A great friend of mine read this blog and we discussed briefly (via text message) how shockingly fat I used to be. I then remembered a picture I had of myself that I haven't shown anyone because it is just the worst of the worst.
Here it is for the world to see for the first time:
It's like my neck is trying to eat my face! And look at my arms, you can't even see all of them and yet is is obvious that they are bigger than my head! Hell, they are bigger than the head of the guy with a flat top in front! I just recently found that shirt in a ball in the trunk of my car. I should put it on and take a picture in it for a future post! I also have some pictures of myself in that shirt at my mid-point too.
Looking back at that picture and I am shocked that I let myself get that big, and grosses out that I had no idea how big I really was! I didn't always struggle with my weight and I had never been that big before in my life.
In junior high I was very thin. I was a gymnast and never had to worry about what I ate because all the calories that went in, were burned off immediately after school at practice. I used to be teased by the other girls in my school for how thin I was and it really upset me. I was too skinny for jeans to fit properly so I always wore stirrup pants and big baggy shirts. When I quit gymnastics I didn't change my eating habits but I was still a kid and it didn't seem to matter.
In high school, I became more aware of my body and the attention it received. I loved wearing shirts that showed off my belly and I had a large collection of 'belly-chains' that I wore daily. When I was 16 I got a job at McDonald's and discovered my love for greasy fast foods. As a kid, we didn't get McDonald's except special occasions so the ability to have it daily and for free was an extra bonus. I ate constantly when I was at work. Just a guess, but during a 4 hour shift I would probably down maybe a dozen chicken nuggets. (I would wrap them in a half a slice of cheese, a pickle on each side and a squirt of Big Mac sauce. Yum! And the dark meat nuggets only, not the white meat ones!) I would also have my shift meal, as much soda as I could drink and an endless buffet of french fries that I could just shove into my mouth any time I walked by. I never paid any attention to what went into my mouth, I just put it in there and enjoyed it!
I graduated high school in a Junior size 9. (I have the dress I graduated in hanging in my closet.)
My freshman year of college, I kept up with my fast food habit only I added beer to my diet. I can't even fathom to guess how much I weighed at that time, and I don't have any clothes from that time frame let to gauge my size. I have some pictures of me and while I wasn't 'fat' yet, there was a little extra tummy hanging around in the midriff area.
I moved to Portland, where I currently reside, nearly 10 years ago. I weighed 150 at that time. (Well, roughly that weight, because that is what I put on my driver's licence, and no one lies on their license!) I got a job and struggled to make friends. I was living on my own and learning to fend for myself so my shopping and cooking habits were not that great. I would hungry until lunch, hit a drive thru for lunch, then make myself something from a box for dinner. (My favorite meal was a box of Stove Top, with melted cheese and a pile of sour cream on top.) A boy at work that I had a mild crush on commented on my junk food habit and weight gain so I immediately joined a gym. I don't remember getting on the scale at that point, but I know I was in a size 10 at the Gap (where I maxed out my very first credit card). I started taking appetite suppressants and had a weight loss shake for two meals a day. I got pretty thin and fit, but nothing too drastic that I had to buy new clothes. After being caught with my personal trainer in the hot tub after the gym had closed, I stopped working out and didn't pay attention to my eating. I also quit the job I had, decided to go back to school and got a job waiting tables.
So, there I was a broke college student, living off coffee and the free meals I got after my shifts. And that, my friends, is where the real trouble began!
The habit of eating only the free shift meals, and junk food in between lasted me for about 3 years. Then on a whim, I bought a scale and it said I weighed 180 lbs! I immediately went out and bought a book on the Adkins diet and ate all the cheese, bacon and eggs I could get my hands on! In fact, I had McDonald's almost daily! "Hi, I will have a double quarter pounder with extra cheese and pickles, with no bun, and a large diet coke to go please!" I got down to 160 lbs and loved how I looked. Then, I met my future husband and gave up my diet.
Within 4 months, we were engaged, I weighed 175 lbs and didn't care. Bought my wedding dress and it looked great at that size. The lady who sold it to me said, don't lose or gain more than 2 dress sizes or we won't be able to fit this dress to you. I promised I wouldn't gain any weight.
Six months later, and it was time for my first dress fitting. I put on the dress at the alteration shop and it wouldn't zip. I was told to lose at least 20lbs and quickly if I was going to be able to get my dress properly fitted. Lucky for me, I worked at a fitness company and had access to free personal training and fitness equipment. So I put my 199 lb ass in the gym 5 days a week, and sucked down as many TrimSpa pills as I could handle without getting the shakes too badly. And it worked! My dress zipped! In fact, it was too big!! I kept up with the exercise routine and pill popping to make sure my dress fit perfectly. I also gave up McDonald's until after the wedding to keep myself even more focused. On some days, I think I was more looking forward to that first bite of a Double Cheeseburger than I was about the actual wedding! In fact, while decorating the reception hall, I was getting irritated with my Step-mother and yelled at the top of my lungs, "I don't give a f*** how the tables are arranged, I am f***ing hungry and want a f***ing cheeseburger!" The day after the wedding on our way to our honeymoon we stopped at McDonald's, I ordered two Double Cheeseburgers, a large fry, and a side of tartar sauce for dipping, and I almost cried because of how delicious it was!
One and a half years later and it is June of 2008, I am 210 lbs and I have pre-diabetes. It was time to take control of my life and that is exactly what I did!
Now here I am, the thinnest I have been in 10 years, and at the weight I plan on staying for the next 80!
In my next blog I plan to explore what my eating habits were that got me to that weight (in more detail), and what steps I plan to take to make sure that it doesn't happen again! So a deep dive into my un-healthy eating habits vs. healthy eating habits. Being a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers is about keeping the healthy habits I learned while losing the weight, and using them daily to keep the weight off for good! But as I have learned the last two weeks, that is easier said than done!
Until then.....here is another picture of me now!
**Please take note of the fact that I am in shorts in this picture..in PUBLIC...for the second time in at least 6 years! (The first time was 3 days prior at an outdoor concert, and the reason I bought shorts.) There are about 4 different hilariously perverted things going on in this picture. Please feel free to comment with your favorite!