When someone asked me how I approached things now that I’ve lost weight versus when I was losing weight, it occurred to me I haven’t talked much about how I got to where I am now and where I started. If you think I’ve always looked this way or it’s been easy for me….oh how wrong you are.
I met my husband when I was 23. (I’m 37 now for those of you dying to know.) We were party animals. There was a bar across the street from our office and we went there every night after work. And I mean every.night. We drank and ate fried bar food five or six nights of the week. We had tons of friends from our office building that also went over there, so it was a blast!
I was slim when I met my husband. In fact, I was slim my whole life without much trying up until then. Of course, that didn’t last long. One of our favorite weekend activities was to pull an air mattress into our living room, clean out the fridge and cabinets and eat all freaking day while watching crappy tv. It didn’t take long before I needed a whole new wardrobe (and a few more after that). But we were happy and having a great time.
When we weren’t sucking down beer and fried food at the bar, I was cooking at home. I’m from the south where we fry everything including our vegetables. I was thrilled to have someone to cook for and let me tell you, I make some kick ass fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. There was rarely a meal I finished where I didn’t feel sick from overeating. But, we were happy.
The day I had to buy double digit clothes was like a punch in the gut. But, I told myself it was no big deal. I didn’t look that bad and that’s just what happened when you got older anyway (as if 23 or 24 is old, right?). I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. She told me I couldn’t eat anything white. Flour, sugar, etc. This was in 1998 so that kind of thing wasn’t as common as it is now. In fact, this was the first time I had heard anything like that, but I thought I’d give it a try. I lasted until dinner.
I did continue to work out there for a while. I continued to pay for my membership there for another year or so.
In the meantime, we got married. We were still happy and still hitting the bar every night. All of our friends were there and we didn’t have kids waiting for us at home, so why not? I continued to get fatter and mushier. Every time I would drive by “my” gym, I would tell myself I would go that night. I didn’t. The frosty cold beer and chips and salsa were calling my name. My friends and I would sit around talking about how we needed to lose weight and get in shape. Meanwhile, the waitress was refilling our drinks. I would constantly rationalize that if I could look like I did and still eat whatever I wanted it wasn’t that bad.
While paying for that gym, I joined another gym. It was new and fancy and I figured just the motivation I needed. Except motivation doesn’t live in a building. It lives inside YOU. Of course I didn’t know that at the time. I genuinely thought that a new gym was just what I needed to get motivated to do something. We also decided we wanted to start our family. For a couple of days that gave me some extra motivation. I hired another personal trainer. She was a former Olympic speed skater and that really fired me up. I was super excited to train with her. I was doing really well. Until I got pregnant. Then, all bets were off.
*Stay tuned for the rest of the story.