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Applying My Not-So-Secret Tip to Lose Weight in Life after Divorce

One of the most common complaints for women of all ages is weight. Finding time and willpower to lose weight or make other health-related changes is particularly difficult in life after divorce, but it is possible.

In a recent blog post, I shared a not-so-secret way to increase your chances of making the changes you want. One of the examples I gave in that post was using accountability to lose weight and get fit. I’ve had requests for more information on how to make that happen, which I offer in today’s blog post. 

My struggles with weight began in my pre-teen years, and I admit to many crazy diets in my teens and early 20s. (Beverly Hills, Atkins, brown rice – if it promised quick results, sign me up!) Adding exercise, particularly distance running, in my college days, worked wonders for a time, but desk jobs and long commutes after graduation made it harder to keep my weight down. I was never clinically obese, but I was always a little bit heavy – “stocky” was the kind word for it.

In my childbearing years, my weight went up and down with pregnancy and nursing, mostly up. Working and parenting didn’t leave a lot of time for exercise and healthy shopping and cooking. But as the kids got older, my weight and fitness stabilized at a level I could live with. During my divorce, I lost a little weight, but over time it began to creep back up.

A couple years ago at a routine physical, the scale crossed 150 pounds. At 5’3”, that’s a lot of weight, even on a stocky frame. I was really frustrated. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life obsessed about my weight, but I didn’t want to be a fat old woman either. I didn’t know what I could do that I hadn’t already tried, but I was sick of worrying. So I gave up.

That surrender looked like this:

I’m sick and tired of weight being an issue. I eat a healthy (vegetarian, low carb) diet and exercise regularly.
I don’t know what else to do.
Either show me what to do or give me peace about my weight as it is!

Later that day I got some answers to a prayer I didn’t really know I’d said. It occurred to me that it might be helpful to track my food, and that there might be an app to do that. I found the free myfitnesspal app and began to use it. After just one day of tracking, I could see where the extra calories were coming from (cheese), and I began to measure my food. I also tracked my exercise (increasing time and intensity to burn more calories as I saw the results in the app). I lost 15 pounds in the first 3 months!

I felt guided to make additional changes after about 6 months, switching from vegetarian to vegan, though not without some resistance. (That’s another story for another blog post!)

As I continued to track my food and exercise, and made gradual changes using the information provided through the app, I lost over 30 pounds while increasing my strength and fitness levels. I’ve maintained my new weight now for well over a year, and I continue to use the app for monitoring so I can adjust when I need to.

I believe my surrender gave me willingness to try something different, and being accountable to an objective information source gives me the information I need to act without feeling judged or embarrassed.

Reprinted from The Divorced Breadwinner Mom’s News & Notes. Subscribe.
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