I made a friend uncomfortable yesterday. I didn't mean to (and I won't out her here since I know that I have some IRL friends who read...maybe even this particular friend). We were talking about not wearing coats and I told her I don't wear one because it's hard to find cute coats for fat people. Yes, that's exactly what I said. She got that look on her face that people get when they're getting ready to say, "Oh, you're not fat."
But, I am. I mean, I'm 95 pounds overweight. That's pretty fat. I know people don't want to be rude or hurt my feelings, but, to me, one of the important steps to fixing the problem is acknowledging that there is one.
Hello, my name is Kris and I'm fat.
I'm not putting myself down. I'm just stating a fact. Another important step to fixing the problem is figuring out how and why there came to be a problem. I've always struggled with my weight. I haven't always been fat, but I've always struggled with my weight. As a teenager, I thought I was fat. Of course, I'd give my eye-teeth to be that size now, but the struggle was there (what I wouldn't give to see schools offering real health classes about actual health issues and fitness classes in place of the required worthless P.E. classes).
My first real job was for a major health insurance company and employees were offered free membership to the YMCA. I started going to an aerobics class three days a week and got in really good shape...then, step aerobics came along, which I hated, and I eventually quit going. I was in pretty good shape when I met my husband, but I was still worried about my weight. I distinctly remember asking him one night, before we were married, what he'd do if I got fat. His flippant reply was, "I'd say, 'Hey, babe, put down that Twinkie and let's go for a run."
First of all, Twinkies were never my problem (bleck!) and he never did say anything like that until I was really overweight. It was a couple of years after we married that someone showed me a photo they'd taken of me at an office Christmas party. I didn't realized I'd gotten so heavy. At the time, I was 153 pounds, my heaviest weight ever, at that point (yeah, there's that "eye-teeth" thing again...it'd be so much easier if I were starting from that point again).
Almost immediately, I started bringing my bowl of cereal to work every morning and having it with some skim milk and OJ. I brought my healthy lunches, too. My husband was working 2nd shift, so I didn't have to cook in the evenings. I'd have a bowl of cereal or a Healthy Choice meal before heading to the gym with my mom for two hours -- 45 minutes on treadmill and an hour on the Nautilus equipment (I still love working out on Nautilus equipment).
In no time, I was great shape with people commenting on my weight loss and asking how I'd done it. I was truly in the best shape of my life. Then, I got pregnant. Everything, weight-wise, went downhill from there. While I'd planned to continue working out, with my doctor's okay, morning sickness hit, except it wasn't "morning" sickness; it was 24 hour a day, seven days a week sickness for five weeks. The only thing I could keep down were milkshakes, so I drank them often. And, I quit going to the gym.
I never did lose my pregnancy weight...from that pregnancy or the subsequent two. I did Weight Watchers three or four years ago with some degree of success, but I hit a plateau just shy of 40 pounds lost. I couldn't seem to get past that hurdle and eventually gave up, ultimately regaining all that weight, then some.
So, that's the "how" for me. In the coming weeks, I'll be exploring the "why" to try to figure out why I would have let my weight spin so out-of-control. Hopefully, if I can figure out the why's, I can avoid ever going down this road again.
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