Do you ever sit down and wonder where you would start if you wanted to tell them something important about you and your life? I do! I’m sitting at my kitchen table and wondering where in the heck I should start with the story of my weight loss journey.
I’ve never been happy with my body. As a kid, I was “normal-sized” whatever that means, and I thought that I was fat, like a ton of other kids out in the world. I hated the way I looked, and truly believed that I was ugly.
But seriously though, look how cute and blonde I was!
When I was 14, I started purging and using laxatives to try to help myself control my weight, thinking that might be the “cure-all” for my body image issues. I was wrong. I didn’t lose weight, but I wasn’t gaining much and I considered that a victory.
This continued for well over 10 years, but we’ll get there.
When I was just 18 years old I became pregnant with my first daughter. I was 140 pounds when I conceived, and I told myself that when I was pregnant, bulimia was just going to have to wait. That was one smart thing I did! In the first 3 months, I was up to 185 pounds. I continued to binge eat, a behavior I learned from my eating disorder, and the weight piled on.
When I was 36 weeks pregnant, just 6 months after reaching 185 – I was 300 pounds, plus some. I was huge, there’s no mistaking that, but I was also miserable. I had developed preeclampsia, a disorder characterized by high blood pressure and fluid retention. At my doctor’s appointment, it was discovered I was passing protein in my urine, a sign my kidneys were not working properly. I was induced that day.
My daughter was born without trouble, luckily, although quite big for being only 36 weeks (almost 9 pounds!). I honestly believed I would walk out of the hospital back at 140 pounds. I know that makes me sound so stupid, so naive, but I had no idea what weight gain was truly like and how hard it would be to ever be “back to normal” again.
In the next several years, I gained and lost, and gained and lost, and gained and lost, a ton of weight. I was as high as 350 and down to 200, but I never, ever, was in a healthy weight range. My bulimia came back full force, and there were times I was purging 10 times a day.
I was divorced when my daughter was 4, and again, packed on the pounds. About a year later I entered into an abusive relationship, where my partner would degrade me and say things like “If you weren’t so fat, I wouldn’t cheat on you” or “When I look at your stomach, I’m so repulsed. I want to puke.” At the time I was about 280 pounds. I promised myself I’d change (stupidly, for him). I worked out at the gym, I went for walks, I lost 40 pounds. Then I got pregnant. I was 240 when I got pregnant with my second daughter, and 265 when I gave birth. Again, for this pregnancy I stopped purging, but was smart enough to also stop binge eating.
Four months later, he packed our belongings in garbage bags and set them in the front lawn and I was a single Mom again. I was stressed, I had no job, no money, nowhere to live. I ate, and ate, and ate. Within a few months I was up to 300 pounds again. Miserable. But I found a job, and an apartment, and we were making it. Things were settling down and I started to slowly go for walks with the kids and I lost about 20 pounds.
When my daughter was 10 months old, I met a guy (What, again!? Will I ever learn? Read on…). We were introduced through mutual friends, and I told him straight up that I wasn’t looking for a relationship, and I wasn’t going to put my kids through that again! He said he wasn’t looking for a relationship either, just a friend. So, we hung out, watched movies, drank beers, and he seemed to really like me for who I was, despite being 280 pounds, he got me.
Pretty soon we realized, “just friends” wasn’t going to cut it. We loved each other. Uh oh. I was terrified. Was this guy really in love with all 280 pounds of me?? I almost let me fear push him away. But he told me, encouraged me to start seeing me how HE saw me, as a gorgeous woman. So I did.
And as I did, as cliché as it sounds, I learned that I wanted to take better care of myself. I started working out and eating better foods, and I cut down on my purging behaviors. I slowly started to lose weight. A year later I was about 250, and I decided to start the couch-to-5k running plan. That’s when the workout bug really hit me! I ran my first 5k just 2 months after stepping onto the pavement, and my first 10 just 3 months later! In just 6 months I was down to 180 pounds! I looked GREAT, I felt GREAT and I knew that my life was ROCKING!
A month later I was pregnant. This isn’t supposed to be possible! My tubes were tied with my second daughter! How did this happen! It turns out my tubal didn’t heal correctly because I had a grapefruit sized blood clotted mass wrapped around it. We learned this pregnancy was implanted in the fallopian tube. I was in pain, physically and emotionally. I stopped running, stopped getting out of bed except to work, and started eating, and eating and eating. In the course of the 6 months following this, I had surgery (full hysterectomy to remove the damage), which kept me off my feet even when I was starting to feel better emotionally, my Mother passed away at just 51 years old, and then I had a second surgery to repair additional damage.
I was defeated, depressed, angry, and I had gained back almost all the weight I lost running. I was back to 260 pounds by August of 2014.
I knew I needed to do something. I was on antidepressants and they weren’t working. I was barely making it. I found T25 on a late night infomercial and decided to give it a try.
It was short and sweet and to the point, so I did it. Anyone can do 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That’s what Shaun T said in every workout, so I made it my mantra. And I did it.
By January I was down to 225, and by March, 210.
I still have a long way to go. But I feel AMAZING. I can RUN, I can DANCE with my kids, play in the yard without getting winded. I’ve transitioned to clean eating, gmo and meat free (as much as possible. I mean, I do love chocolate…) and I am applying the laws of attraction to help CHANGE my life!
I have about 60 pounds to go before I am out of the “overweight” range, and I am READY! Keep watching to see where I go next!