Just a little (maybe a lot) background info on me……and how the when the weight began to be a problem.
I was born in Cincinnati Ohio in a lower to middle class family. I have a sister, Carol, who is 7 years older than me, and a brother, Steve who is 2 1/2 years older than me. My mother was overweight for as long as I can remember. And I know she was very thin at her wedding, the proof is in the pictures. She started gaining weight after being pregnant with my sister. She actually started losing weight in May of 1991 when her doctor (and she NEVER went to the doctor, so I’m not sure why she did this time) told her she has to lose weight NOW or she will eventually be getting her toes amputated. So, I don’t know exactly what was all discussed and what REALLY was wrong with her but I do know she had diabetes at that time. She would down bottles of Coke by the 8 pack daily. So, whatever the doctor said must of been life threatening to her and she took her diet and exercise seriously. She ended up losing 70lbs in a matter of 5 months, up until her untimely death in November of 1991. She was in a single car accident and had multiple injuries and died a week later. They think she may of went into a diabetic coma at the wheel. I was 20 years old at the time. She was 52. I am getting closer to that age, so I guess thats why I am motivating myself to get in gear and finally do something. I would not want my kids to go through what I did at that age. I’m lucky, my youngest son, Nathan, is my biggest supporter. He keeps telling me he wants me around to see his kids, etc. and that I need to do something now!
Growing up food was not an issue for me or was the weight. I was very active. I was involved in softball and cheerleading and these were the days that kids played outside! We also had a swimming pool, actually everyone in the neighborhood had a pool and we would go pool hopping all the time. I lived on a cul-de-sac and we had tons of neighbor kids. We played “ghost in the graveyard”, kickball, baseball (lots of broken windows from that one), roller-skated, rode bikes to friends houses. Like I said, I was active so I pretty much ate what I wanted and didn’t even think about it.
I met my husband, Jim, when I was 17 and a junior in high school. We met in a neighborhood bar. I had a fake ID. My parents knew about this but knew I was there with my brothers friends and that they would look out for me. Little did they know……the fake ID was a drivers license that one of my brothers friends found and it was this girl who kinda looked like me but she was 24. I just got dressed up and did my makeup and hair so I kinda looked older. But I was able to buy them (my brother and his friends) the hard liquor since none of them were 21 yet. I did do a little drinking. Anyway, we met on February 13th, 1987 and it was almost midnight so we like to say we met on Valentines Day. He was older, in college, and I was quite smitten. We were engaged a year later, yes, only a senior in high school. And we were married on September 2nd, 1989. My parents adored him, so me getting married so young didn’t even bother them. It was a very nice wedding and reception. We got married in the catholic church that I grew up in, was baptized, had my first communion, confirmation, and graduated from 8th grade. I went to a private catholic grade school and high school. My dad was insistent on that. He grew up in a strict Catholic family. My mother was from many religions. She told me she was baptized like 8 times in different churches due to her family moving around a lot. Now Jim’s family was Protestant, so they were not happy with him marrying in the Catholic Church. So we compromised and had a shorter than normal Catholic wedding.
So we were married for about a year….and this is where the weight started creeping on. I was not a cook….and sill am not. Its just not enjoyable to me. But we ate out a lot, mainly fast food places. I would say by our first year anniversary I had probably gained about 20 pounds. Mind you, when I met my husband I weighed about 115. And Im 5’2….if that. So we went on a first year anniversary trip to Gatlinburg Tn. At that time I discussed with him that I wanted to go on Nutri System. It was very expensive and I didn’t know if we could afford it. He was working as an accountant at a lumbar company and I was a Medical Assistant in an Ob/Gyn office. We did not make a lot of money. In fact, our first couple of Christmases, we did not get each other anything because we had to buy for so many other family members. Anyway, I did try Nutri System and from what I remember, it was not the best tasting food. And it was expensive. I did lose a little weight on it, but it was just too expensive for me to stay on it. Since then, I had tried Weight Watchers but I never really had any success because it was pretty much my own fault. I just couldn’t stick to it. Again, I loved food! And still do. I kinda stayed around 125-135 until I became pregnant with my first son, Aaron. When I became pregnant, I pretty much ate whatever. I remember one appointment and was asking the doctor about these weird lines all over the insides of my legs…..he said they were stretch marks and I was gaining too much weight. Well, Aaron was two weeks late, I had gained 40 plus pounds and I had to have a C-Section. He weighed 9lbs 4oz. He was a big beautiful baby who grew up to be this amazing young man. At that point I was about 160lbs after giving birth. I really don’t recall losing too much weight in-between having Aaron and my second son, Jacob, 4 years later. I only gained about 20 lbs with Jacob though. He was a smaller baby only weighing 7lbs 10oz. Again, he too grew up to be an amazing young man who I am very proud of. Two in a half years later, I gave birth to my youngest son, Nathan . He was our valentine baby and my smallest baby weighing in at 6lbs 10oz. I am pretty sure at this point I was about 230lbs. How I got so big, I really don’t know. I just know I worked part time in a Urology office, and had this family. And really didn’t care about watching what I ate. I was exhausted. After Nathan was born, I was able to quit work and be a full time mother.
So there were some very stressful times from those years up till now. We moved three times, had to deal with the death of Jim’s dad right before Aaron was born. The death of my dad a year after Jacob was born. And of course the marriage wasn’t perfect. We had our ups and downs and what did I do to cope? Eat. We moved down to Florida in March of 2005. I thought maybe since I will be in nice warm weather for most of the year that it would motivate me to get in shape. People pretty much can wear shorts all year round here if they wanted. But nope. For whatever reason, that did not get me moving. And here I am today at the weight I am today. About 5 years ago, I did try and start a diet and did pretty good. We had a wedding to go to in July and I wanted to look somewhat decent. I did manage to lose 50 lbs during that time. But when I got back home I gained it all back.
We opened a restaurant in July 2014. It has been the most stressful endeavor I have ever had. I don’t think I have cried as much in my life as I have since opening this place. I even had to go on anti-depressants/anxiety meds for the first time in my life. My doctor (and I don’t go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to) also put me on high blood pressure meds and meds for diabetes. I am so horrible at taking medications. I forget half the time. I just recently bought one of those pill boxes with the days of the weeks on it to remind me to take them.
My youngest son has joined the Air Force and is supposed to ship out February 12th. Two days before his 19th birthday. I know that will be a hard time for me. We are extremely close and I’m going to miss him like crazy. I’m even getting teary eyed just typing this. He and I started a diet last August….actually August of 2017. It was the start of his senior year in high school. He has lost over 60lbs since then and looks amazing. Like a different person. I am proud of how hard he worked to actually stick to it. Clearly better than me. I hope when we go to his graduation, he will be able to tell that I have lost a lot of weight. Fingers crossed……