I was the poster child for why you need to sit down with your kids and have that talk. The one that we dread having. The one we can't imagine ever happening but know it's important to talk about anyway. The one where you tell your child that sometimes adults do very bad things and how important it is to tell if it does happen. They need to ignore what that adult says..it's secret time and a secret like that is not one to keep. Well I kept it. I kept it as it happened at multiple daycare centers. I pushed it so far down that I didn't remember it again until I had my own kids and every damn emotion flooded into my brain all at once. It left me gasping for air and trying to push the memories so far back in there that they would never come out again.
I'm also the reason you need to tell your 14 year old daughter there is a reason you do not take rides from people you barely know. That going through a violent ordeal should not define who you are as a woman.
This was the last time I remember looking like this...before I started gaining the weight.. I had given up on my life. At this point in my life I was fighting back anyway I could...and the one way I knew how to do that was not to appear weak. That ment I needed to become bigger..because who messes with someone who is big and strong? Looking back I had such a warped view on what reality was. I was unknowingly grieving and feeding a 5 year old that never had a voice and a 14 year old that finally had enough. I was mad and I wasn't going to become a victim anymore. So I ate. It's a full time job hating yourself. I ate until I was sick. I ate when I had a bad day,when I had a good day, when I bored and everything else in between. When I had my two sons I thanked God for not allowing me to have any girls. I couldn't imagine the fear I would have with having them. I went overboard with the talking with my boys. I walked out of my job because the fear of them staying at a daycare center was to much for me to handle. I ran my own daycare business until they both went to school full time. I got bigger and bigger and bigger. I was so miserable and lonely. It was getting to be to much. I needed help and I needed it now.
So two years ago I sat on the edge of my bed and begged God for help. I made a promise to him that if he could take the burden off my shoulders that I would do the rest. I was finally able to squeeze my young self and tell her how sorry I was and that it wasn't her fault. I told my 14 year old self that what happened that night and the trial that came after was more than anyone should have to take on and what we did to cope with it all was understable..but we needed to fight back another way now. I was 36, overweight and fighting for my life. I carry my weight on top..the wonderful apple shape that causes so many problems wealth wise. My knees were swelling up from having to carry me around for so long and my mind and spirit were shot.
The next day I started. I made sure I drank enough water each day and then moved on to lowering my portion sizes. I rang in 2011 30 pounds lighter. I can not begin to tell you the relief I had. Finally having that talk with myself and forgiving myself really freed me. I was finally able to look at food not as a weapon but something to enjoy. I knew I could continue to cook and bake but needed to stop the binge eating and get myself under control. It was so damn hard. I stood in the kitchen more times than I can say with a mouthful of food and crying. I would run over to the garbage and spit it out and cry some more. I cried and cried and cried..and then I cried some more. The more time that went on the more the binge eating got better and finally stopped new years day 2012.
This was me 3 years ago. I was just a little under 300 pounds. This is me now...
This was taken on my birthday..saturday Dec. 1st,2012. I am 38 years old and 140 pounds lighter. I did it. I really really did it. It's been a hell of a ride and not one I plan on ever making again. I've done a 360 with my eating and keeping portions under control. I work out 6 days a week and drink enough water to sink a ship. So why am I blogging about this when it's a food blog? Well food is a big part of my life..like huge. I am the person that takes vacations based on what type of food they have. I hate working out but I know that if I do, I can eat an extra cookie or slice of bread when I'm done. I rarely get personal on here but I know there are others out there like me. The ones who have given up and aren't sure how to come back from it all.
I want to tell you personally that you can do this. You can at any moment change your entire life. This message is ment for anyone out there who is struggling with something and maybe you arent using food as a weapon but can understand what the struggle of looking at yourself in the mirror and not hating yourself and what you see. Perhaps this message isn't about you but that you might know of someone who needs to know they aren't alone out there. You aren't alone. You are beautiful and strong and it gets better. I promise. It takes alot of time..mine took over 34 years to finally work through..but now that I have,I'm so crazy happy it's unreal. I'm making up for lost time..taking family photos left and right,cooking and baking like crazy and laughing and smiling more than I have ever done in my entire life.
So..I know some might be curious as to how I lost 140 pounds in two years. So here you go..are you ready? ok here goes...
1. I drink 3 liters of water every single day. I havent been thirsty since Oct 2010!
2. I bought a kitchen scale and finally started to teach myself portion sizes. The first time I weighed 4 ounces of chicken I literally cried. I weighed that sucker 5 times to make sure I was seeing it right. Our portion sizes are out of control and I've finally got myself and family on track.
3. I eat everything. I leave nothing out of my diet. I have tried dieting many many times and one of the resons it never worked for me was because I cut myself off from everything. For me that doesn't work. So I eat normal but just less of it. I also know that I can't eat 5 cookies in one sitting and if I do, I better not have anything for the rest of the week. Christmas is an exception though. I am enjoying many things right now and refuse to feel guilty about it. I havent gained any weight but I'm also not worried about it either. I eat whenI'm hungry and stop when I'm satisfied. I spent way to long stuffing myself sick and stopping when I'm satisfied has taken alot of practice.
4. You need to move to lose. I don't care what program you go with..you need to exercise. I hate exercising..even now,after 2 years of doing it,I still can't stand it. I know how important it is though so I keep it up. What has worked for me is finding the one thing I do enjoy doing and working with that. I do not go to a gym,I don't exercise outside unless it's bike riding or going on walks. I do it all from the comfort of my living room. I have lost 140 pounds with Leslie Sansone and her Walk Away The Pounds videos. I walk 4 miles 3 days a week and then 5 miles the other 3 days a week. I wanted a zero excuse way of loseing weight. If I bought a gym membership I'd have tons of reasons why I didn't show up that day. I have no excuses now. I put on my 5 times to big sweat pants and shirt and sweat my butt off for 45 mins to an hour each day. Then I'm done for the rest of the day. During the summer I bike ride daily..infact last summer my oldest son woke up every single morning of his summer vacation to bike with me. I am so very lucky and blessed when it comes to my husband and two sons.
5. Go slow and don't expect miracles. I didn't start exercising until I lost 50 pounds..my knees couldn't take it. Then I started with one mile and worked my way up. The first time I finished the 4 miles I wept like a baby. I was jogging and crying and laughing all at the same time. Taking the weight off is not easy and never goes as fast as you'd like. This isn't a diet,it's a full on lifestyle change and please don't make massive goals at first. Start with drinking enough water and then picking something else when the time is right. Try new foods..my family is a blessing when it comes to food. They get excited over Quinoa and veggie burgers and giant salads. I have revamped all of our diets. My husband has lost 50 pounds since January and we are both feeling so much better. We still eat what we want but don't over it on a daily basis.
I just wanted to say thanks if you have read this far and I hope that my message will help someone else out there. I am just an e-mail away if you have any questions or just need to talk. I am here to listen,to give encouragement,a cyber hug,a shoulder or whatever else you may need. I am a work in progress and always will be..but that light at the end of a very dark tunnel is now brighter than ever. It's there..there is an ending to the darkness you are living in. You deserve to shine,to laugh, to forgive yourself,to forgive those who have wronged you..if you don't it will eat away at you for the rest of your life. You deserve to be happy. You are not alone. Remember that. You. Are. Not. Alone.