The girl who lost 100 lbs., lost herself in the process, and got her life back after a 60 lb. gain…
Monday, December 29, 2014
For those of you who don’t know me, I started my weight loss journey in Aug. of 2010. It took me almost 4 years to hit the huge milestone of losing 100 lbs. which I did in April of this year. While it took me 4 years to lose 100 lbs. it only took me 8 months to gain back 60 of those lbs.
You would think I would be dripping with disgust and shame. For a while I was. I was so embarrassed and humiliated when I went from 166 back to Twoterville, that I stayed away from Spark like it was the Bubonic Plague, only furthering my weight gain. The cost of staying away from Spark was so much higher than the number on the scale. I let my fear of disappointing others cause me to isolate, and rather than share my pain with the people who have been such a huge component in my weight loss journey, I carried the burden alone. I have learned that carrying the weight of disappointment in your life riding solo, makes it so much easier to add physical weight to the emotional weight that caused me to gain the physical weight in the first place.
I have spent the majority of my life alone. I didn’t meet the love of my life until I was almost 40. A single mother of a 10 year old boy, my prayers were answered when I met the love of my life. Or so I thought. I thought I had finally found the one. Not only the man who would be a good husband to me, but a man that would be a good father to my son, who never really had one. My son did not meet his father until he was 5, and he only saw him 3 times before he died of a drug overdose, when my son was 8.
While it was not easy raising a child on my own, I am grateful for the experience, because my son and I are closer than just about any mother and child can be. We are thick as thieves, and while he and I both had to make many sacrifices, while I spent 7 years in school earning a double major in both Elementary Education and Special Education as a full time single mom, I knew it was to provide a better life for my son. I also knew I was setting a good example for him. I have always believed that an education is the one thing that no one can take away from you, and I instilled that in my son during the process of earning my degree. I graduated with honors in May of 2013, got engaged in June, and got married in July, rocking a weight loss of almost 70 lbs. to boot. In the words of Timbuk 3, I felt like my future was so bright, I had to wear shades.
My son and I moved out of the house we had lived in for 10 years. For those of you who are familiar with children on the Autism Spectrum, my son is borderline Aspergers. He also suffers from severe anxiety, sensory integration disorder, and ADD. Change is very hard for children that suffer from these kinds of disorders. I was ripping my son away from the only house, school, and friends that he had ever known. Not to mention his grandparents, who lived only 20 minutes away. I know it was so hard on him, but I figured it was for the greater good, because he would be gaining a mother who would be happy beyond measure, and he would be gaining a father in the process. We moved almost 2 hours away. We were both scared, but excited for this new chapter in our lives.
On our wedding day, my son went up to my husband and hugged him and said, “I can finally call you Dad now!” Just when I thought I could not be any happier, seeing my son’s happiness moved me to the point that my cup overflowed with joy. It was like a fairytale.
Two weeks after the honeymoon, my husband asked me for a divorce. I was devastated, but I begged him to give the marriage a chance. In the 2 weeks that followed, I became a target of verbal, emotional, and mental abuse. I knew it was over when in a fit of anger my husband proceeded to hit his head on the counter repeatedly until his forehead split open and started to bleed. Then he turned to me and said, “Look what you made me do.” I should have run like hell after that, but I was determined to try and make it work. I walked on eggshells for the next week and then I pleaded with him to go to marriage counseling. He told me he would rather put a gun to his head and pull the trigger.
I agreed to leave, but unfortunately during the time I was trying to save my brand new marriage, my house sold, and my son and I had no home to go to. We had to move in with my parents. I have never come so close to coming undone. My heart and my spirit were broken. My son’s heart was broken. I was the poster child for grief and devastation. I did not know how to keep from coming unglued. I turned to exercise. I became a fitness freak. I got to the point that I was working out 2 to 2.5 hours a day. I was burning off anywhere from 1200 to 1800 calories a day, and I was only eating about 1400 calories a day. While it had taken me over 3 years to lose 60 lbs., it only took me 7 month to lose the additional 40 that would take me to my 100 lbs. weight loss marker, in April of this year. As I am sure you know, the smaller you get, the harder the weight gets to lose. Losing 40 lbs in 7 months, after already losing 60 of it, was an almost impossible feat. I did it, and I was so freaking proud of myself. From a size 24 to a size 10. Man I was the bomb.com. I was so proud of my accomplishment. I took a bajillion pictures. I wrote blogs. I was on fire.
While I am so grateful that my parents (mom and stepfather) took my son and I in, it was the hardest year of my life. Not only because of the pain and humiliation of my brand new failed marriage, and the loss of dignity in not being able to support my son on my own, along with the shame and guilt that I carried for ripping him away from all he had ever known and loved, only to raise his hopes and spirits for the father he always wanted, and even though I knew it wasn’t my fault, I felt like I had ripped his heart out of his chest along with my own. I felt like a failure in so many ways. On top of that all though, my mother and I are as different as night and day, and living under her roof, meant living under her rules. There were numerous fights. A lot of 4 letter words. Screaming. Crying. Depression. My son bore witness to the 2 people he loved the most at each other’s throats. Talk about kicking a child when he was down. I think I was on my way to the worst mother of the year award.
Losing weight, and exercising became the focal point of my life. I pushed myself way beyond the limits of physical pain. I went from never having run a mile in my life until August of 2013, to running a half marathon only 3 months later that November. I have done irreparable damage to my body. Now when I run, I have to run with an ankle brace on each ankle and a knee brace on each knee.
I realize now, at 227 lbs., after gaining 60 lbs. only since April, how I lost myself when I lost all that weight. I pushed myself to the point of excruciating and taxing physical pain, in a desperate attempt to avoid the emotional pain of my failed marriage. I did not allow myself to grieve. I avoided the pain instead of dealing with it.
In June I got hired to be a 5th grade teacher. Finally, after a full year of substitute teaching and after 7 years of school, while love had failed me, my professional dreams had come to fruition. All of that hard work had finally paid off. I was finally going to be able to make enough money to support my child for the first time in my life, without the help of a husband or my parents. I moved 2 hours away from my parents in a city I had never been to, in a county I had never been in. I ended up having to resign from my job, because even though I had fully disclosed my criminal background (in 1997 I got arrested, resulting in 2 misdemeanors), the principal did not look over my application until after she hired me, and she did everything in her power to make my life a living hell from day 1. I fought as long and as hard as I could, but after being accused of sexual harassment, and after having the police called on me, under suspicion of showing up to work under the influence of alcohol, (which when asked to take a breathalyzer I of course blew a 0.00), I got a lawyer, who advised me the best thing to do would be to resign because she was not going to let up until she found reason to fire me. So I resigned in October. I spent thousands of dollars on my move and in preparing my classroom, buying supplies, furniture, etc. so when I became jobless, I found myself in serious credit card debt as well.
I began eating my feelings and buying bigger pants, but the food was not enough to comfort me. I turned to drinking on almost a daily basis, and I started smoking again after having quit for almost 3 years. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and started having panic attacks. The only thing that kept me from losing it altogether, was that I knew I had to find a way to keep it together for my son’s sake. I sought professional help, and found a psychiatrist. I have felt “off” for the majority of my life. Always driven by irrational and impulsive urges (like for instance marrying a man I had only known for 7 months). I was diagnosed as being bi-polar. I have been taking bi-polar medication since October 9th. It has been the most life changing experience of my life. The last time I saw my psychiatrist, I cried tears of gratitude and thanked him for helping me to get my life back. This is the first time in my entire life that I have felt normal. That I have felt whole. I am subbing part time for only $10 an hour. I had to get insurance through Obamacare. I am filing for bankruptcy. I am fat again, and I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I have come back to Spark and have joined BLC 27. I am so excited about my future weight loss journey, because while I know it will be hard, I know I will get back down to 166 lbs and back to a size 10. The difference though will be that I will not lose myself in the process this time around. I will not neglect my son, my home, my friends, my support system and my family in the process. When I lost those last 40 lbs., I gave up everything else in the process. I will lose the weight again, but I will not sacrifice everything else in my life to do so. I will have balance. I will be a good mom, and I will be a good daughter. I will be a good BLC teammate, and I will find a good job and be a good worker.
I will lose the weight again, but this time I will keep it off because I will do it the right way. After 6 months of smoking I am quitting on Jan. 1st, so it will be a double whammy, but I know it can be done. I know this blog was longer than the Encyclopedia Britannica, so most of you probably checked out halfway through. I wrote it more for me than for you. However, if you are still here, I hope than if nothing else, you can see that the good news about hitting your bottom is that you have nowhere else to go but up. I have fallen off the horse 800 times, and this time I fell hard and fast and it hurt and it sucked. But there is something very powerful and triumphant about getting back on the horse, after such a hard fall. I am so very excited about the journey I am about to embark on and I am sharing it with you at the very beginning, not only so you can be a part of it with me, but so that you can help keep me accountable. If you see me go 3 or more days without sparking please come stalk my butt. As strong as I am, I know that the greatest danger to me is when I try to do things like losing weight, quitting smoking, surviving financial insecurity, and divorce alone. You are all and always have been such an important component in my success.
On Friday, I had lunch with my biological father, who I have not seen in over 2 decades. This last week I have cleaned my house more thoroughly than I ever have in my whole life. For the first time in ummm...ever.... I think...I cancelled a third date with a guy so gorgeous it borders ridiculousness, because even though he does not fall into the d*uche canoe category that most of the men I seem to attract fall into, I know I can do better. I chose to be alone and to continue to clean my house, even though my son was with my parents, because I knew I would get more joy doing something good for myself, than being with someone who I could already tell was taking me for granted.
That in itself is probably one of the greatest milestones of my life. Choosing to be alone rather than with a Hottie McHott Hott. If it weren't for the fact that I do not want to jinx myself, and wind up with egg on my face, I would sing......"The future's so bright....I've got to wear shades." :)
God bless you all.