Monday, September 20, 2010


Did you ever have a day that started like this?? This is exactly how I felt this morning...

I worked up the nerve to climb onto the scale, and that's when it hit me. I'm as big as a hippo! I spent some time in the pool this weekend and I'm sure that I must have resembled this. I completely understand why hippos hang out in the water - it's low impact, low gravity and it's much easier for us chunkies to move around.

Here's my story (I'll try to be brief). Twenty years ago, I was young and cute... weren't we all?

It's obnoxious, I know - it was the '80's what can I say? I was working out in my working-out outfit and I was proud. But even before that picture, I struggled with my weight 5, 10, 20, 30 pounds. This picture was taken after I'd just lost 30 pounds.

Time passed and one day I got preggers and gained a butt-load (literally) of weight. She was a big baby, but 9.5 lbs of baby doesn’t translate to 85 pounds for mama! I realize that it was my own doing, but I have not been the same since.

There have been times as a grown up when I lost weight, and I swear I will never go back. Each time, I swear that “I finally get it."

I ALWAYS get it: Move more, eat less - it's not a hard concept, but it is extremely hard to put into practice. No one knows more about losing weight than a fatty. Life just always seems to get in the way. To paraphrase Oprah, it's about the food, but it's not about the food. When my life gets out of control, so does my eating and my self-neglect (i.e., no exercise). You can tell how crazy my life is at any given point by how big my pants are.

This is me, about 7 years ago, at my lowest post-prego weight (158 lbs). I was running every day, lifting weights, and eating NO carbs.

Let's jump to the recent past - in January, 2009 I tipped the scales at a whopping 250 lbs. I know - gross, right? I got on a mission. I know how to lose it, and by the end of May that year I weighed 175. I hadn’t reached my goal yet, but still I was pretty happy with the progress. Again, I was running about 30 miles a week and doing yoga. I really love both running and yoga. I felt great! So what happened?

Life - we went on a cruise (my profile picture is from this vacation), and on the last night I ended up in the infirmary in the worst pain EVER. One minute I was fine, and the next minute I was throwing up and rolling on the bed drenched in sweat. It may have been worse than childbirth (no exaggerating). It was my gall bladder. I'd been eating low fat, low carb for the past 5 months, then I got on this boat and ate high fat, high sugar, high carb, high everything. I can't imagine why my body might rebel.

When we got off the ship the next day I was fine, but ended up back in the hospital 2 days later. It was infected, so they pumped me with antibiotics and a day or so later, the doctor yanked that puppy out.

That event marked the end of my weight loss mission. Over the next 16 months, I proceeded to gain over a pound a week. I got out of the exercise habit, I started slacking off on eating right, it got really busy at work, the holidays, getting Chicken Little accepted into college, graduated from high school, then off to college, blah, blah, blah... And that brings us to right now...

Yes, I'm standing on the side of the bath tub, and please ignore the ugly bathroom. This is me today (in my very best outfit.) ;-) I haven't gained back every pound, but pretty darn close.

My problem now is that I don't feel like I can exercise enough to lose the weight as quickly as I want to. For the past 6 - 8 months, I've been having joint pain (knees, hips, shoulders, neck, wrists) - I pretty much ache all the time. I'm sure the weight is playing a part in that, but we haven't figured out yet if anything else may be causing it.

I'm so frustrated and disappointed and embarrassed and ashamed. It's hard to get up and go to work everyday and face all those people who have watched my weight go down and then right back up. It's hard to make myself see my friends and family because I see their "oh-wow-she's-put-it-all-back-on" reactions. I feel bad that my poor husband has such a big, fat wife.

Egads! I'm afraid they are going to have to bring a crane in to get me out of the house if something doesn't change soon!

I'm not putting all this out here because I want you to feel sorry for me or to worry about me. I'm writing it because I need to be honest. I need to put a stake (not steak) in the ground and say this is enough. I know that once you shine the light on your shame, it makes it not seem quite so bad.

I also know that I'm not my weight; that it does not define me or make me less of a person. I need to be nicer to myself and start treating myself like I would a good friend who was having a similar struggle.

This is it. I'm writing it down, acknowledging and owning it. I'm also releasing it. I'm tired of the struggle and of beating up on myself. I'm going to start taking better care of myself - physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I may fall, but I just have to keep getting up. As long as I get up one more time than I fall, I will be successful. So, I'm getting up again.

Besides, we only have room for one sunbathing hippo at our house...

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9