Sunday, August 5, 2007

How Did This Happen?!?

Lots of people are just "born fat." I don't mean that a chubby baby will always become a fat adult, but if you ask any obese person about their weight (which I wouldn't recommend), many of them will say, "I have been fat all my life." Lots of people started out with bad habits, bad genes, whatever... and had to endure childhood as a chubby child, being taunted and tortured about their weight ever since they could remember. I was not one of those children. I was a normal-sized baby and toddler, even perhaps a thin child. In photos of myself at age 9 and 10 I think, "wow! look at those thin arms and legs!" I put on a few pounds during early puberty and was a bit "padded" but as soon as I started growing in height, the weight was not an issue. I was about 140 pounds (5'7) when I was 16-19. I felt good, I was healthy, I looked good. So what happened? How does a normal sized kid/teen turn into a near-300-pound woman?? Let me tell you.

I was 20 when I had my first child. Within weeks I was back down to my slim 140 pounds, with no effort. I had no eating issues (that I knew of). When I was 21, I had a miscarriage. I had gained some weight during the pregnancy already, and afterwards, I was so devestated and I am sure this is when I started eating for comfort. My husband was always working. I was home alone with a baby and grieving another baby. I sat at 165 pounds for a year or so. Within that year I was pregnant again and had my second child, and easily was back to 165 afterwards. I wish now that I had worked to get those extra 20-25 pounds off, but at the time it didn't seem like a big deal. Another year and a half later, another child. Afterwards I was 199 pounds!! Yes, all gained during that pregnancy (eating tons, basically). I immediately started dieting. After all I could *not* let myself get to 200!! Within a few months (counting calories and walking daily) I was back to 165. I felt good. I was fine. I got pregnant again. (Yes I know what causes this). But I was determined not to gain too much with that pregnancy. I ate well and exercised and was only 171 pounds when I was 7 months along. Then came preterm labor and bedrest. No activity and all meals being brought in (high fat, high calorie stuff). I ballooned up the hell scale and after my child was born (full term) I was 201 pounds. Yes I gained 30 pounds in 2 months lying around and overeating. Afterwards I got right back on track, counting calories and walking, and got down again to 167. When was this? This was over ten years ago. That was the last time I saw any semblance of a normal weight.

Shortly thereafter, I ended up divorced. Bunch of little kids, no money, no family, panic set in. **Now, pay attention to this**: in less than a year, I gained EIGHTY POUNDS. Yes, I went from 167 to 245 in very short order!! I don't even remember how I did it. I should win an award. I am sure that is some kind of record. I was depressed. I was stressed out. I remember having to buy new clothes for work, and I remember seeing my picture and going OH MY GOSH, WHAT HAPPENED?? People who I knew but had not seen in a year would see me and gasp. My whole face was puffed out. I looked like I was 9 months pregnant with quads and had an allergic reaction to something I ate. I did not even look remotely like the same person. People saw me and did not know what to say. They didn't have to say anything. I saw their jaws drop.

Then over the next 10 years I went up and down between 245 and 278. I have lost weight and regained it over and over. I have done Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers (several times), Slim Fast, calorie counting, exchanges, gym, walking, swimming, religious-type dieting, every fad diet out there, and actual nutrition and dietician classes. I know what to do. I know all about food and exercise and health. I just keep eating too much crap and not moving enough. I feel like an alcoholic in regards to food. When I am depressed I want a brownie (or a pan of brownies). When I am happy I want a cheesecake. When I love someone I cook for them (and eat it too). When I hate someone I cook for myself and eat it all.

So that, in short, is how I got this way. How I am changing and losing weight will be another topic...


Anonymous said...

I am leaving a comment after a year but this is what I have to say, get child support from your ex. Don't stress about kids their life will unfold as it should be, do you best as a mother and leave the left to their fate. Take care of your own self first if you are not around then what ever you do now will only be short. And don't stress out, nothing or no one is important enough to be stressed out about. If you know all about eating right and exercise then make a target of five pounds, drop it and make an other one after that. You will get to a good weight in no time. You have everything in your hands just reach out and get it.

Christina said...

I know this is an old blog but I relate to this post so much. I avoid any type of gathering where people might be around who knew the "thin" me - I'd be just completely embarassed if they saw me now. I've enjoyed a lot of really good - really unhealthy food while cooking for my family - but I wasn't doing them or me any favors. Lucky for my daughter she's starting out thin as I did - and she is my inspiration to get healthy and thin again. I want to set a good example for her. I don't want her to look at me and resign to the fact that - oh those are her genes she will one day "grow into" as I did.

Rochelley said...

I am an alcoholic to food...this is exactly how I feel. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I feel very inspired by you. Just thought you should know =)