"I am worthless"
Today I am 26 years old. In less than two weeks, I will turn 27. And I am fat, more than that, I am obese. When I began this journey, I tipped the scales at 261 lbs, and on my 5 ft 8 in frame, my BMI was a startling 39.53. "How did I get to this point?!?" When I stepped on the scale in the morning, I would begin a daily ritual of condemning myself. "How could you do this to yourself? You are an ugly, fat cow. You will never be worth anything." I was brutal with myself. I was mean. I was cruel. I hated myself. And I beat myself up about it multiple times a day. I questioned how my husband could love 'such a bucket of lard,' how my children could ever want to be seen with me. Worst of all, I pictured my sweet children looking like me someday, because I had neglected to set a proper example. I thought of them struggling with weight, and dealing with preventable obesity-related illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. And it would all be my fault because I didn't teach them better, I didn't show them. I couldn't go out and play with them. I could barely walk through the house without being out of breath.
"How did I get to this point?"
My family adopted two children when I was in high school. These kids were older and had been in foster homes for awhile before joining our family. As much as I love my siblings, adopting them into our family, and dealing with the ensuing drama from birth parents, lawyers, CPS, etc was a traumatic experience for my family. This is when I began to put on the weight. At 19, I got engaged, and weighed in at 200 lbs. I lost 20 lbs for the wedding. After visiting with a Dr because we wanted a baby, I was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. I was put on a medication to help control it, and help any pregnancy. Then we got pregnant. I gained 60 lbs with my beautiful daughter, L, who weighed 8 lbs 10 oz. I lost 30 lbs before falling pregnant the second time. Unfortunately, I lost that baby, and in my depression gained back about 15 lbs. My third pregnancy, I was determined to not gain as much weight. 30 lbs later, my surprise homebirth brought me an 8 lb 3 oz baby girl, B. I wanted to lose the weight, but I didn't work hard enough. When I fell pregnant with our son, J, I again swore I wouldn't gain too much. I started out at 225 lbs, and ended at 254. When my whopping 10 lb 8 oz boy arrived, I was ready (I thought) to get moving the weight. I lost and gained and lost and gained the same 10 or 15 lbs. I was a poster child for the seesaw diet.
"I begin to change"
At the beginning of my fifth pregnancy, I weighed a staggering 250 lbs. But this time was different. I ate better. I chose my food intake more wisely. I avoided junk food like the plague, and focused on eating veggies and fruits (which I like) instead of snacking on crackers and candy. I walked and did what I could to be healthy. I gained a total of 10 pounds, which my dr agreed was a healthy gain for me. When my 9 lbs 13 oz charmer, R, made his appearance, I vowed that I would never see 260 again. I have chosen to eat better. I have chosen to be more active. I have chosen to participate in life. More importantly, perhaps, I have chosen to quit beating myself up. When those negative thoughts come to my mind, I push them away. I don't listen to that voice telling me I'm not worth it. It is hard, and sometimes I get pulled down, but I push myself back up again. I wish I had started loving myself sooner. I wish I had never started self-medicating with food. But wishes don't change us. In order to change, we must just do it. While life now might have been easier if I had never put on the weight to begin with, that's not the way it is. And sitting around WISHING it had been different, only wastes time that could Be spent MAKING it different.
And so, I begin this blog at 227 lbs with a BMI of 34.51. That's a loss of 33 lbs, and a BMI change of just over 5. I am still clinically 'obese,' but I am changing that. I am learning to love myself.
"What are the goals?"
For a couple of weeks I have been debating some things, some ideas I have had to help me on this journey. I started out needing to lose 100 lbs, now I have 67 lbs left. But I don't just want a diet program, I want a lifestyle change, and the exercise portion needs to be something I can do no matter where I live, or what my financial position is, etc. As I tossed around different ideas, "walking, biking, swimming, running." I told myself why I couldn't do each one (Again with the negative ways!). "Walking is so boring. I don't own a bicycle. Yeah right, a swimsuit? Really?" Oh, I am such a pro at beating myself up. "Running, yeah right. I still can't walk through the house without feeling out of breath. What's next? Running in a marathon?" Then the lightbulb went on. Who doesn't love a challenge. Here I was telling myself I could never do something. I was out to prove myself wrong. And so, I began researching (because that's what Type A people do, lol). I found several programs, like http://www.marathonrookie.com/index.html and Couch to 5K. I decided to combine the two, and so here I am. I am going to begin training for a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon, then a full marathon. Who knows, maybe I will do a triathalon, though I doubt I could finish it. There I go again, doubting myself. I've been through four drug-free natural childbirths and a miscarriage. Surely I have the ability and strength to succeed with whatever I want, right?
"Step One: Amass the Tools"
While I want to go out there and start running right away, that just isn't a good idea. I lack a few key tools. So tomorrow, I will be shoe shopping for a good running shoe. I promise to not let price choose the shoe, but rather get the shoe I need. Everything I have read says that your shoes are the most important tool, for success and injury prevention. And I will be looking for some other tools as well. Running clothes and a watch with a second hand.
"And so I begin, My Own Quiet Journey"
The reason I call it my own, quiet journey, is because that is what it is. It is MY journey, my OWN journey. I don't do this for other people, and I don't do it for fanfare. I debated even recording it on this blog. I hope that maybe someday, just one person might find inspiration here, and be able to make their own quiet journey, to whatever goal they have. I think if I can help just one person, even if it is only myself, to succeed and believe in themselves, then this blog is a success.