Both of my parents are overweight and always have been. My mom did Weight Watchers in the 1980’s, but with limited success. My dad walked before work off and on when I was a kid. In fact, some of my favorite times with him were spent circling the track and talking about his work and my school.
I maintained a very healthy weight for most of my childhood, but when I was 12 we moved. I was not happy, so I ate… and ate… and ate. I remember the day I stared at a half-eaten Little Debbie snack cake and wondered what I was doing. Suddenly, I felt full. I didn’t want to punish myself anymore, so I quit eating. I have no idea what triggered it, but I wish I could recreate it.
In any case, I quickly dropped the weight I’d picked up and spent the vast majority of my teens at a reasonably healthy weight.
Like most college students, I added a few pounds, but nothing dramatic. I don’t remember ever really stepping on a scale or worrying much about my weight. I pretty much always wore a size 8 or 9 – occasionally a 10. My junior and senior years of college, real life started to loom over me like a cloud. I got engaged, debated what to do for a job, and stepped on the scale to see 141lbs. That’s the first time I ever remember weighing myself and being upset about it – my clothes were too tight! I was determined to drop 10 pounds. Instead, I gained 5. My fiancé was deployed, and I was planning a wedding, so I decided I had bigger things to worry about. I bought a size 12 wedding dress, but by my final fitting, I weighed 155, and the stupid thing didn’t fit. They made all of the alterations they could and squeezed me into the tightest corset imaginable. I remember standing at the front of the church and trying not to pass out because I couldn’t breathe. I weighed 158 pounds.
Looking back at our honeymoon pictures, I looked pretty good, though I was clearly heavy. Once I settled into married life and found a job, I joined Weight Watchers and quickly dropped back to 145. I quit there. I wasn’t at goal, but my clothes fit, and I was happy. My new husband was deployed again, and I picked up a waitressing job to keep me busy on evenings and weekends. I dropped down to 130 without any worry for my weight.
Once Hubby left the military, things got a bit crazier. Maybe I’m just not good at taking care of more than myself, but my weight slowly and steadily climbed. I hit an all-time high of 168lbs in May of 2008. I was miserable, so I started swimming to try and take the weight off. Just over a month later, I found out I was pregnant with our son. Suddenly, it was okay that I was heavy, and I could eat whatever I wanted. By the time I went to the hospital to deliver, I weight 233lbs!
I struggled with being a new mom, hated staying at home, and regained any weight I might have lost giving birth. By my son’s 1st birthday, in March of 2010, I weighed 230-ish. Over the last 5 years, I dieted off and on to lose and regain the same 15-ish pounds. I haven’t wasted money on Weight Watchers, because it only works if you’re willing to really change your habits, and I knew I wasn’t ready for that. This is the first time I’ve even attempted to lose more than “a few pounds.” I’m determined to lose the full 100lbs over the next year or two, but I’m terrified to even think about what will happen after that. How will I stay at a healthy weight? Will I ever again have a “normal” relationship with food? What will I do when Hubby finishes school, and we have to move again? Right now, I LOVE my job. I have no doubt that if I have to stay at home or work in a school where I’m not happy, I will blow up like Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! How do I change things to prevent that? Will those changes just come with time? If I spend more than a year eating healthy to lose the weight, will knowing how to make healthy choices come naturally?