I was always fat. There are times where I was fatter than others, but I was always fat. It wasn’t just my body. It was my state of mind. The way I thought… about myself and about food… it was fat.
I used food as a security blanket. I grew up always feeling kind of empty. I was adopted by a wonderful family, but I always wondered why my biological family hadn’t wanted me. So, to fill in that void, I used food. When I was sad or lonely and needed comfort, I ate and ate and ate.
There would be periods of time when I knew I was going to have to wear a fancy dress or go on a vacation that required wearing clothes that showed some skin where I would count calories and exercise a little until I got to my goal weight, and then the diet was over. I hit my goal and it was permission to yet again eat poorly, eat too much and get fat again. I thought this was normal. I thought that people who were thin either dieted constantly or were just blessed with high metabolisms. It never once occurred to me that this was in my hands. I just thought, well, this being naturally fat thing happened to me. It isn’t my fault, I’m just fat.
Well, while I was fat, I was also shrinking. I was becoming increasingly passive aggressive. My confidence was negative. I felt socially disconnected. I couldn’t manage a healthy relationship. I behaved like I was very smothery and needy with men and they would run! But I was so lonely, I couldn’t help it and I was more alone because I hated myself. I couldn’t stay out of debt. And to keep myself feeling comforted and grounded, I turned to food and more food. Three cycles around the Taco Bell drive-thru if that’s what it took. And that food added to my waist and that extra fat took away more confidence.
Then something happened. I met a wonderful man who was caring, generous, kind and drop dead gorgeous. He worked out. He dieted. He wanted to marry me. So, I started going to the gym. I started working out everyday of the week and something happened: my metabolism started to lift. I lost weight. I started feeling better about myself and even poked my head out of my shell. Things were looking up! And then I broke my wrist. I am right-handed and my whole right arm had to be immobilized. And on top of that, I got pregnant.
Well, 150 lb + pounds later…
The day after we came home from the hospital after having our son, I decided to brave it and step on the scale. It read 301.49 lb. Um, excuse me? How the HELL did this happen?! Something turned on inside me. It was determination. It was reality. I made a statement to myself that this was not going to continue, that I was going to change this behavior of mine once and for all. So, I ordered myself some Jillian Michaels, I cursed her out everyday under my breath and I fought my way through Ripped in 30.
Then I got sick. My liver was having to process so much fat, it became inflamed. My gallbladder was working over time and started backing up with sludge. I started passing gallstones and it had to be taken out. For a month, I spent most of my days curled into a fetal position in agonizing pain instead of being with my son. Jillian wasn’t cutting the fat, so to speak. I decided I needed to get serious.
I had friends on Facebook raving on and on about this 90 day program called P90X. Then I heard my cousin, mother of 2, had recently finished it. After seeing her at my baby shower, I was shocked at how thin and svelte she was; I had to get in on this X thing. I ordered it. I cleared out the junk food. I was going to do this thing. The food part was hard. This program wanted me to actually EAT, not cut out calories. It took a lot of fighting with myself. I actually had a mental block against letting myself eat extra calories, but I finally managed it. I lost about 25 lb and got down to 265. Not bad.
90 days later, I decided there was no way I could stop. If I stop, I’ll end up back where I was at 300 lb and stuck in maternity clothes for the rest of my life because there ain’t NO WAY IN HELL I am shopping at Lane Bryant. I have to get down under 200 lb, please.dear.GOD. In comes Turbo Fire, another 90 day program from Beachbody. Only instead of cheesey Tony Horton joking about pterodactyls while his followers stoically chuckle behind him, in bounces energy-oozing Chalene Johnson and her blonde ponytail. Sweat poured from my skin as I clomped clumsily around my living room, trying to keep up to Chalene and class’s bouncing and kicking without peeing my pants or slapping myself in the face with a boob. Everyday I came back to this craziness and suddenly I looked in the mirror and…
I wasn’t FAT! WHOA! 90 days later, the fat was GONE. Chalene definitely has a follower for life. This little perky blonde is HARD CORE. And boy does she know her stuff. Any woman who could get me, the fat girl who would scream ASTHMA! ASTHMA! at her gym teacher to gelt out of running or even walking track, to fall in love with cardio to the point where I willingly do it EVERYDAY deserves a medal in my opinion.
At this point, I was pumped. I was elated that I was no longer a fat girl! In fact, I was getting strong! I had endurance! I was (am) unstoppable! I was a machine! I decided I have to spread this like wildfire. Beachbody has an opportunity for people to sign up as coaches, so you can pass these amazing tools onto other people and get paid in the process. I had to do it. Because seriously, these programs make it so easy. Yes, you still have to flex your willpower and make hard decisions about food. Yes, you have to battle demons, lots of them. There is one that lives in my pantry that beckons me to binge-eat still to this day. But they give you a recipe guide. A schedule. Messageboards where you can find like-minded people to help you push through the hard stuff. And enough workout options to do so you don’t get sick of it and instead, you keep going. I want to battle this obesity epidemic. Because it is in our own hands and it’s just a matter of ending the self-BS. Letting go of all the excuses and stories we tell ourselves about why we can’t reach our goals. We can. And it’s a waste of a perfectly good life when we don’t.
So to prove that it’s a struggle for everyone, no matter what level of fitness, and to share the tools I learn along the way, I’m blogging the rest of my journey. Follow along with me and let’s figure out how to eat and live and be happy. Because we’re all worth it.