What’s Wrong With Me? –Part 2: Working Out Makes it Worse

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Man covering his face with his hands

Around the time I went to the clinic dramatically claiming that I was dying of “something”, I decided it was time to get fit. My youngest was nearly 3 and “baby weight” just didn’t seem to be a good excuse any more for the extra weight I couldn’t drop. I was never obsessed with looking like I was malnourished. All the BMI charts on the net told me that at 5’4”, I should weigh 115. Really? That’s the Impossible Dream as far as I’m concerned. My goal was to see 135, a mere 15 lbs down from where I currently was. So I went to work…

My sister, Kim, is amazing. She looks and trains like an Olympic athlete. She’ll do multiple workouts in one day and she stores a plethora of health information in her mind. She encouraged me to look at workout programs and consider changing my diet. Up to this point, I ate A LOT of processed foods. I was elated when I saved hundreds of dollars grocery-shopping. News flash: most coupons (if not all of them) are for NON-organic foods. Yeah, you can save hundreds of dollars shopping for food, as long as you buy crap. Since I didn’t know any better, I bought oodles of boxed and canned foods that further degraded my health, though I didn’t know it at the time. But I knew at least that if I wanted to lose weight, I needed to exercise. So Shaun T. and me got super up close and personal through his Insanity workout program. I managed to get really close to my goal by doing these crushing—yet addicting—workouts and I started calorie-counting.

I spent the next several months, with my sister’s much-needed encouragement, getting into the best physical shape of my life. Although I looked healthy on the outside, I felt like I was aging rapidly on the inside. Being a night-owl became a permanent part of who I am and I was constantly exhausted,despite the 8-10 hours of sleep I would get. Still, like most mamas I know, I pushed through…and kept pushing. I continued to wave away signs that I should have paid more attention to: constant fatigue,hair loss, ongoing bouts of depression. And then…horror or horrors: my weight was starting to climb and I felt powerless to stop it. I thought, “more is better” so I engaged in difficult weight-lifting programs and cardio-ed my heart out. I was barely maintaining a higher weight and I could feel that overall, my health was slipping despite my best efforts. My mental and emotional states were suffering…if I couldn’t handle the tangible (physical things, like my weight), how could I handle the intangible, my feelings and state of mind?

To be continued…

Writer Bio

CJ Heath isn’t out of the woods health-wise yet, but she is working hard at it. She does not eat processed foods any more, though she constantly craves sweets and red wine (yum! Perfect date night!). More on those cravings later…


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