I've had weight issues the majority of my life, pretty much since puberty. Growing up in a family of professional dancers, weight was a constant source of strife between my Mother and me. She'd put me on diets, try to motivate me with money, or take away the things I enjoyed, or enjoyed doing. In her mind, nothing really seemed to work. In my mind I just grew more resentful feeling the repercussions of my weigh loss failure.
That being said, I do have remember being 14 years old and a size 12, but I also remember living on tuna, yogurt, grapefruit and salad. What’s really said is, I don't ever remember see a thinner me. I often think, "Only if I had, would things be different now?"
Gosh, was my self-image that bad?
So in my adult life I remember being well into the 200's, thinking, "I never want to see that 3XX number". Well, you know how self-fulfilling prophecies work right? If you think your fat, and call yourself fat, you just get fatter and fatter.
The day came when for some reason I decided to buy a scale -- this was in June 2000. I stepped on the scale and I exceeded the 300 lb. limit. Holy shit! I returned that piece of crap, white platform which had just brought my life to a screeching halt, and purchased a newer, friendlier (in an ironic way) scale. The new scale showed me at 347 lbs. I’ll say it again, “Holy shit!”
I got on the ball and joined a gym, for the first time ever, with some of the guys at work. I was doing well, losing 35 lbs. At 313 lbs., I stagnated. To keep up my motivation, a friend of mine told me she was doing Weight Watchers and wanted company. I said, "Sure!"
Weight Watchers was good to me. I went from 313 lbs. to 242 lbs. by May 2003 -- that was a total loss of 105 lbs.
Well, at 242 I just plateaued again... I had never worked out more: Step 3x a week, spin 1x a week, and strength training all along the way. Nothing was moving. And when it did move, it was up. I even trained for and competed in a triathlon, why wasn't I losing?!?
I speculated many reasons... I thought maybe I wasn't eating properly to fuel the level of activity I was thrusting my 240+ lbs. into each day. I tried modifying things, educating my self, and nothing... no desireable change. Over the course of the next year I would creep up to 275 -- all the while attending Weight Watchers. It wasn't innocent gain, and I knew that. The emotion and stress felt from the common plateau would send me eating impulsively. Mindlessly.
275 scared me. I started doing a modified version of the South Beach diet and it worked. I immediately got down to 252 lbs., and was thrilled and motivated. Once again I felt comfortable doing the activity I loved.
In December of 2003 I was blessed with the news that Darren and I would be expecting a baby the following September; our first child, Cassandra Rose.
During the pregnancy I was a Gestational Diabetic. No doubt I am a walking Diabetes time-bomb, as both my Grandmothers had/have Type II Diabetes. I did my best to manage my weight and was incredibly conscientious. I managed my pregnancy well, and came out gaining 47 lbs overall. Not great, but it could have been much worse. More importantly though, I was working out until my 8th month and was managing my blood sugar/Insulin needs successfully.
Just 2 weeks after giving birth to Cassie, I found myself only 12 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight. Wonderful!!!!
“Wonderful” didn't last very long...
While breastfeeding I ate like a wrestler. What's worse is I let everyone give me license to eat. They would all say, "you'll lose it when you breastfeed; everyone does!" Well, the real truth is, if you are an impulse eater when it comes to stress and emotion, you will eat. I would reward my self each time was able to get Cassie to feed properly, or even to go down for a nap peacefully. I reasoned, "Well, who knows when I'll have a chance to eat again before she gets up?!?"
It really goes without saying, but adjusting to Motherhood, learning what my new level of “normal” is in our home, and the co-existance of both the husband-wife and mommy-daddy relationship, created mounds of stress.
Did I mention I eat on impulse when I’m stressed or emotional? (Just in case I had not made that clear.)
As a family, and individually, we have been through some stressful life events. We had a Cancer scare with Cassie in her first 4 months of life; they thought she might have Neuroblastoma and it took them several months to rule-out this life-threatening disease. I spend the summer knowing I was supposed to be laid-off, then it didn't happen (thankfully). And then Darren made changes to his career (making for more travel, and home less). And last, but certainly not least, we faced a mandatory evacuation with our infant child from our first new home when Hurricane Katrina threatened.
Each of these things became reasons for me to drop my needs to the bottom of the priority list. When you do that, you ask for trouble. You wind up where I am today... 292 lbs.
For instance, Darren just had knee surgery. His recovery has kept me from my routine gym habit. Being the weight I am, now I'm extremely self-conscious again. I unwillingly go, only because if I don't I'll be signing my own death-wish. I do know that once I start shedding the pounds I will enjoy it again. That's not me! Ask anyone who knows me... I LOVE going to the gym.
See, that's the thing about me. My inner-self is an active individual. I take cardio classes because I really enjoy it. I love pushing my body to see what it can do. I like walking out of class, sweating like a pig, knowing I did something good for my health. I love strength training because I like seeing the results of a body as it is sculpted. I love the freedom of outdoor road cycling brings. My idea of fun is going camping, hiking, or even doing an organized athletic event. Truly! Even at 242 lbs., I did the Danskin Triathlon with 2 of my friends -- that's my idea of fun!
Having the surgery will help the me on the inside come out to play, and I can life my life the way I believe I am meant to.