Belly Up: A Thickish Mother’s Struggle At Regaining Her Health
It happened on Good Friday. Good Friday, my ass…There I was in pure agony and I suddenly found myself replaying the highlight reel of shame for the last year and a half of my life. Everything that I haven’t done, and everything that I had done to my body in these short fifteenish months has brought me to this embarrassing moment in time. Belly up in our upstairs hallway, feeling a piercing pain shooting through my back. What have I done? The answer, absolutely nothing. I have used and abused my body inside and out, and now this was its payback. I’ve completely lost my food filter. I’ve made a sport out of over eating, and on several occasions tried to reach that Thanksgiving Day feeling. The one where you’ve reached maximum intake, but you burp, unbutton your pants and forge on, because there’s still pie and you’re not a quitter. I kept telling myself that I had it under control, and I had somehow gotten myself to believe that I was doing okay.
“I couldn’t eat for nine months.”
“I just had a baby.”
“I lost the baby weight, plus 22 lbs just two weeks postpartum.” ***(Not because I was healthy, but because my body was eating itself from being so sick and starved during pregnancy).
“I’m too tired”
“I have no time”
“I just don’t care anymore, my body is ruined anyway, what does it even matter?”
Those are the thoughts and excuses that would run through my head on a daily basis. None of those statements were valid reasons for me to throw such caution to the wind when it came to my health. Sure, everyone needs to cut themselves a break. Sure, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself about my weight. Sure, no one is perfect and these things can happen to anyone. However, I shouldn’t have let myself get so far off track on the fitness journey I had begun just a few years back.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, my weight has always been a little sketchy. Not like, “My 600-lb Life” sketchy, but more like I’ve reached the second size in women’s plus, and I have four styles of Spanx in my closet, kind of sketchy. There are some gorgeous plus size women out there that can pull off a size 18, and still turn heads, on me it didn’t suit. I’ve always been pretty solid, thickish if you will, but just like now, I always thought I had it under control. The thing is, I love fashion and have always found ways to accentuate what I have and don’t have, and fold and tuck the things away that I didn’t want people to see. It was not until I was professionally photographed for a wedding when I was thirty years old that I was slapped in the face with reality. It doesn’t matter how fashionably smart you are about your figure when you’re asked to be in a wedding. I put on that bridesmaid dress, smiled and stood where I was told. Honestly, I did not have a care in the world, because at that wedding my now husband and I had “come out” of the company dating policy closet, and I had stars in my eyes that night. That is until I saw the professional shots that were posted on Facebook soon after.
That wedding was on October 12, 2013. By Halloween I had joined a gym, started attending a regular Body Combat class, and had started seeing a trainer every week. With the support of my family, friends, and an amazing trainer I had gone from a solid 220 lbs (size 18) to a healthy and fit 185 lbs (size 10) in just six months. I was on top of the world, and literally kicking life’s ass. We got engaged, bought a dog, bought a house, got married and pregnant all within a year of losing all the weight. Then pregnancy hit me hard and I was struggling just to get through the day, let alone worry about keeping active. Even with all the pregnancy issues I just knew I’d get back on track after the baby was born. I did this once, I can do it again, right?
Fast forward through a horrendous pregnancy, postpartum depression, and 15 months of motherhood to Good Friday, 2017. Our company had given us the day off for the Holiday, and our morning was filled with the normal family shenanigans. After asking my little girl to focus, and go into her room for what seemed like the 100th time, I just bent over to pick her up and on my way up something in the middle of my back just said, “Fuck this shit.” and gave up on me. I’m thirty-three years young, and I threw my back out while picking up my 30 lb toddler. As soon as I felt the pain, I just wanted to scream, but I didn’t want to scare my little girl. I slowly put her down, fell straight to my knees and whisper-screamed both my husbands names aloud, and through gritted teeth said, “I need your help, please hurry.” I don’t even remember what he was doing, but he heard the tone of my voice and I could hear him rushing to my aid. By the time he got to me I was hovering on all fours, trying to work my way to laying on my back. Once I made it, I was stuck. There was a bit of chaos, a lot of cussing, some tears and the quick removal of my baby and our family dog. As they were both trying to climb all over Mommy, because she was laying on the floor. It sucked. It absolutely sucked. It is such a scary moment when your body starts to fight back. It has been nudging and dropping hints for months now and I’ve ignored all the signs or just didn’t care. When I started to lose my breath walking up our stairs, when I started to eat the same size portions as my husband, when I couldn’t go to sleep without a snack, when I started making trips through drive thru’s, when I started feeling constricted in my clothes and just stopped caring. I ignored all the signs, and this was a big “Reel it in Asshole!” from my body, and it definitely got my attention.
It took four days, a heating pad, IcyHot patches, tylenol, and a lot of patience from my husband to get me back to normal. The normal that I had let myself reach. On the fifth day, I joined a gym just a few minutes down the road and ran the slowest two miles on record, but I did it. I went to the gym the next two days, and before my husband flew out on yet another business trip we took a family hike on a trail near our home. I had been coasting though my life, managing my daily responsibilities and taking care of my family, and forgot about me. I had also forgotten what sore muscles, breaking a sweat, and trying to get out of a sweaty sports bra felt like. I had forgotten what it felt like to make short term goals, and what it felt like to reach them. I missed almost an entire day of not being able to hold my little girl, and I’ll do everything in my power so that never happens again. I’m not going to be that person who makes a social media post every time they are at the gym or take photos of the sad kale salad I’ll be eating for lunch, but I will certainly keep you posted on my small victories as I start this journey again. I have a lot of work to do, and its going to be so hard working regular exercise into my life again, but it has to be done. I know that my little family will help and support me, and we’ll take each step together as we make weekly menus, make healthier choices and take family walks and runs around Lancaster County. The thing I look forward to most is showing my little girl how to lead a healthy and happy life, and (let’s be honest) all the new clothes I will be able to buy here soon enough. Please send positive thoughts, prayers, and encouragement through the internet space folks. I’ll need all the help I can get.
A Struggling, Out of Shape, Hot Mess Mommy,
Start Date: April 19, 2017 *** Current Weight: 200 lbs *** Current Size: 12
Goal: To make my husbands jaw drop when he sees me.
Goal Weight: 175 lbs *** Goal Size: 8-10