April Jeppson: This time was different in weight-loss journey

Published 8:48 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


I’ve struggled with my weight and eating issues for as long as I can remember. I discussed it a tad last week, so make sure you check out that article to get the backstory. So, here I sit this past winter, knowing that I need to try and lose some weight. Like any normal morning, my best friend Dusty and I are talking on the phone and she mentions that she wants to try this new way of eating.

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I started my efforts Feb. 14 of this year. I remember because my husband got me chocolates that I didn’t eat. Really, April? Valentines Day — the one day a year you know you’re going to get high-quality chocolate. Lindt chocolate truffles — truly a gift from God, a gift that I normally hide and share with no one. I don’t remember if I shared my chocolates that day or if I thought that my diet efforts would be short-lived so I’d be able to enjoy them in a week or two. That’s the thing about major life changes. At the time, you don’t realize that big things are about to happen. It’s only in hindsight that you can look back and say, yup that was the day I changed.

My best friend Dusty and I started together. She doesn’t live in the same town or state, but it was insanely helpful to have someone go on this journey with me. We’ve been on many weight loss and fitness adventures together. Dusty’s one of the few people who understands my struggle — and the struggle runs deep my friends. It was a Tuesday morning that she brought up that she wanted to try this different way of eating, and by that night I was ready to start the next day. Having a partner in crime is essential. We could compare recipes, compare cravings, compare mood swings and eventually we could compare successes.

That first week was surprisingly easy, mostly due to the fact that it was new and fresh and I wasn’t burned out yet. The scale moved down a tish and then that motivated me for another week. Week two was a little harder, but my body started to feel better because I was eating better. By week three, I was so happy that I had made this choice and even though no one could tell that I had a lost a few pounds, I felt amazing. You know that feeling you get after you eat one salad? Like you’re the healthiest person in the world and your pants should most definitely be looser? Yeah, I was rolling on that high.

It started to get a little tricky right around the one-month mark. Not because I didn’t like this new way of life, but because people started to make comments. They noticed the way I was eating and felt compelled to put in their two cents. “One cookie won’t hurt you,” “I don’t believe in diets, everything in moderation,” “Oh you really think that’s healthier than this?,” “So that’s you’re lunch? Hugh? I could never eat that,” “Well good for you, but I’d die if I couldn’t eat bread,” “You realize that what you are doing is super unhealthy, right?”

The craziest part is I never once asked for their opinion or told them they should eat like me. I would go out to a restaurant, and we’d all order our food and instead of talking about real stuff, there was always someone who had to make a snide comment on what I ordered. No one cared when I supersized my meal or would eat an entire pizza by myself. No one had anything to say to me when I’d order a double cheeseburger and a large fry, but I ask to get my burger without a bun and everyone loses their dang mind. Now that I was finally trying to better my station in life, this is when (sometimes strangers) decided that I needed their help. Seriously people. You see someone trying to make an improvement in their life, just give them a high-five and say “that’s awesome.” That’s it. Move along.

People finally started to notice my weight loss about mid-summer, four months after I started. Do you know how long four months is? That’s 16 weeks. 112 days. 336 meals.  That’s over 300 times that I had to make a food-related choice during meal time. Meal time. If you’re anything like me, you also make food-related choices during morning snack, afternoon snack, possibly dessert — and the internal struggle is real, and that voice can be loud. Sometimes I’d have a 20-minute conversation with myself on whether one cookie would really break me. I mean so and so said one cookie wouldn’t hurt — you only live once, right?

I am so thankful I wasn’t motivated by acknowledgment from others, or I would have quit just weeks in. I have tried so many things over the years to try and get my weight under control, only to eventually give up. If someone wouldn’t notice my efforts after a few days or weeks, I’d lose my mojo and quit. If someone brought sweets to work I’d indulge and within days fall off the wagon. This time was different. I didn’t care about what other people thought. I wanted this for me. I made a promise to my girl Dusty that we would give this an honest effort and I had to keep up my end of the deal.

Tune in next week for more of my story.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.