I thought I was fat in high school because I weight 155 lbs. In retrospect, given my build, I was probably at most 10 lbs overweight and simply out of shape. Too bad we didn't have the kind of body-awareness education then that girls today do, even if it isn't always effective even now!
When I went off to college and discovered dorm food, I didn't gain just the traditional freshman 15. I kept going until by my junior year I had ballooned up to 198. Part of this was that I developed a habit of periodical binging under stress for the first time in my life -- and I found college very stressful, especially given my parents' divorce in my Freshman year.
After graduation, my weight stayed stable at 198 through my wedding until I got pregnant in 1986. While pregnant, I only gained 18 lbs, but since my baby was born three months prematurely, it's hardly fair to compare to other people's pregnancies. I stabilized at 213 immediately after the baby's birth, but then shot up an additional 25 lbs in the six months that followed while my son remained hospitalized in an NICU unit. Not only was he critically ill for many of those months, but the hospital was 45 miles away, meaning we had a nightly round trip commute of 90 miles to see him. The stress of that situation added to eating a lot of fast food and quick hospital meals added that additional weight very quickly.
At some point after my son came home on oxygen, I remember stabilizing around 242 for some time. By working hard at diet and exercise, I eventually lost some of the weight and got down to 213 again. Around that time, when my son was five years old, my husband and I decided to divorce. Again under stress, my weight yo-yoed between the 220s and 240s as I continually gained and dieted the gains off. By 1997 or so, I had gone up to 260, however.
In 1998, I decided to go to graduate school to become a librarian. My first year in school, thanks to walking everywhere on campus and having no time to eat, I lost 20 lbs without even trying. I decided to push myself further and joined Weight Watchers and succeeded by 2000 with a great deal of effort in getting down to 198 for the first time in 15 years.
That's when I took a new job and moved across country to New Jersey. While I loved my new job, I had no local support system, which was challenging because I needed to find appropriate child care and education for my son. Now a teenager, he has cognitive problems and seizures from his premature birth and requires 24/7 supervision. My ex-husband ended up moving back in with us to help take care of him since it was too expensive to find the kind of care he required. This has worked out in the long-run as everyone adjusted, but it started out as a very stressful situation.
You can guess what happened since I was once again under major stress! The first year, it was only 20 lbs gained back, but for the first time, I had high blood pressure with only that little bit of weigh added back on. The second year, it was another 20 lbs, and so on and so until by 2006 I was more than 100 lbs heavier than when I moved here. In 2004, I was diagnosed with reasonably severe sleep apnea and in March of 2006, I also developed diabetes.
In spring 2006, my PCP suggested I consider WLS. His rationale was that if I didn't do it soon, at the rate I've been going in gaining weight, I might be facing an issue of increased risk for the surgery at increased weight further down the line. Although I was never gung ho about the idea in past years, I've since educated myself about the surgery and believe this is the best long-term solution for me. I want to be healthy again, and I want to be able to keep weight off, not continue to yo-yo up and down as I have most of my adult life.
I'm pursuing this path not only for myself, but for my family. My son is going to require supervised care for the rest of his life, and the last few years, I've become increasingly fearful about the possibility of my dying early because of my weight. I want to be around to take care of him for as long as I can.
10/3/06 - 301.4 in doctor's office, 305.2 at WW, BMI 49.2
11/6/06 - 291.8 in doctor's office (down 9.6 total), BMI 47.2
12/11/06 - 294.2 in doctor's office (+2.4 from previous, down 7.2 total)
1/15/07 - 292.4 in doctor's office (down 9.0 total), BMI 47.2
5/21/07 - 284.8 in doctor's office (down 16.6 total), BMI 46.0
7/2/07 - 278.1 in doctor's office (down 23.3 total), BMI 44.9
7/27/07 - 267.6 in doctor's office (down 33.8 total), BMI 43.2
8/3/07 - 262.2 in doctor's office (down 39.2 total), BMI 42.3
8/17/07 - 258.5 in doctor's office (down 42.9 total), BMI 41.7