The only way I could get myself to start writing this post is the thought that I didn't have to hit "Publish" once I was finished typing.
Here goes a whole bunch of being honest.
This next statement will read very dishonest coming from someone who has a personal blog, but I assure you I am telling the truth.
I am a very private person. I don't like people knowing all of my business and I don't really care to know about every one else's business a.k.a. dirty laundry. Yes, I have a personal blog. Yes, I read other personal blogs. It's not that I have all of these crazy skeletons in the closet (everyone has one here or there), but I just don't like that people out there are discussing me and my life in a negative light... even though I know they're out there and even though I know who a lot of them are whether they realize I know it or not.
Now this too might read like a major contradiction, but I also don't really care much if there are people out there who don't like me or who don't get along with me. I mean, why worry about that? I have worried about it so many times in the past and where did it get me? NOWHERE. What did it give me? NOTHING.
(Now that I'm going off on this tangent I'll get to my point on what this tangent actually means).
Basically, I'm not a people pleaser. I don't think it's necessary to bend over backwards for someone who has a problem with me and who expects me to change whatever it is about me that bothers them. You know why? Because it's their problem. Not mine.
Now that really was a tangent because it doesn't have a whole lot to do with what this post was intended to be about, but I feel like it relates in some way.
So why am I so private?
Well I have a few theories:
1) I've been taken advantage (and very hurt might I add) by a lot of people in my life over the years mainly because for so long I was much too trusting, naive and/or I had something they wanted to be a part of that had very little to do with me as a person.
2) My family has been taken advantage of many times over. Even, if not especially, by other family members.
3) I don't really trust people in general (see 1 & 2).
4) When I was in 4th grade up through high school I was verbally attacked and teased on an almost daily basis for my weight issues. Not only by cruel peers, but sometimes by adults (you know... those people you're supposed to trust).
So what is this post really about, you ask?
It's about "theory" #4
I was born to two parents who both struggle(d) with their weight. They were both born to at least one parent who struggled with their weight. The odds were already stacked against me.
Here's the thing, though: I wasn't born fat. I was born an average kid. Up until about 7 or 8 years old, I was average. I didn't start gaining weight until my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I started to get a little chubby, emotional eating began to rear it's ugly head and, honestly, at 7 or 8 years old, how aware are you of how you look or of your eating habits? It wasn't until I was placed in the care of a family friend that things got out of control.
When my dad got sick enough to the point that I needed to have a babysitter while my parents were in the hospital, my parents' friend was more than willing to help out. Now this woman was a dear friend and she was wonderful to help my family out, but the problem was is that this woman was obese and liked to eat at fast food joints all the time. I think we all know now that fast food is a) horrible for a person, b) even worse for a developing child, and c) doubly and triply so for a developing child eating that stuff 2-3 times a day, several days a week.
I think you get the picture without posting a picture. I'll spare myself the embarrassment of that.
By the time my dad passed away when I was 9 years old, I was fat. When I say "fat" I don't mean my idea of fat, I mean actually fat. The combination of emotional eating and the kind of food I was eating was an obvious recipe for disaster.
Thus began the vicious cycle of tormentors' words eating away at my already hurting heart constantly, therefore I ate constantly to soothe the pain I felt not only by my said tormentors, but by the emotional despair and stress I was under due to losing my father at such a young and delicate age. I also experienced a few other things during the next few years that were also extremely emotionally exhausting and draining. Things I'm still dealing with today.
I was depressed. I was fat. I was ugly. I was gross. And I had people telling me all the time.
I may have a very terrible memory. I may not remember the details of my father's face. I may not remember what it was like to look into his eyes. I may not remember what the sound of his voice was or what his hands looked like or most of the wonderful memories that I shared with him, but you can bet a million dollars that I remember just about every taunting word and heartless comment that someone shot my way or whispered "behind my back" about my weight.
Now how absolutely tragic is that??
Did I mention that at 11 years old I knew I wanted to be an actor? The odds of that were extremely slim considering what I was dealing with. I felt hopeless of ever doing what I knew in my heart was a God-given gift. I was a mess.
By Junior High I had crushes on boys who I knew would never in a million years even look my way, but right in the direction of my best friends'. Talk about angst and heartache.
I threw myself into music, movies, books and poetry. I would spend hours and hours alone in my room accompanied by Angela Chase, Edgar Allan Poe, Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Corgan... you get the point.
Anyway, I was at the height of my angst period.
A few crushes gone bad and countless movies, albums and books under my belt and I was armed with a lot of emotional crap.
By my Sophmore year of high school I finally worked up the courage to audition for some plays and that's when things changed for me. I started what would be the hundredth diet I started, Weight Watchers, and I began doing Tae-Bo at home. I didn't go to the WW meetings, but I did stick to it. And I kept doing theatre.
That year began a two year journey of losing 70+ pounds. By my Senior year I was getting to choose which play I wanted to portray the lead in and I was thinner than ever. Things were looking up.
After getting into Vanguard University's Theatre program and graduating high school, I found myself falling for a classmate from high school who was a transfer and who also didn't know how fat I used to be. We ended up dating. He was, of course, my first boyfriend.
It was tumultuous to say the least. I had never been in a relationship before, let alone a serious one and it was great and butterfly-ey and perfect at first, but gradually and ultimately became very unhealthy. I don't want to trash this person, especially since we were both in our late teens and it was nearly a decade ago, but I will say that the person I became when I was with him was a stranger to me. Near the end of our relationship my grandparents, whom my mom and I lived with for years and whom I grew incredibly close to, both died within 4 months of one another. After our intense relationship and even more heartbreaking break-up merely 3 short months after my grandparents' passing, I was devastated and I was a different person. I was still that stranger for quite a while. I continued to go to college and work on my major, but I also fell into some bad habits and made some mistakes here and there (but honestly, what college student doesn't?).
During the time that my grandparents' health declined and my mom and I watched yet another and then another dearly loved one slowly die, I gained back at least half of the weight I had lost in high school. I was always convinced that that was the main reason my first boyfriend chose other "things" and other people and other girls over me. Was I right? I don't know. Does it matter? Not really. At one point, near the end, he even told me that I would be beautiful if I just lost a lot of weight. Yeah, if that wasn't the death twist of the knife in my stomach, I don't know what was. Conditional love is fun, right?
During the next few years of single, college life my weight yo yo'd up and down. By my senior year I went through a really life-changing trial that I'm convinced was the turning point for my life to head in the right direction, but I was pretty dang heavy again. I was living with my best friend who also wanted to lose weight, so we decided to join WW together, or "Dub Dub", as we liked to call it. This time I went to the meetings.
At that point I was right at 190. That's a lot of pounds for a 5' 5" frame. Admitting my weight is a huge step for me. It's embarrassing to say the least, but everyone is different and everyone carries weight differently, so whatever.
Anyway, thankfully I stuck to the plan and the weight started to drop. By the time I graduated in 2007 (I was supposed to graduate in 2006, but I stayed an extra semester to re-take the classes I failed during the time my grandparents died and I broke up with my ex) I was about 170. Down 20 pounds! Not easy, but totally worth it.
It wasn't long after I graduated that I met David.
To say that I wasn't worried about my weight ballooning again because I was starting a new relationship would be a total lie. I was all kinds of worried about it. I was really worried that I'd start gaining that "happy weight" (I'm sorry, but when it comes to me, no weight gain is "happy weight"). I think my worrying really paid off because I continued to lose weight and was down to 160 within our first year of dating and by the time we were engaged I was still losing. I was just about the size I was when I lost that 70+ pounds in high school and I was stoked.
Six months before our engagement I got IBS. If you don't know what IBS is, just know that it BLOWS. It took me nearly 6 months, countless doctor visits, a doctor treating me like I wasn't a human being and an ultrasound later to find out that my intense stomach aches were actually due to IBS: a stress induced "syndrome" that can't technically be diagnosed. I found an awesome website that told me all about IBS and what foods I could no longer eat. It was a laundry list, to say the least, which included dairy (my favorite food of all that I couldn't eat), red meat, wheat, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, the list goes on.
No dairy meant 10 pounds dropped FAST.
By the time we got married I had hit my goal weight of 140 and at my lowest I was 137. I had successfully lost approximately 50 pounds from my Senior year of college to my wedding day.
Not long before our nuptials, I discovered that my IBS had subsided and I could eat dairy again.
One of my first meals as a married woman was an In N Out double cheeseburger, animal style and fries animal style. Picking up old habits, are we? Yeah, needless to say the weight began to creep up on me.
By the time we got back from our four week honeymoon in Europe (where the most delicious food in the world is served) I was up 20 pounds.
Yup, you read that right. TWENTY POUNDS.
I immediately went back on WW and quickly lost 5 pounds. Within the next few months I lost another 5 pounds. Awesome, the shameful honeymoon weight was coming off. Albeit slowly, but at least it was coming off, right?
At 150 I was STUCK. My weight did not budge. By January of this year (six months after our honeymoon) I still had 10 pounds to lose to get back to my goal/WW Lifetime weight. I started working out with my friend, Lauren, at The Belmont on Second Street where she works as a trainer and the pounds...
started coming back on??
Yes. I started gaining. Now at first I just thought it was because we were lifting weights 3 days a week and I was gaining muscle. Well, yeah maybe a pound or two, but 6? No, that's not muscle.
I've been consistently working out with Lauren and tracking my WW points on and off, but I still wasn't losing. Finally a couple of weeks ago I had had enough. I was tired of not really following the plan, not going to my weigh ins and meetings at WW. I was tired of only sort of tracking my points because I still wanted to eat all of this delicious food that I was cooking for my hungry husband. I still wanted to eat pizza and dine out with friends from church (and I wondered why, when I was eating less than the other girls who are thinner than me and who eat full fat foods and apparently don't gain weight, I was gaining it for them). And I was tired of working my butt off in the gym and not actually working that butt off.
So last Sunday I started back up on WW. I am unfortunately back up to my post honeymoon weight of 160. Yuck. UGH!
What I've learned about my body is that it takes a lot of ridiculously hard work and intense discipline to lose weight and/or keep it off. I've learned that if I don't meticulously track what I'm eating and drinking, if I don't work out on a consistent basis, if I don't keep going to the WW meetings I will quickly gain weight. I mean, you read it: 20 pounds in less than 2 months? Crazy right? I guess not to my metabolism. It has always baffled and pissed me off that girls who are 5' 7" and 110 pounds can eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream late at night and not gain and ounce and here I am, not even able to recall the last time I ever tasted a spoonful of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. NOT FAIR.
So here I am, sick of being ashamed of myself for letting this weight pack on so quickly. Sick of letting the weeks pass where I don't lose a pound. Sick of wondering what people are thinking when they look at my wedding photos that were taken a mere year ago and then looking at me now. Sick of feeling like crap.
A couple of days ago I had lunch with one of my oldest friends, Michael. He's been in my life for 20 years. He was there for my mom and I when my father died, when my grandparents died, through boyfriends, friendships, life. He knows me better than most people. He reminded me of how tightly I hold on to these walls I've built around my heart and that sometimes I need to let them down in order to grow. I guess this is me letting some of those walls down a little.
Also, a few months ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The doe or the deer, and I noticed that she had quite a lot of posts about WW. I read them and realized that she was brave enough to not only write about her weight loss journey on her blog, but to actually post her results and her weight on her blog. I was totally impressed. That takes courage. That takes balls. It certainly inspired me. Jess inspired me. I feel that if I share my weight loss journey on my blog, post my results and my weight, the ups and downs and in betweens all included, that it will help to keep me accountable and it will keep me sticking to it.
At least I hope that's what the result will be... Oh and 20 pounds gone.
And this time I'm going to avoid the temptation to put a time limit on my weight loss efforts which, if I do, could set myself up for disappointment. I'm just going to do what I do and hope the results are what I hope for.
So here it goes people. I'm taking a really huge step in doing this, in clicking "Publish Post" and revealing to all of my readers what my weight is. I am really doing something I've never done and never, ever in a million years thought I could ever do. I'm sure if I really knew how many people actually read my blog or who of those people are, I probably would really re-consider this, but whatever. You gotta take risks, right?
I'm hoping that my journey will inspire anyone else out there who is teetering on taking a plunge or taking a huge step in an unknown direction to take that plunge, take that huge step. If Jess, a.k.a "The doe", could do it for me, I can do it for someone else, right? I hope.
So, just like what Jess did, what I will be doing each week is posting a photo of my progress that week, whether I'm up, down or stayed the same, it'll be there. Since I'm weighing in on Sunday mornings I will either post later that day or on Mondays. I still haven't decided. I guess it's just whatever ends up working best.
Wish me luck <3
Here is a recent photo taken of me and Lauren.
Sorry Lauren, I know you hate this photo of you,
but it's the best shot I could find of me for this particular post!
Here is my weight chart from the beginning of WW in college
Here is my weight chart in the last 12 months
Here is my weight chart this week