So the saying goes, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it really make a sound?” This seems to apply to the internet these days as well.
If something happens and you don’t blog, status update, tweet or instagram about it, did it really happen?
This is especially true for us full time bloggers. If we don’t photograph and blog about it did the craft really get made? Did that DIY project really get done? Did that recipe really get created?
This post today isn’t about crafts, or DIY or recipes, even though it does involve food.
This post today is about my self esteem and the burden I carry both emotionally and physically. It’s about my addiction….
My addiction. To food.
I wasn’t heavy growing up, even though I was never a “skinny minny”. I was petite and round but a healthy weight throughout my childhood and adolescence. The problem was, I didn’t know it. I think my body image issues started in middle school, when I started developing early. I was curvier than my stick straight friends. NOW that seems to be more accepted, if not admired, with the TV images and media telling us curvy is sexy. Girls are begging to wear bras, even when they don’t need them, while it seems my generation was the last that tried to hide the all too obvious training bra peeking out from under our t’shirts.
Through middle school and half of high school I became obsessed with wearing skirts and dresses. Not for some religious modesty reason but because I felt it covered up my “heavy thighs” which I now know were not heavy at all.
By 10th grade I had resolved some of those issues and went back to wearing pants, finally convincing those around me I wasn’t really Amish (ha!), I grew a little taller and slimmed up and by my Senior year was on the track team (barely..lol) and took off about 20 lbs. I felt good! I worked at The Limited and got to wear lots of cute clothes, I actually even went swimming a few times with gasp…teenage boys present! I always had boyfriends and never lacked dates.
Going into my freshman year of college I was the slimmest I ever was. Tiny waist, curvy hips and a healthy body image…finally.
Then I saw a boyfriend off to war, got engaged when he returned and got married all between 18-20! Shortly thereafter we moved away from our families to a strange new town and state AND I was in a serious car wreck where I was rear ended by a drunk driver. I found myself lying in a second story one bedroom apartment with damaged knees, no family support nearby and a husband in a police academy that took his day and night concentration.
The weight piled on. I “woke up” one morning 6 months later and FINALLY saw the image in the mirror that I had always pictured myself as. Definitely overweight and miserable.
So….I pulled myself together and got back in shape. Okay so no really… I ended up pregnant…at 21 years old.
More and more weight piled on. I was miserable, lonely, missing my family, unable to work because of my knee injuries and subsequent surgery and now I was pregnant.
Fast forward 19 years and so much has changed in our lives. We added another precious child, 6 years after the first, we’ve moved 14 times and have another move in a few weeks..but one thing hasn’t changed. My weight. Okay it has changed, it’s gone up.
I love food. I love thinking about it, reading cookbooks, watching it on TV, shopping for it, preparing it, photographing it and blogging about it. I love how it tastes. I am not in the least bit picky. I’ll eat anything…except green beans. Hate ‘em.
I eat when I’m happy; I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m stressed. I eat to celebrate, I eat to mourn…and occasionally I eat for sustenance.
On the other hand I do very little to move my body. The least I can get away with. I bribe the kids to get the mail and take the trash out, in my defense our driveway is a football field length long and up a hill.
I use to want to lose weight so I could buy cute clothes and wear my jeans tucked in boots and wear a swimsuit to the pool and actually get IN the pool and not lay out with a towel over my legs. I wanted to lose weight to look sexy and not be self conscious in front of my sweet darling husband who loves me just like I am. Those are all fine reasons to lose weight.
BUT, I turned 40 last year and something changed. I started aching and hurting. I have flat feet (an obese person’s worst nightmare) and my feet hurt, I mean REALLY hurt! I am tired. All. Of. The. Time.
I have heart palpitations and get out of breath walking….I am scared. I’m too young to feel this way. I have YEARS of fun and life ahead of me.
We will be empty nesters in just 5 short years and I will still be SO young in the scheme of life. I want to travel with my husband and not huff and puff. I want to go to the beach and wear a swimsuit and walk on the beach with confidence.
I want to see my children get married and not be the “obese” mom in their wedding pictures forever and ever. I want to chase my grandchildren. I WANT TO LIVE!
Then it happened. I was tagged in a photo on Facebook I had no control over. It popped up on my timeline and I gasped and then the tears flowed. Because, I realized when I wasn’t standing behind my kids, or cropping the photo or using the wonderful PicMonkey tools available to me that picture was what I looked like. What I “FOR REAL SURE ENOUGH NO HIDING IT” looked like and I was so ashamed. I was so embarrassed.
I sent a plea in the night to my friend, who I had watched the pounds melt off of over the last 6 months. I had silently tracked her progress, cheering her on. She called me the next day and we talked and talked and she helped me get my journey going.
And today, finally, I am ready to share my journey with YOU our precious friends and readers. I have been on my new path to good health for one month today.
I am already down 14.9 pounds in one month, but have so far to go that I don’t even try to picture the finish line yet. I’m not quite ready to share my goal weight, it will mean confessing where I’m starting and I am so embarrassed by that number on the scale… I will though soon, I promise.
Today I AM sharing my “before” pictures, unedited, full body. Am I ashamed…yes…and I’m not sure why since apparently this is how I look and have looked for years to others. I have tried so hard to cover up my addiction with cute clothes, stylish hair styles and a big personality and smile. No more hiding though….especially from myself.
So…again…the question of “did something really happen if no one knows about it” must be asked. Of course we know it does, but for me, I feel that chronicling this journey will hold me accountable. I also hope it will inspire you and maybe encourage someone else to make a life changing decision. Let’s face it, addictions are addictions…and they are so hard to overcome alone.
I promise to make regular updates. As I get my eating habits under control and learn new ways to eat healthy I’ll share that with you as well.
If you have any questions about what I’m doing please feel free to message me privately and I will put you in touch with the right people. My plan may not be for everyone but it’s working for me…and I am determined to become healthy…..
…..Mind, Body and Soul….my life depends on it!