Why I decided to start losing it!
I started out as a statistic. My mother got married to my biological father and got pregnant with me in high school. My mom and biological father divorced before I was two years old. When I was two, my mother married for a second time to my dad–He legally adopted me and raised as his own. My parents didn’t go to college, my dad worked at a plant and my mom was a stay at home mom—-talk about small town Oklahoma living, right? I was a low-income, american indian, female, with young, uneducated parents. Like I said…a statistic! This was my momma, my baby brother, my daddy, and me!
Years went by… we moved into a normal house in a small town, my little brother was born when I was 3, I started school… and life progressed. I was young, active, and skinny. I ate healthy — especially since my school served broccoli, and didn’t mind giving me seconds on my favorite vegetable!
I was a skinny, healthy, little girl. Running, playing, climbing trees, riding bicycles, playing at the park—normal kid stuff.
When I was 8 my momma and daddy split up. We moved out and my daddy moved to another town. I think this was the start of it all. I was pre-puberty age, my parents split up, we moved out of my hometown, we were broke… so many contributing factors.
The smallest size I remember being was a size 6 — I borrowed my stepmom’s (biological dads wife) jean shorts she used to wear in college to take sister photos with my baby half-sister. I loved them — old denim with daisy iron-ons along the leg openings. Sure, I was chubby, but I was still healthy and somewhat active. Plus, I was about to hit my “growth spurt” …..right?!
After we moved, my momma met and married another man, Greg. I was not too fond of Greg–as he emotionally and physically abused my mom, my brother, and me. We all (mom, me, brother, and greg) stayed a while near grand lake and then moved to Pryor, OK. Pryor is where I grew up. Pryor Creek, OK, USA is a small town in Northeast Oklahoma with a population of about 10,000 people. I hated that small town. We moved into Indian housing about 10 minutes outside if town just before I started 5th grade. I spent 5th and 6th grade at Pryor Junior High (PJH).
My mom kept fruit and veggies in the house when we asked for them, but we ate a lot more of snacks, sweets, soda, processed foods, and other things that definitely (in my opinion) contributed to my weight gain. Of course, growing up in poverty takes its toll on food choices; we ate poorly for financial reasons. Fresh meats and veggies cost much more than the $1/meal microwaveables and $2 for 10 snack packs.
I moved into PJH to attend 7th through 9th grade at Pryor. I try not to think about this time too much, as it was rough for me. Around 6th and 7th grade I started gaining weight. I didn’t play sports. I remember looking at the scale in the 7th grade — it tipped over 120lbs and wore a size 11 (…and was still getting larger)
Jr High isn’t the easiest for chubby, nerdy girls. I didn’t have many friends (except a few other girls like me and the lunch lady..ha!) and I wasn’t very active. I was a young, nerdy, poor, chubby, insecure girl at PJH. We couldn’t afford “cool” clothes, and I wasn’t a pryor family (we were outsiders, moving in), and, eventually, I began to pack on even more pounds. I was insecure and began to hide my body. I began to become very aware of how different I was compared to the “cool” girls. I kept my feelings to myself, and tried to hide how unhappy I was with my body. By high school, I weighed more than 170lbs — just see for yourself:
When I had just started the 11th grade, my daddy passed away unexpectedly (motorcycle accident) on his way to work. I miss him so much. Here is a Halloween photo of him — he was a nurse, so this costume was great for him! Creeeepyyy!
After my dad passed away, and by the start of my senior year, I weighed my max: 209lbs. Sure, I am 5’7, which helps me carry my weight better than shorter girls, but I was still really large. I wore a size 16/18 in women’s jeans, I was depressed, fat, and very unhealthy and unhappy!
Speaking of trying to cover up my body and of me being awkward—check this out! Yes, what you’re seeing is real! Camo pants–straight from the army surplus! ..whaaaaat was I thiiiiiinking!?
I sat on my twin bed one day in high school and started crying. I told my mom that I was going to start eating better, get active, and start a “made-up” no carb diet. Basically, I decide to stop eating bread an pasta and carbs in general, but continued to eat “healthy” carbs like corn and vegetables. I can even remember eating hot dog salads because I wanted variety! I also took up walking at least 30 minutes every day after school — I used my time on the phone to talk to out-of-state friends from ESM!! All in all, I lost about 35lbs. I weighed about 175 and was down to a size 14 from a 16/18!
By the end of my senior year, I was ready for a change of school, change of scenery, change of pace, and to start my higher education journey — I was ready for college.
I started college at Rogers State University (RSU) in the fall of 2006. During college I got involved, got super busy, and my weight dropped to 155. Then my weight bounced back up to 190, then back down to 170, then up to 180 or 185. I was like a freaking yo-yo! This lasted from 2006-2010. I didn’t eat right, didn’t eat on any type of schedule, and never lost weight in a good way — I guess my body did it itself, somehow? I still don’t really understand it all. This was a photo of me (at about 185lbs) in September of 2010 at a sorority camp out — THAT was an adventure!
When I met my current boyfriend in December 2010 (over 2 years ago) I was 192lbs-YUCK! I wanted to start looking good for myself — I was so fat and uncomfortable! My size 14 pants weren’t fitting anymore, but I DIDN’T want to wear a size 16 again! I also didn’t want the guy I was falling in love with to have to deal with a fat, unhealthy girlfriend!
So I decided to change my lifestyle. I stopped eating out (Braums and Taco Bueno are my weakness!!) and I basically stopped eating junk. I started eating 1200 HEALTHY calories a day, and decided to get an expensive gym membership to a 24hour ladies only fitness center, even though I had a free membership to the Claremore Rec. center. I even got up to running 3 miles almost every day. This was a BIG FEAT for me, since I hadn’t ran anything close to a mile since mandatory gym in 6th grade! (…not joking!)
I lost 35lbs in about 6 weeks — I was down to about 155lbs and I loved every minute of it. I went from a (basically) size 16 (I squeezed into those 14s though) to a small size 12! WAHOO! I’m 5’7″ so I’ve always been a little thick, but this was the best my body had EVER looked (everrrrrrr), even with my fatty tummy and thighs. My body was looking and definitely feeling healthier. I felt good. This is a photo of me from Spring 2011 after my weight loss. I won the “buns of steel” award in my sorority for being the most physically active sister — what an accomplishment!
^^^ Here’s a side by side of me in the fall of 2011 at about 165lbs VS my junior year of high school at about 210 pounds. I don’t even feel like I look like the same person!!
Then “the comfort zone” set in — hello relationship, happiness, and laziness! Again! How!? Ugh, I know how……. I started eating out again, eating that cookie or snack that was just there, and I stopped working out because I was comfortable at my new, smaller size. I became complacent. I went from eating less, losing weight and inches, and being active—— back to my normal, average, lazy self. During the last two years I went back up to 171 pounds — which, for me, was a FULL size 12 (and more likely size 14–all my 12s were too tight, I just wasnt willing to go buy new clothes!)
At the end of the summer last year (2012), I THOUGHT I was “ready” to committ to losing weight. I joined this weight loss community group on facebook where the women would post their stories and their very PERSONAL before/progress/after photos! It was incredible and helped motivate me for about 10 days (haha, loooong time, huh?!) Buuuut, as usual, I QUICKLY fell off that weight loss/motivation bang wagon.
I wasn’t ready. I was COMFORTABLE. I was not healthy or get off the couch an feel good about my body “comfortable” but I wasn’t READY to change yet. I could do everyday activities, my size 12 pants still fit (kind-of?), and it wasnt summer anymore so I could “hide” the fact that I needed to lose weight and get into shape. HIDE, hahaha, YEAH RIGHT!
A few weeks ago (after a LONG and DEEP look into the mirror, into my goals and dreams for myself, and a loooooong talk with my boyfriend about his attraction towards me) I KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT that I was READY!!! I wasn’t “ready” because other people wanted me to lose weight. I wasn’t “ready” because summer was only 5 months away. And I wasn’t “ready” because its the right thing to do. I MADE UP MY MIND TO CHANGE — PERMANENTLY — MY BODY AND LIFESTYLE!
I didn’t want to be a statistic anymore. I dont want to be the “average size” of a woman in America. There isn’t anything I want to be “average” about myself — not my personality, not my intelligence, and certainly not my body weight/size/shape. I can control it — and now I’m going to change it!
I had been following a few weight loss blogs: Mama Laughlin and Erin Morgan! I thought HEY — If theyyyyyyy can do it, IIIIIIII can do it too!!!!
I was at 171 pounds and was squeezing into a size 12 — HA!! — I was a size 14 in denial!! I NEVER EVER EVER wanted to see this again.
I want to wear a bathing suit (one piece or two, it doesnt matter) an feel sexy. I want to fit into a 10 and eventually an 8 or even a 6!
NOOOOO more excuses! NOOOO more quitting! I AM going to do this, even if it takes me 2 months, 6 months, or a year, or even more!
I’m young, it’s “easy” now (compared to what it will be in 10-20 years. I’m 24 now) and I need healthy eating habits so that whenever it is that I decide to have babies of my own I can teach them what I never really learned growing up:
- Only eat when you’re hungry.
- You DON’T have to eat everything on your plate.
- Eat lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats — not processed microwave dinners, little debbies, baked goods, and soda pop.
- Being active is crucial to being a healthy weight — whether you choose running, walking, jogging, calisthenics, sports, bicycling, tennis, swimming, or a bazillion other things!
- …and there is lots more, I just can’t think right now….
So… that’s my story!
Now I plan to start LOSING IT!
What will you GAIN when you LOSE!?