Hang in here with me as I go back 23 years.
Being a 7 pound premie twin, probably was my first clue that I was predisposed to being overweight. As I grew up, I treasured my “million dollar” blonde hair and played just like all the other kids. It wasn’t until elementary school that I started noticing differences in my weight verses other kids. Every so often in PE, you weighed and got a note to take home with your current measurements. I remember thinking mine was higher than others, but otherwise no big deal. For second and third grade, I played soccer. It wasn’t until I hated all the running and waking up early on Saturday mornings that I decided to quit. I definitely didn’t have the love of the sport. Once middle school came around, I was very aware that I was overweight, but still wasn’t motivated by myself or family to make any changes. I ran with Running Club, mainly for the social aspect, for all three years of middle school. It was one of very few clubs at school, led by an inspirational teacher/coach, and my only option after being rejected at volleyball try outs. I remember formulating dreams and goals that one day I might run a half marathon and be able to call myself a “runner.” The furthest distance I ran in those years was 4 miles at the Houston Marathon, Half Marathon, and former 4 mile run. I can’t remember specifically, but I think around 8th grade was when I joined my mom in the Atkins diet. I think I lost a few pounds, but nothing significant. I wasn’t motivated enough for my own reasons and lacked the nutritional knowledge to know Atkins was not a healthy diet. Moving on to high school, I was roughly 150 pounds freshman year and not active (aside from marching band practice). By senior year, I was somewhere in the 190s and still aware of being overweight. School, future college plans, and socializing with friends kept my focus and determination away from taking care of myself. I remember trying a few times during those years to start running again or workout occasionally. Ultimately I resigned to the fact that I didn’t have enough determination or support to commit to losing weight. I went off to college only to gain more weight while keeping my priorities similar to high school working on school work, church, or taking care of children.
A few things to point out about the years leading up to the present. Sure, I knew my weight was a problem and I tried a few different options to lose weight unsuccessfully. During childhood, I was happy (and I continue to be happy!). Through all of the years, I remember my weight being a concern in the back of my mind, but nothing that held me back from enjoying life. Maybe I didn’t make the volleyball team in 7th grade, but I still had friends to have sleepovers with and plenty of fun memories. Just like most people and children who are overweight, I faced particular difficulties. Finding clothes that fit, crossing my legs comfortably, and painting my toe nails, are just a few of simple daily tasks that at times were difficult.
My weight wasn’t really talked about or approached as a problem until I was diagnosed with Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). My gynecologist was the first person who told me I needed to lose weight. Medication can help with PCOS, but more than anything having a balanced diet and normal BMI are the best solutions. I respected her sincere approach and general concern for my overall health. She had the courage to talk about a subject so sensitive to many people. Childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic and it is time to talk about the “difficult” subjects. While I know God’s timing is perfect in His way, I had longed for someone like her to help me sooner.
When I look back at my childhood, I have many feelings. An overwhelming amount of my memories are happy, energetic, and filled with many friends and family members.
More details of my transformation will be posted soon.