My Weight Loss Struggles

I’ve thought long and hard about sharing more about myself on my “crafting” Blog, more to the point I’ve tossed around specifically sharing my struggle with weight loss.  I’m not too sure many will be interested, but, I’ve decided that if my sharing and ramblings might help just one person in their journey through life, then it will be worth sharing my story.

Creating this Blog site back in September of 2015 was one of the most challenging things that I’ve done in quite a long time; I’ve never thought of myself as a “writer” so to speak. But, my friend Liz and my family encouraged me to at least give it a try because they felt as if I had something to offer folks out there in this great big world of ours.  I have found that it seems that my Blog is doing rather well and I’m touched and honored that it has caught on. 🙂   When I started writing my entries, I *thought* that I would always just stick to the subjects of our home, my crafting, diy projects, my decorating, our vacations, and that I’d occasionally write a post about our sweet pups.  But, as I continue to meet new people and to build more friendships through this Blog, I’d like to give y’all more a glimpse into what makes me, well, me.  As we go through life, our experiences, whether they be good or bad, happy or sad, exciting or boring, challenging or easy shape and mold us into the people we become.

As a child, I never had a very high self esteem, in fact, I never thought that I was worth much even as a shy, gawky, teenager (painfully shy).

Here I am as that gawky teenager with my precious german shepherd Nikki; I had grown taller here, so I had thinned down a bit, but I was heavy as a child for a time as well.  Mostly right before puberty, I honestly did grow out of it and didn’t struggle too awful much until after I was married…

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My shyness dissipated a bit after I was given the alto solo in my high school’s Spring concert in my Senior year (I do not have a picture of that time).  As nervous as I was, I managed to get through that solo without passing out…lol.  I always had very good friends in high school, being in chorus helped me immensely.  I grew up in a very small town and I literally went to school with the same group of kids from kindergarten through high school.  A lot of us have reconnected on Facebook in the last several years…nice, very, very nice. Here is my Senior portrait:

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I got my first job while I was still in high school and was forced (literally) to interact with strangers (that I NEVER meet now-a-days…haha) while working at a steakhouse.  I started to gain some self-worth when I realized that I enjoyed talking and interacting with others and it seemed that for the first time in my life, I was actually someone who had a little something to offer.  The rest as they say is history, from then on, I became, I’ve been told, someone who is an upbeat, positive, generous, and an all-around sweet person.  I try very, very hard each and every day not to be an angry, ugly person…folks like that just suck the very energy out of me and I don’t want to be like that…ever..

Through it all, I struggled with my weight, it had always been a bone of contention in my life. I have waged battle on and off through the years.  Thankfully, my hubby of over 30 years has loved me through thick (fat), thin, and everything in between, he is an awesome man who loves me for me, not for what I weigh. ❤  I was 20 years old when we got married…one of the very happiest days of my life.

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So regarding my weight loss struggles, let me begin by saying that I’ve only tried one fad diet in my past and it was one that required me to take a copious amount of vitamins and drink protein shakes. I was somewhat successful in my endeavors with that diet (I will not tell you what it was, no need).  Short synopsis of that time of my life back in 1987, I had already given birth to our first daughter and she was 3 years old—just a precious little soul too! ❤  Here are some pictures of my beautiful oldest daughter:

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I had started this diet and actually lost around 40 pounds and then I found out I was pregnant with our second child, so, of course, I immediately went off of the diet (stopped taking the vitamins and drinking the protein shakes) and made an appointment with my OBGYN.  All was well with my blood work and I was as healthy as could be.  Fast forward a bit to when I was around 5 months pregnant, one day when I had my daughter out swinging on the swing set, I noticed that I had a blurry hole (for lack of a better word) in my visual field.  Quite alarmed, I headed to my eye doctor, stumped, he sent me to a retinal specialist who determined after a visual field test that I had enlarged blind spots in both eyes and that my optic nerve was quite swollen which sent up red flags, set off alarms, and caused he and his staff to huddle all around me handing me orange juice and crackers (remember I was pregnant and had been in that office for hours). That doctor called my OBGYN doctor, they consulted and thought it best to send me to a neurosurgeon because they were both convinced that I had a brain tumor and that IF it was operable I was going to need to have immediate surgery to remove it! WHAT? “I might not live to have my child” was spoken softly to me; I was scared to pieces.  Well, after a visit to the neurosurgeon, a CT scan (non-contrasting) of my brain, and a spinal tap, it was determined that I didn’t (thank the good Lord) have a brain tumor but instead I had something called “Pseudo Tumor Cerebri” (fake brain tumor) and in my case, it was caused from an overdose of vitamin A (a non-water-soluble vitamin) in combination with my pre-natal vitamins.  To say that I was much relieved was an understatement and little did I know that a diagnosis of Pseudo Tumor Cerebri could have been a pretty devastating thing, but, for some reason (I look UP to Him) I was never affected the way some are affected and the way that some who suffer with what can be quite a debilitating affliction. The *only* thing that I was left with was that I can never take Vitamin A in concentrated form again…I’ve got my lifetime supply.  Now, I can eat foods that contain Vitamin A, I just can’t take concentrating vitamins; I take a daily multi-vitamin called “Stress Tabs”, every vitamin included in that multi-vitamin is water soluble so I have no issue at all and have had NO lingering effects AT ALL from the Pseudo Tumor Cerebri since the day I was diagnosed…NONE.  ANYway, our daughter was born as healthy as could be 4 months later…she weighed 10lbs. and is a blessing to this day; she just turned 28 years old. Here are some pictures of that beautiful blessing:

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The reason I told you that entire story was that after going through that very stressful situation, I promised myself that I would never try another fad diet again and with that, I have actually been successful at losing weight through the years by simply changing my eating habits and adding exercise to the mix (walking in my case).  I will admit that even with my tried and true weight loss tactics, I’ve still ridden on the proverbial roller coaster through the years.  I will admit that I am a “stress eater”…NOT making ANY excuses here, but, in very stressful situations (my hubby’s open-heart surgery, my mom’s fight and subsequent passing from Alzheimer’s disease, to name two) I have tended to fall off of the eating healthily wagon.  It is a frustrating attribute of mine that I am not proud or excited to admit to, but, I stopped beating myself up about it long ago. Nuff said…  Here is a picture of me with my precious Mom before she became ill:

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My latest battle with weight loss began about a year and a half ago several months after we moved into our new home–because of course I had eaten my way through the very stressful process of building this new house.  So as in the past, I changed my eating habits and poof I started to lose weight.  I was somewhat successful and my weight was coming off slowly–whoops, wait a minute, let’s throw menopause into the mix…UGH.  Stupid menopause, I am not going to lament forever about what a miserable process we women must endure with “the change”, but honestly, it has been pretty yucky and it has not made losing this weight any easier.  I refuse to take replacement hormones (I just hate taking prescription medications if I can at all avoid it), so I’ve powered through while taking some natural supplements to help control the hot flashes and other annoying symptoms.  I’m coming out the ‘other’ side of things now and I feel as if I’m finally just about finished as my symptoms have subsided greatly.  ANYway, back to this diet…I have lost around 55 pounds in that year and a half.  I struggled through the Holidays without gaining too much weight–about 5 pounds…and now that it is February and we have an Hawaiian cruise coming up, I’ve been able to get that 5 pounds off and will hopefully lose a bit more.  I know I will never be a skinny-minny, and I don’t really want to be, I just want to be comfortable in my own skin.  Also, I will admit that I like to try to look fashionable and put together.  NOT that a plus sized girl cannot look fashionable and put together, I am just tired of being a plus sized girl.  Also, I FEEL so much better when I’m at a healthy weight…not to mention my knees feel better too.

Here are a few pictures of me at my heaviest:

And here are a few comparison shots of me going through the weight loss process:

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This is how I looked last week (February 2016)…New hair cut, new outfit, and still ‘dieting’. 🙂

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I am FAR from thin, in fact, I probably could lose another 40 pounds and still not be thin (NO kidding…I do not lie to myself here).

SO my battle continues, truly though, it is not really a battle, it is a lifestyle change, one that I know works for me, one that I engage in daily, and one that I will continue to wage each and every day.  One thing that I know for sure is that the most important thing to hone is my thought process; I know from past experience that losing weight is definitely a mind over matter technique, one that I need to work hard to achieve at times, but one that I’ve wrangled and perfected.

**I must put this in here…I am not writing all of this to ask for any weight loss help or weight loss tools or any other such thing.  I know what works for me and I know what foods I can eat that help me keep healthy while losing weight, so please don’t give me advice or suggestions.  I’m okay as is…I honestly don’t need help…:) 🙂 **

I have found that cutting most carbohydrates out of my diet is the key.  I eat breakfast every morning too, might only be yogurt but it is something. I eat small little items through the day, fruit, veges, etc…and I eat a nice balanced dinner.  I tend to eat a lot of salads and a lot of chicken, it is a good thing that I love both things huh? 😉   I refuse to starve myself to lose weight.  This is my formula for successful weight loss and I can continue to eat this way for the rest of my life.  NOW, I need to haul my butt outside to do some walking, when I add that in, it really helps to speed the weight loss process along…and that helps me to feel even better. 🙂  I am now 54 years old and yes, I do struggle on some days to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  BUT, now-a-days, my self esteem is pretty good…yes, I still can get down on myself, but most days, I’m a happy lady who is full of energy and ready to face whatever life has to offer.

ANYway, there we go, a little glimpse into ‘me’…I wear my heart on my sleeve (I’m told) and my purpose for writing this entry was to further introduce myself to you and also to show people out there who might struggle with their weight that they are not alone in the fight.  ❤

Until next time, y’all take good care!

~Arlynn ❤

 

 

 

32 thoughts on “My Weight Loss Struggles

  1. Jane Pollan

    Arlynn…You should be so proud of yourself!!!!! Weight issues from childhood to adult is tough!! I came from a family of 8 kids and I was the only one who seemed to be big! I was 175 in high school, played a lot of sports, ate terribly, and it showed. After high school, I lost the weight by learning how to eat right and keep on exercising. Even played soccer into my 30’s. Yes, I have kept the weight off, even through pregnancy. But….Now in my fifties, I’m having to work harder. Food is not an issue to me. Finding the time and energy to workout is a challenge. So I’m right there with you!
    Love you!!
    Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you SO much for your words Jane!! You are an amazing woman who has done a tremendous job at keeping your weight off!! And I agree, keeping the weight in check in our 50’s is MUCH harder! I too need to find the time and energy (well I have the energy, I just need to channel it to the right place…haha) to get my butt out and do some walking. 🙂 LOVE you too girl!! ❤

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      1. You got that right…! And I am enjoying a new life in a new place and I am loving the new found journey that I am on!
        I am so glad that you survived that horrible time with that tumor. YAHOO!

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  2. Arlynn, this is wonderful!. I’ve often said that your ability to put yourself out there pays off with the love and support you get in return, it is clear who you are and what you’re about. No hidden agendas, no “online only” personality, you are as real and sincere as it gets, and that shines through in your writer’s voice. Such a privilege to have met you once and can’t wait til we see you guys again! You are beautiful, inside and out, and I am blessed to have you in my life. Love you a bushel and peck and hug around the neck!

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    1. OH my goodness gracious, you brought me to tears with your sweet words Liz. You are *the* Liz that I mention in this post, and you were the first person to suggest this Blog to me…I’m SO glad that you did, and I’m SO glad that I trusted in your belief in my ability to convey who I am and what I’m about with my ‘voice’. YOU gave me the courage, and my family backed you up 100%, so I must thank you a million times over because I have so enjoyed sharing my’self’ here. I canNOT wait to see y’all again…soon girlie, soon! 🙂 A-n-d, I am the one that is blessed to have you in my life!! AND yes indeed, I too LOVE you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!! MWAH!! ❤

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  3. Pam Kunz

    I’m so glad that I found your blog through the Princess cruise group. I like seeing when people find what works for them. I’m quite familiar with this struggle and I have found that your solution is what is working for me. Smaller, more frequent meals, less carbs and walking. But it includes cheese dip – I don’t want to live in a world without cheese dip! Down 35 and counting 😊

    I’m really enjoying reading all your entries. Your writing style is like talking to an old friend.

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    1. Hi Pam! 🙂 Thank you so very much for your sweet words. I honestly had never considered myself to be a writer, but, it seems that I have a lot to say about a myriad of subjects. 😉 I’m so glad you feel as if you’re talking to an old friend; that comment just made my day because I speak from my heart and strive to be sweet, kind, and hopefully somewhat helpful. 🙂 It sounds like you are doing a fabulous job with your eating regimen—and I agree with you, life is definitely better with cheese dip!! Keep up the great work!!! We are heading to Hawaii on the Star this weekend–There goes my “diet” for the foreseeable future. 😉 Hopefully I will get my rear out on deck to do some walking. 🙂 Thanks so much again for your sweet words!! ❤️

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  4. Barbara

    Arlynn your story brought tears to my eyes. Oh yes, we do share a lot in common. Keep doing what makes you feel good and I’ll be there to catch you if you ever need me to be.

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    1. Awww, thank you so much sweet Barbara!!! This post was probably the hardest one that I’ve written up to this date…Always struggling with the weight…<3

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  5. I’m SO happy to have found your blog. You are so inspirational! I saw the “crafts” part when I searched pseudo tumors cerebri and KNEW I just HAD to read your blog.
    I just made my blog this past weekend. My pseudo tumor was my second “brain tumor.” I’ve been told my pseudo tumor was caused by my weight by some and by my first brain tumor by others. My first one caused the weight gain ironically enough. But after I was diagnosed with the pseudo tumor I lost 55lb, and then after a lot of changes and foot surgery and I gained 35lb. This year the pseudo tumor came back for a second time since I was diagnosed, and I was also recently diagnosed with occipital neuralgia so my mom thought it might be a good idea to finally start the blog I was going back and forth about. This way I could find out what others are doing for the pain and how they’re handling their health. I thought I had a handle on things until the occipital neuralgia was thrown into the mix and that pain is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

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    1. Awww, bless your heart sweet girl…I’m so very sorry that you’ve been struggling with real (yikes) and pseudo brain tumors and that dag on weight. Ugh…I can so relate to what you are going through. ❤ Thank you for all of your sweet words, I'm glad that my ramblings have been an inspiration for you…Maybe I made that one person (in you) feel a little bit better today; if so, that is a very ***good*** thing. Hang in there and know that I'm here to "talk" to if you might need someone moving forward in time. 🙂

      ~Arlynn ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Arlynn, I’ve been reading your travel tips over and over and now reading your other blogs. I can completely relate to the weight loss struggles. I was diagnosed with early onset menopause, then breast cancer. Menopause was/is a bitch. The hot flashes (which now only happen every once in while) and now the inability to shed the pounds. I’ve tried Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Hydroxycut, SlimQuick. With WW and Nutrisystem I lost the weight but it was before menopause now nothing works. Thyroid and cortisol all have been tested and all is well. I’ve got an appointment with a doctor next month so I’m hoping he’ll have something to jumpstart this process.

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    1. Hey there Julie—First, I’m so sorry to hear about that breast cancer and you go girl for beating it and being a survivor!!! ❤ And yeah, menopause, well, it is just horrible and yes, it is SO hard to lose weight (and NOT gain weight) while struggling through each day. I hope that your doctor can help you with that jumpstart. I've been struggling again…It is a daily struggle honestly, but, I haven't lost any more and have actually put some weight back on since I wrote this post. Changing my eating habits and cutting out the carbs is truly a great way for me to lose weight, although it is much slower now that I'm in my mid-50's and am still slogging through the end of menopause. I also need to try to find my will-power again…It has gotten a little off course as of late. 😉 Tough stuff though…NO doubt. ❤ ❤

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  7. Cindi Kallas

    I guess that I am doing this backwards…I started with your videos…went to Instagram, and now to your blog. I love you any way that you are happy and healthy. Keep talking and I’ll keep reading, and watching, and learning. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, hey, hey there Cindi!!!! You found me here at my original “public” forum…haha. And I’m really glad that you did girl!! Thank you for all of your sweet words and I appreciate you following me on all social media outlets!!! ❤ ❤ I've been neglecting my blog a bit as of late because I've been doing all of those car chats. 😉 🙂 Thanks again for all of the support sweet lady! ❤

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  8. You look great just the way you are I really enjoy your crafts and your home is beautiful. I know how you fell about weight gain because I’ve gained 30 pounds and having a hard time taking it off but I don’t worry because I will take it of in due,time. Life,to short to worry about things like that as long as you have your health and a family who loves you what more could you ask for. Keep up,the good work with your diy I really enjoy them and I try to make them. Stay safe and god bless

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    1. Hi Dorothy—Thank you so much for all of your sweet words!! You are right, life is too short to worry about things sometimes. 🙂 ❤ God Bless you too girl. 🙂

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  9. Robin Loiselle

    Thank you for sharing your story Arlynn; I can relate to so much of it. I have had weight issues all my life and wish it were easier. The word diet should be changed to lifestyle. Nothing happens over night and it is so true that what we eat between Christmas and New Year’s doesn’t matter as much as what we eat between New Year’s and Christmas. Every day I swear I will do better but that doesn’t always work. Hubby is having some health issues and doesn’t always want to eat which is bad for his diabetes and we end up in this vicious circle. So, I will end this right there and go rustle us up some supper… Take care.

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    1. Hi Robin—I totally agree, I wish the word diet would be taken right on out of the English language…it is a frustrating word that I do not use. 🙂 A vicious cycle…yep, I can totally relate! Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to read my ramblings girl. 🙂 ❤

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  10. Cindy MacDonald

    I am so glad you wrote this story as there are so many of us who need a “soul” sister! First, I want to tell you that you are truly a beautiful lady! From your baby picture to the most recent pictures, what I saw were smiles – your smiles and those of your daughters. That says so much about your world! I am a professional “dieter” (I think I am able to call myself that as I am 59 and started dieting around age 12). I am now 59. I did start a diet a month ago – which just happens to be the very first one I tried at age 12. I was at the bazaar you attended in Hampton in June. Needless to say, spending 3 days near a booth that sold homemade goods, showed me that I am not yet disciplined. I just had to eat some of those Whoopie Pies (notice the plural) and other treats! Thanks again, Arlynn, for your wonderful blog!!! His light really shines through you!

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    1. Hi Cindy–Awww, thank you so much for all of your sweet words, and yeah, I think I too can call myself a professional dieter! 😉 It is a never-ending battle that I rage daily…not even kidding. Thank you also for your wonderful words about our pictures, we are a pretty happy bunch despite everything. 🙂 AND what booth were you running at that show in Hampton?! I’m wondering if we chatted at all? 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by here and taking the time to leave me such a lovely comment!! ❤

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  11. Cindy MacDonald

    Hi, Arlynn.

    We loved being in the show in Hampton. This was our first time but we are definitely going back in November. And I have to say, I LOVE the man who makes the spinners, etc. We buy from him often! One problem of being in the shows is how much I buy from others! We were the booth against the wall beside the garden business. As you entered the show, you would go all the way to the right. The garden business was in that nice big corner. We were along the wall to their left.

    I do love all of your blog sections and I LOVE your beautiful home! I am very glad you included this section – the weight loss struggles! Like I mentioned earlier – you are the “soul sister” to many of us! This (well actually all of your blog) is where I go when I need that little break during the day!

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    1. Awww, you are so sweet, thank you for all of your sweet words. Chris and I will definitely come and look you up if we come back down in November (thanks for letting me know that y’all will be back there). 🙂 I *think* I remember your booth…and I can’t even imagine avoiding all of those yummy food temptations! Haha I feel your pain on that front!!! 🙂 I’m so glad that you are finding a bit of entertainment by reading my ramblings…that just touches my heart!! ❤

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