Thank you for joining me on my journey from fat to fab. I want to start from the beginning, no, not every detail or even every diet, just some simple background to catch you up to date. Well, ladies, it is the same ol’ story – we start out thin, energetic, and full of life – then we find the guy of our dreams and “get comfortable” you know what I mean! It is a bit foggy as it was 42 years ago I fell in love and weighed in at 114 soaking wet (5′ 6 1/2″). I remember at that time, I was working out and watching my calories even then; are we ever happy with our bodies? Well, I too thought I was heavy (no I didn’t have any kind of disorder, I just wanted to look better in a bikini). I was a pale-faced blonde girl who hated her freckles and didn’t want my guy to know I had them so I wore foundation to hide them, ha ha that worked, right? I remember going to sleep with my face made up perfectly, and wearing my super sexy satin long night gowns from Macy’s setting the alarm to get up before my guy woke to re-fix my face and my brush teeth so he would wake up to the perfect girl. Well, looking back now, I see how well that worked – I fooled no one.
When we started out, he was 21 yrs of age weighed 175 lbs at 6’3″, and me (19 yrs old) as I mentioned 114 lbs at 5′ 6 1/2″ and through the years of fun, sun, and happiness we gained a steady 10 pounds a year. It started as most of these things do, we were young and needed to cook on a budget. First thing I learned to cook that was filling and cheap was pasta, casseroles, and baked oven potatoes – then we moved on to pizza; lots of pizza! Soon we found ourselves gaining a steady 10 pounds a year and it was a slippery slope to obesity, it creeped up so slowly we didn’t notice how big we got until it felt too late (well, I am here to tell you it’s never too late!)
By the time I was 25 yrs old, I had gained 50 pounds! Being small boned it didn’t show on me like it does some, but it was all there. I would try all the diets of the time, and even my own version of Weight Watchers (I didn’t need meetings, I could do it myself, right? NOT!) I would starve myself to lose 10 and gain back 15. I did this for years, up and down. I remember I would start walking to lose weight but “cat calls”, and foul rude things would come out of the passers-by. Gosh here I was trying so hard to lose weight and some guy had to scream rude things out of his car at me, I would turn around and go home, and eat (embarrassed and humiliated). My husband would say, it’s okay don’t let them get to you, I will walk with you next time you go. So, after a few days of bingeing, I pulled myself up from the dark hole I was hiding in, and started again. My husband walking by my side proud of me for getting out there and trying again – well here comes another car full of guys screaming take that ‘?ucking cow’ home. Oh my just when I didn’t think it could get worse, my husband starts defending me by yelling back at the creeps in the car – but that just made it worse, I wanted to just hide in my house again. We went home, I grabbed the nearest junk food and started eating my tears away. Now, let me explain something, in the working world there was no one more beautiful and confident as I was. I ruled the business world – I was well liked, always had a way with people and excelled at my job. I loved working, it kept me from feeling like the moldy mushroom that people outside of work made me feel like. I tried for years, to gain confidence in myself outside of the business world, but I kept getting stomped on by rude unfeeling people. My husband and I were and are still outdoors and active people. We love picnics, camping, fishing, skiing (water and snow), we love skydiving, scuba, snorkeling, and kayaking; gosh there wasn’t much we didn’t love to do together. He was my best friend for 1.5 yrs before we got married, we loved life and living it fully. So you can imagine how our weight gain slowed us down, but it took years before it got unmanageable and it took away our ability to do the things that made us who we were.
Six years together, (60 pounds up) we had enough money to buy a boat. Gosh we loved going boating, and skiing. Sixty pounds overweight is a lot but not enough to keep us down from doing what we love. We watered skied almost every weekend. You would think I would had lost weight but camping and water skiing tends to be celebrated with chips, snacks, s’mores, and wine coolers! Anyway, one day I was in my “one piece” suit helping my husband to pull the boat out of the water and thinking I was safe from ridicule I didn’t cover up, well, can you believe it, but “those foul guys” that found me when I tried walking to lose weight, found me again! One guy made a very rude comment how I should not be in a swimsuit in public – how can people be so rude! It ruined water skiing for me, all the way home I cried and was feeling so sad, my husband tried to console me but it didn’t help. I remember too many times through the years, of this kind rejection and ridicule – one time I was scuba diving and the guy that was suiting me up said, I don’t have enough belly weights to hold you down, and skydiving the guy said, you might be too heavy to jump. Life was getting lonely and sad for me, with all the negative words and lack of encouragement from others – but work and my loving husband kept me going.
As the years passed, weight finally overwhelmed me, I became so sensitive to any type of rejection it became easier and easier to hide my hurt feelings by eating. I don’t know why eating relates to pleasure but it sure has a powerful hold on me.
At 33 years old and 121 pounds gained, I found it difficult to get pregnant. I wanted to have children and it wasn’t happening for me, I tried all kinds of things, but the only thing that worked was losing weight. I asked my husband for help and support, once again to help me lose weight and keep me going when the going got tough. He, my mom, and my best friend were my only true friends that cared about my weight battles and my health. So, with their help we made a plan. Making a plan is the fastest way to success, my mom came to stay with us for two weeks at the beginning of my journey. I worked 12-16 hour days (I loved work – its where I felt the best about myself and respected by others), so my mom’s plan was to cook my meals for me (package up my lunches) and as long as I promised to stay on diet she would do this for me. I joined Weight Watchers (workshop and special program for 50-pound overweight people – they don’t have it any more – big mistake, it was the best program). I didn’t do any exercise around my house because of what happened to many times with rude people, but instead my husband and I found a school field where we could walk around the track. The first day I could hardly get half way around the track. It was okay, it was all I could do at the time so it’s what we did. We came back the next night and pushed to one lap around the track. Then we did that for a couple of nights in a row, then pushed to include a half a track each time I was ready to try a bit more – it was slow – but the progress within a month became 2 miles around the track and with my having some spunk in my step. I remember the first day there was a curb (4 in high) I couldn’t even jump over it, by a month later I was jumping curbs, climbing stairs, and walking briskly 2 miles! It took steady Weight Watcher meetings, mom’s cooking for me (at the start), and support from my husband walking with me nightly (it turned into time we used talked and enjoyed each other’s company again, during our busy working life). Well, it took close to a year, but I lost 80 pounds! I was 150 pounds (still too much) but I had my life back, I was wearing cute clothes and feeling good about myself. By this age, 125 was the right size for me, so I was only slightly overweight and life was feeling good again. Those rude passers-by now whistled at me when I walked by my home – but honestly I didn’t give them the time of day, as I knew they were the assholes that made me miserable too many times to count. So after working so hard to get my life back I told my mom and hubby, NEVER AGAIN will I be fat! I was shopping for a whole new wardrobe from Macy’s (on clearance) and said never will I shop in the plus size area again. I was determined to keep healthy and happy. Well, after 15 years of trying, I had given up the idea of ever getting pregnant and put my career goals into drive. YES, you guessed it, after losing 80 pounds, I got pregnant. At 34, I am finally going to have a baby! But my career what to do, I just started climbing the ranks? I said to anyone that would listen, no problem I will just take the baby with me everywhere, nothing will change (everyone that knew me just laughed or snickered at my naivety). Being so happy to be expecting, I celebrated by giving up ALL artificial sweeteners and “diet food” I wanted to be sure the baby was healthy. I didn’t eat for two, instead I found myself drinking milk and orange juice by the gallons (daily). I poured on the weight and my doctor said its okay, no worries. Well I gained 102 pounds in 9 months!
There I was, 35 years old, a new mom, and weighing 257 pounds. I wanted to be the best mom ever so I put everything into my daughter and forgot about myself, once again. Years went by and it was easier to forget how much I missed being thin, because I was too busy taking my daughter to all her fun events, sports activities, parties, and working. Most everything a fat mom can do is sit and watch. Before I knew it I was 299 pounds! My beautiful daughter had never seen her mother under 257 and never knew the real person I was before gaining so much weight.
Okay, now I have gained 185 pounds! Oh my, that is was so much, I was drowning in my thoughts of how can I ever do it. It was a huge amount of weight, and it was not easy losing the first time around – I just kept struggling to live a life that wasn’t me. I was not the fat lady on a bench that can’t do anything, I was not the mom who her schoolmates whispered about when I walked by, then of course, I was not the mom who just watched life go by without her. I felt so bad she had to deal with a fat mom, but she never saw me that way, she only saw the mom she always knew that was loving and caring. Again, I tried many diets throughout the years, and when I was in my late 40s I had found myself pushing out of size 3X clothes into 4X – I had to STOP it was ruining my health and now I had to wear clown pants, really? This isn’t me! I don’t recognize this person any more. So, I started Weight Watchers again, this time no special workshop because they were owned by a new company. I got down to 277 pounds and just stopped trying, life sometimes, just gets in our way; but sometimes, we get in our own way! This was one of those times. I didn’t do much to lose but try a diet a week here and there, always let rejection of sorts get in my way of happiness. But at least I was not in 4X any more, right? Wrong! I was miserable.