Friday, 26 October 2012

How in the world did I get here?

I've been thinking about this post for a long time.  I've been thinking about how I would put these thoughts, these feelings that I've had for a really long time into an actual, intelligible post.  Or more importantly, into a post that someone other than myself would actually want to read.  Well, here goes.

When I was a kid, I was skinny.  When I say kid, I mean pre-puberty.  Like up until the age of 10.  My sister was always bigger than me, so comparatively I was skinny.  I didn't play or participate in any kind of organized  sports, but my brothers and I would literally roam the neighbourhood for hours on end when we were kids.  Ah, the good ole days when we weren't worried about being snatched up into the back of a big ole van with dark tinted windows and never be heard from again!  That was just what we did.  We ran.  Like ran from the corner store that we'd just scooped 1 cent candies from!  Ran from the pile of newspapers we'd just tried to light on fire in the field behind our school - clearly, we ran because we had to.  Oh and probably because if we didn't, I could have been writing this post from a really different place?  Wait a second!  This isn't supposed to be dark and twisty yet!  Basically, my point is we 'played' outside all of the time and that's how we got our exercise.

That is until right before I turned 12.  That's when we moved to the farm.  That's when EVERYTHING changed.

When we were being hoodlums (almost entirely unbeknownst to our naive parents) in our suburban hood, I had friends.  Friends to have sleepovers with.  Friends to hang out with over those crazy long summer months.  Friends to hit the mall with.  When we moved to the farm though?  I was moving into unfamiliar territory with a bunch of kids who had been together since pre-birth.  Outsiders were not welcome there and it was made abundantly clear right away.

I spent the first few years of my sentence there hanging with the only kids who would let me stand near them.  They weren't the richest or the smartest kids in the school, but they didn't throw stuff at me or go out of their way to laugh and point.  I knew though that they weren't the cool kids and sadly, I was never really OK with that.  I KNOW!  I honestly was that kid.  The friends who actually let me hang out with them.  Who accepted me for who I was and didn't care about the fact that I didn't attend their first birthday parties weren't good enough for me?

I don't want to call it unhappiness or even sadness, but a general discontent set in on my life around that point.  I come from a family of 4 kids.  Although both of my parents worked, they didn't make a lot of money.  My mom always tried to make sure that we had everything that we needed, but having everything that we needed and having everything that we wanted were two different things.  I always WANTED to have name brand clothes.  Those weren't an option.  Varnet tops and sunglasses?  Out of the question!  Cotton Ginny and Roots sweat pants/sweat shirts?  Only if they could be found in the discount bins at the local Bargain Harold's!  Basically what I'm telling you, is that I became your regular, run of the mill, unhappy teenager at this point.

My answer?  Eat.

I didn't really feel like I belonged anywhere.  Once I got to High School, I started hanging out with girls a year older than me.  We had fun, they treated me like their little sister, but at least they were more popular than the middle school friends had been.  Socially, I still felt awkward.  I didn't have the money to buy the clothes I needed to wear to fit in with the coolest of the cool kids and I refused to go backwards on the social ladder.  So, instead I became that girl who was just pretty enough to be the fat friend in the group.  By age 16, I weighed in around 180 lbs.  Since I'm fairly tall I hid it quite well, but I was clearly over weight.  I'd never had a boyfriend except for my imaginary one from the city where I used to live (that's right, I was that  girl!)  And I had most definitely never been on a date.  Living in the country meant that until I was able to drive myself, my parents had to take me places.  That NEVER happened.  Truthfully, I'm not sure if it was because they were just too lazy/tired to take me or if it was because they didn't trust me.  Either way, my social life outside of school hours was non-existent.  So, I ate.  I ate because I was bored.  I ate because I was sad.  I ate, simply because there was nothing else to do.

When I left High School, I swore that I was leaving that person behind.  That I would go out into the world and I would make new friends.  That I would shed that skin and re-invent myself.  I lost about 20 lbs, I made lots of new friends at University and I felt much more like the me I wanted to be, but I still wasn't able to play with the high rollers.  You see, I chose a program (and a school) where most of the kids had money.  They could go shopping whenever they wanted.  They could party for as long and as hard as they wanted and not care about either the financial or scholastic loss because they weren't footing the bill.  I worked my way through University and am pretty sure felt resentful the whole time - regardless of the work and life experiences I was gaining the whole time.

So, fast forward to 2002.  I'd just gotten engaged to the most amazing man whom I was so excited to be spending the rest of my life with and I finally decided it was time to do something.  He had money, which meant we had money.  We could afford for me to do Weight Watchers and to join a gym and work with a personal trainer.  I did all of those things and focused on me.  I lost 34 lbs and got down to 150 lbs.  I looked fan-freaking-tastic on my wedding day - oh wait, what?  You wanna see proof?  Here it is!

Ok, so you can't really tell from this photo, and yes, I realize that my dress was pretty princess-like (I still love that dress to this very day!) but I think you probably get the idea.  I was pretty skinny.

Here's a side shot - just to prove a point (oh, and because I still love looking at my wedding pics!)

So, let's move forward a few years from the happiest-most-amazingly-fairy-tale-day-of-my-life.  I will breeze over the fact that two weeks before I got married, my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive uterine cancer that would take her life two short years later because that, at some point will require it's very own special post.

I will then tell you that after my first baby, I lost all but 10 lbs of my baby weight because I figured, what's the point?  I'm just gonna get knocked up again, right?  So.  I did.  Then I had a miscarriage.  Hi 10 new pounds, how you doin'?

Fast forward an entire year to when I finally got pregnant again and then gave birth to another beautiful boy.  I weighed the same when I came home with the littlest man as I did when I started my journey this past summer.  Sad, huh?

Fast forward through a whole bunch of other shit happening in our lives.  Jobs being lost.  Very close loved ones being lost.  Friendships ending and the messy fall-out from that.  Fast forward through all of that and you've got a million and one reasons for why I got fat again.

Rewind though to about 5 days ago.  Rewind to the day where I realized that the reason losing weight was working for me this time was because I wasn't doing it so that I could finally hear my Grandmother tell me that I looked beautiful because I was no longer the hippy granddaughter, but just as beautiful and skinny as my gorgeous and wonderful cousin, plus my Grandmother passed away last year so it's totally impossible!  I realized I wasn't doing it so that I could show up at places where I knew the people we used to call best friends, but no longer talk to would be looking smoking hot.  I realized that I was doing it because it made me feel better about me.  It made me want to get up in the morning and have a great day instead of just getting through the day.  I realized that I was doing it now because if I didn't, I might not ever get the chance to.  I realized that I was doing it because it made me feel like I was finding me again.  The pre-10 yr old hoodlum who could run around in the streets - just because.  I'm not doing this to fit in anymore.  I'm doing this because it feels right for me.  I'm doing this because I want my kids to see a healthy, happy mom.  Not an angry, frustrated and spiteful person.

I'm doing this because I know I can and because I want to.

One last image for you after this long, rambling post.  This one is to show you where I've come from and where I am now.  I'm not where I want to be yet, but I sure am a lot closer to being me!

How did you get here?


  1. You look FANTASTIC! Great job doing it for yourself and not for others. And your wedding dress is beautiful. I would look at those pictures all the time too. :)

    1. Awww! Thanks Brandi! I wish I could actually put my dress back on and do it up just to see if it still fits 10 years later! I took it to a mock wedding photo shoot for a friend and some idiot tried to squeeze into it and wrecked the zipper! I was kinda - well more than kinda - pissed. Since I only have boys, I never saw a reason to get it fixed. Maybe I should anyway! I love looking at everyone's wedding pics!

  2. Great story! You do look fab on your wedding day, but just as great today!

    1. Thanks Susan - that's so sweet! I think I'm definitely older, but much more wise now! ;)

  3. You look great! And oh my GAWD I love peanut butter cups too.....YUMMMMM.

    1. Awww! Thanks Beth!

      So glad I'm not alone on the PBC front!


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