My struggles with my weight have been a lifetime…
I was always (practically) the tallest girl in my class. I fell in love with basketball when I was in 3rd grade but I never took the time to properly train for it. I hated running and was always the slowest as a result.
When I was in high school, my weight continued creeping up. I even made it onto the basketball team but I was more interested in nachos and sitting on my computer. I was already wearing plus size clothing and constantly feeling like I was simultaneously always being stared at and invisible. I was strictly dedicated to nachos and sitting on my computer.
Fast forward through college, and the self-destructive behavior with food continued full steam ahead:
- I tried to take a pilates class freshman year with a couple of extremely thin friends I had. Bust.
- I tried to sign up for some small group training at a local gym. Double bust.
- I was struggling so much I joined Weight Watchers for the 3rd (4th) time. Nope. (I wish I could say that was the last time I gave it a try, alas…)
- A friend who was also struggling with her weight said she was trying MediFast. I went to the local hospital to get it and I think I stuck with that for about 5 hours.
What was I going to do? How was I going to change?
Insert: Weight Loss Surgery
My dad had the gastric bypass when I was in high school, he was super successful. My mom had heard about someone who was successful with the lap band. Why wouldn’t I want to give that a try?
I was 23 and 292 lbs when I had weight loss surgery. It was June of 2010 and I was so desperate to be thin. I even had to gain some additional weight to get the insurance approval for the surgery.
Once post op, it did not take long for me to realize this was not the fix I thought it would be.
After about 9 months, and down 60 lbs, I knew deep down this weight loss would not last. That it could not last. I was DYING to eat. Not like have 3 bites and move on. I wanted to eat like I had eaten during my previous existence. I wanted to numb out and ignore myself, my feelings, the world. It was hard, impossible even not being able to do the one thing that was so satisfying, that made perfect sense — that felt natural.
I met my husband that Spring. We pretty much knew almost immediately that we were it for each other. And the celebrating started and my weight came back, slowly but with a vengeance.
We were married in 2013. I bought a dress that I was convinced I was going to lose weight for. Something I literally had never done before, let alone the fact that I had never lost any significant weight in my life — not without weight loss surgery. I knew deep down that I was not going to lose the weight, and sure enough they had to let out the dress. Heartbreaking.
Looking back now, I can see how my self-hatred guided nearly everything I did — or more specifically, did not do. Coming out of my comfort zone was a foreign concept. I so desperately wanted to lose weight and fit in but did not want to spend even an ounce of energy trying to change.
In 2015 I fell pregnant with our first baby, a boy. I was not taking any significant care of myself. Not more than bathing semi-regularly and brushing my teeth and hair. I was miserable. I LOVED that I was pregnant at all. I was so excited to be a mom. But mostly I was terrified about what kind of mother I would be. How could I bring someone into this world to take care of when I never really ever took good care of myself.
My new highest weight reached 320 lbs during my pregnancy. Bringing Michael into this world and simultaneously securing my first job that was not in an assistant role, was so satisfying. I went back to work and started my new job when Michael was 7 weeks old. It did not take long for me to fully recognize my horrible habits were not serving me. I was on a trajectory for my life to be more of the same, except I would be watching my weight continue to climb. I knew I had to do something.
In October of 2016, I joined Weight Watchers for the 6th (7th?) and final time. I went in there knowing I was never going to have to “restart” ever again. I was ready to live differently. I knew I had to figure out the mental work. I had NO IDEA what the mental work looked like but I was fully and completely aware that it was the key — the only missing piece from every other time.
I lost 20 lbs with Weight Watchers. The second only time I started losing a noticeable amount of weight.
That December someone on Connect (the Weight Watchers app equivalent of Instagram) wrote about the Half Size Me Podcast. My jaw dropped to the floor and I immediately tried to figure out how to access the podcast.
The Half Size Me podcast is hosted by Heather who has maintained her 170 lb loss for over 5 years. She interviews other people who had also been successful with their weight loss for the long term. This was a totally brand new concept for me to wrap my head around. Dieting with maintenance in mind — lose it like you live it.
I quickly realized that for me Weight Watchers was not the way I wanted to live for the rest of my life. I did not want to count points or calories. I just wanted to figure out how to live in a way that would honor my long term goals.
Being exposed to the thinking of small, sustainable changes really paved the way for me to realize I could experience lasting weight loss through the slow and steady forming of new habits. Not sexy. But extremely effective for living differently in an authentic way. No white knuckling involved. No eliminating any specific food groups.
The first thing I knew that had to change, was I needed to figure out how to trust myself.
I made the commitment to myself to have a clean kitchen and sink — no matter what.
It took 2 months before I was ready for the next change.
And the dominos continued to fall.
I became nice to myself. I learned how to have my own back. I realized how necessary boundaries are. And I did this over an entire year. I struggled with keeping off that original 20 lb loss and then I went on to hit 25 lbs down.
And then people started to notice…
Over the summer of 2017, I discovered the podcast Losing 100 lbs with Phit-n-Phat (PNP). Corinne teaches weight loss as a mental game by eliminating the need to count anything, and to listen to your body — wait for hunger and be armed with a food plan or the day to demolish any cravings or urges. This plan was exactly what I have always wanted…
That July I decided after many years of struggling with the lap band, to finally have it removed. I realized I did not need to live in fear anymore. I knew I was learning the true tools for lifelong weight loss.
I joined PNP in October 2017 and fell pregnant with my second baby in November.
Learning how to trust myself, create a food plan for the day in advance, and listen to my body for hunger cues helped me maintain my weight throughout my entire pregnancy. Once Paige was born just 2 months ago, I hit a total of 50 lbs down.
Now here we are. I’m on my way to losing the rest of my weight. I am blogging and learning how to become a life coach. I want to help you figure this out. Let’s lose this weight for good together. Join me.