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    Posted July 14, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Emotional Eating? Look No Further!

    At 5'7", I always have battled with weight. When I was young, it was because I was underweight. I was thought to be anorexic, but the reality was, I was just starving. My family didn't make a lot of money. I rarely had breakfast and was lucky if I had a dollar to get something for lunch at school.

    Fast forward to my 20s, I was gainfully employed and as such, able to afford food. Maybe it was because I hadn't resolved my starving childhood, but I felt that I had to finish everything on my plate - tasty or not. By the time I was 28, I was 180 lbs. I stayed that way until my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

    Cancer is a bastard. It affects everyone, not just the patient. My husband was fighting advanced stage melanoma. I found that his will being, his pain became my pain. I couldn't fix it.

    One day, I was at the grocery store buying cleaning supplies when I began to have a panic attack. I felt like I was losing it. My heart was racing, I ended up eating a half dozen cookies in my car before I went home.

    That was the day I discovered that cookies were my friend. The food did something to me - it sounds odd, but it felt equivilent to a Xanax. I found myself buying sugar every chance I got. Blue Bell Rocky Mountain Road Ice cream and chocolate chip cookies got me through the day. This was daily for 14 months while my husband was in treatment.

    I ballooned to 225 lbs. My already unhealthy relationship with food was taking its toll too. I felt guilty, then ugly. Then I would feel depressed and buy more sugar. At the age time, my husband was losing weight because I couldn't deal with the cancer.

    His doctor stopped treatment because he lost 70 lbs. He was placed on doctor's orders to gain weight. We then had a meeting of the minds. He needed to gain and I needed to lose. We began proactively putting our lives together.

    Working out became a routine. We both also changed our diet. He began gaining muscle and was feeling better. I found my metabolic caloric daily amount and cut out 500 calories a day. We spent 2 hours in the gym 5 days a week. Weight began melting off.

    As of today, I am 172lbs. I am 2 sizes smaller than I was at 180 lbs in my twenties. I am able to run a 5k and can carry 50 lbs with ease. My husband has three beginnings of a six pack. While I still have several pounds to go, I am proud of how far I have come.

    I ain't gonna lie though, I still have a killer sweet tooth. However, today, it doesn't control me. It's all one step at a time, a daily battle. But I now know what causes me to want sweets and manage appropriately. I will hit my goal weight by the end of the year. And it's the best decision I have made for myself.
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