Thursday, April 7, 2011

Benefits of getting healthy, beyond losing the weight

***I apologize if I am seemed to only talk about my "diet" lately, but these are things I feel I need to put into words. My normal blogging will resume shortly ;)  ****

I have been fat all my life. Like, Huge. While I didn't start out that way (I mean, I wasn't born at 390 lbs!), I was always a chunk. My mom was heavy. My dad was heavy. It was just normal for me. At 5 I was getting a McDonalds kid's meal, but instead of the kids hamburger, I would get a big mac. I came from the tail end of the "as long as you eat the WHOLE thing" generation.

Mama came from a huge family. 9 brothers and sisters. Being the oldest girl, with a mama who worked full time and was mostly a single mom, she was in charge of cooking since the age of 9. She cooked for an army, and it carried over to when she met daddy.

Daddy came from a family of 5, but they were farmers and so, his mama always made big country meals. Grandpa was 6'4 and a big healthy German so, he wanted hearty meals after workin the farm all day. My mama cooking huge meals for my daddy was not much different than home.

At about 7, the kids stopped being nice to me. I was teased. Ignored. Laughed at. Pushed. Bullied. However, even though it hurt my feelings a lot, I have always been outgoing. Friendly. Funny. And able to make at least a friend or two. I never let the effect of any of the teasing show on the outside. Mama always told me never to give my tormentors the satisfaction.

Jr. High was awful. Had I not been brought up in a religious way, I may have turned to other outlets for my suffering. Every day I came home crying. Every night mama wiped my tears, and told me in a sweet, supportive, loving way to suck it up, because kids were mean. Life wasn't "fair", and no one owes you anything in this life. You need to just treat people like you want to be treated, and rest your head at night knowing YOU did the right thing, while saying a prayer for those who were mean to you because it was most likely a result of an insecurity THEY had with themselves.

High school was better. Kids mellowed out and matured a little, and most of the teasing was behind my back. I had a handful of friends, and really, other than the homework, High School was fun. I got a job, and started to feel my independence.

After graduating, I got a full time job instead of going to college (another story for another day) and moved into my very first apartment. Over the next year. between partying, getting no sleep, and having a job that was monotonous, I easily packed on another 100 pounds. It was getting harder and harder to buy clothes.

By my early 20's I was HUGE. I owned 4 outfits which consisted of 4 tshirts I got at the big & tall men's store (at about $50 a pop!) and black cotton pants. 3 pairs. Every time I bought a new outfit or two, it easily cost around $200 and up. I didn't like leaving my house. I had a hard time holding on to a job. While I still projected this happy, perky, funny, girl, I was lonely, sad, depressed, and slowly becoming a shut in.

Restaurants were horrible. I could only go to a select few, and only to those I knew had tables. No booths, no chairs with arms because I didn't fit. I remember one particular evening we were going out for my sister's birthday. She chose Red Lobster. I was upset in the first place because I hate fish and seafood places and I didn't want to go in the first place, but my mom insisted I go. We got there and had to wait 35 minutes because it was PACKED, only to be taken to our table, finally, and it was waaay in the back. I had to walk past allll those people, turning to the side to make it past them, and when we got to the table, I didn't fit in the chair. I had to stand, while all these people stared at me for what seemed like FOREVER for our darling host to find me the only chair in the whole (what seemed like) tri-state area, that didn't have arms. Then, there was the fact I Had to miss my sisters graduation because I couldn't fit in the seats.

January 31, 2006. The day I had my gastric bypass surgery. A day that was 6 years in the making. It was the happiest day of my life! Over the next several years I managed to drop 200 lbs. You never realize how much people ignore you when you are fat. When I walk through a mall, or in a store, or ever in my building at work, strangers look me in my eyes and smile. Sales people say hello to me. People will hold a door for me if I am coming up behind them. My friends will tell you, I am the same now as I was then, just my body better matches my spirit and personality. I am fun, outgoing, life of the party, and easily make new friends. I am silly, goofy, and a total ham.

I have roughly 45-55 more pounds to go to be at my goal. If I never lose them, I am perfectly happy of who I am and where I am. If I do, even better. However, I will tell you then, as well as now, with this 100 day challenge to get healthy, when you are doing the right things by exercising and eating right, you FEEL good.

The past week, even though I start each morning tired, and totally in love with my bed, I drag myself out of it and I work out. It's not fun. while I am, doing it I am not enjoying myself, but afterwards I feel GREAT. My mood is greatly improved (waaaay less stabby) My heart is pumping, I am awake, and I feel like I can take on the world. It makes me feel strong, sexy, and confident. I even FINALLY went to walmart to get bras that fit properly. It also makes me want to put in the extra effort to style my hair instead of a ponytail. Put makeup on. Put a little thought into my outfit for the day. Not that I dressed slobby before, but I'd grab a sweater and a tank top, pair it with whatever jeans I grabbed first, throw on my uggs, and off to work I went. Now, I pick clothes that look awesome and well put together. Not tight, but more form fitting. I pick out matching jewelry too!

My confidence has gone through the roof. I carry myself differently. People at work have noticed and so has my lovey. He is not the type of man to shower you with compliments just to stroke your ego. He actually has made it a point to tell me all three days this week how nice I look. Last night he looked me up and down when I came in the door and was talking and he interrupted me to tell me, "You look reallly nice today! Hot actually. Like, really hot. Your boobs look great too. They have looked great all week" Ah, my guy ;)
Even if the scale doesn't show what I want it to yet, Other changes are going on...and I have to say I like it :)

ps- BTW: Now, I have a huge walk in closet with more clothes than I'll ever know what to do with. I can't bare the thought of getting rid of any of it. I think that's from only having 4 outfits for so long lol!


Amander said...

This post actually made me a bit emotional. I think the way many overweight people are treated is so horrible. It makes people feel so worthless. I really, really, really hate America's focus on "skinny is best."

I'm so glad you are feeling confident and healthy now! Enjoy those clothes!

Sarah said...

What an amazing post! The journey that you've been on to get to the point where you are today is so inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for all of your diet posts. You give me so much to think about! :)