And so it begins… Part I

I’m not a fitness guru. I’m not a gym rat. I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I am someone who truly thought that I could never be in shape. I was doomed to always being overweight, my mom was overweight, my grandma was overweight; it was just in my genes. I don’t feel like I can effectively share my current journey without starting at the very beginning, so grab a cup of coffee, settle in….we’re headed way back.

 

For most of my childhood I can remember my mom being on a “diet”, always eating low fat foods and counting calories, seeing success, life getting in the way, and then the battle re-beginning. I didn’t struggle with my weight when I was younger though, if anything I was too thin. While I wish I could say I was this athletic fit person, I’d be lying. My motto was “If you see me running, you’d better run too because something is chasing me.” But as a kid/teen that was ok, it worked for me.. until it didn’t.

 

When I was 17 years old I got pregnant with my first child. I was a senior in high school and was dating a guy who was older, already out of school, and, despite my insistence otherwise, very  wrong for me. We got engaged once I found out that I was pregnant, and were married about a year after our daughter was born.

 

Amber was born in July 2000, beautiful and perfect at 7lbs 8oz, by c-section. The changes that came from pregnancy were overwhelming. I was 18, had gained 45 pounds, and thought losing the weight would just happen naturally. Yeah, no, it doesn’t, and I didn’t even know where to start. As much I would like to say my husband supported me through this, the hard reality is that instead I was reminded constantly how much weight I had gained, how unattractive I had become, and how undesirable I was to the man that vowed to love me.  I wasn’t the thin, young girl that I was when we first started dating, now I was worthless, undesirable, and disgusting. Hearing these things over and over, it was really easy to start seeing myself the same way. I became withdrawn and depressed and just sank deeper into food because it was comforting. When my daughter was about 4 years old, I decided that enough was enough. What example was I, were we, making for our daughter? I made the decision to leave.

 

Here I was, 22 years old, a single mom, weighing about the same that I did when I was 9 months pregnant. It was around this time that the weight yo-yo started. The stress of the separation coupled with starting a full-time job was weight loss gold – I was the smallest I had been in years – the problem of course, stress is not an effective long term weight loss tool.  As I settled into my new life the weight slowly began to creep back. I tried so many different things to keep it off: low carb, low fat, counting calories.. you name it, I tried it. None of them stuck. I got bored, I missed pizza. If I messed up once, I just gave up. Up and down, up and down.

 

Fast forward to 28 years old. It was at this point in my life that I regained contact with an old friend, wait, not just an old friend my BEST friend as a teen. Fun fact:  At 16 this boy told me he was going to marry me one day.  Ha! Of course life had different plans and took us our separate ways. I had gotten pregnant, married someone else, and separated from everyone I knew;  he had gotten married, joined the army and moved away. I remember being so nervous about seeing him again after so many years because he had known me at my lowest weight, when I was still “pretty” and now here I was 10 years older and about 50 pounds heavier. What was he going to think? I’ll tell you what he thought – Chris came home in December of 2010, by March of 2011 we were engaged to be married. He loved me regardless, and there is no better feeling.  Me though?  Let me just say, there is nothing in the world that will motivate you quicker to lose weight than having to fit in a wedding dress. All I could think about was how much I did not want to look at my wedding photos and hate every single one. I went back to counting calories and was successful! My pants size was even in the single digits. Single Digits Y’all; I can’t even tell you when that had happened last.  Chris and I were married in a fairy tale wedding in Walt Disney World in March of 2012.  And then… I was married, and happy, and my 30th birthday came. You know that phrase:  “Fat and Happy” – Yeah, been there, and I truly was happy.  But there came a point that even though I couldn’t be happier with my life and my marriage, I knew that I had to start taking better care of myself.  I learned very quickly, a 30 year old metabolism is not nearly the same as a 20 year old, just like a 30 year old body dealt with pregnancy different than a 17 year old body.

{Update: to continue to part 2, click here}

wedding

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