More of my story...
You know it is interesting losing weight as you say. People talk to me and joke around with me much more than before. I have been big since I was five. I have always had low self esteem and hated the way I looked. I had an outgoing personality though because I felt that was all I had. I did not like talking about my weight, or if I did it was just to say that I was already huge and what would a little more food hurt.
I became morbidly obese after my first daughter. I cried in the doctor’s office and asked the doctor for help. She said that I needed to go to this specialty clinic (that she and another doctor owned privately) and that would be the only way she could help. I could not afford this and my insurance wouldn't cover it. So there I was a new mom and young and felt more helpless than I ever had. It took a lot for me to actually ask for help and to be shot down was horrible.
When we decided to have our next child I vowed to lose weight first and successfully dropped 45lbs, only to gain that plus 15lbs back after having our second child. I literally was at my lowest point. My career was stressful, money, kids, everything was topsey turvey and I decided that I had to make some big changes.
The first was leaving the job I had and found a better environment to work in. That was going better. My finances however were not good. My husband was laid off from his factory job after working there for 15 years because of oversees competition. We were not doing well. The stress was immense and I decided that either I needed to find a way to lower my stress or I was heading for some major health challenges. I joined the gym against my husband’s wishes because of our financial strain. I had to; it was not even an option.
It was my escape at first and I began to feel better about me. Once I had lost around 20lbs, and dropped my first size, something clicked inside me. I was going to do this no matter what. There are a million reasons why I can't exercise and eat right, but I threw them out the door. People called me selfish and antisocial at first because I dedicated myself to me. I said no to people, which was a first.” No, I can't meet you at the Mexican restaurant." "No, I can't go to eat after church, my class starts at 1:00." "No, I can't have that muffin, but thank you anyway." If I was dying to do something or have something, I did it or had it. I didn’t deprive myself of living, but I adjusted what living was to me.
I enjoy the gym and the relationships I have there. I wish that I could indulge in all my favorite foods, but I enjoy the fact that I can wear smaller sizes better than those foods. Talking about all this does make me feel better. It is hard to embrace all of this.
I was on this forum some time back and would read everyone’s comments and always wonder if it was possible for me. Could I actually lose what I needed to lose, not just what I wanted to lose? I am still overweight, but I am getting closer everyday to being "normal" weight.
It was also during this time that there was an announcement that a magazine was looking for weight loss stories and I submitted mine on a whim. I had lost around 80lbs at that point. Two or three weeks passed and I hadn't heard anything, then one day there was an email from the editor’s assistant asking for more information. Within a day or two an email came from the editor and they are interested in my story. I was in shock, how could anyone be interested in me? I send him monthly updates now. I don't know when I will be featured, but it looks like I will be.
A lady at the gym mentioned that she was going to contact our local news and let them know about this. I laughed and still said who would be interested in me. Well, two weeks ago they did a three minute segment on me. I had a hard time saying yes to either of these things. It would mean that I would have to put it all out there. Every messy and embarrassing detail. I did not want people to know how far I had let myself go.
What motivated me to put myself out there was that feeling I had in the doctor’s office years ago when I asked for help and was left feeling hopeless. I know that there are many of us who feel hopeless. I just thought by me sharing my story I might help someone like me, that despite the life we have, we can make a change. You have to be a bit selfish, anti-social and obsessed. These things do not have to be bad. You have to come first and once you put yourself first everything else falls into place. My kids are proud of me and hopefully they will not have the same weight issues. I am done hiding behind my weight and I will tell my story over and over again if it means helping someone else who is struggling.