This was a much harder post to write than I thought it would be. Thank you to the BEAUTIFUL AND FABULOUS Liz at Fitness Blondie for being such an inspiration.
I was heavier in grade school. I wasn't terribly overweight, but I was chubby. My 7th grade year I tried out for cheerleading and since no one got cut, I was awarded the uniform. My dad and brother also started karate that year and since I had to attend the practices anyway, I went ahead and joined too. Being active, and away from home where there was a plethora of food, started to change my shape. I didn't have time to sit at home and binge eat anymore.
In high school I was involved in marching band, choir, and theater. I also started working at 15 and had two jobs by the time I turned 16. Any free time I had I spent with my friends, so I only binged occasionally.
College came and so did the terrible habit of eating candy while I did my homework. My schedule was different from my friends and from Matt. I had class from 8-12 and then had the rest of the day off to do whatever I wanted. I was so homesick that I would just watch Family Guy reruns and eat. Of course eating pizza in the cafeteria every day didn't help either. I gained 30 pounds in my first semester of College.
At the end of my Freshman year, Matt and I transferred to Springfield and moved into our first apartment. We both worked full time and went to school full time. Matt and I had opposite schedules again, so we rarely saw each other. It was incredibly lonely. My answer to loneliness is binge eating. I managed somehow to lose a little bit of the extra weight I had gained my Freshman year though.
In July of 2008 we bought our first house. We were planning a wedding, I was working a full time job and a part time job, and going to school full time. I was a wreck. I don't think I ate anything for a solid 4 months. I would do homework on my work breaks and when I would get home at 11PM I would crawl straight into bed.
We got married in December of 2008. I had lost 40 pounds before the wedding, mostly due to stress and being too busy to eat, not in any kind of healthy way.
That summer I met my friend Nicole, who was going to school to be a personal trainer. She inspired me to pay attention to my diet and I lost another 20 pounds. She stayed with us for a while and I loved having her company. Matt and I still had opposite schedules, so having another human in the house was awesome.
Matt and I continued to have opposite schedules for the next 3 years. I worked 6AM-6PM 4 days a week and took evening classes. My day off I spent doing homework and chores at home, weekends I spent by myself. Matt went to school during the day and worked nights and weekends. It was so lonely.
When I started working at the bank, things improved. I made some friends, who I still adore to this day(high Whitney, Autumn and Amber!) They gave me something to do other than sit at home by myself every weekend.
When I got pregnant with Mason, I used that as an excuse to eat everything. Eating for two was a challenge to me, not a joke. I gained an enormous amount of weight. I also had pre-eclampsia, so I literally ballooned. I was so swollen that I thought my ankles might burst. Matt and I were still on opposite schedules. I was still so lonely, so I ate.
Literally one week after Mason was born, Matt took an incredible opportunity for an internship with an engineering firm. He was gone for most of the summer. I was a new mom. I was a hormonal mess. My parents lived 2 hours away and my friends couldn't come by every day. I don't think I have ever felt so alone in my life. I will never forget one evening, I was so stir crazy that I loaded Mason into his carseat(which he loathed, he would scream the entire time) and I went to McDonalds and I pulled up to the window with my screaming infant and when the nice lady asked for my order I ordered two chicken nugget meals with two different sodas. I didn't want to admit I was alone. I went home and put one of the drinks in the fridge and proceeded to eat every bit of food that I ordered. I was a wreck.
Poor Matt probably didn't even recognize me when he returned home.
I finally snapped out of my funk when Mason was six months old and I started going to a personal trainer. After 5 months of personal training I had lost 25 pounds and gained a pregnancy.
When I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor, I knew that this time it would be different. I only gained 20 pounds with her and I never wore maternity clothes. I ate salad every day and I really watched what I ate and how much of it I ate. I still ended up with pre-eclampsia and I was on bed rest with her for 12 weeks. This was probably the second hardest time in my life. I had an active toddler and a husband who was going to school full time while I worked full time to support us. I luckily was getting paid leave, but it was still incredibly stressful. It was also lonely. Can anyone sense a pattern here? Loneliness is a trigger for me. I thank God for my friends who came by with care packages, yarn, Sudoku books, movies, meals and even helped do a load of laundry. They have no idea what those small gestures meant to Matt and I. I also thank God for Whitney who came by almost every day to just sit with me. Those were a hard 12 weeks.
After Ellie was born, I had had enough. I really took control of my actions, recognized my patterns that I fell into and made some significant changes in my life. I have two precious babies and a wonderful husband and I cannot be the mom and wife I want to be when I am miserable with myself.
The last year and a half has been an amazing roller coaster. I still binge. I will forever struggle with that I am afraid, but now I recognize my behavior. I have never felt better in my entire life. Matt and I have never been better as a couple and as a parenting team. I am done with excuses. I have taken control of my life. I have found a purpose. I have learned and grown so much and while I still have my struggles, there is no way I will ever return to the person I was before. I am so much stronger now. I am Fearless.
All My Love,
All My Love,