Saturday, January 12, 2008

The beginning of the journey

I have decided that it is time to do something drastic.

I have battled weight issues my entire life. I can't remember a time growing up when I didn't feel like the fat kid. Even as young as 5 years old I think that I was concerned about being chubby. I look back at photos now and can see how foolish that was...I was a totally average sized child; at least at that age. I didn't really start getting fat until I hit the beginning stages of puberty. The worst part about my obsession with my size by far was my belief that the people around me were as obsessed with it as I was. I was always convinced that the other children didn't want to play with me because I was too fat and ugly. My parents and the rest of my family were always very supportive and were forever telling me that I was beautiful. I believed that I had the potential to be beautiful, if only I could be thin. I really struggled with my self-esteem throughout my childhood. I was constantly worried about what other people were thinking about me and was virtually paralyzed by the fear of drawing attention to myself by doing something stupid. 5th grade was by far the worst year for me. I was beginning to notice boys and wanted desperately to be noticed in return, and by one boy in particular. I was definitely in the early stages of puberty at that point and was hyper-aware of the fact, and I was at my fattest point to date. I felt like everyone was laughing at me all the time. I decided to join weight watchers with my Mom that year and I managed to lose 18 lbs (it's more than 20 years later and I can still recall the exact number!). I was so excited and absolutely convinced that I would be so much more popular after losing the weight. I couldn't have been more wrong and I was completely crushed when the other kids in my class continued to make fun of me. That was the year that the movie "Stand By Me" came out. I remember because my classmates (the boys particularly) took great joy in reciting lines from the pie eating scene whenever I was around. I hadn't actually seen the movie myself, but it was pretty easy to figure out that "Wide load!" and "Boom baba boom baba!" weren't meant as compliments. I also remember very clearly attending my first school dances. I had it in my head that I could win the boy of my dreams over with my personality and dance skills if I could just get him to spend a few minutes with me. He had a girlfriend, but I knew in my heart that I would be better for him than she could ever be. She went to a different school so I didn't know her personally, but all of the elementary schools in our city were invited to the dances, so she was there as well. I remember that I finally mustered up the courage to ask this boy to dance. I was overcome with joy when he agreed! I decided that it had to be fate when the next song to play was "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. It was a fast song, so there was no physical contact, but it didn't matter! I was dancing with the boy I had been dreaming about all year long and felt like I was on top of the world! My dream was shattered just moments later when his girlfriend approached with a group of her friends and demanded to know what he could possibly be thinking about dancing with someone as fat as me. To his credit, he told her to shut up and finished the dance...but I felt more humiliated than I had ever dreamed possible.
Throughout Junior High and High School my life remained much the same. I was obsessed with boys and the idea of finding someone who would see past the fat and love me for my brilliant personality and intellect. I remained paralyzed with the fear of looking foolish and spent most of my time at home living in my fantasy world where I would one day meet Joe McIntyre from New Kids On The Block and win his heart. I had my heart broken by a few more boys along the way, all of whom thought that I was a great friend, but not someone that they were interested in dating. I was particularly effected by an odd friendship with a younger boy during my Senior year. Early in the year my Mother convinced me that this boy was interested in me. A little bit of flirtation ensued and solidified my belief that someone might actually find me attractive. My original impression of the boy before my Mother became involved was that he was gay, but I managed to convince myself that I was wrong about that. I wanted so desperately to be loved that I was willing to overlook anything! I know now that what I always knew in my heart was in fact the truth. I had no hope of ever having a romantic relationship with him, but that never stopped me from trying. In many ways I wish that I could take that year back and do it differently, but I know that I wouldn't be the person that I am now if I hadn't experienced things the way that I did.
As I completed my final year of High School I decided that it was time to make a change. I selected a college 4 hours away from home where I would not know a single human being. I had grown up surrounded by the same people for my entire 18 years and I just knew that I could win people over with my personality if they didn't already have preconceived notions of who I was. Unfortunately, I chose a University populated mostly with wealthy wannabe socialites. The last person on earth they wanted to make friends with was an overweight recluse. After a year and a half I decided to retreat to the safety of the familiar and transferred to a school back in my home state where many of my friends from High School would be. Again, not the wisest choice I ever made- but it was the choice that led me to my husband.
We met on accident online before it was an acceptable way to meet people. We began talking on the phone on a daily basis and I quickly fell in love despite the fact that I had never seen so much as a picture of him. He loved me for me and I loved him for him, and it didn't seem to matter to either one of us what the other one looked like. We met in person several weeks after our phone conversations began and the rest as they say is history.
Over the last nearly 13 years having his love has helped allow me to find a way to love myself and to gain the confidence in myself that I never had growing up. I have slowly learned not to worry quite so much about what other people think about every little thing that I do. I now know that I am a very intelligent woman, a great friend, a good teacher, and a pretty fantastic Mother. However, I have to admit that I have not been the best wife in the 5 years that we have been married. Motherhood and work seem to use up most of my energy leaving me very little to give to him. All of this is one of the main reasons that I have started this blog.
So now, after all of my rambling I will get to the point. The truth of the matter is that I am FAT! I can continue to use all of the things that I have been through in my life as an excuse to be depressed and lazy, or I can get up off my rather large posterior and do something about it. Obviously this is not the first time that I have ever reached this conclusion. Sadly, I have had very limited success with staying motivated and really working hard to change my habits. Last night as I was tossing and turning trying to fall back to sleep after a late night wake up call from my daughter, I decided that I needed a way to feel pressured to keep up with what I have started. When I was pregnant with Ciara I did everything right. My pregnancy was considered High Risk right from the start and I was determined to have a healthy baby. When I was around 20 weeks along my doctor decided to put me on insulin. I was given very strict dietary instructions and had to test my blood sugar 4 times a day and inject myself with insulin up to twice a day. I had to keep to a very strict schedule and really pay attention to what I was eating. I did it all without a second thought and was rewarded with a wonderful pregnancy and an unbelievably beautiful, healthy child. I had never in my life felt healthier or better about myself. I lost weight throughout my entire pregnancy and within a few weeks of giving birth I weighed in 30 lbs lighter than I was the day I discovered that I was pregnant. Yet for some reason, as soon as I had given birth to my baby I gave myself permission to return to all of my old bad habits. Within 6 months I had gained back 40 lbs and was now even heavier than I was before. I have continued to gain little by little over the last couple of years and I am now at my heaviest weight ever. It's time to do something about it!
So here is the drastic part- I'm putting it all out there for the world to see. I am going to embrace my humilation and use it as motivation. The idea of actually admitting the number that I just saw on the scale is terrifying to me, but it needs to be done. I can't continue to deny what is in front of me- or in back! I need to give that giant ass of mine a nice swift kick. If I can be healthy for the sake of my child while pregnant, I should certainly be able to do the same for her now that she is here and depending on me to be there for her. Her physical life may no longer be dependent upon my health, but her emotional and physical well-being certainly are.
I already see her developing the bad habits that her father and I struggle with. My biggest fear is for her to go through life the way that I have. Fortunately so far she is a healthy weight, but if I continue to model bad habits and allow her to develop them she won't remain that way for long. So here it goes...for the sake of my health and my daughter's and for the sake of my marriage, I give you my blog. Please help keep me honest and motivated. I'm going to need all the help I can get.

My starting weight is 283 lbs.
I will be posting photos soon (My husband borrowed my camera for the day).
My goals for this week are:
Go to the gym at least 3 times- once today and at least twice during the week.
Drink at least 64 oz. of water daily
Do not eat any fast food
Buy only healthy choices when grocery shopping
Eat the remaining "unhealthy" foods in the house in moderation until it is gone.
Keep track of my food intake and activity on a daily basis and use this blog as a diary and motivational tool.
Weigh in again next Saturday and develop goals for next week.

FYI- my profile picture is the last photo taken of me that made me feel good about myself. It was taken at my baby shower when I was 7 months pregnant. My initial short term goal is to return to my post-birth weight of 235 lbs.

0 fabulous responses: