Thursday, August 5, 2010

How far I've come

 I need a pick-me-up. Someone (quite innocently) asked if I was expecting the other day, and I hate how much it bothered me! Honestly, 1) They didn't know me very well at all, 2) I had on an empire waist dress with a cheese fry food baby, and 3) I'm a married woman in her 20's which seems to be the time most people have babies, so it's not that big of a deal. However my first reaction was to laugh and say "Oh no! Not for a few more years. I'm just a little fat!" 

That statement horrifies me. Truth is- I'm not a little fat. Yeah, I'm an apple shape so any extra weight makes it to my waist and not my legs or arms. Yeah, I've got a little tummy, but I'm definitely NOT fat! So why was that my first reaction? And why did it feel like such a non-chalant and normal response? When did fat-talk become more than self-degradation and climb it's way up to an acceptable social response? And why is it still bothering me?!? 

Truth is, I think I'm frustrated with my current weight loss efforts. Back in June I documented a post about the 10 pounds or so I gained this spring, and how I was starting Weight Watchers again to hopefully finally find my happy weight. It's been 3 months and I'm still in the 150's. I'm getting so close to my beloved 140's but it's taking longer this time than it has in the past. The weight came on in less than a month, but it's already taken 3 times that amount to loose half. To be honest, deep down I kind of feel like a failure, but that's crazy! I've just forgotten where I've been, and I need to remind myself of something- I have come so far! 

February of Sophomore Year

Here's where I started (or at least the closest picture I could find to my starting weight, as I avoided the camera in those days). I was 172 lbs on my barely 5'5" frame. According to healthy weight recommendations, I was 22 pounds beyond my maximum healthy weight and I was creeping towards obesity. I was unhappy with my body. I was uncomfortable in my clothes. I was unhealthy, and I needed to do something about it. So on September 11th of my Junior year, I attended my very first weight watchers meeting. I worked my butt off for six months both at loosing the weight and at learning to be a teacher. Probably a volatile combination as you'll see in a bit, but the weight came off quickly and by the end of February/beginning of March, I was down to 142lbs- within site of my 135lbs goal. 

Pretty soon though, the stress of student teaching had become too much. I wasn't following the Weight Watchers Plan the way I should have, and a 2 pt bag of popcorn was a frequent dinner when I had spent all my points on too many processed foods and barely any vegetables. On top of that, I was sick. Physically and mentally. My hair began to fall out, I was anxious beyond anything remotely normal, I stopped sleeping, and I cried every morning before going to school to teach. My sister staged an intervention- she said she was worried about me and she thought I may have an eating disorder. I remember feeling so defensive when she said that, but after we hung up the phone I knew she was right. I wasn't anorexic. I wasn't bulimic. I even hate calling it an eating disorder because I think that what I experienced was nothing close to what millions of women experience, but I was extremely unhealthy. I was obsessed with food and losing weight, and it was taking it's toll. 

So I quit. I don't remember if I slowly backed off of meetings or if I just decided I needed to focus on teaching and stopped finding the time to go weigh-in. I got help for my anxiety, and I ended the summer much happier than I had started. And of course since I had been dieting unsustainably- I put on weight. My size 4 jeans that had that winter no longer fit by the fall. My body slowly floated towards the 150's yet again without me noticing. Senior year I was too concerned about my wedding and living at home (read: processed food and cookie paradise) to really try to get fit. At my wedding in May, I was back up to around 158, but I really didn't care. As long as my dress fit (as you've read in a previous post) I was going to be happy. 

After the honeymoon I was relieved to be away from my mother's house so that I could have more control over what I ate. I signed up for weight watchers again and began to slowly drift back down. By January of this year I had finally gotten down to 146 and I stayed there. That's the thing that I forget. That's what is truly amazing now when I think about it. I stayed there. I don't remember another time when I could maintain a healthy weight for several months, but I didn't see it that way then. I wanted nothing more than to be 140, and now I want to be 146 again! Geeze! Women! Aren't we all crazy that way? 

A cheese fry addiction and feeling lax around my birthday caused a slow gain of about 8 pounds. Now I'm back to watching what I eat again, but I'm doing it differently this time. This time I'm eating real foods. This time I'm reading food blogs like KERF, Healthy Tipping Point, Oh She Glows, Peas and Thank You, and Carrots 'N' Cake for inspiration from healthy, real women. This time I've run two 5k's and I'm training for a half marathon. So who cares if someone mistakes my food baby for a real baby? Look at me know! I feel great. I feel strong. But most importantly...

I feel healthy. :)


  1. I like this me some incite into a mind i sometimes don't fully understand.

    Love you honey!

  2. Wow - that was a very emotional post, I had tears in my eyes as I read it. I can relate, you will be able to do this! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Never let your weight or any other aspect of your appearance make you feel like a failure. You are a strong and beautiful woman! A few extra pounds will never change that. I am glad you're feeling better about yourself now.