In my other blogging attempt, I did a regular piece I called “The State of the Fluff”. Because so many seemed to be getting something out of watching my journey and struggle with weight issues, it is something that I want to continue here. It isn’t that The Writer’s Studio is a health and fitness blog. And no, I don’t want it to turn into one. But, it is a big part of my world and since I’ll eventually talk about it anyway, its better just to make it a sort of column.
To those who were following before, I apologize in advance, I know you’ve read this story before. For those coming new, I want to give some sort of a background to my situation. So please bear with me as I tell my story.
I’ve never been skinny. Well, I haven’t been skinny since I was about 5. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an issue with my weight and have always been on the heavy side. When I attended my proms back in the 1990’s I couldn’t find formal wear. My mother had to make my dresses. Even then I was in a size 22-24. My senior year saw me in a 24 when I graduated. That’s a “normal” size for me actually. But even then, I knew that it wasn’t good for me.
When I moved to Florida in 2000, I took it upon myself to try and lose the weight. I was living on my own in an apartment for the first time. I opted to go mostly vegetarian with my diet then. And the weight melted off. When I left Florida and made my way to California I was wearing a size 20. I felt good. I was more active. By all accounts things were going great and I was really proud of my accomplishment. (I still have that pair of 20 jeans actually.) Then, I fell off the health-kick band wagon.
Before I knew it, I felt trapped in a marriage that was falling apart. I was cooped up in a duplex apartment in a neighborhood that I didn’t feel safe walking in. I had no vehicle, food was brought into the house instead of me going to the grocery store. And my husband (at the time) brought home sweets and sodas like they were going out of style even when he knew I was trying to stay away from them or was asked specifically not to.
By the time I found out about his infidelity, I was already trying to lose weight but quickly realized that it was going to be a very hard task to accomplish. I had literally ballooned to somewhere between 460 and 500 pounds. Clothes hardly fit anymore even when I was buying the largest thing I could find on the rack. Jeans were nothing more than a distant memory for me; something I’d worn 6 years prior when we first got married. On the rare occasion that I got to go out and go to Walmart it was impossible for me to get through the store without stopping to rest every few moments. My back would go numb, my ankles would swell, and eventually I developed a case of plantar fasciitis that made it even more difficult for me to walk. It was just my life and it was the body I had allowed myself to create. For a while, I accepted that and embraced it. But as things continued to deteriorated in my relationship, I realized that I was worth a lot more than what I was allowing for myself or accepting from my ex. I started doing things for my sake and not for the sake of what he wanted, or my mom wanted, or anyone else for that matter.
The weight started to come off slowly at first. Truth is, that initial starting number is always going to be an estimate. I don’t really know where I began. I do know that when I first went to a doctor office for a physical after many years without any medical care at all, the doctor’s scales wouldn’t weigh me. They went to 350 and that was it. Then, I went to an OBGYN and they were able to weigh me. I was at 425 that day. I ended up having to go back for additional follow ups and at my last appointment (November 2012) I was down to 398.
When things finally started coming together in a positive way with friendships and meeting the man that is now my fiance, not to mention getting back my relationship with my family and being out and about more often, the big thing became realizing that my clothes are all getting looser. In fact I’ve had to buy some things in smaller sizes now. And I just recently was able to put on a pair of jeans again for the first time in over 5 years.
I’ve been so busy that I’ve let my habits slide again. I know this. So, part of doing this column on a weekly basis is going to be keeping myself accountable for my actions and my progress. But, I honestly hope that someone somewhere will find encouragement in my story and progress. It is something that you have to do for yourself but, it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Having a support system is crucial. I learned that the hard way.
I’m not going to turn this into a health and fitness blog. This is just another aspect of my life and my journey that I am willing to share with my readers. I hope someone gets something out of it, other than me. I’ll try to keep this sort of post to once a week. Barring hitting some milestone that I’ll mention, of course. But, my goal is to include what I’m doing or using so that people can see what my thought process and progress is.
My goals aren’t lofty. I’m not even willing to put a number on how much I want to lose that is definitive. I want to feel better. I want to be more active and look good in a pair of jeans again, maybe even wear clothes that have some style to them instead of just whatever fits for a change. My goal is just to improve my overall health and well being. I’m not looking to be a size 0, I would never be comfortable at that size anyway. I’m a plus size woman. I’m proud of my curves and I’m happy to be me, fat and all. I just want to enhance my life and feel younger. I’m sure that many of you can relate. So, I’ll share how I’m going to do just that for myself. Maybe it will help you too.