Today I present to you another awesome guest blog! This one comes from a regular reader of mine who has been an inspiration to me and I asked her to share her story so that she could inspire even more people. This isn't just a weight loss story, it's a story of a woman that overcame a lot to become the woman that she is today (I teared up when I was editing her post). Photos of her transformation have been provided and are located at the bottom of the blog.
Happy reading! :D
<3 - CFC
Submission by MrsWoodstock.
I come from a long line of obese people. In the Appalachian culture I grew up in, it’s ALL about food. We eat when we are happy (weddings). We eat when we are sad (funerals). We eat at holidays. We eat for no reason at all (mom is notorious for "just because" cakes). It is also the norm in my family to hide feelings, pretend everything is OK when it’s not, submit to your husbands, and to NEVER talk about how you feel. Thus it was the perfect storm that lead to abusing food to medicate the hurt.
I was born in 1977 and was given a few hours to live. Then after I spent my first birthday in the hospital, the doctors figured I would be UNDERWEIGHT my whole life. By the time I was 5, I was healthy but still small. When I was 8, my parents put a TV in my bedroom and thus the cycle of eating and watching TV began.
In middle school, I was the fat girl. By high school I was obese; I ate all the time, as long as no-one was watching. I wasn't abused as a kid. I was an only child and a wee bit spoiled. My dad was OK (at the time) my mom was a working mom; they were strict but fair, but I always felt like I wasn't perfect. Not really because of anything they did or didn't do (that Alanis Morissette song "Perfect" still makes me cry).
In the fall of 1995, I left for college. In retrospect, I went to Mom and Dad’s alma mater to make them happy. It was in Tennessee, which is eight hours from home. I was, well for lack of better words, horny and desperate. Being the "fat girl" in school, I had had one boyfriend who swore he loved me and I would do anything for him. Mom and Dad didn't like him and I dumped him (remember this).
I met this guy named Jeff. He had a thing for my friend and I had a thing for him (first clue, right?). Long story short, she went out with his friend, so I followed him around like a lost puppy doing all that I could to make him like me. We planned a wedding for August 17, 1996. Two days before the wedding, he called and said he couldn't marry me because his parents didn't approve (second clue). Oh yeah, he was already morbidly obese at 6’2” and well over 400 pounds. I was 5’5” and about 250-275 (I'm not sure exactly). I begged him to marry me (against my parent’s wishes) and we got married in October of 1996.
We lived in Tennessee away from my family and everything was OK. Looking back now, it wasn't, but it was as good as it got. Third and fourth clues were throwing a vacuum cleaner at me for cooking something wrong (I did it the Ohio way not the North Carolina way) and talking me out of going to my classes to spend time with him. I should have left him when he didn't want me to go to a close friend’s funeral (fifth clue). We went to see his friends in Arizona and went to a trip to the Smokey Mountains and he made both trips hell on earth (remember that).
Fast forward to 1999: I flunk out of school and we move to Ohio to live with my parents. By this time, I was well over 300 pounds and he was around 550ish. Everything that went wrong was my fault. Money, housing problems, family problems, and his weight problems are MY fault. He gives me guilt trips for going on walks with my mom (who lived next to us). He would throw fits if I spent time with my best friend. He did everything In his power to turn me against my best friend/cousin, including but not limited to accusing me of having sex with her. Oh but everything was honky dory on the outside. I ate my depression and my pain.
In 2009 (the pic of me in the blue shirt) I was over 400 pounds. I’m not sure how much over that to be honest. He was over 700 pounds. At this time, my biggest nightmare happened: his doctor told him that he could no longer work. He always said if he didn't have to work, he would lose the weight. Yeah, I knew better. I knew he would sit and eat and that's exactly what happened. I was working and he was bedridden (think about what that means for a minute. He literally could NOT get out of bed). I worked (oh yeah, we had adopted a teen and fostered another but that's a whole different story) and took care of him. Remember, it’s MY fault he never made it In the music biz like his college mate Jay DeMarcus (from Rascal Flatts, I bet you've heard of them). It’s my fault he is fat. It’s my fault we can't have "real kids" (I'm a “bad foster mom” so God won't let me get pregnant). You name it, it was my fault. I would work, come home, take care of him and since he slept while I was at work, he wouldn't let me sleep. That's just part of the emotional abuse. I was suicidal. Literally.
Now remember the guy that swore he loved me that I dumped? He saved my life. He contacted me. We spoke on the phone a lot and I spilled to him all that my husband was doing to me. He made me feel like I was WORTH something. He reminded me of who I was before being torn down. He literally talked me down off of a bridge and got me to stand up to my husband and tell my family what was going on. Oh, and helped me get a better job (remember that). Then he broke my heart the way I broke his.
On September 16, 2010 I gave my husband a note saying he either had to go to a nursing home or have his sister come and get him. He had his sister come get him. I filed for divorce a month later after our adopted son turned 18.
In October, I started that new job. I joined Curves and started working out there 5 days a week. I kept to the 1,500 calories they suggested and I got down from 400+ pounds to 298 in a little under a year. I was feeling great. I was making it on my own. I was happy and I was losing weight while working delivering pizza. I was finally happy, for the first time in my adult life! I dated a couple of guys. Neither one worked out and I gave up on dating. I was NEVER going to get married again.
Famous last words. I met Jason in February at the new job. He got on my every last nerve. Then I got a flat in March and he came to my rescue (I CAN change a tire but my jack wouldn't work). I was hooked. We went out a time or two and he moved in by April (my family was NOT happy). We decided to move to another city in July. A week after we decided to move, I found out I was pregnant, something that doctors said would never happen. Well the doctor told me my hormones fixed themselves when I lost that 100 pounds.
We moved, in April 2012 at OSU I had my daughter via emergency C-section. My weight was a major complication. My daughter wasn't breathing and my blood pressure plummeted. I weighed 350 the day I had her. We are both healthy and happy now.
We got married in January and I was stuck at 325. The depo shot I was taking for birth control was preventing me from losing more weight. and to be honest, I wasn't trying too hard. My husband suggested we go to Myrtle Beach in August for our honeymoon and I agreed in terror. I hadn't worn a swimsuit in public since high school.
I got serious, got off depo, and started working out using videos from the internet and library. I lost inch after inch after inch, but the pounds stayed. I realized muscle is denser, so I focused on inches, not pounds. I use My Fitness Pal to count calories and I'm doing good. I have times that I plateau, but I've learned to push through. It’s hard some days, especially when those flashbacks hit and old eating habits come flooding back. But I know I can and will do it. I am currently 291 pounds.
What ever happened to my 770 pound ex-husband? In February, around his 40th birthday, he had Gastric Bypass surgery (I always told him he wasn't a good candidate for it because I know his habits). In March, he passed away from complications.