May - June 2010
"I am fat and disgusting. I hate the way I look in the mirror. I see people looking at me and wonder if they are thinking "that woman is huge." I don't bother with new clothes or makeup because what's the point of putting lipstick on something ugly. I have never felt pretty or beautiful or sexy...
I'm not worthy of anyone. I am unlovable. I will never get healthy. I will never not be depressed. I can't understand why my husband would ever want to touch me. I will never be a normal person. I will never be happy. I am weak. I am a monster."
I was a year into therapy. My therapist had convinced me that years of depression and emotional chaos was due to sexual abuse I had experienced as a child. She suggested I write a series of letters, a set of which was to myself. What you see above is an excerpt from my insecurities letter to myself at that time.
I was still emotionally shattered at this point. I was in a verbally abusive marriage with a man who treated me like crap on the bottom of his shoe. I was killing myself physically and emotionally caring for him and his son. But I felt that was what I deserved. That was my punishment because I was a monster. Somehow that abuse as a child made me different and terrible, so I deserved no better. I stayed fat because it kept the rest of the world from getting to close. That fat was my security blanket. Not only did I have all that fat, I had a truckload of pain, hurt, and sadness buried in there too.
Soon after I wrote that entry, I decided it was time to try losing weight. I was struggling with PCOS, fatigue, and anxiety. I could barely hike without fear of twisting an ankle or falling down. I felt unstable on my feet and clumsy.
On June 27th, 2010, at 253 pounds, I began:
This time, with keeping carbs below 55% and protein high, I finally found a plan that worked for me. I dropped over 30 pounds and was feeling pretty good. Then two days before Christmas that year, my husband admitted he was in an "emotional affair" with a girl almost ten years younger than him that he had met at work. He wanted a divorce, which would be the 2nd one for both of us. Many would have given up. Somehow I found the drive to continue on and dropped almost another 20 pounds. I juggled full-time work, graduate school, and losing weight.
The divorce came and went. I was involved in a bad relationship with a bipolar man who pushed for me to open up to him, then left soon after for a woman at least twelve years older than him who was a teacher at our high school when we attended. I tried online dating, met someone who had potential, but who soon disappeared after I started letting my guard down three months later.
I began student teaching. At this point, I really stopped even trying to maintain what I had lost. I was down about 48 pounds, but the stress of no income and full-time student teaching left little room for weight loss. After student teaching, I took on a factory job just to get some income. I couldn't find a teaching job and things were looking bleak. I finally found a job similar to my old email marketing position at a different company. It's not what I want to do, but it is getting me back on my feet. I filed for bankruptcy. I graduated from my Master's program with a 3.9 GPA and received my teacher certification.
During student teaching, I reconnected with B, an old friend from undergrad. We started a relationship seven months ago and now, scary as it is, I am started to let down some of the walls that had been built up all this time. I also realized I had regained ten pounds. So it was time for phase two, starting at 211.2 pounds.
Friday the scale read 202.4. Which means 50.6 pounds lost from my highest at 253.
What a difference 50 pounds makes:
Left: 243 - Middle: 220 - Right: 210
I no longer need a hiking stick when I hike for fear I might stumble. I can hike 5 miles in 2 hours. I'm to the point where I can jog the majority of 2.5 miles (knee issues nonwithstanding). I've dropped from a size 22 to a size 16 pants, from a 2X-1X shirt to XL. I've dropped at least one cup in my bra size. I've went from sleeping 10-12 hours to 8 or 9 hours feeling about right. I rarely drink regular soda.
However, to me, the loss of my emotional weight has been more important. I have let go of 50 pounds of hurt, pain, anger, and sadness. The moment I started thinking I was worthy of more, right after I wrote that letter, was the moment I started being successful. As the inches and pounds dropped off, I also worked to lose that mental burden of feeling unworthy, undeserving, and disgusting. Even through all the turmoil, I have found inner strength I never knew I had. I deserve to be happy and feel complete at any weight. I am beautiful no matter what. I can handle anything that is thrown at me. Once I saw this, my outside started to resemble my inside.
Just know you can get through. You can perservere no matter what life throws at you. It's not easy and it's not a cakewalk every single day. But it does get easier and before you know it, two years have gone by and you cannot believe how far you have come.
I'm not sure where this next phase of life and weight loss is taking me. The first phase was not what I had expected when I began, and I anticipate this will be the same way. But I'm ready for it and I will be stronger and happier when it is complete.
"I'm worthy of someone who loves, values, and respects me. I am healthy and will continue to be healthier. I have my moments, but I am no longer depressed. I feel sexy and confident and certainly have B's attention. I may never be a normal person, but I love who I am. I am happy. I am strong. I am not a monster."