About six months ago, my father checked himself into an alcohol recovery program at my insistence. He had been an alcoholic for over fifty years, and the recent death of his wife coupled with various health issues (cirrosis of the liver, neuropathy in his legs and feet, hepatitis B) were causing him to deteriorate rapidly. In an act of desperation, I promised him that for every day he spent in rehab, I would lose three pounds. I knew my father valued my health and well-being above his own, and that he cared enough to do this for me, if I would ultimately lose weight for myself. While he was in rehab, I wasn't allowed contact with him until the last week of the program. Overall, he stayed in rehab for 38 days, which equated to 114 pounds that I promised to lose.
Initially, I used my father's commitment as an inspiration - if he could overcome an alcohol addiction, surely I could conquer my relationship with food. Later, however, I used his commitment as an excuse - citing that I was so busy handling his house, his dog, his finances, etcetera while he was in rehab, that I didn't have time to commit to my promised weightloss.
Five months later, on my way out the door to catch a flight to a business seminar, my father handed me the book Fat Chance by Julie Hadden. I saw the concern in his eyes, and he whispered "please try" as he hugged me goodbye. I was mortified...I knew I was fat, but did the rest of the world really take notice as much as I did?
I knew in my heart, that my father gave me the book to help me rather than hurt me, but in truth I was embarrased that someone might see me with it, and realize that I was trying to lose weight. For years, weightloss has been a very private journey for me, and I have been unsuccessful at every turn. Plagued by insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome (all brought on by my weight gain), just hearing the term weightloss is enough to make my blood pressure spike and my teeth grit.
I ended up reading part of the book on the plane, after removing the cover and blacking out the name on the binder. I covered the title of the inside pages (in case anyone was looking) with my fingers while I read. And I cried. And cried. I identified so much with Julie's experiences - her shame, her fears that she was letting her husband down, her concerns that she wasn't able to enjoy her son because of her weight. I recognized a lot of Julie in myself, and it turned on the emotions.
During the evenings of the seminar, I would retreat to my room that I shared with a coworker (whom I now consider a friend, and will refer to as LA) to read more of the book (seriously people - I was in Vegas reading a weightloss book. Surely this was rock bottom?). At some point, my frustration and despair turned to hope as I began sharing some of the book with LA, and hearing her story about weightloss as well. She agreed to start a diet with me when we returned to work, complete with pictures and measurements and competition. I swore LA to secrecy, she couldn't tell anyone I was reading the book or aspiring to lose weight, because after all - weightloss should be private. But like most things, when you return to the real world, you pick up old habits and routine, and finding time for ourselves was hard to do with families at home and demands at work.
Last week, LA called me from the bookstore. She asked if I had ever heard of Sparkpeople.com and I agreed that I had - I even receive daily emails from them, even though I never open them (who has time for frivolous emails?). She informed me that she was buying us both a copy of the book, and we were going to do this together. And so here I am - I've read the book, I've set my goals, I've started my journal. I'm going to lose the weight for me - not for my kids, not for my Dad, and not for LA. And I'm doing it publicly (albeit under an anonymous screen name and an anonymous email address...just in case :).
Long term? I want to be reality-show ready (and NOT the Biggest Loser). When I watch reality shoes like Survivor or The Amazing Race, I think "I can do that" - then I have to remind myself that I'm fat, and fat people bunji jumping or walking a wire might not be the brightest idea.
I'm REALLY not good at watching what I eat so while I am going to try and do better calorie-wise, I'm going to focus on exercise. I was, at one point, a police officer and the first and only female member of our SWAT Team. Luckily for me, I have great muscle memory, and I know the muscle is in there somewhere.
I'm soon to be 36 years old, I have two children by birth and 3 more by marriage. I'm currently on marriage #3, but they say the third time is the charm, right?
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| current weight: 280.2