This journey has felt like 10,000 miles. My weight has yo-yoed all my life. I have tried everything under the sun. It was in high school that my eating got really out of control and I was hiding food and eating in secret. In hindsight, it was a combination of loneliness and struggling with a sibling that needed much more from my parents than I did which caused strife and resentment. The year I was 19 going on 20 I started taking phen-fen, the popular diet drug. Over the year I lost about 120 pounds, was accepted into a college I wanted to go to and finally moved away from home.
I felt good at this point in my life. I felt beautiful. I was probably 21 in this picture.
The summer I turned 23 I moved to Arizona where I transfered to more rigorous academic program of study for college. I also moved in with a boyfriend at the time. Unfortunately, I didn't realize the soon enough that his way of showing affection was though emotional abuse. My eating spun out of control and after six months I move out, saved by new friends who welcomed me into their home. My binge eating spiraled out of control over that next year. I hid as much as I could- eating in secret or when I was home alone.
I returned to my hometown and continued to emotionally eat even though I was now aware of my eating disorder diagnosis or Compulsive Overeating Disorder. That year after college had many highs and lows. I eventually got my crap back together and learned that I had Polysystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I had probably had it for years and it most likely contributed to my weight gain and acne. I am reminded of a line in Mean Girls where all the women are making amends to one another (one of the steps in The Hero's Journey) and one of the girls says, "...I don't hate you because you're fat. You're fat because I hate you." I could say that this was true about how I felt about myself for much of my overweight life. So I began the weight loss journey again. 317 lbs...It slowly began to come off. I was following a diet called The PCOS Diet. I lost about 75 pound that year. I was feeling pretty good. I had decided to move to NYC to pursue my career in the arts.
This was me backstage on a show I was working on at the time.
In 2005 I moved to New York City. I was super poor and lived on egg rolls and wonton soup. I continued to lose weight because I was not eating that much. I also could not afford to turn my heat on that winter. It was a strange year that first year in NYC.
This picture is early in the spring at the end of that first year. It was also that spring that I met my husband. It was in this relationship that for the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was candid with him about my struggles with food and weight loss. I made a numerous attempts at continued weight loss that first year with him. After our first year together I was at about 230.
The early years with my husband went quickly. I was gaining weight again despite a happy new career as a teacher and an upcoming wedding. I joined Jenny Craig just before Thanksgiving in 2008 with a hope of losing as much weight as I could before our wedding the following summer in 2009. I started at 325 and when I got married I was at 285. It was not as much as I would have liked and I ended up making my own wedding dress since nothing off the rack made me feel beautiful.
This dress, customized for by body did make me feel beautiful.
After our wedding I continued to yo-yo. I spent time in OA as well as beginning therapy to really start to dig into the food related issues as well as processing work, marriage, and life in general.
It was the winter of 2010 that my weight began to climb again. That Christmas I had reached the 300# mark again. I was uncomfortable but manageable. I still had high BP but my blood glucose levels were fine. Over the next 2 years my weight climbed to what it was when I went into my first consult this summer: 386 pounds. I have do doubt that I am making the right choice to have weight reduction surgery.