Tuesday, May 13, 2014
This will be the most personal blog I've ever posted on Spark People. perhaps, the most personal anywhere.
The title has a tale to tell. A sad, yet infinitely hopeful tale of depression and forgiveness.
I was not always depressed and obese. Far from it. I had a brilliant, happy childhood. My teen years were not filled with angst and rebellion.
I weighed about 135 from my 16th year until I was about 29.
1989 brought some not unexpected, but devastating changes and challenges to my life. My closest friend and aunt had COPD and her health declined rapidly. In and out of hospitals, her refusal to stop smoking (menthols!), and her incredible weight gain from steroids just beat her down.
In July 1989, my beloved Pop (maternal grandfather / adoptive father) had a stroke. He was 87 and it began his decline.
I lost a couple of cousins at this time, too. By the time 1995 ended, I counted 27 family members gone. Including my aunt, my Pop, and my Nanie (maternal grandmother / adoptive mother) who was my special angel and best friend on this earth.
Anyway, in 1989, I began to search for comfort. A comfort I could reach for and control. That was food. That was my crutch. That was my downfall.
Even though I gave birth to a wonderful daughter in 1992, my need to escape sad memories and grief was too much. Food was my way of running away from it all. I ran so far... and gained so much weight. I left the hospital after giving birth at 174 pounds. Still manageable. Six months later, I was at 200 and I never looked back.
I finally topped out somewhere in the low 300s. I don't know for sure because I refused to step on a scale.
In February of 2009, something finally clicked and I began to make a few changes. I tossed the sodas and began drinking water. Just a small change, but I could feel a difference. Then... in March... I had a dangerous situation occur: my blood pressure spiked. I didn't even know I had HBP! It was 230 / 200. Stroke range.
When the nurse weighed me, I was at 288. Wait... I've LOST weight? Yep... just from that one change. No sodas, no non-nutritional calories.
The Doctor put me on several meds and advised to me to follow a sensible diet program.
That's when I found Spark People. It was (and still is) a God-send to me. I tracked everything I ate, drank my water, walked, exercised, participated... and lost 66 pounds by December 2009. I was halfway there. Halfway to my goal weight. I think the last time I weighed (for several years), I was at 232.
January 2010 brought yet another round of unexpected, devastating changes. I stopped coming to Spark People. I started drinking sodas. I stopped tracking my food and stopped walking. From a size 18 to a 1X... 2X... and here I am in 2014, wearing a 3X again.
Several weeks ago, I was watching the show, My 600 Pound Life, on TLC. I guess I watched 3 or 4 episodes in a row. I turned to my husband and said, "There but for the Grace of God, go I". He responded, sadly but with truth empowered, "You're halfway there."
Talk about a wake-up call! He was right. It was the truth. I was halfway to a 600 pound life.
The very next day, I cleaned out my fridge, tossed the sodas, and made a brand-new shopping list. I weighed 291 pounds.
That was a few short weeks ago. Today, I've been back at Spark People for a few weeks now and today, I weigh 277.
It's going to take dedication and commitment. I need to lose 137 pounds to reach my goal of 140. That's a lot of fat to lose. To be "halfway there", I will need to lose 68.5 pounds.
I can do that. I can do anything I set my mind to do. I am strong. I am truth empowered. I am ready to let go of the pain and sorrow of grief and loss. Most of all, I am ready to face my failures, learn from my mistakes, and move forward in a spirit of joy and self-acceptance.
Thank you, Spark People, for offering this place of safe refuge and support. Thank you for the encouragement, the trackers, the teams, the recipes, and everything else that you provide to help us. I don't know if I could do this without you.