If you are anything like me, you have told yourself that you are not morbidly obese. If you are anything like me, you have told yourself you are just overweight. If you are anything like me, you have told yourself that genetics made you this way. If you are anything like me, you don't look like this inside your head. If you are anything like me, you are ready to be honest with yourself for the very first time...
Have you ever walked by a mirror or a window and caught your reflection and literally been startled by what you see staring back at you? Have you avoided pictures for years? So none exist? Or there are ones where you are hiding behind the people and things around you? Or where you have contorted your body in a certain way to give the illusion that you have not gotten as big as you really are? Have you made excuse after excuse why you cannot do things or go places? Have you cried at just the thought of having to do even one singular jumping jack? Have you been afraid to that jumping jack because of how you will look, what might happen, or how it will make you feel? All of these things (and more) are things I have done in my everyday life, most of my life...
So this blog is... well... this is me FINALLY being honest with ME and in turn, being honest with anyone who cares to read this... It's time to be REAL! This is happening because it is about freakin time!
This is my life's weight issues story... a long one but condensed to the major parts... This is to remind myself of where I have been but also, to where I have no desire to return...
As you may have guessed, I've had being the "fat girl" issues my whole life....
I started off as a fairly "normal" sized baby/toddler....
See... Wasn't I cute?!?
Elementary school came along and this is when I first kinda sorta noticed that I was just the slightest bit bigger than all the other kids... By 5th Grade... I was a little bit more so but not too bad.... yet...
By middle school, I was still among the biggest of my class and yep, you guessed it... same with high school...
This is freshman year of high school...
and junior year....
Along came senior year and I was still very much part of the chunk of the month club. I started dating a boy and I remember being thrilled (and in all honesty. a bit surprised) that a boy was interested in me. Being on the bigger side for the entirety of my school career, I spent more time trying to fade into the background than trying to get a boyfriend.
That "boy" and I at my prom...
Over the next few years, I didn't shed more than 5 pounds here or 10 pounds there and more often than not, I'm sure I was gaining than losing. I knew I was overweight, at this point, I never weighed myself... like EVER! What was the point?
Cutting our wedding cake... I was 9 months pregnant!
Anyways, good news is that the boy stuck around... We married and are still together after 17 1/2 years & almost 14 years of marriage!!! I am a lucky girl. He has never had a harsh word for me and has accepted me at my worst, so he deserves me at my best!
I gave birth to our first son just weeks after my 21st birthday... Now I wish I could say, I gained a humongous amount of weight during that pregnancy but I would be lying to you. And well this is about honesty, right? I only gained about 23 pounds during that pregnancy and I delivered an 11 1/2 lb (yes, I said eleven & a half pounds!) baby by c-section. So, I cannot blame any of what I became on "baby weight". Actually after his birth, I believe I was on the thinner side of what I had been in the few years before his birth. Again, I don't know how much I weighed, just pictures and memory to go by.
A family portrait when our son was about 4 1/2 months old....
I soon started to blow up even more in this next picture when my son was about 8 months old...
At this point, I wish I knew what was ahead of me... maybe at this point, if I knew, I would have tried to stop it. No, I'm lying, no more lying! Truth is, at this point I wasn't ready to realize what was my reality. I was dealing with depression worse than I have ever experienced. So depressed that I do not remember ANY of my childs first year and a half of life. I know that is terrible for a mother to say but it's the truth. I was lost mentally and the place I was in was a very dark place. I contemplated suicide often and really had no will to live. So I buried myself in food, sleep and more food.
These next pictures are of me in my wedding dress again for a family function. It was the only thing that would fit me at the time that was somewhat "dressy". The following pictures are also the only pictures I hold in my possession that show the closest to the biggest size I got to. After this, I avoided all cameras, at all costs!
I wasn't even at my biggest point here!
Next, what comes, should have been a life altering situation. It should have made me change everything about the way I lived my life, right then and there and no looking back... however it didn't.
When our son was almost 3, our cat scratched my shin. Instead of healing it kept opening up and getting worse. I walked around with this sore on my leg for nearly a month. I finally gave in and went to the emergency room. They gave me antibiotics, taught me how to dress it and gave me an appointment for a follow up.
I almost blew off that appointment because I just didn't want to leave my house at this point. However, I did muster up the strength to go and I was told I was diabetic. Terrifying! Another blow... I found out how much weight I had packed on. At my heaviest, at just 23 years old, I was diabetic and a whopping 389 pounds... There I said it. Yeah. 389 pounds!!! Admitting this to the world is one of the hardest things I have ever done. In being honest and telling my story, sharing that little bit of information was something that had to be done. Accountability and finding pride in how far I have come fuels the truth in this blog. Makes me want to strive even more for greatness!
To continue... I almost immediately lost some weight. Not as much as I needed. I still ate all shapes and forms of what really is, plain and simply, crap. I didn't do much but I did a little more than I was doing before. I washed dishes more often. I went up and down stairs to do laundry more often. I walked to the store a block away more often. I did a little more. I managed to lose about 60 pounds and I hit that infamous plateau.
I have been on that plateau for 11 years now. Yo-Yoing between 295-325 for years. I have never really gotten my sugars in check, except when I was pregnant with my second son.
2004 just after my youngest sons birth.
I stayed at about 325-330 for years... I was doing great at maintaining not so great. When my youngest son was about a year old, I was starting to climb again. I got to about 345 and maybe the lord heard my prayers and stopped that! I managed to lose about 20 pounds and that is when the hoovering at 325 began.
Me with my kids in the summer of 2005 at 345 pounds.
My youngest sons birth was a step in the right direction for me, albeit, a baby step. I began taking insulin shots and started weighing myself more often. I have not gone over 325 since then. However, while I took a baby step forward, I was allowing myself to unwittingly take two back. My mind set made me thinking along the lines of, "I'm on insulin now, I can eat whatever I want!" HaHa! Yeah Right! This is why your sugars are out of control and you were at some point taking the maximum amount of insulin you can take! Get real...!
Next, another life altering moment happened. Something that too, should have changed my life style. In 2009, I got down to 320 and I got pregnant! Sadly, at 9 weeks, I found out the pregnancy was an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and my life was in serious danger. They would normally give an injection to dissolve an ectopic but I was too far along and my baby was already too big for it to work well. So in my scenario, they would normally operate, however, they decided that would be just as dangerous, if not more so, than letting nature take its course. Due to my past abdominal surgeries and well, quite frankly because I was fat, they chose to let me wait it out. After 3 long months of not being able to move in fear of bursting my tube and bleeding to death internally, it was finally over. Why the realization of "your being fat" is the reason why you had to endure that for 3 months eluded me, I don't know. But it did.
Five months later, my 16 year high school reunion came along. I decided to try on a pair of jeans I had owned for a year but could never fit in to. I was like, "OMG! I can button them!" A pair of size 26 jeans with no spandex woven in! Yeah!!!
My husband and I at that reunion...
A few months later... I get on the scale... jaw dropping, double take... 295!... for the first time in... hmmm... at least 12 years I was under 300 lbs. Now, the emotional toll of the ectopic pregnancy (among other things) creeps up on me from time to time. I went back up to 315. Will this ever end!?! But if I want to be real, I mean REALLY real, I wasn't trying to do anything different. How could I expected to stay at 295? Pah-Leeeezzzzz!
I wish I could tell you that my light bulb, ah ha! moment for making a change was my kids, my husband or anything of great substance. I can't. I won't deny that those things help add to the drive but they were not the cause. Instead in February, I purchased a camera, not the usual $80 dollar point-n-shoot cameras I have used my whole life. I bought a SERIOUS camera! I found that I love it! I love it even more now that I actually know how to use it the way it was intended, on full manual mode!
My ah ha! moment happened with that... I started walking to take pictures of the flowers that were coming out in the spring. Such beauty and wonder I wanted to capture. One day I came across a flower under a bush at the park that I had an intense urge to take a picture of. It meant I would have had to get down on the ground and army crawl underneath that bush to take it. All I could think about was having to get back up. What people would see of me and how they would see me struggling. How uncomfortably awkward it would be. I let my weight over power my will and desire. That was my ah ha! moment! I was tired of letting my weight call all the shots. I was tired of locking myself within the four walls in which I reside every day because of shame. I was tired of ignoring any possibility of life, dreams, passions, adventure, all that and more! I realized I was just plain tired of the life I was living and was ready!
So here I am, I joined SparkPeople and so far it is probably one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself. I didn't think to take a "before" picture of myself so below is the most recent picture I had from before I started here. It was taken on Easter 2011...
BEFORE!!! Now more determined than ever to have an amazing after!
My starting weight was 311 and at my 2 week weigh in I was 305.2. I am moving more than I have in my entire life and boy, am I feeling it! I am a little scared I may be pushing too much too fast but I am trying to listen to my body too.
I have not taken measurements but I noticed that clothes that used to be, what I call "I can see you're fat" loose (where you can see rolls and the tummy under it pretty prominently underneath but still lose) and used to pull them around my knees to stretch them, I haven't had to do that this last week. Which to me means that something about my body is changing!
So, wow, that was a really long post but it was time to lay it on the line. No more lying to myself about my health and my weight. No more lying to myself about being satisfied with what I have become. No more lying to myself that this is all I was meant to be.
We dream for a reason people... anything is possible, we just have to believe that it is!!! Thank you for taking the time to read and I encourage you all to reach for your dreams too!
Much Love &
On all my posts I like to post a song that helped me through my day with it's message...
Motivational Song of the Day:
Tattoo by Jordin Sparks
I dedicate this to myself... My past has poisoned me, it won't anymore. I realized I'm not broken and there is fixing what is wrong. While who I was and who I am are one and the same, I realize I can leave behind the parts of me that I don't like! My history will always be a part of me (like a tattoo) but it won't define my future. I'm ready to live every second like it was my last one! It's time to live to the fullest!