My Story? This is harder than I thought. I believe I have been overweight my entire life. With the exception of a handful of successful diet attempts (Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Richard Simmons, Slimfast, Phen-fen, Metabolife, Lindora, Diet Doctors) where I may have been a decent size for a short time only to gain back all the weight I have lost and then some.
I have always had a twisted idea of a healthy weight and size in large part because my father who was extremely obese as a young teenager was so terrified I would end up like him. When I was young (like 4) I remember being referred to as the chubby one (my sister was stick thin jus tlike my mom). But, I look back now at my baby book with height and weight records and pictures and realize I was not chubby at all but right where I should be. So, started my distortion of what was a healthy body for me. My parents divorced when I was 5. My father maintained sole custody of my sister and I. It was at this time in my life that I began my addiction to food. Special occasions were happy times and focused around food, I was good and rewarded with food, holidays were special and look at the food. Food was a comfort for me and so many good feelings were attached to food. However, thus began my perpetual battle with food and weight.
My father put me on my first diet at 7. It consisted of low calorie and lowfat with nightly exercise. I got very thin and my father was so proud. That summer while visiting my mother I put back on the weight and then some. School year back to dad's and diets and again I would lose weight. This cycle only reinforced my food addiction because now I snuck food every chance I got, sleepovers at friend's houses, trading lunch items at school, using babysitting money to buy food from vending machines at school. I was a child and a complete addict. This cycle went on for years. At 13 I moved full time to be with my mother. She was naturally thin and never worried about weight like my father which posed a greater problem. She didn't limit my food but tried her best to keep me active without being judgmental. At 14 I was 5' 3" and weighed 150 pounds and was very unhappy with my weight. I told my mom and she took me to Jenny Craig. I lost 20 pounds before summer and felt better but living in California I wanted a perfect body so, I was still unhappy. I began to overeat again and up my weight went. The next year my mother and I joined jazzercise and I went to Weight Watcher's again lthis time I started out at 162. I lost some weight but again not for long. Well, at 16 I got pregnant and had a son. During my pregnancy I was so happy. I was not preoccupied with food or dieting. However, I gained 50 pounds and delivered at the weight of 213 pounds. I started my senior year weighing in at 190 pounds however the happiness I found during pregnancy stuck with me and I refused to be consumed with weight and dieting. I just tried to make good choices, watch my portions and believe in the old phrase eating to live not living to eat. I also continued jazzercising 4x a week because I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I had no idea the damage I had done to my body over the years starving my self and then binging. Just by living a normal what I believed to be healthy life I gained 20 pounds. At 18 starting college I was up to 210 and devastated. Thus began 15 years of dieting and losing weight only to gain it all back and then some. I had some successes like 45 pounds with Weight Watchers, 56 pounds with Phen-fen, and 69 pounds with Lindora. But, I still hadn't recovered from my addiction. I attempted Overeater's Anonymous but just couldn't grasp their philosophy fully. I couldn't imagine just handing over this addiction to a higher power and I would be cured. In June of 2006 I went in for a yearly womanly exam and when I got on the scale it read 249. I was mortified I was almost a quarter of a thousand pounds and still only 5' 3" tall. That same exam I realized the embarrassment of my weight as the paper top and bottom they give you to cover yourself ripped because they were too small. Then because the extra weight made me hot constantly I stuck to the paper on the table and when asked to scoot to the edge of the table I took the paper with me. Talk about humiliating. I was done. On June 23rd 2006 I started seeing a diet doctor weekly who gave me a weekly supply of diet meds, I bought his packaged protein foods, joined a gym and began exercising 14 - 20 hours a week by June of 2007 I had lost 80 pounds. By September I was consulting with plastic surgeons for a tummy tuck, I was happy with my weight and just wanted to treat my accompishments. I actually wore a bikini that summer at the beach. Well, life interferred again. My mom became terminally ill October of last year and thus began my year of hell. We knew my mother's time was limited so, I took time out from exercising, cut back hours at work (no more $ for diet doctor) to care for & spend time with my mom. I started gaining some weight. A couple pounds in October, 8 in November and 10 in December. On January 1st, 2008 I was up 22 pounds. I decided to really start watching my diet again and tried to get in at least 4 hours cardio and 3 weight resistance exercise a week. I was doing good but again in January I gained 5 pounds. Refused to get discouraged kept it up in February another 6 pounds that month. March I lost hope. Mom was hospitalized I was overwhelmed and thus gained 15 pounds. Yes, 15 pounds! That's a total of 48 pounds. I was back up over 200 how could I let this happen. I went to a therapist and begged for help. I was broken and devastated. My entire life was out of control. She recommended I see a psychiatrist and get a physical. I went to the shrink but blew off the physical. My shrink prescribed me an anti-depressant with a side effect of weight gain...bitchin'. And I continued seeing my therapist weekly. And I continued to gain weight. Finally on July 1st I got my physical weighing in at 231. I rec'd a call back from the doc I needed to come in and discuss my blood work. I made the appointment and on July 15th was told I had severe hypothyroidism. Which basically causes a shut down of your metbolism, thus the extreme weight gain. Talk about lessons learned. I am now on medication for my thyroid and while I would have loved to find a renewed desire to exercise and lose weight it was not to be. My mother was hospitalized for the final time on July 18th and after an extensive hospital stay passed away on September 3rd. I feel like a lost and broken soul. I feel trapped in a body that isn't mine without the will to fight. So, I am making my last ditch attempt at weight loss surgery. I know this surgery is what I need to live my life. I need this surgery so, I can participate in life again, be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband.