I’ve had body image problems since I can remember. I went on my first diet when I was in sixth grade. I didn’t need to, as you can see below. I thought I was obese though. Maybe it was because I was taller and bigger boned than a lot of the other girls. Maybe it was because I got picked on a lot. Who knows?
About that time, my grandma gave me a book about being a classy and elegant lady. It was from the 1960’s. It wasn’t super relevant in the early 90’s, but I was into it. I was doing all the calf raises and leg lifts. I was drinking black coffee for breakfast, and eating only eggs and cheese and protein.
I skipped the part about wearing gloves and pantyhose and no white after labor day, but that chick was on to something with the low carbs. This was a few years before we all started eating fat free everything, full of sugar, carbs and calories, and wondered why we weren’t losing weight.
But, if I could trade for the body I thought I hated back in middle school and high school I would in a heartbeat, because there was absolutely nothing to hate about it. I certainly wasn’t the skinniest girl in school, but I wasn’t fat either. I was below what my goal weight is now. And less than what my driver’s license has been saying all these years!
Brian and I met when I was 21 and he was 23. He wasn’t the mailman yet. He hadn’t found his calling. He was delivering pizza. He knew he was supposed to be delivering something I guess. He was super skinny when we met. That’s the first thing I thought actually. I thought, that guy is cute, but his legs are too skinny. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this.
I didn’t really start to get seriously overweight until I got pregnant with our first son. I was 25 when he was born and I gained about 70 pounds with that pregnancy. I can’t really blame it on the pregnancy, although I try. I have to blame it on the fact that I ate like a crazy person the whole last trimester.
I took the idea of eating for two way too literally. I was eating for two adults who were training for marathons or something, and the only marathons I was training for were on the couch watching Sex and the City.
After Nick was born, two weeks late, by the way, I lost a lot of it, then gained some back. Then lost some more. Then I got pregnant again. This was when I really started the yo-yo dieting. But, it wasn’t 20 pounds here and there. It was 60 pounds. It was 80 pounds. I could never hit my goal.
When my second son, Drew, was born five years after Nick, I was actually 20 pounds heavier than when Nick was born. I didn’t gain as much with the pregnancy, but I was a lot heavier to start with.
So once I really started to lose that baby weight, again, five years later, you guessed it. I got pregnant the third time, and voila, back to the same weight again.
Only this time, after I delivered Ben, the weight was not coming off. If anything, it was creeping up even higher.
I went to my doctor, crying, and weeping, and lamenting, and exhausted. I got my thyroid tested and found out I had hypothyroidism. I got that straightened out, and knew for a fact that after three c-sections and a tubal ligation there would be no more pregnancies, and I was absolutely ready to get rid of the weight once and for all.
That was April 22nd 2015. On that day I weighed 311 pounds. For a 6’3 linebacker for the Bengals, no problem. For a 5’9, 37 year old mom of three, not so much. In fact, this is a number that I have found so humiliating I have never shared it with anyone. Not my husband, not my mom, not my friends, my therapist, not even my dog.
The only reason I’m sharing it now is because I’m disassociating myself with that number. It isn’t me now, and it won’t be me again. I’m relinquishing all claim to it. From this point forward, the only thing that will come to mind when I hear that number is the 90’s rock band.
Back to April 22nd of last year. I was done with the excuses and all of the lies that I had been telling myself. My knees are bad, my metabolism is slow. I’m too busy, I’m too old, I’m too lazy.
OK, maybe they weren’t all lies, but they were definitely excuses and I was sick of hearing them and sick of saying them. I was sick of looking at myself in the mirror and being disappointed at my reflection.
What was I hiding underneath all of that fat for? What was I punishing myself for?
So, I logged back into My Fitness Pal and decided I was going to log in every single day. It didn’t matter what I ate, it was getting logged. I wasn’t going to beat myself up if I ate too much or went over the allotted goal for the day.
It was a no guilt plan. It was also a no plan-plan.
I didn’t want an elaborate diet plan and fitness regime. I was not going to put my weight loss into anyone else’s hands again. I couldn’t handle another restrictive plan. I’ve been falling off the strict plan wagon and feeling guilty about it for way too long. I didn’t want to give myself any reason to fail.
I also decided to start seeing a therapist. I wanted to figure out why I’d been holding on to the weight so long. Why I’d been eating my feelings and emotions for so long. Why anytime I would get close to my goals I would give up. Did I not want to reach them? What was holding me back?
It wasn’t easy. It never is, but when I actually owned up to the fact that my weight was about more than just weight. I was using it as a crutch and a punishment. Food was about more than just food. For me it was its own punishment and reward system as well. The fat I was carrying around with me was a figurative ball and chain that I was using as a way to punish myself for not being good enough. I had to dig in and take a long look at myself. I had to face my fears and confront them. I had to be honest with myself. I had to forgive myself. I had to love myself.
I’m happy to say that I am now a full year into my weight loss recovery, and I just hit the 100 pound mark.
While this milestone does not yet put me at my goal, I am closer than I have been in a VERY long time, and I am at a weight that is lower than I have been since before my first pregnancy, over 12 years ago.
I still have a lot to lose, and I want to be able to record the rest of my journey. Ultimately, the number on the scale is not what’s really important here. It’s just the outer image that everyone can see. My health; emotional, physical, and spiritual are the most important improvements I’ve made this year.
I have learned so much over the last year that I would really love to share!
Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you will stick around and check out my posts as well.
What is Fuxion? Check it out here!