Chapter 1: My Story
Friday, April 09, 2010
I was a very active kid. I played soccer from elementary school to high school, I wasn't great so I stopped playing after my junior year. My dad's advice as I went off to college was to make sure I always took some sort of PE class, so I did: soccer, bowling, aerobics (more than once), swimming, volleyball... nothing too demanding.
One of my setbacks, however, was that God blessed my upper side so I always looked bigger than I was and I was extremely self conscious about it. It was hard to wear dresses because although I was a size 12 on the bottom, I was a 36 DDD on the top.
I started college at my parents' alma mater and made some good friends, was able to balance school and a social life, and for the first time I felt accepted by people. However, I soon decided that I wanted to live my own life so I moved from Washington to New Mexico, to show my parents that I could make it on my own. I was in New Mexico for three months, unable to find a job and unable to support myself. My dad said I could enroll in the local college if I came home in the interim. I did. While I was home, my grandma paid for me to have reduction surgery and I lost 2 quarts (that's what a package of Kool-Aid makes). This was a mind-opening experience for me.
I moved back to New Mexico and started school, within a year I was involved in my first serious relationship, which ended in marriage and eventually divorce. I was finally happy, because my reflection matched my hard work. However, during the relationship, my eating habits and exercise habits took a bit of a down turn. I never really thought about what I ate because I was always moving, always had energy. Between getting engaged and getting married, I gained 30 pounds, I went from a size 12 to an 18! I was mortified. My beautiful wedding dress didn't look quite so grand on me anymore. I couldn't understand why, even though we ate the same why I gained so much weight and he didn't gain a pound, at all, in six years. Our diet, during the time, was two servings of McDonald's a day. I was living with some friends and he was house sitting for a professor who made it clear the food was off limits (the prof came home on the weekends so if we ate it, we had to replace it). Add to this the stress of graduating college, planning a wedding, moving across the state and disappointing my parents... it's fairly easy to see now where the weight came from.
During the first year of marriage our diet consisted mostly of microwave popcorn and wedding cake (we had that much left over!). Then we moved back to fast food. Near the end it was going to Apple McChilligan's with our friends after church or any time we got together (which was pretty much daily). My exercise was nil, my motivation was nil, he still hadn't gained a pound as I watched mine go past 200. When we were divorced I was 218.
I moved back to Washington from New Mexico to re-establish my place in the family history. I re-enrolled in the family alma mater and started the trek to make new friends, 10 years older and divorced in a small college town. It didn't take too long to start missing all my old friends, and sent feeler letters to some to see if I could re-kindle old relationships. Almost two years later one of the called and was in town. We got together that night, two months later he moved back, two months after that we were married. I finally was on the right track, happily married to someone who had no secrets from me, well on my way to becoming a physical therapist, and starting to drop down under the 200 mark.
I went from 218 to 202, then I found out I was pregnant. In nine months time, while continuing my new diet and exercise routine that was finally getting my down but at the same time fighting the pregnancy my body won over my motivation. I developed high blood pressure and was advised to start taking things slower, the headaches were immense, the mood swings were unreal. I gained 80 pounds during pregnancy, I was unable to lose more than 20. I then fought the blood pressure for another three years. My health-ish life was suddenly wrought with medical complications like hypertension, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes.
Since then I have made and left unmet unmeasurable goals in regards to health and fitness. I have lost and regained the same 20 pounds more times then I care to remember. I am now at the point where psychologically I don't want to lose weight, my motivation at this time is so low I wonder if there is any spark left.
But, here I am, trying again. But this time instead of figuring out what my fitness and diet plans are, I am trying to figure out what avenue of least energy I should try so that when I fail again I won't have as far to go.
It amuses me that I am now living a life that many strive for. We just bought our first house four months ago, I am a stay-at-home mom, with the mornings free while my kid goes to pre-school, he comes home and has nap/quiet time for two hours. Yet I can't find the motivation to clean the house, cook, run errands, pay bills. Instead I find myself playing around on the computer, watching movies, playing Wii. When my husband comes home after working hard all day (he's a plumber), I have absolutely nothing productive to share. I have always had a time goal... for the wedding, before the trip, after he starts school, when it's warmer... there is always a way to put things off. I don't have that anymore, I have everything I could dream for and hope for... except for the things I am in charge of: the condition of my body, the food I prepare, the house I don't clean. And there are no more time lines, the trips are done, the events are over.
Here I am, still "temporarily inflated", as I have been for 15 years.