I call this blog TMI (Too Much Information), because it is going to be about my weight issues; what brought me here, what I am doing to change things, and hopefully....what I do to maintain things once the weight is gone. In the midst of the discussion/posts/blogs....there is probably going to be a lot of info posted about me that others simply might not want to know, but it maybe very important and pertinent to my journey and destination. So for anyone who does not want to know me quite that well, I will not be offended if you choose now to check out. For the rest of you.....here we go.
Honesty time: I have had some sort of an eating disorder off and on since I was about 12 years old, I was about 5 lbs over weight and my dr. told my mother I was FAT! Probably by the standards of the day....I was. I don't remember there being any "fat" kids in my class or my neighborhood, so my chunky thighs and round face probably did constitute "fat" in the 1970's. (Looking back....I was a preteen girl whose baby fat was turning into curves and had I been left alone and never told I was fat....I probably never would have been.) Instead though...those words set me off on a life long pattern of bad eating habits and low self esteem that I have yet to recover from.
I believe the day we got home from the drs. office, I began binge eating. My self esteem went from normal to nothing in just one word...FAT! As a pediatrician he should have known better....but as a man.....well....you know what I am getting at. My mother didn't really help the situation either. We were a family who liked our fast food, and when cooking, Mom never met a starch she didn't like. Up until the moment that the horrid three letter word was used....I had always been somewhat of a picky eater. Often times I would turn my nose up at sweets and fast food, but after being declared "that which must not be named".....ALL food became a source of comfort to me. I would raid the cabinets and if I couldn't find anything else to eat....I would eat crackers with barbecue sauce. It was as if my mind had decided that I was going to live up to the adjective and my body was along for the ride.
I did gain weight, but fortunately I was only 4'9" at the time and I still had another 5" to grow before I stopped, so the stretching to 5'2" over the next few years helped to keep the weight from going crazy....not that at times I didn't try to out eat the growth spurts. And the fact that I was put on steroids for my asthma didn't really help the whole situation, but I never got "fat." I never even got what you would call heavy....just a little chunky.
My weight though, and the word fat made me feel like the big fat pig in every room. I saw myself through a zoom lens which made my body in my minds eye, appear "much" larger than it really was. When I would hang with my girlfriends I would always mentally compare myself and never did I ever see their flaws....I was too fixated on what I felt were my own.
Finally, when I hit my senior year...something snapped. I just simply could not take feeling fat anymore, so around Thanksgiving....I just quit eating. I would nibble and pick....but I would leave much of my food untouched. By New Years....I had lost weight and people were noticing. My clothes no longer fit and I was feeling good about myself. Well....actually it was a false feeling of good because my weight loss was not real. I mean yes, I had lost weight, but the way I had done it was not healthy, nor was it lasting. I knew the moment that a whole cheeseburger or a piece of cake passed my lips, the weight would start coming back. The bad thing was....I was starving. You can only tell yourself you are not hungry for so long before your body takes over and says "YES YOU ARE!"
People were noticing the "new" me and more over....boys were noticing the new me. I was suddenly getting attention that I had never had (or knew I had) and I liked it. AND somewhere along the line I made up my mind that I was willing to risk my health to keep it.
From that time on until I reached my early 30's, I went through a succession of not eating, taking boxes of laxatives, and taking diet pills that no MD would prescribe. I never did purge.....as throwing up for me...even to look good....was not an option. However, I did take boxes of laxatives, sometimes taking as many as 10 or 12 pills at a time. And the diet pills....oh my goodness. I would travel over state lines to go to a clinic that would hand them out like candy. I spent years yo-yo dieting. I was just like an alcoholic.....addicted to losing weight and I had many of the bad habits and attitudes that went along with the addiction.
Finally in my early 30's I got it figured out, that if you exercised....then you could actually eat more and be okay. Well, I had it figured out sort of. I still had the addictive attitudes and ideas and I was deathly afraid of gaining weight.....so I did what all good addicts do.....I binged. This time on exercise. I began working out 3+ times a day, but did not eat the amount of food necessary to maintain that kind of a workout schedule. I was skinny though.....too skinny.
It was at this time in my life that I met and married my husband. He was a fantastic cook and somewhere along the line convinced me that no matter how I looked.....he loved me and found me attractive. That and I got pregnant almost immediately. What I wasn't willing to do for myself....I was willing to do for my child.....I ate. Soon, eating once again became something I didn't fear and my body began to show it. I gained 70 lbs during my pregnancy and then afterwards only took about 40 lbs off. I wasn't happy, but food and I had once again developed a loving relationship with each other....and I was not ready to give that up.
I maintained my weight pretty well for about four years. Never losing that last 30 lbs....but never really gaining either....until I got pregnant with my last child. With him I gained 40+ lbs....which was sad as I only actually carried him 27 weeks. He was born 13 weeks premature. I immediately lost 20 lbs....but have yet to EVER lose the last 20 or the 30 before that. In fact....I have gained another almost 40+.
Now if I want to play the "poor me" card....there have been issues that have caused me to turn to food for comfort. My son lay between life and death in the NICU for the better part of 5 months, my husband died suddenly of a brain anuerysm, my mother developed lung cancer and after surgery, chemo and radiation she died of colon cancer (yes I said colon,....not lung), my then 15 year old son went off the rails and dove head first into alcohol, drugs and anything else that would make me crazy, and I just pulled into myself, grabbed a cheesecake.....and never looked back. And that my friends....is why I am here. Too much information???? Well....I have only tipped the ice berg here, but you do see how I got here.
In the last few years I have begun to worry about my own health, as we obviously have a history of cancer in the family and I was working overtime to make sure I had high blood pressure and possible heart disease. It really did worry me.....but not enough to do anything about it.....until this summer. My blood pressure was increasingly climbing.....one time reading as high as 160/98. That particular reading was probably more due to anxiety, but I was getting average readings of around 140/95. I knew that if I kept going the way I was....I was going to end up on blood pressure meds to go with my reflux, and thyroid meds. I didn't want to have to go that route. My dr. then challenged me to start working out 30 min. a day for a month and then come back to see her. My first thought was...."yeah right! What is that going to do?" Worrying though that if I didn't make a change me kids might not only be down one parent.....but two.....I decided to give it a try. I started heading to my local gym and working out. The first day I was only able to do about 20 min. and thought I would die. I knew as I was leaving the gym that the chances of me returning the next day were.....slim to none. But the next day I surprised myself. And then the next and the next....and soon I had worked the 20 min. into 25 and then 30. I was feeling better, but I wasn't seeing the results I wanted.....so I brought on board a trainer once a week....who then upped my workout to 45 min.
On returning to the dr. after what turned into 6 weeks, my pulse which had been racing up into the 90's was down to 70 and my blood pressure was down to 118/80. I was in shock. And this was all fine and well....but the 30+ lbs I had hope to lose over the summer has only turned into 10.
I have wanted to do this blog for awhile....but refused to start it unless I felt that I could actually carry through with it. Because of the changes I have already made....I do feel that I will continue, so that is what this is going to be about. I am going to bombard you with my journey, my failures, my success, and all the wisdom I gain along the way. Sometimes it maybe funny, and other times....anything but, and still other times I may get on here and sound like the worlds biggest whiner, but whatever the case....those of you who choose to.....are going to be along for the ride....so buckle up and get ready....because here it is.......too much information and all!!!!!