Well, I've been lurking around here for a few days now, finally registered last night and posted my profile and today I'm going to take the plunge and actually post. I hope I do it all right and if I don't, feel free to tell me so and I won't do it next time! This will probably end up being quite long, so bear with me as I have a tendency to be too verbose (that's putting it mildly).
I guess I'll start by telling you all a little about myself. I'm 26 years old, divorced mother of 2 little boys. Been dating off and on for 4 years since I got divorced, but nothing too major. I'm 5'10" and have a big build, even the dr says I have the "big bone" thing, but I know that isn't the entire cause of my appearance. I'm not really sure how much I weigh, I think around 375, but I've been too heavy to be weighed on the dr's scale, which goes to 350, for quite a while so I'm not really sure anymore. I'm trying to find a scale that goes up to 400 which I can afford, but haven't had too much luck.
I've been overweight since I was about 5 years old. My mother said that when I was 4 I wore a size 6X dress and was tall and skinny, but by the time I started kindergarten a year later, I was in a size 10 which had to be adjusted for length because I was that big around, but not that tall. I was tormented all through school because of my weight, combined with the fact that I was intelligent and often the "teacher's pet" and even skipped a grade so I was the youngest in my class from 4th grade on. Needless to say, I wasn't very popular. When I got to middle school, my mother convinced me to take drama classes because she knew the teacher and both my older brothers had taken his classes and she thought they would do me good. I was hooked within one month.
I loved being an actress. I had always been painfully shy and much happier if I was hiding in a corner with a book and no one noticed me, but I found that when I got on stage, I could become someone else and I didn't mind everyone looking at me. I was pretty good at it and won quite a few awards through high school. I also got into choir and did very well in that, since my father had taught me to sing when I was very little and I'd always loved it. I wasn't wildly popular in high school, but I'd found a place I could belong and people who liked me, regardless of my appearance, and something I was good at, all in the same place. I was even on the drama council my senior year and was relatively happy.
I got married one year out of high school to a man I'd met online. I'd gone on four dates in high school. Two I'd asked the guy for a girl's choice dance, and two my friends had made the guy ask me so I could go with their group. I didn't much care for the man I married, but he asked and I figured I'd better take what I could get when I could get it. I had my first child almost exactly 9 months later. I didn't have too many problems with him until the last two weeks when I developed pre-ecclampsia. The doctor induced me on my due date because my blood pressure was sky-rocketing, but once I had the baby, things returned to normal.
I got pregnant with my second son just over a year later, with him being due on his brother's birthday. I developed pre-ecclampsia in the second month, as well as gestational diabetes. I was put on bed rest by the end of the second month and admitted to the hospital at the beginning of the seventh because my blood pressure and sugar were both completely uncontrollable, despite the fact that I rarely got out of bed and hardly ate anything. I had been hovering around 300 pounds from high school on, but being on solid bed rest for six months pushed me up over 400.
After I had my second son, the health problems didn't go away. I had diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, severe back problems from the bed rest, the extra weight and problems with the epidural they tried to give me, and was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism a few months later. I was put on a number of pills and was often confined to bed again when my back went out, which it did often.
I got divorced before my younger son was a year old and moved in with my mother. I didn't do anything and didn't go anywhere for nearly two years. I did get my own place, but my mom usually had my kids because I was unable to care for them while confined to bed and heavily medicated. My days consisted of television, computer and food, lots and lots of food. I had lost about 50 pounds when I had my son, mostly water, but I quickly gained it back in the next two years. I didn't have to do anything because I was able to live on the child support my ex husband sent and the SSI I was recieving due to my disability.
I moved back in with my mom after 2 years in my own place because I couldn't even manage to keep it clean anymore and lived with her for about a year. In May of 2002 I moved out again, but soon fell into the same patterns I had been in before of complete inactivity and over-eating. I attempted to go to college a few times throughout this time, but always dropped out before completeing the term.
In September of 2003, my ex husband lost his job and so the child support stopped. I quickly decided that I had to get a job, but I was not qualified to do anything. Much to my surprise, after my first interview, I got a call from someone who knew the woman I had interviewed with. He told me that she wasn't able to hire me at that time, but that he was very interested in hiring me if I was interested in working for him. I went in for an interview and was given the job on the spot. I now work for a GED/ESL/Adult Education program as a volunteer tutor recruiter and assistant to the director and I absolutely love my job.
I always told myself that my problem wasn't eating, that I just needed to exercise more and I'd be fine and the weight would just fall off. But because of my back pain, I wasn't able to exercise and that was always my excuse. I had lost a little weight after moving back out of my mom's, just from having to do housework and such, but I was still not able to be weighed on my dr's scale. I think I've been around 375 for about 2 years.
So what prompted me to actively try to lose weight now, when I haven't really ever tried before? A number of factors combined that made me realize that it was time to get moving. First of all, my kids. I can hardly move these days because of my weight, and I have absolutely no chance of keeping up with them. I can't even stand at the mirror for 10 minutes to do my hair without feeling weak and hurting. I want to be able to play with my kids and just be comfortable doing something as simple as walking into my house, driving my car or even just sitting on the couch. Second, the dr told me that my blood pressure is going up, even though I'm on two medications to control it, my blood sugar will not remain stable, my thyroid is going nuts, and my back is getting worse. If these things don't change and soon, I most likely won't live to see 40, and possibly not even 30. I don't want to die before my kids even get out of elementary school. Third and final, my best friend's mother, who has always been like my second mother and whom I am most like both in personality and health, is currently in the hospital in Salt Lake City, waiting to have triple by-pass surgery after having had two heart attacks. She has a number of the same health problems I have and hasn't been taking care of herself. Seeing her in the hospital was like the straw the broke the camel's back. I couldn't see her there without knowing, for certain, that if I don't change, I will be there myself before too long.
So, I spoke with my dr. He put me on Fastin for about 2 months to help me get started and is sending me to a nutritionist in the next week, as soon as the approval comes through from my insurance. I've put myself on a 2000 calorie diet, because as emotional as eating is for me, I know that if I tried to go with any less than that I would have no hope of sticking to it. I've been tracking every single thing that goes into my mouth since the 8th of January and looking up the nutrition content of it all so I can keep track of it on my computer. I didn't realize just how much I was eating before. I look at my list of what I've eaten and how many calories are in it, then think about what I used to eat and how many calories must have been in that, and there is no way I can justify it to myself as "not eating too much, just needing more exercise." I haven't started an exercise program yet, my dr thinks, and I agree, that it would be best if I can try to lose some by restricting my diet first so it won't be so hard on my back. I'm going to start with water aerobics as soon as I get down to 350.
So, that's my HUGE long introduction. I hope someone manages to make it through it all, and I promise not to be this verbose every time I post! I hope that I will be able to help some of you, as I don't want to be just a taker, but I know I need help too and hope to get some of it here.