Monday, April 13, 2015

The Weight of the World

For pretty much my entire life, I have carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. And in my arms. And legs. And belly.  You get the point.

There are pictures of me young and I was not overweight. But I thought I was. 

I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in 8th grade with a friend's mom. 

My dad was overweight. My mom was underweight. I did not know where I belonged.

I used to exercise on my mom's work out bike in junior high. I would watch General Hospital and during the commercials, hop off the bike, eat a krimpet, then hop back on. When I worked my shift at the local grocery store that weekend, I would just replace what I ate. I also made a habit of eating the candy bars in the check out lane as I was working as a cashier.

My mom went to make cookies once and all the chocolate chips were gone. I thought I had more time to replace those. Huh.

My parents divorce did not help. I spent hours with different therapists trying to understand that food is not love. Well duh. But it tastes so good when the rest of the world is crap!

I thought I had a handle on my weight in college. I was on Phen Phen and dropped almost 80 pounds. I was a lean, mean, fat burning machine and I felt amazing. Then I graduated college and moved home and had a curfew and in between sneaking smokes on the front porch when everyone went to bed, I started sneaking food again, too.

And so it went. Up then down then back up again. Each time the up was more than the time before.

Weight Watchers, Atkins, Nutrisystem...each more than once. 

When I met Gary, I had just shed a lot of weight and was feeling amazing. Within a few weeks of us dating, the pounds started to creep back on.

I was too heavy when I got pregnant with Allie, but that did not affect my pregnancy at all. I surprisingly did not gain that much with her and was on track to be healthy when she was born. My goal was to be healthy for her. If she was the crutch I needed to get myself back into shape, then so be it.

Then our lives shattered. Allie was born still. And I did not really care if I lived or died.

With grief counseling, the love and support of others, and my writing, we got through the darkest days.  And the darkest of quietest nights.

I lost some weight before Miranda came, but then I gained it back once we finally had a baby at home and could afford to breathe.

Last Fall, a dear friend of mine was sharing with me a program that she was on that she had a lot of success with. She never really dieted before and only had about 20 pounds to lose, but she found this plan to be very good so she gave it a shot. I listened and wished her luck, but I could not fathom another diet.

I had a physical at the end of last year. My weight was horrendous. All the pounds I lost while running a few months prior were back on. I was winded chasing Miranda around. I was starting to hate myself. I reached out to my friend.

I met with the owner of the company. We decided this was the plan for me. I would go on a "diet" to get the weight off and then I would go on "maintenance" to learn how to keep the weight off. I would text my personal food coach each night with a journal of everything I ate that day. I would stand on the scale on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and take a picture of my feet and the numbers and send them to my coach as well.

It's been just over 14 weeks. I have lost 50.4 pounds.  I am running a 5K this weekend. I can play with Miranda and keep up. I can look at my reflection and not cringe. I cook every day and am eating better than I ever have before. I have energy and stamina and pride. Enormous pride for taking care of myself and taking back control of my life.

I hope that this is the last time I have to tackle this hurdle. I hope I can spend the rest of my life getting the weight off and keeping it off. I hope that I can stay healthy for my husband and my daughter and our family. I hope that writing it down will make it all the more real.

It's time for someone else to carry the weight of the world. I am done!

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