A Healthy New Life: One Mom’s Wellness Makeover

A healthy new life. Why me? Why now?

Hello Everyone! My name is Shelley and I am an emotional eater and therefore a chronic dieter. Hmm, now that’s a term that until recently I never knew, but in the last few weeks so much has “turned around” in my life…

I was raised in a large family with 5 brothers and sisters and in our house at meal time if you “took it” you “ate it.” There were also many times that I can remember having a “heated” discussion at our table and my escape was to bury my face in my plate. Hand to mouth, just eating and staying quite, hoping the conversation would not turn to “me” being the one getting the criticism of the day!

As I grew I was active, swimming and playing outside as a child and teen not having what I would call a “weight issue.” When I went to college my food intake consisted of Diet Coke and small meals, and I was pretty active; I went to a large university so I did lots of daily walking. A few years later, as a “bride” I survived on what I will call the “bride’s diet” of one meal and Diet Coke through the day so that I would look ever so thin at my wedding.

There were just a few times that I would call how I ate “dieting.” Food was always something that I “did.” As many with any type of obsessive problems “do” I “used” food. When I was happy, I ate, when I was sad, I ate, when I did well on a test I ate to celebrate, when I did bad on a test I ate because I was upset, oh, I ate for just about any reason.

Over the course of the next 22 years my weight would go up and down. I’d follow Atkins and lose 25 pounds and slowly it would creep back up, and then I’d get sick of what I looked like and then I would do Jenny Craig, or Weight Watchers; you name it I’ve done it! But I never realized what the real issue was… I am an emotional eater!

My life is a wee bit stressful; I am the mom of a healthy 21-year-old daughter, and an 18-year-old daughter with special needs and wife of an entrepreneur. The second is what causes a lot of anxiety in my life. And so I “eat.” When things are good, I eat, when things are problematic etc., etc. I think you see the pattern here.

So what happened? What was this major “da dah?” What was it that made me want to stop and get off this vicious chronic dieting cycle, and think it’s time to get with the program and get healthy? And no, I wasn’t visited by three ghosts… However, recently I did wake up one morning and take a good look at myself in the mirror and I didn’t recognize the reflection looking back at me.

If I squinted a little bit I saw “me” with a lot of what I will call “stuff” around me. Not only was it “physical stuff” but I could see a cloud of what I will call “mental stuff” too that I have been carrying around with me literally and figuratively for a long time and I decided it’s time to “unload.” Time to put myself first for once and really take care of myself so that I can look in the mirror sometime (hopefully soon) and see the real “me.”

I know I’m not the only one out there with these issues so I invite you to join me in a “Wellness Makeover,” you can follow along here on Facebook. Because after all, if you don’t do it for yourself, who is going to do it for you?

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