Monday, November 12, 2012

An Ideal Childhood. // Jennifer C.

I was born in a small New England town of about 3000 people.  Two gas stations, three churches, and not a single stop light.  Youngest child of a dairy farmer with 200 acres to run, play and explore. Went to the same schools my father did, even had a couple of the same teachers.  Summers were long, winters were cold, and life was good.

Sounds ideal doesn’t it?  

This is the condensed version of my childhood.  The one I would tell any of you should we meet in person.  I had the perfect childhood, and if I let myself, I can almost believe it.  

But if I think about it, I start remembering.  And when I start remembering I start hurting, and when I start hurting I reach for comfort foods.  Some of my favorites from my childhood; Grandma Parker’s strawberry shortcake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Maple Walnut ice cream, lots of ice cream, maple cotton candy, maple sugar candy (Did I mention I grew up in Vermont, where all things maple are sacred?), apple pie w/ ice cream, Oreo ice cream sundaes….I seriously could go on for hours…

If you don’t think about the hurt, and go back to my picturesque childhood you are still going to see my father, pre diabetic, and then diabetic, putting sugar on everything.  I thought it was normal to put sugar on cantaloupe.  Sugar on leaf lettuce from the garden.  Stops at the small town bakery several times a week.  50 cents for penny candy.  Chunky candy bars in the glove box.  *shrugs*  It was my normal…
The dairy farm meant whole unpasteurized milk at all times.  Plenty of it.  Morning, noon & night.  To this day I can not drink whole milk.  It also meant slaughtering our own meat, vegetarians look away now.  We had a large chest freezer filled with bacon, hams, venison, steaks, chops, burger, liver, roasts, sausage, you name it, we had it.  And we ate it.  Liberally.  Salad for dinner?  Broiled fish? Not in this house!!!! No Way No How!  

So, poor food role models added to poor genetic make up… My father, passed away at age 70. My Daddy, Diabetic, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritic joints, gastric reflux.  My mother passed away at age 57 of breast cancer, alcoholism, COPD…

So troubled childhood + bad food role models + unfortunate genes, + a VERY unhealthy relationship & marriage to a man who was emotionally & physically abusive to me brought me to 250 pounds, on lil ole 5’2 me.  

I am now 37, almost 38 years old, divorced and remarried to a WONDERFUL man. He knew me at 250.  Loved me at 250.  Married me at 250. But knowing that my Daddy was diagnosed with diabetes at age 35, time is not on my side.  I started this weight loss journey because I was scared.  I started in January, and found Mama over the summer.  And then the Facebook group.  You ladies have been infinitely motivating.  And I am not sure I would have made it this far without knowing you, hearing your stories, having you cheer me on.  

So far, as of this morning, I have lost 40 lbs.  And I am looking forward to having a picturesque ideal healthy adulthood, to match that ideal childhood I spoke to you about when we first met….


  1. Congratulations on 40lbs! I'm so glad you are overcoming your past. Habits are hard to break, especially ones we've had since childhood. I'm from central NY. The town next to mine actually has a Maple Festival!

    Keep up the good work!
    MamaB (Brandi Hollenbeck)

  2. So happy for you.! 40 pounds is amazing! And so proud of you taking control of your life :) keep it up!

  3. Wow, congratulations on 40 lbs.! And congratulations on getting to a good spot in your life!

  4. So many of us have similar stories of terrible eating examples as children. Then there is the smoking, the lack of exercise, oh my. Good for you (and me, too) for getting off the food train. =)

  5. Good for you for taking control of your health! It is NEVER too late...everything you do today will benefit you in someway.

  6. Congratulations! It's never too late, cheers to you for deciding to make the change! :)

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. Keep up the good work because you are worth it!


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