I'm currently basking on the warm beaches of...? I have no idea! My husband surprised me with a "get away" this weekend (well, Friday night to be exact. When you work for a church you lose all normal semblance of a weekend!) and while I'd like to imagine we're jetting off to Hawaii, more likely we're on the beaches of the North Shore in Duluth, Minnesota. I thought this the perfect time to regale you with a little Angie History! Enjoy :)
I don't have many "pre-weightloss" pictures. For realz. They've almost all been replaced with newer pictures. My mom even took down my senior picture (thank the good Lord!) with my mandatory class picture from my first year teaching. And I'm perfectly ok with that.
I was ALWAYS overweight, as far back as I can remember. The size I'm at now (which is still "overweight", by most standards) is the smallest I remember being- ever. I'm talking elementary school. Possibly in 5th or 6th grade I was this size, but I know for a fact by 8th grade I was wearing a size 18, and now I'm in a 10-12. So it could have even been younger, yikes.
Since I was fat, I thought I had to drink copiously and do drugs copiously to fit in. Baddddd choice. I started when I was 13 (a baby, I know!) and finally sobered up when I was 16 and my mom had an alcohol-induced stroke. That was eye-opening.
I gradually gained more and more weight, and by high school I was wearing a size 24. No idea what I weighed, but it was somewhere in the 240 range. Went off to college, gained more weight. Now I was in the 260 range. The weird part? I never really cared, honestly. I mean if someone granted me a wish to magically be thin of course I would have done it, but it wasn't a huge thought for me; it just sort of, was.
I did the South Beach Diet one summer and lost a little weight- about 30 lbs I think? I was much happier and felt a lot better. I got married, started school at the Aveda Institute, and generally had a blast. My husband was deployed to Iraq (not so good) for two years, and I was distracting myself with a year of something I'd always wanted to do (or so I thought!). I met my best friend in the whole world there, and she wanted to get healthy. We started Weight Watchers together, and it was the best decision I ever made.
She didn't last long, but I had come to love the program and was seeing great results. I stuck it out, and when my husband came back (after a two year deployment, 9 months of weight loss) I had lost 50 lbs and felt fantastic.
But, it quickly spiraled into a very unhealthy obsession, and until someone was around to see it, I hadn't even noticed. My husband started commenting that I'd have a panic attack if I didn't know what was in food or how many calories it was, and that I would skip out on major events to make sure I got my exercise in. I would meticulously count everything that crossed my lips, and I just wouldn't eat if I thought it was "unhealthy". I would wake up at the crack of dawn and miss spending wonderful time with my husband just to exercise. I had reached the other end of the spectrum, and it wasn't good!
I also stopped getting my period, had horrible stomach cramping and wasn't going to the bathroom (number one was fine from the gallons of water, but it was number two that we had a problem with). I was eating little to no fat, I had decided to become vegan thinking that would help me limit myself, and I was exercising all the time. The problem was, I was still overweight, and I thought all those problems were just for "skinny people", never for someone like me, who still had weight to lose.
My husband sat me down and told me something had to change. I gave up calorie/Points counting, and I cried and cried for days. Honestly, the mental hold it had on me was HUGE. I had horrible anxiety about it, and it was just awful. I had this paralyzing fear that I was going to gain all the weight back (I'd never seen anyone in my life successfully maintain weight loss, so I didn't think it was possible!), and I was miserable.
Today: I'm better, but not great. I still have a mental battle every day over what I'm eating, how much I'm exercising, that sort of thing. I've gained a little weight back (10-20 lbs), but my stomach aches have gone away and my period has come back. I'm trying to be ok with where I'm at, but some days it's really really hard. I would like to lose more weight, honestly. But I want to do it in a healthy way. I want to get to a point where I just EAT, and I don't have to overanalyze everything. I know that day will come, but it might take awhile.
That's why I've started this blog; to help get out of my own head. To get my thoughts out here, to share my struggle with people that have lived it (and are living it). To help me understand that there's a connection between faith and food and our relationship with it, and healing can happen.
Thank you so much to all of you that pour your heart out every day to the webisphere. It takes guts to lay it all out like you do. For years now I've enjoyed reading along with you, and now I look forward to sharing the rest of my journey.