Week 13 of the Packed Lunch Challenge. I know I always start my posts out this way, but dang, it’s exciting to know this goal is getting knocked out! If you’re still here, I am so glad you’re reading this post, because I promised you an EPIC post on the Packed Lunch Challenge this week, and this one is going to be kind of a doozy. I want to get the business end of things out of the way, and share the story, my story.
The story is long. It had to be long for you to understand where I am coming from in this process.
Lunch this week:
Home made turkey pepperoni pizza: I was dying for pizza for some reason and rather than buy it out, my husband made me one!
Sloppy Joe: Ok, not the best healthy thing I could eat, I know, but we had a busy week and it was a quick dinner instead of eating out. Leftovers!
Ham, lettuce and spicy mustard wrap: SO DAMN GOOD. So fresh, so much lighter! I am ready for summer foods!
Weight Loss this week: 2.4 lbs
Weight Loss this month: 1.2 lbs (All that bouncing around I’ve been telling you about)
Total Weight Loss: 17 lbs (getting closer to hitting 20 lbs woot woot!!)
The truth about me:
I have not always been fat.
That’s me, 7 months old, digging into a plate of Kraft Mac and Cheese like it’s nobody’s business. Today, Mac and Cheese is still my all time favorite comfort/sick food. My Mom craved it when she was pregnant with me, and I think the habit stuck. But, you have to understand something very important about my childhood:
We hardly ever ate out. My Mom stayed home and we ate healthy home cooked meals almost every single night.
As I was looking at photos for this post, I was kind of surprised. I always remembered myself as being chunky. The truth is, I wasn’t always chunky. I was actually a normal body weight for the first 7 years of my life. Until I started to hit puberty.
THERE IT IS.
I was about 2 months away from turning 8 years old in that photo. YES, I started to develop that young. The curves started coming in and I had a REAL bra by the 3rd grade. My hips started spreading and by the 5th grade, age 10, I wore a C cup bra, and I was curvy. By the time I hit Junior High School, I was 125 lbs., 5’3, all kinds of curves and a fully developed young woman.
I didn’t understand my body
I was fat. All of my other female classmates were still under 100 lbs. None of the boys in school liked me (that I knew of), and I didn’t look like the other girls. Then came the outside of school problems. Like the time I had to tell a very embarrassed 19 year old young man, that if he really wanted me to go on a date with him, I would have to ask my Dad since I was….12.
You can see where this might cause some confusion over body image. Kids my age thought I was fat, while outside of school I was constantly having to tell much older guys to leave me alone, no matter how “fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine” they thought I was.
I played sports 5 days or more a week
I lifted weights. I ran. I played softball and volleyball. There were summers when the only day I wasn’t playing softball was on Wednesday nights because all week long I had league games, and every single weekend we were in tournaments. I had drive and no injury or pain stopped me from competing. I was 110% in it to win it every single game, or every single physical challenge that came along. I was active and strong, but I still didn’t look like the other girls. I was still “fat”. Even though I could leg press 500 lbs, even though I could bench press 140 lbs, and our school coach begged me to run cross country for her, I was “fat” to my peers.
As I entered High School, I played 1 more year of Volleyball, and then I stopped all in school sports and focused on music. I still played softball in the summer, but music was my true passion. I joined the acapella choir and spent countless hours practicing flute. I was still active, but not as hardcore as I was when I was younger. By the time I graduated High School, there were a few extra pounds there, but I also had a few boyfriends, and knew I wasn’t the horrid troll of my earlier years.
These photos are from the summer before I went to college. Where, I promptly gained the freshman 30, I mean, why only go for 15 when you can gain 30? I slowly crept up to 180 lbs. Then I came home from college, got married, and slowly crept up to 240 lbs. I went to Weight Watchers and worked my way back down to 217 before I got annoyed at a plateau and quit.
I slowly went back up to 240 and passed it to 260. I went back to Weight Watchers and got annoyed again at 237, and watched my weight creep back up again. I was also trying to get pregnant during all of those times of weight loss.
Then I was diagnosed with PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. What’s a symptom of PCOS? WEIGHT GAIN. How do you fight PCOS and get pregnant? WEIGHT LOSS.
For those of you who know nothing about PCOS, the simplified version is this: It’s a hormonal disorder that causes you to produce eggs, but you don’t regularly ovulate, or you may not ovulate at all. If you’re trying to get pregnant with PCOS you’re told to lose weight. Then I was put on different medications, one of which caused me to gain 40 lbs, in ONE MONTH. It’s also when I started having water retention issues, so I had to stop taking it. My next chance at pregnancy was taking shots…which we couldn’t afford and insurance wouldn’t cover.
Just like that my dreams of being a mother were gone. Yes, I heard all of the magic stories about the infertile woman who suddenly became pregnant. Don’t get me started. You can read my thoughts on that topic here. My marriage started to crumble, in large part due to differences in how or if my first husband and I would be parents. We divorced (2008)…and I gained 20 more pounds putting me at about 280.
I met my husband, and started working through weight loss again. I lost and gained a little here and there, but never went big time into losing. I did start going to a gym in the early mornings, and working on my fitness, but I didn’t 100% focus on losing. By the time we married (2010) I was maintaining at about 285-ish and had already sprained my back.
That damn back!
My new husband, Rob, immigrated from Scotland to marry me. We met playing World of Warcraft online. Yes, it’s dorky, no, he’s not a serial killer. However, living apart during the majority of our engagement made us very keen to go running around eating out and generally not concerning ourselves with how we ate. It didn’t help that he used to be a professional chef and liked to spring HUGE dinners on me at home too. He’s also a food pusher. His way of making people happy is to care for them completely. He’s happy if you’re eating something he made and you love it. It’s not a horrid thing, but I didn’t have the control to say NO. I don’t blame him for it, I blame myself, but it happened!
The weight kept creeping up. I’m not going to go into exact numbers yet, I’m not comfortable doing it, but suffice it to say when this challenge started I was WELL into the 300’s. The back sprain kept causing problems and the weight gain made the back sprain worse. The more weight I gained, the harder it was to exercise. It was all a viscous circle.
And the worst part is I knew better
To make an already long story as short as possible, my first husband (who was also obese) almost died. A staph infection turned into c-diff (a NASTY colon infection). The doctors misdiagnosed him regularly and consistently used his weight as an excuse. I say this because I rattled his symptoms off to a first year med student who instantly diagnosed it, while the doctors working on him just told me how many tests he couldn’t have because of his weight. He spent 9 months in the hospital.
My favorite Uncle died in his early 50’s weighing over 500 lbs., and “too fat” for a weight loss surgery. He also had an infection. It turned septic and they couldn’t save him.
My maternal Grandmother died in her 50’s, a diabetic who had a heart attack.
I know what my future looks like
If I don’t lose the weight, I’m signing my own death certificate.
Yes, I know I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, but that, I likely can’t control. I can control what goes in my mouth. I can control how much I exercise. I can’t control the PCOS, but I can try. Sometimes, even at 36 years old I hate this body and I hate the fight.
I’m pissed off it kept me from being a mother. I’m pissed off that I have to work harder to get the same results as someone else. I’m pissed off that I am pissed off, and that after all of the years my body has caused me emotional grief, I still have to fight with it. But mostly, I am pissed off enough to make a change. A permanent one. A change that may take me years, but it’s a change I know has started.
So now, you tell me:
What’s the reason you’re doing this? Deep down in your gut. WHY do YOU want to make this change?