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Losing the Weight Brought on by Emotional Eating

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I have never blogged about losing weight. I have read numerous posts over the years from other bloggers sharing their weight loss stories, but I never thought it was an issue I would write about for my readers. But surely as a blogger lives, a blogger grows; mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes, to my dismay, physically.

I have worked out and walked regularly to stay healthy and slim all of my adult life. I have many reminders from my family tree of what obesity looks like and countless ill family members. Having modeled off and on for many years, I know that staying fit is necessary to getting booked. After I turned 40, being healthy overshadowed vanity. Now, well into my 40s, I am learning that my fight with weight is often a fight with eating for emotional comfort. For the last ten years, several family crises led me to late-night snacking that contributed to spikes in my weight. Family issues like my older son’s surprising marriage, a teen daughter’s determination to see the whole family all in hell, along with the devastating loss of my grandfather in 2007 contributed to weight gains that I fought and won over the years, but my weight gain pandemonium reached its highest level this past year.

In 2010, my youngest son, known affectionately as Baby Boy, abruptly decided to join the Marines and the family’s drama queen, my daughter, came on with all the fury of Hurricane Katrina. Again. Not to mention my beloved grandmother has been ill throughout the year. I internalized all my frustrations and anxiety without realizing it. Working late at night and reaching for “something” crunchy became a nightly habit.

My weight crept up slowly on me. I was walking but not being attentive to working out. I learned some time ago that in order to prevent genetic health issues and weight gain, I needed more than walking to keep my weight down. I added Zumba and weightlifting to my workout routines. When I became an empty nester, my beloved workout plan included exercising in the mornings and afternoons. That time was carefully carved out and rarely interrupted. All of that changed when my adult children came home this summer.

In May, my baby boy returned from Camp Legumes. Elated to have him home, I was at his beck and call. Who says no to a Marine? In June, my drama queen moved back home for a few short months. Within a few days of everyone dropping their bags in the middle of my living room floor, I became a taxi driver, a caretaker, and “mommy” again to grown children. Add worrying about my grandmother to my tornadic family life and I was a perfect storm for gaining weight. “God help me”, became my daily plea. My little home became too small for my own shadow. Claustrophobia started settling in, quickly. The pressure from all the issues happening at once got to be unbearable. Did I share that I started a radio show somewhere in the middle of all of this mayhem?

Over the summer, I became a size “thick,” a term I learned from my sons. Nothing’s wrong with being thick, they reassured me often, but I saw someone in the mirror who has gained enough weight to make two of me. When the children eventually left home for school and work, I challenged myself to lose my baby weight, 25 pounds. I got my doctor’s approval last week.

I thought I would share my routines and goals with Blogcritics readers.

When I was at my desired weight, I walked five to seven miles a day, rain or shine. Often, I combined a Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds walk indoors with a two-mile walk outdoors, if the weather cooperated. I also worked out three times a week on my gazelle. Last year, I added Zumba on Monday evenings. Zumba was fun and gave me time to spend with others having sweaty fun. I was not a workout fanatic by any means, but my stress levels were kept at bay. Running two businesses comes with an anxiety clause. Anxiety has been a key issue in my gaining weight.

I have kept journals for years that soaked up the ups and downs of my life, but today is my first time blogging about my weight. I was motivated by other women who have blogged about their weight loss journey. I was never one to follow the crowd, but why not share? Public scrutiny can have its downside. But publicly engaging others on an issue that many struggle with can have many positive outcomes, if not for me, for those who are in the same situation.

I was encouraged by reading others’ weight loss journeys on the web and attending Cindy N. Landham’s class two summers ago, which I want to take a second time this fall.

Wish me luck as I find my figure (and sanity) and put a summer of stress behind me.

My Monday, September 19, 2011 workout included a Leslie Sansone Walk At Home five mile fat burning walk and 20 minutes on my Gazelle. I worked up a serious sweat!

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About Genma Holmes