Monday, April 19, 2010
First full day here on SparkPeople, and I'm searching for my place (yet again).
College Students - hey, yeah! I'm a college senior (graduating May 16th, 2pm! *lol*). But...I never seem to fit right here. I'm 29, older than most college students. I'm also a wife, a mother, and a full-time secretary. My life is a little more settled than most college students, and I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, even when I'm sitting at my desk in class. *shrug*
Plus, I have a whole ton of a lot more weight to lose than most college students struggling with their freshman 15, or even 20, or even 50! I've got a lot more to lose than a lot of people and this tends to get me down when I visit sites like this.
But what I have to remember is where I've come from. A few years ago I weighed in at 466.6 (the last 3 digits weren't lost on me). I was struggling to get gastric bypass surgery, severely depressed, and just not in a good point in my life. It was difficult to walk up stairs. I had no job and spent most days at home in front of the television. Those numbers scared me...terrified me, and I made a change. I worked every day, day by day, with help from online friends, and I ended up dropping 100 pounds all on my own! For the most part, I've kept that weight off for the past 3 years...and then...well, and then things changed a bit. (Gastric bypass never happened - by the time I went through all the stupid testing required by my insurance company, the insurance company dropped coverage of the surgery and I was left with all the tests to prove it would be good for me and none of the results.)
Slowly I have accepted more in my life. We moved from Columbus (where I had a lot of family support and accountability) to West Virginia. Then I got a job working full-time, my first "regular" job ever. A year later, I started school again, something I had abandoned years before, but promised myself I would go back to. Then a year ago I was offered a position in my chosen field part-time and I just couldn't find a good reason to turn an opportunity like that down (they don't come around that often, I've learned). All of these things are great things in my life, and I feel so proud to have done them. (Especially knowing where I came from just a year or two before.) But suddenly I was working full-time, going to school full-time, working part-time twice a month, getting very little sleep, and having even less time to devote to exercise/eating right.
No lunch breaks at work meant I couldn't use my lunches to walk anymore. Constantly driving in the car meant I had to stop and grab food where I could, or eat something on the go (it's really difficult to eat an egg white omelet while driving 60 down the road...ya know?). But I didn't complain to anyone...how could I? People kept telling me "You're still living a sedentary life" but I couldn't figure out how to change it. I made small corrections, whatever I could fit in, but I had to somehow survive the challenges I was facing and there wasn't much room in my head to "work on me."
Now, thankfully, school is coming to a close. I'm looking for a better job and, most of all, looking forward to a chance to spend some time on me again. I'm ready to pull out the same skills I used once and put them to work for me again, and this time I won't stop until I reach the mile marker that makes me feel the most comfortable. (I decided that day on the scale that I would never let my weight keep me locked inside again, and I don't let it stop me from doing very much. My big butt will wear a bathing suit and go swimming in the lake, because I love swimming and it's great exercise and because I need to worry about myself and what I think/feel/enjoy and not what others think. My big butt boarded a plane to NYC because I had always wanted to go (and I'm telling you this place is a wonderful weight loss tool - I lost 8 lbs or so in 5 days from walking, and more walking, and even MORE walking!)
I'm in mostly planning stages right now (4 weeks of school left), but I tend to make changes when I'm paying more attention, because I DO know what's right and wrong, and consciously chosing to do wrong all the time can kill my feelings of self-worth. The plan for the day is finding a place where I feel like I fit. Where I don't feel like an outsider trying to make something work that doesn't. Where I can hold myself accountable by being myself, completely honest.