Here is a condensed life story that talks about why I am on this journey and how it is going. I will adjust this later to include other aspects of my life.
I was an athlete in middle school and high school. I swam on the swim team, ran, biked, weigh lifted, taught water aerobics, swim lessons, and life guarding and even trained but never participated in a triathlon. When tested fitness wise, my little lean body could bench press off the charts for a girl of any size, my resting heart rate concerned more than one person because it was so low. I swam an hour before school three days a week, weight lifted an hour before school two days a week, swam for 2-3 hours after school, and three hours on Saturday. Then I would go on long (30-50mile) bike rides with my family.
I quit swimming because I was a serious nerd and cared more for academia and knew that I did not plan on attending a swimming college. Also, during my sophomore year in high school I met Theo, my future husband. (His family loves to go out to eat and that's another part of the story.)
Swimming taught me a lot about perseverance, planning, goal setting, competition and excellence. It also taught me to eat in excess of 2500 calories a day!
Side note: My mother was very overweight and became obsessed with losing, lost it all and was diagnosed with anorexia when I was also in my sophomore year.
When I started college, I stopped moving and kept eating. I was always proud that I didn't eat like a bird. Whoa, size 8 to size 12 in one year!
I married Theo that Summer and we continued college. He is a computer geek and has never been active except he loves tennis. (I always did individual sports which did not involve a ball because I have no hand eye coordination!) Marriage and college: If you are having trouble gaining weight, look into that helpful combination!
I lost a little weight my third year in school because I read that Liz Taylor was at a deathly dangerous 200 lbs. I weighed 203! Panic city. I did Atkins and lost 23 lbs. I loved losing the weight, but couldn't eat that way the rest of my life. I love to eat everything, I don't like the idea that I might be missing something. So while low carbs were effective, I rebelled and ate lots of pasta, bread, potatoes, cake, and candy.
TaDa! 230lbs. My BMI is over 40, my cholesterol is borderline high. I am very upset but unwilling to try Atkins again.
My anorexic mother is now in size 16 clothes and I am having strong urges to begin parenting. My special education training and knowledge of pregnancy and child development won't let me even think about having a baby at this point.
So... after some interesting twists in our lives and the feeling of divine leading, we became foster parents a year ago. Our first child was a 19month old "holy terror". We were to give him respite care for one week while his foster parents went out of town. This baby had been moved through many, many homes in a very short time for problem behavior. He was a great match for our family and we fell in love. He went from being "developmentally delayed" to testing well above his age in every domain in less than three months. They even said he no longer has a behavior problem. We have had him ever since and we are hoping he will be available for adoption soon. There are always complicating factors and his case has more than its share. I have been to court at least 10 times during this year. There will be more and we don't know how or when it will end. We are in love with him, he has adopted our entire extended family and thinks he owns the place!
So... I want to lose weight for him and my other future children, biological or not. After years of secretly hoping my doctor would get onto me about my weight, I finally addressed the issue. He put me on xenical and meridia in early April.
Stay tuned: This is bound to get interesting!
7/22/02 -- I have been taking Xenical and Meridia for almost four months and have lost 38 lbs, half way to my goal! I feel wonderful and don't want to ever go back to the place in the cave I was before. So many improvements have happened in my life. It seems that as I begin to submit to what is right and appropriate in one arena, another one stands in line to get fixed as well.
I spend a good deal of time on-line at the diet pills discussion board discussing different aspects of life on these drugs. I am finding I spend a lot of time helping people through difficult spots which only helps me avoid those spots myself. I consider the discussion board very, very valuable in my weight loss.
My little foster son is still with us and is doing marvelously. He is sooooo intelligent that he frequently scares us. :) The plan is still to adopt, but we will have to do it on God's time, whatever that turns out to be. Right now, parental visitation has ended and we wait until August 30 to find out more.
My mother is responsibly losing weight this time. She stays 1-2 sizes ahead of me, which is nice because I get all of her hand-me-down clothes. She is very close to her goal and plans to try to maintain that size for as long as possible. She and I have talked a lot about the anorexia from earlier in her life. We both think that Anorexia is not truly the definition of what she went through. While there were body image issues, she wasn't trying to look like anyone or trying to get as thin as a model. She says she enjoyed the power of having control of her appetite and feeling superior to others who couldn't do the same. She says her self-esteem was actually not low at that time and she wasn't trying to meet some visual image in her mind, she was trying to control an obsession with food. We also note that it showed up well after adolescence which is extremely rare in anorexia.
We both think that it was part of a bigger eating disorder that includes gaining and losing tremendous amounts of weight by several members of our family. It is also interesting to note that many of the women on that side of family, including myself, have needed anti-depressants at one time or another. I've been referring to it as Bi-Polar Eating Disorder until I find if there is a clinical definition that fits it.
In the meantime, she and I are both doing quite well managing our new eating habits. My new lifestyle involves eating healthy and realistically. I am sure to get in enough calories to keep my metabolism going and yet allow me to lose about 2 lbs per week. I am so happy eating the way that I am that I truly can imagine eating this way the rest of my life. I do not deny myself any particular food, but I simply eat smaller portions and eat healthy generally but allow myself anything in moderation and not as a habit. This weekend I ate a cheeseburger at a water park as there simply weren't any better choices. It tasted wonderful, but I doubt I will want another one for a long time. My tastes have changed and I feel so much better eating good foods that the others are rare treats, as they should be.
I have been very pleasantly surprised how quickly my body has responded to exercise. I am so thankful for all that exercise I did when I was a teenager. I am learning about muscle memory and the fact that the previous work I did is helping me now!
I still have a long way to go, both emotionally and in poundage, but I am on my way and there is no turning back now!
This site was last updated 01/21/03