Tag Archives: weight loss

My Name is Mary Beth Lee, and I’m a Sugar Addict

Weight.

Weight.

Weight.

Weight.

“I don’t care. I’m eating creme brûlée.”

That’s how it started last December.

Who am I kidding? It started when I was four. I still remember seeing my picture and thinking man, I’m fat.

But this iteration of my addiction started last December 17.

Two and half years into a low carb lifestyle, solid size 10 and holding I went to Vegas with hubby for our anniversary.

On the flight there I told him I was eating creme brûlée. By the time we landed I’d decided to put my eating plan on hold.

Again.

Even though low carb loving me has a ton more energy, can maintain my weight, has the best blood work, has no arthritis pain, breathes better and rarely gets sick.

But, I told myself, it’s no big deal. It’s four days in Vegas. I can handle it.

And, I sort of did.

The thing is, after that, those “breaks” happened a little more often. A piece of chocolate here, mashed potatoes there, chips and hot sauce and queso. Tamales. Margaritas.

You know. Little celebrations where food became my go-to instead of my fuel.

And I mostly maintained. I gained 10 pounds over six months, but I could drop that in a month with dedication and exercise.

That’s what I told myself as I took out the size 13s and 14s.

And then my father-in-law’s terminal cancer turned into a dark, dreaded awfulness. The every two week trips became weekly back and forth from Ft. Worth to Lawton. DH stayed there mostly. Life was a waiting game and fast food and family and stories and shared desserts and visiting and mourning and trying to stay positive and knowing the inevitable end was here.

When my father-in-law passed away,) I vowed to get it together, get back on plan, take care of myself.

The 10 pounds had become 20. The 14s, 16s.

I banned sugar from my existence. I got my flu shot.

My voice disappeared for three weeks. The first week was a weird laryngitis. The next two weeks were filled with the kind of sickness where chicken noodle soup seems like the perfect answer. Adding a piece of carrot cake to that McCallister’s order was just medicine.

The 20 pounds became 30.

And of course, that weight destroyed my body. Arthritis reared its ugly head. My ankle impinged. I had to use a scooter to get around.

You’d think THAT would be my wake up call. It took about three weeks more for me to get my head straight.

My relationship with food is all kinds of messed up. It has been my entire life. I know that. My body chemistry is different from the norm. As my doctor says, I need to steer clear of white foods. 😊

It’s not “fair,” it’s a pain in the neck to eat with friends, it’s life without ice cream–and don’t even get me started on devil’s spawn Halo Top, that slippery slope to sugar hell.

I can wish all day that working out was the answer. It’s not enough for me. Neither is simple calorie reduction.

One thing works in a way that is healthy for me. No short cuts. No “time off.” No sushi.

I started this blog a bajillion years ago with the plan to focus on weight loss, writing and family. I have no idea how many pounds I’ve lost and gained, but let me tell you, I am expert level at both.

That’s got to stop.

I know it.

So here’s to me losing weight while getting healthy, again. If we’re friends in real life, I hope you won’t be offended when I turn down the M&Ms or your homemade cupcakes or those Christmas tamales. My body needs me to say no.

Less Than Perfect No Longer Acceptable

Crown JewelsEarlier this month when I heard a former Biggest Loser contestant was being sued by the fitness firm who hired her to peddle their wares, I was irate. When media professionals made a big deal about Princess Kate’s day after giving birth baby bump, I could not believe it.

The cases are different, but both show the problem people have with real bodies.

Anyone who’s studied nutrition and exercise knows the axiom slower is better is absolute truth. Biggest Loser contestants drop over 100 pounds in a short time with several hours a day of that time spent in a gym. The chances of the weight staying off is slim 🙂 . People big enough to go on The Biggest Loser haven’t embraced the gym lifestyle. And weight is so psychological as well. It’s an identity. You might drop pounds, but if your mindset doesn’t change, too, the pounds will come back. The gym that hired the contestant should’ve known all that. They wanted the before and after photos of the girl who’d transformed practically over night to sell their product. Instead, they got the truth. A gym alone isn’t the answer to a weight problem.

Princess Kate doesn’t have a weight problem. There’s nothing psychological at work, and a gym wouldn’t make a difference one way or the other. She just had a baby. She looked amazing and gracious and happy. And the media wanted to focus on her stomach? UGH! I wanted to punch someone.

It seems like less than perfect is no longer acceptable for people in the public eye. Because of that we see all sorts of strange cosmetic surgery results. If we’re not careful the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld will be something other than science fiction. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend.#

 

Fat Girl Hell and Getting Over It

IMG_2768My name is Mary Beth Lee, and I was born fat.

I’ve talked about my struggle with weight and food in the past. In fact, this blog started with several posts about my weight and weight loss and Weight Watchers back in 2005. Since then I’ve lost and gained hundreds of the same pounds. A little over a year ago I discovered low carb living, and life has changed a lot. My struggle with food addiction isn’t gone, but it’s not so ever present. I’m not skinny, and I never will be, but I’m healthy and I’m happy.

I love that I can shop in regular sizes…but I don’t have to. If I want the extra length, I can grab a loose 1X.

What I mourn now is how much I HATED, LOATHED and DESPISED my body for years. I remember going on the cabbage diet in high school because I’d crossed the line to a size 14. I lost weight and gained it right back plus 10 pounds. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “you’d be so gorgeous if you lost a little weight.”

My stretch marks showed up about the same time my cycle started. I was far more mortified by those pink marks on my legs and breasts than I ever was at my period. I remember trying to eat one meal a day because my thighs were fat.

I started down the road to Fat Girl Hell early on, and it led me to a lot of self destruction, physically and emotionally.

I used my fat to hide. I used it for comfort. It was my identity even though I hated, despised and loathed it.

Today two things happened that brought this all back. One of my former students posted about a shirt  carried only in “fat girl” sizes and how much a person said they hated fat girls and fat girl only sizes and Huff Po carried a great story on plus sized models.

The fat girl comment hurt my former student’s feelings. I totally understand.

I can’t tell you how many “moos” or “can’t she just exercise?” or “with a little effort, you could do it” I heard over the years. If you’ve never struggled with weight, you have no clue how far from true all that is. There’s a reason the weight loss industry is booming, and it’s not because those of us who struggle need to exercise a little more.

The model story gave me hope that people are starting to see beauty in something more than weight.

Today I realized I don’t hate my body any more. I don’t despise it or loathe it. (Okay, I’m still really unhappy with my fat arms! If one more person tells me I inherited them from my Grandma Hagberg, I’m going to scream!) I’m not in the best shape ever, and I definitely need to get back into Zumba but NOT to lose weight. I need to get some cardio going for my health. Hearts need cardio. But I don’t have to be a 14 or 12 or 10 or 5.

I’m not going swimsuit shopping with a camera any time soon, but I’m cool with my curves. And all those people who told me I’d be beautiful if…well, I know they meant well. They weren’t being jerks on purpose. But they were being jerks, and they were feeding my self-loathing.

I’m going to end this with my words on Facebook today: Girls, love your bodies. It’s about health not inches. But I’m going to add one more thing: If you hate your bodies, it’s deeper than that. Don’t go there. Embrace who you are right now. In this moment. Regardless of the scale. Look in the mirror and say I am beautiful. And don’t let anyone tell you differently. Be cool with your curves.

*****

Current Liz Lee (steamy romance with heart) book Close to Home available on kindle!

Size 14 is Not Fat

Woo hoo!

Woo hoo!

I started Atkins the last weekend of Spring Break 2012. Several friends had been talking about their health success cutting sugar from their diets and how their doctors were absolute in their advice that it was the only way to control diabetes. I’m not diabetic, but I was obese and miserable.

Losing weight is no new thing for me. This blog is testimony to that fact. (I think I started it almost a decade ago to help keep track of my weight loss.) I can’t remember a time I wasn’t on a diet. One of my earliest pictures is me at 4. I’m holding a ball and dressed in red, white and blue. My brother is a year younger than me. Our pictures stood side by side for years. When people saw my brother they always said “What an angel. Look at that curly hair and those eyelashes!” When they saw me they said “Look at that chubby baby. You’re so cute.”

I think I was on a diet then.

Yo-yo weight has been a part of my life. My closet used to have from size 10-20 in it. When I started Atkins and committed to a low carb lifestyle, I was a TIGHT size 22. I was probably a size 26, but I refused to buy over 22. I’d gotten down to a 16-18 the year before with Weight Watchers and Zumba, and I’d gained every bit of that weight loss back plus some.

To lose weight without a special diet, I have to work out 2-3 hours a day. No joke. The last time I got to a 10, I went to the Y and worked out on the elliptical for 2 hours then walked and ran for another hour or spent the last hour in the weight room. I was in amazing shape. I’d been there before. And just like before I gained the weight back because that level of workout is miserable for me. I lose life outside of work.

With Weight Watchers, I gain weight back when I stop counting points, and I crave foods. By cutting sugar, I’ve lost the cravings. I don’t have to worry about 32 Cheez-Its and how much they count because they just aren’t part of my life.

This month, I added berries to my diet. At the next size, I’ll add whole grains. But I won’t add sugar.

I used to say I could look at cookies and gain five pounds. Atkins helped me see that’s not exactly wrong.

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If you like my blog, check out my books on Amazon! I write Christian romance as Mary Beth Lee and Young Adult as Elizabeth Lee.

 

 

 

 

 

40 Pounds Gone!

First, Happy Independence Day. A few weeks ago friends started asking how much weight I’d lost on Atkins. I didn’t really know. I’ve lost a couple sizes, feel better, look better, enjoy the tastes of the food I eat and don’t miss sugar except every once in a great while like when we go to small group and Teresa (one of the amazing cooks in the group) makes cake balls. 🙂

I haven’t kept up with the actual number on the scale as much because when I started Atkins, I thought the weight would fall off fast, but that hasn’t been the case at all. In fact, this has been about the same as Weight Watchers. The only difference is I don’t crave food and I’m never hungry.  Or if I am hungry I increase my protein intake and problem solved.

A couple weeks ago I checked my weight and saw I’d hit the 40 pounds lost mark. I love that. 🙂

Recently someone asked me if I’ll ever be able to eat sugar again. I think the answer is no.  I know trainers say everything is fine in moderation.  But for me sugar and flour are like tequila and vodka for alcoholics. I eat  little and the next thing I know I’ve gained 100 pounds. Of course, it’s easy to say this when I’ve only been on Atkins for four months.

I also write inspirational romance and young adult novels as Elizabeth Lee. Current Book: Dead Girl Walking by Elizabeth Lee (YA). Coming soon: Letting Go by Mary Beth Lee (Inspi. Romance). 

Scale Woes

Okay. I’m out of control.
Snickers. Almond Joys. Papa John’s Pizza.
I swear. One day I’m going to reach my goal weight, make it on Survivor, win the million dollars and self-publish a book on The Never Ending Battle. Weight loss.
WHY does it take a year to lose fifty pounds and a week to gain ten?
I hate the science of weight loss. It makes no sense. I bet Einstein would agree.
I know. Diet and exercise=weight loss. Period. No secret.
But UGH!!!!!!
And it’s not even Girl Scout cookie season.
I swear. I’m never selling World’s Finest chocolate again. And if DH brings home a bag of Almond Joys and Snickers and just leaves them sitting out, I’m tossing them in the garbage disposal.
Self control is completely over-rated.

candy corn 2000, MBL -10

I bought dh some candy corn. The big bag because he loves it so much.
It’s gone today. He ate three little pieces. I swear he’s not human. Who can eat three little candy corns? That’s like eating one chocolate kiss.

On the bright side, not only did I work out today, I wrote five pages too!
Whew.

50!!!!!!

I’m going to Austin tomorrow and I was faced with a dilemma. To weigh or not to weigh.
My weigh in day is Monday.
BUT…..
I’ve had one heck of a difficult month. I thought and thought and thought some more and finally after elliptical heaven I decided I would weigh. If I hadn’t lost, I’d know to work hard in Austin. If I had, I’d be inspired.
I’m inspired. I hit the 5-0 mark today. Woo Hoo! I have 30 to go. I can do it and I’m NOT going to diet.

2 more

So I wrote 2 meow a million times before I realized i had my fingers in the wrong spot! 2 more pounds down this week.That’s 48. And I had chocolate. Woo Hoo! I’ve also had major epiphanies about my writing. This has been a good week. Woo Hoo!

Whoa, there for a minute I thought I was getting a compliment

It’s funny how I’ve been steadily losing a pound or two a week for a few months now and suddenly people see it. Funny and cool. 🙂
Especially at school. My students keep making comments, and they always make me feel great.
Today while I was on “make out” patrol (my hall is make out central. I stand out there during passing saying ‘Ew, gross, don’t show your love. You’re making me sick. Ick.’ ….I know not very pro romance writer of me, but man these kids can be gross. :[)
I digress…
Anyway, so today I’m standing there on make out patrol when one of my editors walks up and says, “WOW! Mrs. Lee, you look so great.” I’m feeling awesome, wonderful, ‘so great’ when she finishes. “You know. You’re so different now. You really look great.”
And off she went.
UGH.
I think I definitely see something in there I can use in a book.