DietBet Diary #1: One Writer Gets Real About Life on the Chubby Side of the Fence

Follow along as DietBet player Heather chronicles her progress in her DietBet game.

Writers have this unique ability to slip into a story or an idea and share thoughts in a way that make you feel like they really know what they’re talking about. It’s our job. But it’s also our job to tell you that the story never unfolds in the way you think it will.

So I guess, in a way, I knew this day was coming. You see, yesterday I joined a DietBet, and I’ve committed to chronicling my weight loss in public, in this DietBet Diary series, for all you fine folk to follow. This is my first entry.

A little backstory to let you know who I am and where I’m at on my journey: At the tender age of 41 (five months from 42), my life has caught up with me. I have high blood pressure, a gluten intolerance, a sugar addiction, and a nice round bootie.

I write about health and fitness and the difficulties often associated with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I speak with trainers and dieticians, coaches and therapists on a weekly basis about how to lose weight and be healthy. You’d think with all that information and all those professionals at my fingertips, I’d be on the winning side of the Chubby Fence.

Ummm…Nope.

I’ve spent the majority of my existence as an overweight participant in life. While I’ve learned to love my body, my body hasn’t reciprocated.

In fact, in her own way, my body is telling me that what I’ve been doing simply isn’t acceptable.

And my mind has been blowing up my heart by telling me I’m a fraud. I’m not being authentic. How dare I offer the advice I don’t take myself? If anyone knows how to get this S*** done, it’s me! But days and weeks and months pass by without the scale moving. Well… moving down. ‘Cause it’s moving alright—just in the wrong direction. 

I know what it’s like to live on the other side, the thin side. In my late twenties, I got serious about losing weight and lost seventy pounds. Self-confidence was an entirely new experience. It was addictive! And today, I can’t believe I gave that up for the temporary satisfaction of sleeping in, drinking wine, and eating pizza.

But now the game has changed. It’s not just about being self-confident, it’s about living longer and better. This is about fighting the fact that I’m over 40 and my metabolism has slowed down to the pace of a sloth.

It’s about my high blood pressure.

It’s about joining a group of like-minded people, who will encourage me and not pass judgement.

And in another, more complicated way, it’s about understanding my relationship with food.

My father passed away a little over a year ago. For years, he was told to change his diet and lose weight. He never did. His poor eating habits and lack of physical activity created a tidal wave of problematic symptoms that evolved into disease and, eventually, his death.

I see myself in him. And I refuse to accept his my fate as my own.

I only have one body. I don’t want to be on blood pressure medication at the age of 41. I have to change now, before it’s too late.

Fortunately, I have a ton of resources at my disposal. (Convenient how life works sometimes, right?)

Of course, I also have some challenges.

I have serious back problems, so my exercise options are limited, at least for the time being. I have a sneaking suspicion that as I lose weight, my issues will improve.

I have a gluten intolerance and high blood pressure, which means working within a specific diet.

And…I’m over 40. The statistics on weight loss after 40 are just downright depressing. I’ve noticed that just about every article for the over 40 crowd seems to picture elderly women and men with white hair and walkers barely out of camera’s view. While I’ve got a few grays here and there, I’m not ready to hit the retirement center just yet. So, I’ve had hard time identifying with the information out there. I’ve come to realize there’s a serious lack of fitness connection for the 40 and 50 crowd.

All of those things aside, I believe my weight loss is possible.

My overall goal is to lose 68 pounds. Right now, that’s a daunting figure. Especially when I keep thinking about chocolate. And my lack of chocolate. And how chocolate will not be hanging out with me until a real super special occasion presents itself.

No super special occasions are on my horizon, so things are kinda bleak around here this morning. Chocolate is gonna have to wait.

I’ve returned to Organized Group Exercise or OGE (which I avoid the way Taylor avoids Kanye – in a you’re-so-yucky kind of way). But still, yesterday I joined a new yoga facility and inadvertently ended up in the front of the class. I mean…the front row. With a dude behind me. Chubby girl, in the front row, doing the Happy Baby pose.

Ugh…The horror of it all. But, that’s how I know it’s serious now…

Today is Day 2 of my Kickstarter DietBet (I’m in Sarah Gilbert's You’re Still Worth It DietBet, if you’re curious) and I’m heading back for some more OGE. Stay tuned….

This is the first post in a DietBet Diary series that follows Heather through her whole DietBet game. Check back on Mondays and Thursdays for new entries.

Make it WayBetter

Here, Heather lays out her challenges as well as her reasons for wanting to lose weight. Do the same to help yourself not only stay motivated but also make a plan for overcoming any obstacles you foresee.