At the age of 42, I got remarried. At that time I was thin and energetic. I’ve never had a weight problem.

But somewhere along the way, I woke up 34 pounds heavier! I could have asked, “How did this happen?”, but I’m not stupid. It was all those nights sitting on the couch watching TV and eating Doritos. The surprising part is how did I not notice? I still don’t have a clear answer to that.

You’d think it would have been a gradual process and I would become aware that things were changing. I never noticed until I had gained four pant sizes!

Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I was heavy. I’d see pants hanging in the back of my closet, really pretty, stylish pants that I could no longer wear. When I walked I couldn’t help but feel like a duck waddling, there was no grace in my movements.

This was a real blow to my ego. I was always thin and I liked to dress nice. I no longer felt pretty. Up until that point, I could always turn heads went I entered a room. Now no one noticed! It was a tough adjustment.

Looking back, I can see the mistake I made. In fact, it’s one a lot of women make. When I remarried, I took on my husband’s lifestyle habits. He’s a big TV watcher and snacker, so that’s what I became.

The real turnaround for me was coming to that realization and deciding that it did not serve me. But deciding to honor myself by stepping up and into better self-care wasn’t so easy.

The first change I made was to increase my activity. There had been times in my life when I exercised regularly but it had been a while. Weighing more made it more of a challenge.
At one point I decided to start running. It seemed simple enough, walk out the door and put one foot in front of the other. Not so! Running is hard! After just a couple attempts I figured I must not be cut out for it and let it go.

A short time later I ran across a program called the Couch-to-5k. This re-ignited my interest in running. The program fit me to a “T”! After all, I was a couch potato.

The program made it so easy to slowly become a runner. I had no problem being regular with it. In fact, before I even finished the 9-week program, I had scheduled myself for a 5k event taking place just after I finished the program. I was so proud of me when I crossed that finish line!

Once I started running regularly, I started feeling better about myself and that made it easier to change other habits that were no longer serving me. I started focusing more on fresh fruits and vegetables. That step led to another big one for me: snacking while watching TV.

My husband is a snacker and it was so easy to fall into that. I developed a love affair with Cool Ranch Doritos. I still love them, which means I have to be very careful about bringing them into the house.

You see, to me, a bag is a single serving, regardless of its size! Once I open them I eat my way to the bottom. Oh, sure, I’ll share some with my husband, but most of the bag is mine!

One day I took a look at the label. There’s about 1,820 calories per 13 oz bag. If I ate 2/3 of the bag, that’s around 1,200 calories per sitting. Doing that three times a week is about 3,600 extra calories. Multiply that by 52 weeks and that translates into a weight gain of about 50 pounds.

Just eliminating that one habit had a huge impact on my waistline!

The whole experience was a real life lesson for me. I need to step up and take care of myself regardless of what’s going on around me.

My husband and I still watch TV together. He still gets up to get ice cream. As he asks me, “Do you want some?” my answer is, “No thank you, Honey.” When he asks, “Sure?” I look down and see that I’m wearing those pants that were lost in the back of my closet. “I’m sure” I answer.

Author's Bio: 

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