Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lady in Weighting

The Biggest Loser was on last night and once again it got me thinking about the ups and downs of my own journey through weight gain and loss. I really wanted to go on the show when it first started a few years ago. I would probably have had a chance back then, but having babies prevented me from entering, and now I don't think I'd make the cut (in a good way).

When I was a kid I was a little on the chubby side. Through jr. and sr. high I outgrew my baby fat, but in my mind I still saw myself as "fat". Toward the end of high school and those first couple of years (while I was working at the airport) I might have bordered on skinny (around 120lbs)... but never felt that way then. I always remember viewing myself as heavy, even at my thinnest.

My life went through alot of changes, I graduated high school and went to work for an airline (did a little traveling), and I followed God's leading broke up with my boyfriend of almost three years. With him out of the picture my whole life plan was gone. I had assumed that I would be marrying him and become a wife and mother. I had to come up with a new plan and ended up going back to school which was a big adjustment for a "sheltered" homeschooler. With all these changes came weight gain. Not intentional, and I think it was somewhat gradual. Maybe I let myself go after the breakup... maybe it was the freshmen fifteen... maybe I just got caught up in enjoying life and food a little too much.

Around the time I got engaged (this was also about the time I started on the pill) I weighed 165lbs. I was feeling pretty good about myself not because of my appearance or weight but because I was in a good relationship with a guy who thought (and still does) that I was beautiful. Shortly after we were married I got a job at an airline call center and day after day I sat in a booth like a veal. I believe that it was primarily a combination of the pill and my job that lead to another 60lbs of weight gain. At my heaviest I weighed over 220lbs - about 100lbs heavier then my highschool weight. I think what really shook me up besides figuring out that I'd gained 100lbs was when I realized that I wasn't just "overweight" anymore... according to the BMI calculator online "I was morbidly obese". Ew.... how horrible those words sounded. Morbid... morbidly... obese... couldn't they change the name to something less awful?

I quit my job at the call center and went to work for my inlaws' counseling center where my husband works (I also went off of the pill around this time). He and I counted calories for awhile. We saw some results doing that. But we knew that our problem wasn't just with calories - it was our motives behind our eating habits.

We found The Lord's Table - an online ministry to help people with all kinds of eating disorders/issues. Together we went through the course and learned to change our eating habits and to turn to Christ instead of food for comfort during times when we were tired, hurt, angry, bored. What a blessing it was to not only go through the program together and see results but to grow in our relationships with God together. It was a good time of growth for us. I lost somewhere around 30lbs while going through the Lords Table course.

Some time went by and I gained a few pounds back. I got pregnant and did not feel that I should follow the eating plan while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. I had a little trouble with my blood sugar levels toward the beginning of the second trimester but after I began watching my sugar intake things were fine. It was hard after losing weight to watch my body expand again so soon and it did expand! But I gained a healthy 30-35lbs during the pregnancy and was pleased that I only passed my previous weight by a few pounds. What was supposed to have been a natural hospital birth turned into multiple hospital interventions and ultimately a cesarean. Despite the rough start I did breastfeed Nate for 13-14mos which helped take the weight off and then some. By the time I got pregnant with baby number two (surprise!) I was excited to be back down to my pre-married weight of 165lbs.

Again with baby number two I gained a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy (40 or so this time). I was alot more comfortable with my body this pregnancy, enough that I had maternity pictures taken in the 7-8mos of pregnancy! What a blessing to have some pictures to remember that special time when God was using my body to nourish and grow my son inside of me! This time I was pleased that my full-term weight only exceeded my pre-Nate weight by a couple of pounds. After a wonderful homebirth I once again began breastfeeding. And thankfully the weight came off again. Our Little Joe is almost a year and I'm still nursing him. I have been hovering at 165 again for awhile now.

I don't think I'll ever be "skinny" again. I'll probably always struggle with food and overeating. But I've made alot of changes and have an awareness of my weakness to food and that alone is a huge help. I am hoping with summertime around the corner (I hope!) that we'll be able to get more active outside and I can drop a few more pounds. Ultimately my goal is to get my weight into the "normal" range and not be overweight anymore (which is about 20 more lbs). But for now, I am happy to making healthier choices in my eating and knowing that I'll be a better wife and mom because of them. I did have a very exciting discovery recently. I went and did the BMI test online again. This time I found that I was no longer obese at all!

So... for those of you who watch The Biggest Loser.... when I started my weight loss journey I weighed 220lbs. Over the past couple of years I have lost 55lbs. Which brings my total percentage of weightloss to: 25%!! That puts me above the yellow line and a few of the contestants on the show!


Amanda said...

your blog about breastfeeding definitely didn't offend me...and i completely agree! also, enjoyed this post on biggest loser...i have to admit, i watch it often...and it always makes me think about my own journey in weight loss land...a journey that continues to this day! thanks for sharing your "journey"...and by the way, funny that you stumbled across my blog, we actually don't live far from one another if you are in avon as your profile said. i am in bburg...and we "haunt" avon all the time for our shopping, etc.

Amanda said...

i would love to hear more about the playgroup...i'm not on facebook or myspace. i just found the yahoogroup and am so excited about it...always fun to find other westside moms...especially since we go to church on the northside, meaning most of our friends aren't nearby. i had heard about chick-fil-a...just haven't made it there on a wed. yet!

Leeann said...

You are fabulous! I actually sat here last night figuring out my percentage after watching it too! Sadly, I would have been below the yellow line. :( But, I am proud of my 30 lbs lost and have hopes that the remaining 45 will come off as well!

JAN said...

Good for you! I've always struggled with my weight too. So often we think our weight determines whether we are lovable or not. Accepting yourself as you are is half the battle.
I think you are beautiful on the outside and the inside!

Toni said...

Sniz and I had a conversation once about weight. While I don't consider myself overweight, I told her I was sooo thin in highschool that I sometimes get rude comments when I run into old schoolmates. I'm not so bothered by their insensativity as I am by their narrow minded view that people can't, don't or shouldn't change. Yee gads.

Dale Vermillion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne said...

I am learning that weight loss is a long journey and it takes a lifestyle change. Congrats on taking the necessary steps to taking care of yourself! Its Hard! :)