Monday, September 17, 2007

My story (bound to be long)

I realized that I haven't ever shared my weight loss "story" so to speak. I've spoken generally about it, but never gone to the beginning and gotten it all out. So that's what this is.

I don't know *exactly* when I became fat. I know that it was in a year's time, when I was a toddler. I don't know why. I see pictures of myself at about 3 1/2 to 4 years old, and I was an average looking toddler. I had a little baby fat, but certainly not overweight. When I was 4, my family moved to the town I was raised in through high school. Sometime between when we moved and when I started kindergarten, I gained weight. A lot of weight.

This is something I need to ask my mom about, to find out what on earth made me balloon during that year. My school days memory book lists my kindergarten weight as 108 lbs. As a 6 year old. And from there, it was up and up and up... every single weigh-in at school, I weighed more. I don't remember eating tons of junk, and I don't remember being sedentary... I just remember gaining weight.

Kids are cruel. They'll do anything to make other people feel bad, because for some reason they get a sick pleasure out of this. I was teased all through school, and I grew a very thick skin. I stopped getting my feelings hurt... I understood that these kids were mean, but I wouldn't let them "win" by letting them get to me.

The summer after 8th grade was the only year that I actually lost weight. I played softball, and did a lot of bike riding and stayed busy. My freshman year school picture, I actually look *thin*! But, that didn't last for long... my weight then continued to go up.

When I was 16, my father passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. He was only 38 years old. His parents had always raised me, and actually adopted me when I was in 2nd grade, so I still had a stable family, but I was definately devastated and lost w/o my Daddy. Food tasted good and made me feel good. This is the first time that I consciously remember eating to ease the pain.

My weight pretty much plateaued around 280 pounds when I was 17. For the next 5 years or so, I was always right around that weight, give or take 5-10 pounds. If I watched what I ate, or if I ate like crap, I still stayed right there... so I figured why bother trying.

Then one day, I decided to make a change. I was headed to Dairy Queen for some junk food, and instead, I went to Weight Watchers. I wrote about this recently. A friend of mine had been doing the program for a few weeks, and we diligently went to meetings every week. From February-May, I lost over 40 pounds on the program. I wasn't *really* learning anything though. I was still eating a lot of junk, I was just limiting the intake & staying w/in my points. I wasn't changing my lifestyle. The summer came, my friend moved home (we were at college), and eventually I stopped following the program.

Slowly, weight came back on. I tried probably 3-4 times since then to get started back up on WW, but each time, my heart wasn't in it. I *knew* I needed to do something, I just lacked ALL motivation. I stopped caring.

My boyfriend (now fiance) moved in with me last October. We both started putting on the pounds... lots of eating out & lack of activity. I got comfortable in our relationship, and when you have someone telling you how much they love you, *no matter what*, it's easy to just kind of let yourself go. And that's what I did. I gained probably 40 pounds in the past year. My clothes were tighter and looked messy on me. I was getting winded going up the stairs to our apartment. I was lethargic all the time. Yet I completely lacked motivation....

Until August 21.

Finally, motivation was back, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was getting married in 7 months. Not only do I not want to look the way I do on our wedding day (yes, vain, I know), but I don't want to be a wife that lives such an unhealthy lifestyle. On the 21st, I went back to Weight Watchers, and I went back whole-heartedly. I am really following the program as much as possible this time (I'm a work in progress though!). I'm immersing myself in all things healthy, making weekly trips to the library for reading material/cookbooks, grocery shopping for fresh foods & cooking more, and finding the support & kind words from others through their blogs.

This time is different.

I won't be at my goal weight for our wedding. I probably won't even be halfway there. But that doesn't mean that I won't ever reach it. I will.

I know there will be hard days, and there will be days when I just want to quit. But I won't.

I want to be healthy, and I will be healthy.


Once Upon A Dieter said...

I know EXACTLY when I started gaining weight: When I began cortisone shots for my chronic, severe asthma at the age of 9. HOwever, I only got "chubby", not obese. Obesity came when my immune system got totally whack and I was stuck as a "respiratory cripple" for years, pretty much doing nothing but lie in bed or on a couch trying to breathe. Food was, as you say, pleasure and comfort. And gaining 10-15 pounds per year for a decade, well, you can guess where that goes.

I think maybe the move had something to do with yours--the trauma of changes. You probably WERE teased and did find comfort in eating. You're right. Kids can be HORRIBLE. Horrible!

Oh, I hope you can lose a lot before your wedding so you can feel at ease and just enjoy your big, big day. I was a size 14/16 when I got married. Not skinny, but comfortable. I never had a laudable figure, but at 14/16, I had freedom of movement. Unfortunately, it was hard to find nice clothes back then. They didn't have the big sizes all over like today. Lane Bryant, back then, had some pretty homely stuff.

You can do it. I can do it. Hard and long and, realy, forever we'll be fighting. Ah, well, Life's not easy or fair.

The Princess

Heather said...

Im glad that I get your story now! very interesting to read. and I dont think it matters if you are not at your goal by the time you are know that you will have done your best and that should be all that matters. I am sure that Mike will think you are the most beautiful bride anyways!

Chubby Chick said...

This time really is different! Good for you! And I'm sure you will be a lovely... and much thinner... bride on your wedding day! (You're already lovely, by the way.)

I've been fat ever since around the age of 5 or 6, so I can totally relate to this post. It really is difficult growing up and being fat. But we survived... and now we are women on a mission! We WILL lose the weight and be healthier and happier than ever before!

I'm with ya, girl! Keep up the good work! :)

Lynn said...

It's when you have that "I want to be healthy" instead of the "I want to be skinny" thoughts that you know you are truly on your way.

I'm getting married too (December 1st) and I won't be anywhere near goal but it doesn't matter b/c we are BOTH ON OUR WAY to being healthy ladies!!

When's your wedding?

Lynn said...

Hey Teale - in answer to your question, we got engaged on NYE 2006 and started planning the wedding in January.

Southern Girl said...

You have a tremendous story, and how much better it will be when you reach your goal, and I think you will...I've been where you were, and I know there first has to be a true change in your mind to really commit yourself to making a change. It sounds like you've had that.

I got fat as a child, too, and have struggled with it all my life, until one day I realized I probably wasn't going to survive another year if I didn't do something.

I hope you are closer to your goal by the wedding than you expect to be, but even if you aren't, what a great thing you've done to start your marriage off healthier than you were before.

Looking forward to watching your progress during the Challenge!

Angie All The Way said...

I know what you mean about not having your heart into it. When it happens and your head and your heart are in sync to finally go for it and acheive this goal, there's no way to explain it to people so it can happen for them too, it just has to happen on its own for everyone.

Congratulations for being a smart girl. If you decide to have children of your own, you will be an amazing influence and roll model for them.

Thanks for sharing.

Lori said...

I created a blog on here too since I guess my old one got closed. I'll be putting most of my diet stuff in here rather than my bloop.. at least that's the plan for now. If you want to read it, i posted my story too. And I'm *planning* to put weekly pictures and weights. We'll see how that goes though.