Hi there, I'm Erin. I'm a 29 year old wife and mother of three young children...and I'm REALLY overweight. I guess professionals would call me "obese", but I HATE that word, it makes me sound gross and I don't feel gross. I know I look gross, but I don't feel gross.
I don't feel like I'm 242 pounds. When I say feel I mean that I don't mentally feel like I'm OBESE, but when I look in the mirror I can see that I'm OBESE. When I try to sit on the floor with my kids, or get up off the floor (even harder than getting down on the floor) I can feel that I'm VERY overweight. I'm AT LEAST 100 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT!?! How did this happen!? I ask myself this question all of the time, but I know how it happened...I ATE TOO MUCH!!! I LOVE FOOD!!! Food makes me feel happy, relaxed, content, satisfied. So really, food is my drug. Truly it is...but I'm not going to say something like "I can't help it, I have a disease." For me, that would be a cop out, an EXCUSE, and I REFUSE to let myself think that there's nothing I can do. I will NOT let food rule over my life anymore!!! That's God's job and I am determined to, with God's guidance, lose this excess (nice way to say it...obscene or grotesque came to mind as well) amount of weight that is LITERALLY holding me down.
I ALWAYS thought I needed to lose weight, even when I was 130 lbs. and wearing a size 8. I was 18 years old at the time and if I had known then what I would weigh 10 years later...I would've flaunted that bod like nobody's business. Not really, not my style, but you catch my drift. I started welcoming more weight onto my body after moving in with my then boyfriend, now husband David. I was barely 20, and able to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I wanted with MY own money! How AWESOME, right? WRONG...I did buy whatever I wanted, and most of it wasn't healthy. By the time David and I got married in August 2004 I was weighing in at about 170 lbs. I even had to exchange my wedding dress for the next size up, from a 14 to a 16. Now, I was wearing a 12 at the time I bought my dress, but as many of you ladies know, dresses can run small. Not very nice dress designers...we're buying a dress for the single most important day in our lives to look our best and skinniest and you decide to make the dresses run SMALL so we have to buy a size or two bigger than what we are?! Doesn't make any sense...if anything, they should run BIG! Anyways, after we got married I welcomed even more weight, "Hello 5 lbs., oh, you need a place to stay? Sure, come on in...you can stay on my ASS!" I had several "house" guests come stay. They took up residence in my thighs, stomach, arms, and chin...I even had to add an addition to my chin to accommodate all the extra weight.
So when I got pregnant with my first child in July of 2006 I was sitting at 195 lbs. I gained about 40 lbs. during my first pregnancy. When Jacob was born I did lose 8 lbs. 6 oz. right away, but then I was only able to lose 26 lbs. in the 9 months after I had Jacob and got pregnant with Nathan. I was on track to gain even more than I had in my pregnancy with Jacob, but Nathan decided he had had enough of living with my fat and evicted himself almost 10 weeks early. I dropped about 15 lbs. after delivering him (only 3 lbs. 14 oz. of which were from Nathan himself), which was great, but Nathan had to stay in a hospital NICU about an hour away from our home for a little over 5 weeks before he was able to come home to us. There was A LOT of eating fast food...and LOTS of COLD STONE ice cream!!! Yum...they were right near the hospital that Nathan was staying at. Thanks to all that junk I gained that 15 lbs. back before Nathan even came home, and there I stayed...at 238 lbs...not budging at all. I had quite a bit of stress in my life then. Adjusting to two children, deciding to short sale our home that we had outgrown MAJORLY, moving in with my Grandfather after selling our home and having all our stuff squished into one narrow living room for 8 months, and all of this caused a lot of stress on David's and my relationship.
Then in August 2009 I became pregnant for a third time. However, just a couple of days shy of reaching the 12 week mark I had a miscarriage due to a blighted ovum. 'What the heck is that?' you ask? I didn't know either...its when a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall but an embryo never develops. Cells form the embryonic sac, but no embryo. I tried to take comfort in the fact that I had not lost a baby, but it was still hard. I had lost the thought of that baby. Somehow, that experience gave me the motivation to start to lose my excess weight.
I changed how and what I ate. I counted calories, drank TONS of water, ate every 4 hours, and made healthier food choices. Within four months I had dropped 40 pounds and had just made it below the 200 pound barrier! I was feeling really good, but then I hit a plateau, which really was my own fault. I was helping my Mom find a new apartment and whenever we're together we like to have fun, and "fun" always consists of getting very yummy (not so good for you) food. I had pizza and other high calorie things for the couple of days that we were apartment hunting. I then, of course, didn't lose any weight for awhile. I quickly went back to the healthy eating but the damage had been done and my weight didn't budge for over a month. My motivation went out the window and I fell off the wagon. I went back to my old eating habits and started packing the pounds back on.
By the time I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Isabel in October of 2010, ironically on the very day I had miscarried one year earlier, I had put almost 20 pounds of that 40 pound loss back on and was the heaviest I had ever been at the start of a pregnancy. I was terrified that I was going to gain a TON while pregnant and that I would reach my highest weight ever! I tried to watch how much I ate and what I ate, but mostly how much I ate. I was put on bed rest at 26 weeks because of frequent contractions, which is NOT easy at all when you have two kids under 4 and people around you who don't understand the definition of BED REST! Even with these challenges Isabel made it to 35 weeks before she decided she had had enough of my womb. On the day she was born I weighed 245 pounds, the most I've ever weighed. Today I weigh 241 pounds...and this is after my first two weeks of calorie counting...I was 247 pounds. So what I lost after having Isabel, about 10-15 pounds (I can't even remember how much I lost because I put it back on so fast), came right back plus a few.
So here I am, trying desperately to lose enough weight to equal a petite woman, or almost an entire husband. *My husband weighs 127 pounds...and has stayed within 5 pounds of what he's weighed since he was in high school! Makes me sick!* If you haven't fallen asleep or given up reading this post yet, maybe you'd like to stick around with me and hear me whine and complain while I navigate this weight loss road. I can use all the positive reinforcement I can get!
*If you'd like to read a little more about how I got where I'm at...and see some pictures of me along the way check out the guest post I did for Divya at Eat Teach Blog.*