and the one of you on the woodpile leaning against his back with your arms around his shoulders. Listen to the person who said that we are our own worst critic. Don’t stress about losing weight. I know from personal experience the self-disgust and self-loathing that comes from hating your weight. I’ve told myself the same kinds of things “I’m a whale.” “I look like a fat slob.” This is NOT helpful. It can become all-consuming. When you’re obsessing, it makes you unhappy. You are engaged! Be happy.
I’m not going to tell you not to lose weight, because in the end what is most important is for you to be happy and comfortable with yourself. Remind yourself that weight loss happens slowly. Being patient is hard when there are all these promised quick fixes and gimicks on the market. A good rule of thumb is – if it comes off quickly, it will come back even more quickly. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be patient. Relax. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t let a diet decrease your enjoyment of life (I know we’ve all been there). I once googled a Victoria’s Secret model’s diet, and even they are allowed to splurge on weekends because their dietitians recognize that constant vigilance and self-denial is a recipe for disaster.
As for foods? Think little changes. Avoid breads and carbs. These pack on weight like crazy because they’re easy energy and your body just burns them instead of fat. And again, don’t kill yourself trying to follow this rule. Yes, I still eat burgers with the bun, but i avoid pancakes, waffles, and biscuits.
Look at the ingredient list in foods. Sometimes it’s not so much what you’re eating so much as what’s in it. Even people who eat the so-called healthy foods can be overweight because of all the chemicals and over-processed junk in there. That list can be scary! My mother always told me (and now scientist are starting to prove her right) that high-fructose corn syrup is the reason we’re all so overweight. It’s pretty much a completely fabricated super-sugar, and because of that our bodies just don’t know how to process it. I started reading labels and avoiding (or only eating in moderation, because it’s pretty much impossible to avoid completely. it’s in freaking everything) foods that contain it, and I started slimming down. As I move farther along in my new way of thinking, I find that I’ve begun to not like food that I don’t know where it came from or what’s in it. If the ingredient list has a bunch of things I can’t pronounce, it grosses me out.
Which leads me to cooking. It is surprisingly fun! You like food, so you may already know this, but I come from a single-mother home of frozen food. Cooking only happens on holidays that require a family dinner. Cooking is cheaper than eating out, and fish in particular is crazy good for you. There’s a halibut with watermelon salsa recipe I’ve been dying to try, and a tilapia with tomato-olive sauce one that was delicious! Rachel Ray’s Autumn beef stew is also oh-so-good.
Umm. About exercise. I fucking hate that stuff. Sometimes I lift weights, but I’d rather lift a book any day. It’s good for you, yes. I just do it in small doses. Extremely small, since I still can’t stick to an exercise regime. I tried jumping rope today for cardio and was a miserable failure. I hated every second of it, and realizing how bad I was (and how out of shape), set a goal of a minute. It was so hard. Ugh. i HATED it. But I still felt like a champ after that puny one minute. Set a simple goal that you can achieve daily, whether it be taking flights of stairs at the mall instead of the escalator, and then set a bigger goal. You may fail on occasion, but you’ll get there eventually.
You don’t need to do all of this all at once, so don’t kill yourself trying to make these die-hard rules. Perseverance is the MOST important aspect of any of this. It doesn’t matter if you break a rule on occasion, so long as you don’t give up totally.
At the end of the day, remember this: you have a man who thinks you are breathtakingly beautiful and loves and adores every inch of you. i will never forget when, as I was getting ready for bed, I frowned down at my tummy (20 lbs bigger than it had been thanks to a new job at a bbq restaurant with 1200 calorie meals) and complained that I was getting fluffy and how I needed to lose weight. I’m sure i sounded pretty forlorn, having gained back 20 of the 40 lbs I had just lost a few months prior. My guy just looked me with a blank and confused expression, shook his head, then shrugged and said, “I think you’re perfect.” Then he pulled me in to cuddle, and his hand rested on that stomach that I though was just so disgusting. He didn’t care one iota. Later, after we made love, he kissed the tummy I had earlier squeezed and looked at in dismay.
Rose (heaviest weight, 170-180 lbs not entirely certain; current weight, 141; goal weight, 115-125, depending on how I look when I get there)