|5th grade (I think)|
I experimented with all kinds of diets, usually some form of whatever diet my mom was on (Slim Fast, counting fat grams, Weight Watchers, etc.). I don't remember ever losing much weight on the diets, however. I do remember being very ashamed of my weight, and it was around that time that I started binge eating. I would sneak Kudos bars from my grandma's cupboard and eat them very fast, so nobody would catch me. I don't know why I worried about it, because I'm sure my grandma would have given them to me if I'd asked.
I didn't know what depression was at the time, but in retrospect, it was around that time that I started feeling depressed. I didn't want to go anywhere, or do anything, and I just wasn't happy. I remember finding a book in my mom's dresser titled, "Helping Your Depressed Teenager". It was then that I started reading about depression, and realized that I had it.
|8th grade graduation|
|The "Kindred Klan"... my favorite friends in high school!|
He called me the next day, and we went out. I knew on our first date that he was the boy I was going to marry (again with the cliches!). I had never even had a boyfriend before, but I was sure he was "the one". We fell into the habit of eating lots of fast food and watching movies, and as a consequence, we both put on some weight.
Then I went to college, and with the freedom of living on campus came the freedom of eating whatever I wanted. There was food everywhere, and I had a prepaid card that I could use to buy whatever I wanted. I gained a lot of weight in college, thanks to the food on campus and lots of alcohol. Jerry and I got engaged when I was 20 years old, and I was determined not to be a fat bride. I dieted my way down to 160 pounds for my wedding day (actually reaching an all-time low of 152 for one day, then gaining 8 pounds before the wedding). The day after the wedding, I started eating and just couldn't stop.
I was gaining weight very quickly. I became pregnant with Noah just a couple of months after the wedding, so I used the pregnancy as an excuse for my rapid weight gain. I kept telling myself that I would lose it after the baby was born, because breastfeeding burns tons of calories (or so I'd read). I was 228 when I delivered Noah. And ironically, my milk never came in--I wasn't able to breastfeed, which I was banking on to help me lose some weight.
I started Nutrisystem and got down to about 180 when I became pregnant with Eli. I tried so hard not to gain so much weight, but I was 271 the day I delivered Eli. I couldn't believe I had let myself get that big! And again, my milk never came in (despite the fact that I even took a lactation drug to help), so breastfeeding was out.
|The day we brought Eli home from the hospital|
|With my little brother, just before he left for Iraq|
I'd barely moved at all when I was huffing and puffing and felt like I would collapse. I couldn't believe how out of shape I was, although I was 253 pounds at the time, and I felt like the worst mom ever. I had to ask my sister to take over, and I sat and watched as she taught my son to ride a bike. I was so mad at myself, and I vowed that when it was Eli's turn to learn to ride a two-wheeler, I was going to be the one to teach him. (And I did! You can see that video on this post)
That was my turning point, and over the next 16 months, I lost 125 pounds. I'd never been so determined in my life to finally reach a "normal" weight. The only thing that was really different this time is that I started running--and I set running goals to keep me motivated. When I lost weight before, I never exercised. This time, I got hooked on running, and that is how I'm able to keep the weight off. Here is the video of my transformation (you may have seen this before):
I still struggle with binge eating, and I hope to someday overcome it. I tend to binge when I get really stressed or anxious. I also still struggle with depression--I have good days, and bad days; good weeks, and bad weeks. But I've learned that as bad as I may feel one day, I will almost surely feel better in a day or two. If I'm feeling really down, I know that going for a run ALWAYS makes me feel better.
Starting this blog has done wonders for my self-confidence. I'm still very much an introvert, but I've "met" so many amazing people because of this blog, that I'm feeling more confident in social situations. It has also opened up a lot of opportunities for me (The Dr. Oz Show, The Ragnar Relay Project, being named a Fitterati for Fitness magazine, and tons more). Those are all things the "old" me never would have done!