Monday, January 30, 2012

New Year, New Mom!

Baby G, I have the worst kept secret in the world. I am currently a fat mommy.

My story begins around the age of 8-9 years old when various factors in my life sent me running for food whenever I was feeling sad or lonely. Mix in an addiction to junk food with a lack of proper boundaries when it came to portion sizes and sprinkle in hours and hours spent alone and you get a fat child, who turns into a fat teenager, who blossoms into a fat adult. I have been overweight for over 20 years and I'm only 31 years old.

My struggle with my weight has always been my "thorn in my side" because if there was ever one thing to magically change about myself, I always picked that. My weight kept me from doing things I wanted to do. I remember trying out for volleyball one year in junior high and failing to secure a position on the team. I wound up being the team manager instead. I tried out for drill team another year and I was cut in the first round. I also became the basketball manager because I knew my weight would keep me from doing well in try-outs so I didn't even try. Eventually, I knew the only real "team sport" I would be able to do was marching band. Thankfully there were no try-outs for that so they HAD to take me. *sarcasm*

I maintained my overweightedness (Made up a new word! You heard it here first!) throughout high school and really only varied my weight + or - about 10 lbs depending on the time of year (Marching band was actually good exercise so during Football season I was usually on the low end of my average weight). Looking back on that time I was actually fairly active physically, I just had issues with food and portion control. I wasn't really teased all that often about my weight in school, surprisingly. I attribute my awesome personality and my ability to be friends with nearly everyone to keeping me sheltered from a lot of the "fat hate" that kids experience in school. I was simply too nice to make fun of regularly, I guess. I had crushes, crushes were had on me, I had a lot of friends, dressed normally, and didn't really let my weight stand in the way of doing fun things.

The summer after my senior year of high school I took a waitressing job at a small greasy spoon German/American restaurant. The mixture of constant exposure to grease and oil along with the 10+ miles each day I would walk inside the restaurant turned me into a person who was exercising regularly and began to eschew greasy junk foods for fresh salads. I lost about 20 lbs over the course of the three months I worked there without even trying. I arrived at college thinner than I had been since junior high and with an exciting outlook for my future! I sought out the college Rec Center, began trying to run for the first time since childhood, and I felt AMAZING. Eventually several factors (including a 24-hour open kitchen, late night pizza/chinese food deliveries, a heavy course load, a sprained ankle, and a car accident) conspired against my new lifestyle and as time went by I began to put the weight I had lost back on and then put more on top of that. By the end of my Freshmen year, I had bypassed the Freshmen 15 and went straight for the Freshman 30. Each subsequent year saw me put more weight on top of the weight I had already amassed until, eventually, when I graduated college I weighed nearly 60 lbs more than I had in high school. 60 lbs in 4 years. Unbelievable!

You would think that would be enough of a wake-up call for me to get my ass in gear and lose the weight, right? Sort of. I dabbled in dieting over the next couple of years. I would lose 15 lbs, put 20 back on. Lose another 10, gain 5, lose that 5, then gain 10 more. When your dad and I met and got married I was back up to my post-college weight where I thought I was totally miserable. However, your dad and I both have some issues with food and portion control and together we gained even more weight. I hit my highest weight in June of 2009. I had troubles bending over to tie my shoes, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like I was going to die, and I couldn't get pregnant. A visit to the doctor confirmed that years of eating poorly and a predisposition to metabolic issues meant that I had developed Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I knew that the only way to ever have a baby would be for me to drop the weight and reverse some of the symptoms of PCOS.

I decided to enroll in the Metabolic Research Center here in town. It was the best decision I could have made! Over the course of the next 9 months I was able to lose over 100 lbs and, eventually, become pregnant (surprise!). The diet at MRC was very strict and offered little in the way of wiggle room so upon finding out I was pregnant, I went a little nutso eating all of the things I hadn't been able to eat in such a long time. Over the course of my 9 month pregnancy, I gained back about 75-80 lbs of my 100 I had lost. Ugh. Imagine how pleased I was to lose about 40 lbs in 3 weeks after birth! I figured losing the baby weight would be no big deal. I was wrong. I quickly put that 40 lbs back on because I was still eating like I was pregnant. Thinking I needed to do something, I joined the Scaledown Challenge at work and succeeded in losing 20 lbs during the 9 week program. After the program ended, I put it all back on again. I was feeling pretty helpless.

This week I made the decision that the only way I'm ever going to get this weight off once and for all is to go back to the Metabolic Research Center, lose the weight, finish the program (without getting knocked up this time!) and finally conquer my food demons. I need this for my own health, but I need it even more so I don't become a terrible example to you, Baby G. I never want you to have the problems I had/continue to have. I want you to lead a healthy life full of awesome foods, physical activity, and a strong sense of self-worth. Pretty soon you will be old enough to realize you have a fat mommy. I hope for a day where you will look back at pictures of me right now and ask me why I looked so different back then. I want you to have a mommy who goes out on the playground with you instead of sitting on the bench. I want you to WANT to be just like me... and for me to be okay with that because I'm worth patterning after.

So, it begins. I'm back at MRC, did my initial weigh-in, and started eating on plan. I go into this knowing I can do it because I did it before. In fact, my before/after pictures from the first time are prominently displayed on the walls at the center as an extra personal "hey, look at how great you looked? Don't you want to get back to that???" I'm not looking forward to people recognizing those pictures are of me and then wondering why I got so big again, but for someone like me weight will always be a struggle and I will always have my ups and downs. I haven't truly lost unless I quit fighting and as long as I have you, Baby G, I simply cannot quit fighting.

Wave goodbye to fat mommy, Baby G. Healthy mommy is on her way!