by Carol Maurer
Dan's Note: Carol Maurer is married to Dan the Story Man. Lucky her! I'm very proud of the transformation she has had the courage to undertake. (And she looks great!) One common thread I see in every story people share on Transformation is Real is that change is never easy. However, there's good news: change happens all the time, in incremental steps. It's real. And when it happens, you'll recognize how easily you can shape your life into what you want, one day at a time.
There was a thinner self inside of me, screaming to get out. But I could usually shut her up with cookies. Or a Mountain Dew (or two). Or drive-through breakfast. (OMG I loved drive-through breakfast!)
I was having an affair. An affair with food. It was an affair that I loved. It was so easy—food was always there for whatever reason: joy, sadness, boredom. For no reason at all a lot of times. I ignored the effects of the affair. The person I saw in pictures wasn’t the person I felt that I was. The front view of the mirror didn’t reflect (well, it did, but i didn’t see it) my side profile that had gradually ballooned outward. I didn’t think it was really all that bad.
I was living a lie. A lie of how, over the years, my weight had only gone up. I didn’t really believe the scale! I had to keep buying clothes just one size larger. Just another size larger. I couldn’t comfortably bend over to tie my shoes or paint my toenails. Or go for a walk. Or play vigorously with my boys. I had become a blob! I came to loathe myself. I felt like the only thing people saw when they saw me was my overweight-ness.
What becomes the tipping point for self care? I had always loved to cook, loved fresh and natural food, but was just eating too much of those good things and way more of things that weren’t so good.
am so grateful that my employer, CHS Inc, has a Weight Watchers “at work” meeting and that a co-worker with whom I had become very good friends invited me to go. I immediately embraced the idea that every single food item has a point value and to lose weight, I needed to stay within a daily range with some added ‘bonus points’ to spend during the week. I devoured (hehe) the eTools app, looking up all of my favorite ‘bad for me’ foods. I discovered that my typical drive-through breakfast of two sausage burritos and a can of Dew were 20 POINTS of my allotted 30 per day! A month into the program, I realized that i hadn’t truly been ‘hungry’ in many, many years.
I joined WW in September of 2013 and by April 2014 (my birthday) I had shed 40 pounds--that is how much a full bottle in a water dispenser weighs. By August, I was down another 10 for a total of 50 pounds! I have struggled to pass this milestone; on the one hand I feel like I know the point values of food so well, I don’t need to track them. But when I don’t track them, I tend to eat into maintenance or (that pesky) gain mode.
We live in a culture that does not make healthy weight maintenance easy. Our grocery stores are packed full of foods whose goal is for them to entice the bliss point of us wanting to eat more and more and make them money (evaluate how much you shop the outer aisles vs the inner aisles!). Fast food is everywhere! Even the people who may love us the most, unintentionally sabotage our efforts by pushing food at us.
I am very lucky. I love to cook and I love fresh ingredients. I have had AMAZING support from my family (so much so that my husband doesn’t always know what to cook for supper because he doesn’t know how many points I have left for the day). I love being on this journey with coworkers--we learn each others’ stories and are not isolated to only seeing each other at a WW meeting. I feel like my coworkers look to me for motivation and I want to share my ups and downs with them. We have a fantastic leader who shares her own story and keeps us moving toward healthier habits
The biggest transformation my weight loss journey has brought is to stop living the lies I was telling myself. Mt Dew is NOT good for me no matter how much my tongue disagrees. I AM able to lose weight! Being overweight IS unhealthy and DOES make a difference. I CANNOT exercise off all of the extra calories that I splurged on all week.
We are not eating machines—in fact, it is surprising how very little food our bodies need to be efficient and healthy. Michael Pollan really summarizes it best for me: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
I still have 15 pounds to go to reach the upper range of what WW considers a ‘lifetime’ weight. I need more cardio in my life and a toning regimen to firm some of what has become saggy. Who knew? I surprised even myself. I know I can do it!
The thinner me has broken free—nothing can stop us now!
About the Author
Carol loves reading, playing her piano and organ, walking with her dog Lazarus, and playing with her cats, Mr. Kitty and Princess Chloe McMuffin. She has transformed her eating through WW and making healthy choices. She lives with her husband Daniel Maurer and her two boys in Saint Paul, Minnesota.