My mother tells me that when I was a kid I would never sit down and eat a whole meal and appeared thin as a rail until puberty. My memory tells me that as soon as I hit puberty I developed hips and breasts almost over night and was overweight from that point forward. I was destined, I suppose. My mother was full figured – but she was tall and leggy so she was able to pull it off. I haven’t registered anything higher than 5 foot 2 since I bought what my friend called “stripper heels” that was on sale at Macys.
When I was 23 years old I had a well paying job and some disposable income so I started Nutrisystem. I was successful too! Without any responsibilities or distractions other than my 8-5 job, I was able to easily fit in exercise every day and stay far away from temptation. Within two months I went from a firm (remember this description!) size 16 to a soft size 10… okay 12 if I was shopping in a store that didn’t submit to vanity sizing. I was doing GOOD. With my new found confidence I began to date! I fell in love and within two years we were married, and within two and a half years of that we had our first child. Between dating and pregnancy I had gained back all of the weight I had loss – but I was newly married and neither of us cared. I was still “firm” – and so it didn’t seem all that bad.
After giving birth, I didn’t stress about my weight loss until over a year later. I was prepared for the stretch marks – I was NOT prepared for the post-pregnancy fanny pack. Even after getting back to my pre-pregancy weight, I couldn’t fit well into my clothing because I had loss all my firmness. That was hard for me to accept and soon fell back on what worked previously to lose weight and gain confidence: Nutrisystem. But this time, I wasn’t so successful. Now I had a family to support financially so the food seemed too expensive. I couldn’t avoid temptation as I couldn’t avoid my family. I couldn’t find time to exercise between being a new mom and working full time. And the food didn’t taste nearly as good. I found a lot of excuses – and I kept the weight for another year or so.
I can’t really say what happened that made everything work, but something happened in 2011 that eliminated my excuses. Perhaps it was my child getting older and more independent. Perhaps it was my husband’s hours getting cut. Perhaps I was just SICK and TIRED and more DETERMINED.
I joined a dieting website called My Food Diary which was very instrumental in helping me track my food as well as motivate me in simple ways. After I had the proper diet down I added cardio and kept losing and feeling great. After cardio I added weight training and that’s where I plateaued at size 12 again. I was hoping for these knock-out results with the weight training (which was HARD and EVERY DAY) and when I didn’t get those I slowly began to get discouraged and give up.
I became pregnant in early 2012 and of course all thoughts of eating right and exercising flew out the window. When I gave birth in 2013 I was nearly bedridden (funny things happen to your body when you’re pregnant) and spent the next year recuperating.
Which brings us to today! I’m still dealing with painful issues from pregnancy (sciatic nerve pain and pelvic girdle pain) but I REFUSE to keep feeling so terrible about myself in clothing. I can’t seem to find clothing that fits and I’m going bankrupt trying. Nothing is comfortable and when I look in the mirror I want to shatter it. Not a good thing when I’m trying desperately to pass on good body image ideas and healthy lifestyle choices to my children.
So, to recap my starting (8/24/2014) point:
- I never learned to cook
- I’ve always been overweight
- I like instant gratification
- I have a lot of pain in my lower body
- I’M VERY UNHAPPY