Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My fat story -- the numbers part of it

My first memory of being overweight was when I was 12 years old. I remember being bigger than all the kids in elementary school, but I was also much taller than them. In 6th grade we were weighed. I weighed 135 pounds (oh my, how I would LOVE to weigh that now!). I was heavier than all the other girls.

It occured to me I might be overweight then.

I went through junior high & high school struggling with my weight. My mom tried various diets. We ate a lot of grilled chicken. In all reality, I don't really think I was that heavy then. I don't even think I was that heavy when I graduated high school weighing 165 pounds. I was 5 feet 6 inches then. Sure, my BMI was slightly "overweight." I was a size 12. I would LOVE to look like that.

Then, I went to college. I continued to gain 30 pounds my freshman year. This weight gain was fueled by eating out a lot. When I did eat in the cafeteria (and not Taco Bell), I had an all you can eat pass.

The next year, if I remember correctly, I did lose some weight. I moved in to my sorority house, food was limited.

By my 4th year of college (it was my 1st year of nursing school, so technically I got to be a junior for 2 years), I moved in with my parents. I was going to nursing school, so I was trying to save money and time. I needed to study a lot. My mom cooked healthy. We ate grilled chicken so much! I switched to the "healthier" (ha ha!) diet pop. I lost some weight that year.

The next year, I moved in with a friend. I don't really remember what my weight was like then, but I think it was steady. Somewhere in the next few years, I was back up to my freshman weight (195).

After I graduated and started working as a nurse, I worked out A LOT! I was working out (cardio & lifting weights) 4 times/week for one hour each time. I joined Weight Watchers. I got engaged! Just before my wedding (at the age of 26), I was down to my lowest weight ever. One hundred fifty pounds. I was at the highest weight Weight Watchers would allow me to be at. It was hard. I was there for ONE day (that tells you how likely I am to be there again!). I was within my 2 pounds for the 6-week weigh-in to become a lifetime member.

Slowly, after getting married, my weight crept back on. I got a job as a night-shift supervisor in a fast-paced labor and delivery. I gained some more weight. I weighed 185 pounds around this time.  I was 28 years old.

At 28, after being a supervisor for almost one year, I got a manager position. I went from working 3 nights/week to working 5 days/week. I worked 50 hour weeks. I ate. And I sat at a desk. I gained an astonishing 50 pounds in SIX MONTHS! I now weighed 235 pounds. Six months after getting the manager position, I was pregnant! We had been trying, but I was pregnant at 235 pounds. I gained 60 pounds during this pregnancy. I was unhealthy. My doctor talked to me about my diet, but I thought she was harrassing me about my weight. I was offended, so I didn't listen. I drank diet pop and ate what felt good. I had pre-eclampsia and ended up with a c-section.

After this pregnancy, I got down to 245. Then, three and half years later I got pregnant. At 245 pounds. I gained 50 pounds...most of it in the last month (I think I stopped caring...I was tired of being pregnant!). Now, here I am. I'm not going to say how much I weigh now. I have lost a lot of my pregnancy weight. I am over 200 pounds.

I believe the "dieting" in my late teens/early twenties scared my body. Now, I will struggle. I really ate what I wanted and gained very little then. I do not ever want my daughter to diet. I refuse to teach her about Weight Watchers. She will not count her points (but that's a whole other post!).

So, here's my fat story...at least the numbers part of it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My here-it-is-I-am-fat post

This past weekend I had pictures taken of myself. This is something I generally avoid. I didn't really have a choice in the matter. My husband's step-grandmother wanted family pictures for his Grandpa. The whole family. We did a huge picture of everyone (those I can usually hide in, turn to the side, hold the baby). Then, we had to do small families. I thought I looked okay. Really, I did.

Then, I saw the pictures. I was fat. I looked bloated and pale. Now, let me just clarify one thing (or a few)...I am a huge advocate of health at every size. I believe your BMI can be high and  you can be healthy. I believe just because you have a "normal" BMI, you're not guaranteed health.

I've been in denial. I am obese. My blood pressure is good. My cholesterol is good. I must be healthy. I would really like to lose weight for my health, but my health has been good, so I haven't been motivated.

Until now. It may sound vain, so what. I am fat. I am being completely honest here....so please don't judge.

I liked to think I had great eating habits. I ate organic. I tried to avoid aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup....unless they were in the pop I was (still am) so addicted to. I avoid nitrites. I only used milk without hormones or antibiotics. My meat was usually locally raised, without hormones or organic. I shopped at Whole Foods.

But, I am fat. I am addicted to food. Now, you can disagree with me, but I am here to tell you it does exist. I wake up thinking about what I'm going to eat. If I have a bad day, I can't wait to get my hands on sugar or a pop. I can't wait to eat the next meal. And not just in a foodie sense of way.

While I wish vanity didn't motivate me, I am thankful I haven't been told I have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Maybe vanity is a good thing. I need to be healthy for my kids. I need to be an example for them. I want them to choose healthy.

I am seemingly obsessed over the food my kids eat...especially my baby (I was that way when the big kid was a baby too). No formula. Ever. Cooper has only had healthy foods. In fact, he's only had one "jar" of baby food. My mom bought it for him. He's had fresh foods...mostly organic. Organic butternut squash, organic apples, sweet potatoes (some organic, some jarred). He's had the brown rice from Happy Baby (only when he has leftover breastmilk from day care). I've made some of Cooper's food (he hasn't eaten it yet though).

So why am I so lax about the way I eat? Why do I act like I care, but I don't? Why do I sneak food?

It feels good. Food is my friend. It's my comfort.

So here I am. Out here for the world to see. And now, I'm going to share with you my goals, so I can be accountable. They're only monthly goals, but they're a start.

December Goals
No pop (diet or regular)
Exercise three times per week for at least 30 minutes per day
Limit eating out to once per week
No fast food
No store-bought candy, homemade candy in moderation (it is Christmas afterall!)

I would like to lose 5 pounds. I would like to follow my goals.

I will be posting more about my struggles with my weight. I hope I can help someone. I hope someone chooses to join me in my get-health journey!