Everyone has a journey and this is mine…
Growing up I was always heavy, as a child there was never just one serving of anything. It was clean your plate and go back for more. It is just what I knew and it was it was our life as a family. We like many other people showed our love and excitement with food. I have to admit that for a long time it did not bother me that I was overweight, of course there would be events that would embarrass me but I always pushed it to the back and ignored it. As I got older and into high school I realized I needed to change but my unhealthy habits were so ingrained in me and it was all I knew and I just kept going back to it. In college I finally tried making changes and joined Weight Watchers for the second time (first time when I was 15 at 215 pounds). One of my best friends joined with me the final semester of my senior year. In that semester I lost about 30 pounds then graduation arrived and life and with it a new job, getting married and I started grad school that fall. I fell off the wagon and started to gain the weight back.
Over the next couple of years I tried off and on but again never really stuck with it. The switch had not flipped yet and I was just not committed. During this time I knew I wanted to start a family and I realized I was having a hard time getting pregnant. Deep down I knew the weight had to be a factor in me not getting pregnant but I never really wanted to admit it to myself. I just avoided it and kept eating out all the time and ordering whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Finally summer 2010 I really started to get fed up and realized I needed to finally do something about my weight. It was creeping up and I was back in the 280′s. I realized I was holding myself back and not experiencing life how I really wanted too. That summer I heard about stand up paddle boarding and realized it was something I really wanted to try. I was terrified though of being too heavy and sinking the board or not being able to stand up and balance or that I would fall off. Then I would experience every fat persons worst fear, trying to pull your big butt out of the water! We went on vacation to Destin and the whole way to the lake I was psyching myself out and trying to back out because I did not want to put myself on display for everyone to see. Luckily I didn’t and I had one of the most freeing days of my life because I was able to stand up on the first try and I did not fall off once. As I was paddling around the lake I was telling myself that I wanted to lose weight so I could paddle one of the slim line boards, but had a weight limit of 230 pounds. I knew that I had a long way to go before I could get there but it was my first mini goal. I think this was really one of the moments where the light bulb was starting to come on.
Later that month right after my 28th birthday I attended my 10-year high school reunion which we all know is a stressful experience in itself. We all worry about what people are going to think of us and want to show off how much we have accomplished. I hated myself knowing that I was still the fat girl and had gotten even heavier since high school. Seeing the pictures from that night was the final straw. August 2010 I joined weight watchers again where I weighed in at 290.4 pounds. If you have joined Weight Watchers before you know that you set a goal weight that you want to achieve, I set mine at 160 pounds which seemed completely unattainable at that time. I had never been below 230 pounds (high school weight senior year) in my adult life, I had no idea what I would look or feel like at 160 pounds. Nevertheless I was determined and my husband jumped on board with me.
That fall I worked hard, I counted my points and started regularly going to the gym with my hubby. One of my best friends also joined at the same time and it was wonderful having my buddy to commiserate with as we worked off the weight. For the first time I felt like it was really working and I could feel the difference in my body and myself changing mentally. Honestly this journey is truly mental and this is a topic I will definitely write more about. In December 2010 I was so excited because I was close to hitting the 30 pound weight loss mark. This was a big deal for me because it always seemed to be where I feel off the wagon when I had previously tried to lose weight. I knew this time that I was going to get past it this time and keep going. Oh but fate has an interesting way of keeping us on our toes.
In mid-December 2010 weight watchers modified their points system and introduced points plus. This was a big change because most fruits and vegetables were now zero points and foods that I had previously eaten points values also changed. Each week at weigh-in until that point I had always lost 2 to 3 pounds a week and all the sudden I started to slow down and then lost zero! This was so upsetting to me because I was following plan perfectly and not cheating. I remember talking with my leader telling her I hate the new system, it doesn’t work and I wanted the old points back. At the same time this is going on I noticed I was not feeling as energetic and having heart palpitations and feeling really tired. I honestly thought I was over doing it at the gym and maybe not eating enough. I happened to mention the heart palpitations to my husband and that they were happening frequently. Of course right after I told him I had a major spell and he told me to get my butt in the car and he took me to the emergency room because of course I wait until 9:00 at night to casually mention it. Needless to say it was later that night that the emergency room doctor told me I was pregnant! Ours jaws just about the floor and we both sat there stunned. It was just so funny to have to have an emergency room doctor tell you that are pregnant, he even asked me if that was husband with me because he didn’t want to break the news in front of him if it wasn’t his. It was hilarious and so fitting because nothing ever goes in a predictable way for us.
I of course was completely ecstatic about finally being pregnant as this is something we had both wanted. But for the first time I also had anxiety about not being able to continue losing weight until after the baby was born. I had been working so hard and was finally motivated to get the weight off and now I would have to wait 9 months and try not gain weight during the pregnancy. I was so terrified of being the overweight pregnant lady because of how judgmental people can be, not to mention that you wouldn’t even be able to tell I was going to have a baby. My last weigh in that month I weighed in at 253.8 pounds and I had finally lost almost 33 pounds, having just passed the 30 pound mark.
Of course this story is not done so part two will pick up after the birth of my daughter in August 2011.