Some years ago, I lost a considerable amount of weight. I did so by eating healthy ó fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. I limited sweets, and primarily only drank water and I exercised at least three times a week.

Had I stayed in that good place, I wouldnít be where I am today ó facing the reality that Iíve gained the weight back.


Probably because my lifestyle was too strict.

I remember on an evening ride home one day, I just had to have some fried cheddar bites from Zaxbyís. It was just that simple. But, I ridiculed myself for even thinking of eating something fried.

The truth is, had I not deprived myself so much, for so many months, indulging in one side order would have been a simple indulgence. But, it became a setback.

Instead of one side order at one fast food place, it became buffet here, and chips there. It became anything I could imagine eating. If I wanted Mexican, I got it. Chinese, I got it. Italian, I got it.

Even my grocery bill increased. A small pack of meat wasnít enough. I had to have the Family pack. I also craved starches like macaroni and cheese, French fries, mashed potatoes.

To obtain my initial weight loss, I would eat whole-wheat spaghetti and very little pasta sauce. By the time my eating got out of control, Iíd switched to regular spaghetti and lots of pasta sauce loaded with cheese.

Iíd lost control with food. Instead of eating for sustenance, I was eating to satisfy my taste buds.

I quit exercising altogether.

But, the lapse wasnít just about the food or lack of exercise. It was about facing the fact that I basically hibernate during the fall and winter. Iím no fan of cold weather, so during those months, I typically cook hearty, fattening foods in the crock pot, and slide into a sadness that only leaves when spring arrives.

Iím the person who buries her head under the cover during fall and winter, dreading long, dreary, cold or windy nights.

Iím the person who loves sunshine, swimming, flowers, riding my bicycle.

So, what am I doing now to change my life?

Iíve returned to eating healthy and joined a weight-loss support group.

Iíve returned to regular exercise.

Iím losing weight again and itís not just physically. Itís also the mental weight that comes from carrying the burden of increased health risks that are associated with obesity such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Now, instead of burying my head under the cover, I keep the light on and read a good book.