Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life. // Amy H.

I haven’t always been fat, but I’ve always struggled with my weight.  As a child, I was up and down, especially as I hit puberty.  I was also blessed with a Mom who liked to tell me about how she was 95lbs. when she got pregnant with me, or that my step-dad swore that “if she ever got fat, he’d divorce her”.  I don’t recommend this method as a way to instill a healthy body image in your 10 year old daughter.    

High School brought its own set of struggles, but I moved beyond them into the nightmare of college at the biggest party school in the nation – all in a flaming hot desert setting.  Know what that means?  Being surrounded by drunken sorority girls in bikinis. For someone with shaky self-esteem, it was a long 4 years, but somehow I made it out alive.  

After college came a new full-time work life, and my weight crept up.  Just a little at a time, but each year the scale would go up just a few pounds more.  Did I do anything about it?  Nope.  I got married and had my first baby, and that’s when my weight began to be a constant source of irritation.  I lost all the baby weight with no problem, but when I went back to work I added 10lbs. of flab.  And then another 10lbs.  I sporadically tried to exercise it off, and just couldn’t figure out why the scale was holding steady.  Did I think to try changing my eating habits?  Heck no, that’s crazy talk!

I started my second pregnancy at my delivery weight from my first.  I nearly died when the scale read 197 on the day of my second delivery.  At 5’2”, I was officially a petite Shamu.  Again, I dropped the baby weight pretty quickly, but my body settled in at 173 and was determined to stay there.  After a few years I managed to peel off 10lbs. through a brief flirtation with counting calories, but every second felt like torture, and I quickly slipped back into my love affair with fast food and trashy TV.   I began to settle into a world of lies.  These included:

  • I’m a Mom of two now.  I can’t be expected to look like my high school self.  
  • I look fine.  
  • Diet and exercise?  Who has the time for that?
  • There must be something wrong with my metabolism.
  • Diet and exercise just don’t work for me.
  • It will take too much time.
  • It will be too hard.
  • I’ll do it when I have more time/ more money/ husband is done with school/ when we settle down for good/ when the kids are both in school/ when it’s Spring/ Summer/ Fall/ Winter/ when I can join a gym/ when I can get a trainer/ when I get a walking buddy.
  • I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

Yes, a few more years went by, and I had settled into being constantly unhappy with how I looked and felt.  I was moody and irritable, and getting dressed always meant at least 3 outfit changes before I found something I could tolerate.  I refused to have a full-length mirror in the house.  I avoided clothes shopping at all costs.  My kids began to ask why I never wanted to have my picture taken.    

In late July, as my 39th birthday approached, I started to really think about the next BIG BIRTHDAY, and what it meant to me.  I definitely don’t think that life ends at 40, but I didn’t want to approach the next half of my life looking and feeling this same way.  I flirted with the idea of Weight Watchers, but kept telling myself it was too much money, a silly concept, I didn’t have time right now, blah, blah, blah.  Then it hit me. My light bulb moment came at church one day.  I took my son to the bathroom, and as I waited for him, I saw myself in the full-length mirror.  I was wearing an outfit that I had left the house feeling good in.  What I saw did NOT look good.  I was frumpy and lumpy.  My clothes were baggy and ill-fitting.  I looked sad.  And right then and there, I decided it was time for some real changes.  I did not want to be the person I saw reflected in that mirror.  I went home and looked up Weight Watchers meetings.  I counted out the birthday money I had been squirreling away.  I began tracking my food and drinking 8-10 glasses of water.  

I joined Weight Watchers that week, and while I don’t love the program, I do love the accountability it has given me.  I needed that push of knowing I would have to stand on the scale in front of someone else and have them write that number in ink.  I found the Fit Camp group a few days later, and it has made ALL the difference in the world.  Knowing that there are other ladies who have struggled, and triumphed.  Knowing that I am neither the heaviest, nor the lightest.  Knowing that I am not the only one who wants to kick Jillian in the taco.  

I’ve lost 14lbs. in 7 weeks, and I am feeling amazing.  The first weeks were the hardest, and while I won’t say it gets easier, I will say it is not as hard.  My mood swings are gone, I have more energy, my skin is clearer, I actually look forward to doing my workouts, and my sex life has done a 180.  Plus, when your husband says “You look amazing”, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.  I have 16 more lbs. to go, and I know it will take a while.  I know there will be days when French fries and ice cream triumph over salad and Jillian.  But you know what?  I got this.   And so do you.  

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! My story is so similar to yours. We can do it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bravo, girl! We are all in it with you! Damn Jillian!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's so awesome... I am proud of you and have no doubt that the remaining 16 will be off in no time!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really enjoyed reading this!! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can totally relate. I have also sworn to be fit and healthy by the time I turn 40. We can do this!

    ReplyDelete
  6. One of my favorite posts!!! So honest, relatable and well written. Bravo mama...you are doing it!! You are an inspiration!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am really grateful the Camp Counselors let me submit a post, and I can't wait to keep reading everyone's stories.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome story!! I turned 40 in May and I started my journey last Jan. We can do this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Favorite post so far! Thanks for sharing this... :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this post, I shall call it "My new favorite" :) I can so identify and see myself in so many things you said - especially your list of lies. Thank you for sharing your story, struggles and successes! Good luck on your journey!

    ReplyDelete

Pin It button on image hover