Its funny in a lot of ways just how many things I was told about my thirties have come true.

I do have a much stronger sense of self and understanding of my self identity.

My maternal instincts, absent for the duration of my twenties, have kicked in.  Children still terrify me, but for the first time I can see myself having them- in a few years.

I’ve learned the best financial practices and like most of my generation, regret some of the decisions I made in my twenties.

Finally- I’ve gained a better understanding of my weight problems and struggles to lose weight.  I started dieting later than most girls- around fifteen.  I was a cheerleader, and looking at those photos now, I would do almost anything to look like that again.  I was a size 12 but I was very active.  I rode my bike for miles every day in the summer.  I worked out with the cheerleaders.  I wasn’t a star athlete by any means- but I was healthy.

But then one day a mean boy that I had liked said to me, “Ever heard of slimfast?”.  And that was it.  I started dieting on and off for the next 17 years.  At one point poor habits combined with a morning drive radio job had my weight all the way up to 250 pounds.  That was combined with every diet known to man.  I did weight watchers but lived off their pre-packaged meals.  I actually gained weight- probably because all of the carbohydrates.  I did medical weight loss- and lost a lot of weight- only to gain it back again.

The only solution that seemed to work for me was rather simple in concept- watch what you eat, and exercise.  If I went out to lunch, I’d eat a salad for dinner.  If I knew I was going out the bar after work- I’d make sure I was light on the calories during the day.  I worked out almost every day.  When I moved on campus at school, I worked out after my air shift- because there was a gym on the ground floor.  When I took on my promotions job- that meant long hours I went to the gym on my lunch.

Then life happened.  I’ve struggled with the same 20 pounds for the last seven years now.  I go up- I go down.  Last year- convinced I needed to get thinner than I’ve ever been in my adult life I got help from my doctor.  This wonder drug- combined with diet and exercise, helped me lose nearly 30 pounds.  I did weight watchers, and found myself obsessed with food- and trying to control it.  And then I sprained my knee.  Then I stopped the pill.  Then after months of restriction from my doctor, I gave up working out.  Then I took in a foreign exchange student who’s favorite meal is pizza and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  It started out as little indulgences here and there. It was no big deal- because after-all I was going to  start a diet the next week.  Then I started a new job and was trying to balance working 4 part-time jobs on top of caring for an exchange student.  When I wasn’t at work or taking care of the house, I was grading papers.

Well I started a diet.  Its not so bad.  Its healthy- clean eating with calorie restrictions.  But I cheated already.  Let me tell you I’m not even the slightest bit upset that I did either.  I was hungry for something beyond veggies- and it made me full quickly.  Then, I had a salad for dinner.

I think this video makes a lot of sense.  They say that successful weight loss is centered around a balanced lifestyle.  Certainly my indulgences since our exchange student moved in are not part of a balanced lifestyle.  But, restricting myself only makes me want things more.  In fact, I read an article about a woman who successfully lost weight- but was miserable.  She obsessed over food.  She was happy heavier.

I’m not happy at my current weight- and that’s my own feeling.  But I was happy 20 pounds lighter- still in the obese category.  I think life, in general, is all about balance.  So as I transition back to exercising- at home for now, and eating healthy- thanks to the meal plans that are sent to me, I need to stop obsessing over the pounds and focus more on being mindful as the video suggests.  I read that the magic percent is 80.  80 percent of your intake should be healthy.  That leaves 20 percent of your meals, or 2 per week, for “cheating”, within reason.  This “cheating” is 2 meals, not two days.  (Many of us eat healthy all week, and fall apart on the weekends.)  I’m focusing on being mindful and bringing balance back to my life.  I think this video makes some really great points.  Anyone who’s ever struggled with their weight should watch it.

Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn’t usually work