I started to observe my family and friends. I realized my parents talked about weight a lot. My mom was preoccupied with her weight. She thought she was fat or was always asking if she looked fat…to me she was the most beautiful woman in the world, fat was not an adjective I would have used to describe her at all. My dad had a physical job, lifted weights and was (still is) skinny as a rail. However, as far back as I can remember he always contended with his small “love handles”. To this day I roll my eyes at him when he pinches his 1/4 of an inch of fat. Now please, this is not me blaming my parents for my unhealthy self image or my weight issues. Let’s just say that weight has always been an issue in my family and we have all dealt with it as best as we could.
Throughout my grade school and high school years I was sensitive about my weight. While I probably weighed at most 10 to 15 pounds heavier than my friends, it seemed like a thousand pounds in my mind. My parents divorced the summer before my freshman year of high school and that’s when my eating habits changed. I typically would skip breakfast, would have a bagel for lunch and then come home and start snacking until dinner. I was home alone with my little sister a lot and food became a comfort. I would eat when I was happy, sad, bored, lonely, angry… you get the picture. An emotional eater through and through. I wasn’t good at expressing emotions verbally so I buried them with food… not original, but true.
I was lucky through my school days in that I didn’t really gain weight. I would go up 5 pounds and then down 5 pounds, but stayed pretty steady. In college things changed. I was working full time and going to school. I was broke, broke, broke and I ate horribly. By senior year of college I put on about 40 pounds. I took a drastic step and started Herbalife, hindsight says” bad move”, but at the time it helped me lose 30 pounds. I left college looking and feeling pretty good.
Fast forward to the beginning of the painful journey to true obesity. In 1999 I was working retail management and I woke up one morning with a swollen spot on the side of my inner calf just below my knee. It hurt. I went to work and dealt with the pain for 3 days before I went to the doctor. The doctor asked me if I had changed my activity level lately…and of course I had just started a new workout plan to try to lose weight and she said I had Bursitis, I was 23. A very long story and several misdiagnoses later I ended up in the hospital with a blood clot in my lung, excruciating pain and lucky to be alive. In the 6 months prior to my diagnosis and the 12 months after I gained 100 pounds. Bam! I was obese. I had pain for 12 months. I couldn’t work out. I was very depressed. I was scared, angry and just didn’t feel good. In 2006 I had another episode. I felt like I had come down with a horrible chest cold. I woke up the next morning with a a swollen leg and went to the ER. I found out that both of my lungs were filled with blood clots and I had one in my leg. I was told that if the one in my leg threw to my lungs that I would be dead. Into the ICU I went. A long hospital stay later and many blood tests I was diagnosed with a genetic Factor II Prothrombin 20210 Mutation and low Protein S and C levels. With that they informed me I would be on blood thinners the rest of my life. Then in 2008/2009 when my husband and I were discussing having children I found out that I also had Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) which is a clotting factor that can develop later in life. No kids for us.
Some people who have a life altering experience such as a near death experience or health scare decide life is too short to take things for granted and they hop into a mode of self preservation and optimal health… yeah, I didn’t go that route. I went toward the self pity and I have no control of my body so who cares route. Frankly, I have been in that state of mind for 12 years.
Not to scare new readers off with this novel of information in my first blog entry, I just want to say I have found a new place inside of myself. It’s a place that is strong and focused. It’s a place in which I have found the old me…the girl who was playing soccer and having fun before the thunderous roar of a little boy was heard and accepted as truth. My new journey begins. My self pity stops.
Big-innings, big middles and future little ends.
What’s wrong with chubby cheeks? 1976
A little chunky around the middle, but certainly not obese! It could just be the fruit stripes bathing suit I had on…not very flattering! 2 and 1/2 years old.
I’m in purple. Not chunky. About the 5th grade. And yes I have a mullet. Moms cutting their children’s hair should be illegal.
Summer before freshman year of high school.
Senior year of college. 1998
Just prior to my first blood clot incident. The beginning of my largest weight gain.
3 months after my first blood clot and already 40 pounds heavier and feeling like poo poo.
First photo where I didn’t recognize myself. 9 months after blood clots and already up a total of 65 pounds. San Diego 2001
First time I realized I was obese. You see the numbers on the scale and for some reason it doesn’t always translate when you look at yourself in the mirror. I definitely saw it in this picture. I was so unhappy it was my heaviest weight up to that point. 2003
Just after 2nd blood clotting incident and had lost 15 pounds in hospital. Sept 2006
This was the year I decided I only wanted head shots, no more body shots in photos! 2007
Living in NYC. Dropped 25 pounds on top of 15 I had lost right before we moved. Lowest weight since 2001. (2008)
Just moved back to Colorado from New York. Already up 10 pounds in one month. Gained back a total of 50 pounds throughout the next year.
Highest weight ever. 2011
Down 6 pounds from my highest weight ever. 2011