Carrie's story: my struggle, my philosophy

By Carrie Duncan - bio | email

To start, I am going to provide a little background.  I am the youngest of four girls. I was always striving to look like my older sisters, which many younger siblings do.  I was a size 4 in seventh grade.  The summer before my eighth grade year, I started filling out and never quite stopped.  So, what happened?  Well, puberty happened.  I have had weight challenges most of my life and certainly all of my adult life.

Through my adult years, I have yo-yo dieted and was always trying to find that quick fix.  I have since realized there is NO quick fix.  I am the queen of trying to save people.  Through some self searching, I have finally realized why.  I would so rather concentrate and try to help someone else than have to help myself.  That was and still is my biggest problem.  Another thing I discovered about myself, through my self-analysis, is I would not complete projects I had started.  It didn't really bother me until I dated a guy that did the exact same thing but worse.  He would literally start a project and mess it up just badly enough to where it was a constant eyesore.

So, I started finishing projects, and I have noticed an absolute boost in my confidence.  It was knowing that I really could finish something and accomplish what I set my mind to doing that allowed me to believe in myself.  I can't tell you how many times I promised myself I'd lose weight starting on this day.  It just fell by the wayside.  Time always seemed to be on my side, but then I realized I was wasting my youth in a body that was keeping me from truly living.

Again, why?  I cannot answer that for you.  Only you can do that, but the thing CAN do that. It's just that most people are scared to death.  To admit your shortcomings and/or face your demons, will be the most difficult challenge.

Honestly, I had childhood issues with food.  This is pretty deep, but here it goes. When you are a child, you think and reason like a child, obviously.  But, as you grow older, you are able to think and reason as a grown up.  Here's where it gets confusing...the problem: when your brain is growing and being trained so young, it is trained at a child's level. That's where I got my 'childish' reactions to certain situations and turned to food. Here's the good news, I have been able to re-train my thinking, reasoning and re-acting.

Hopefully, you will be able to recognize when a childish thought creeps in and handle it with an adult response. Not knowing how to handle or cope with issues will become less of a problem.

2008 was a year for me to change.  And, I think 2009 will be the same.  At 31, I decided I was ready to make some changes, changes I will be able to live with for the rest of my life.

In May of 2008 I started working out 6 days a week, 3 days with a trainer.  I realize this is expensive, but it helped me to get you started on the right foot.  Plus, there is someone else holding you accountable.  This doesn't have to be a paid service.  You and a friend can be that for each other, but slacking off becomes a slippery slope.  In the end, it really is YOU that you have to count on.

I am a HUGE proponent of personal responsibility.  It is NOBODY'S fault but my own that I am overweight.!(period, exclamation mark)  And unless someone chained you down and forced you to eat the copious amounts of food that landed you in the overweight category, then it is your fault and ONLY YOUR fault, you are where you are.  That's a good place to start.

Now, you can make better choices, choices that will make you feel SO much better.  Not only, will you feel better physically, you will feel better mentally.  That, in itself, will start a positive cycle.  Think about a bicycle, it takes more energy to get it started, but once it's going, it's just a matter of keeping on peddling. Right?  So, just keep peddling.

When you are proud of yourself and believe in yourself, you will be shocked at the things you can accomplish. Then, you will be even prouder of yourself.  See, the positive cycle here?  There will be bad days, but they will get less and less, until they are few and far between.  Then, your life becomes something you have dreamed about and said, but kind of thought it would never quite get to.

A lot of people have said, wow, your weight has just fallen off.  Well, it hasn't.  It's been a long and arduous process.  I keep saying to myself, "Sacrifice now, so I won't have to later."  This is true in so many aspects: Exercise, food, work, savings, etc.  It really can be applied in most realms of your life.

Another thing to ask yourself: Are you a positive person?  If the answer is no, then CHANGE that NOW!  There is ALWAYS a positive in everything.  It may be hard to find, but there is.  Do NOT dwell on the negatives in life; there are far too many of those, and boy, are they easy to find.  Remember, stay positive.

Behind every weight problem (or addiction for that matter), there is always a pretty deeply rooted problem.  Find out what that is, and knock it out.  When the problem gets back up and tries to fight, knock it out again.  Problems don't just 'go away,' they HAVE to be dealt with.

It's like this: in one of my past relationships, I used this comparison.  If you take a problem and put it on a shelf, it will sit there and take up room, but it's still there.  You will build more shelves, places more and more problems on those shelves.  But what happens when you run out of room?  Those problems start falling off and hitting you in the head.

Personally, I get quite irritated when I hit my head pretty hard or drop something on my toe.  It's as if whatever fell on me or I bumped into did it on purpose.  Really, Carrie? Granted, it's just a momentary thought, but think about it.  What if it was an old problem you just never dealt with?  It's going to make it all the worse when it hits you on the head reminding you of that insidious, pesky problem.  This, my friend, will start a negative cycle.  Guess what's going to happen?  One problem will hit, then you start thinking about what to do, then you think about another one and another and another and so on.  Eventually the shelves will collapse, because the longer a problem sits, the heavier it gets.  So, just deal with now; it will make your life lighter in every sense of that word.

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