Or shall I say my “AHHHHH” moment. I’ve always been the big girl. Every year on the first day of class I would sit, hunched over in my seat, scanning my fellow students for someone bigger then myself. It never happened. I always wore big, baggy shirts and jeans in the blazing Florida heat. My weight flip-flopped over the years, but never steadily declined. I never dated, never kissed, never had any of “those” high school moments.
Finally, after a traumatic senior year in high school, I had my “AHHHH” moment. The fall of my senior year we were hit with three hurricanes in a six week period, the last storm destroying the roof over my room – and everything in it. I had to bunk with my elementary school-aged sister for a few months while renovations took place. During that time my best friend was killed in an automobile accident, along with his high school sweetheart. I spiraled into a dark depression and found myself eating a lot and sleeping even more.
My room was finished in time for Christmas. I remember drying myself off after a shower one night and catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I realized then I hadn’t really seen myself in a full-sized, below the waist mirror in almost five months. I had ballooned up to 215 pounds and had stretch marks all over my abdomen (above my belly button too for that matter.) I was angry at myself for getting so out of control.
But I didn’t change anything. I still continued to sleep all the time, eat constantly, and sit in front of the computer screen, hiding behind my waist line.
I went to Costa Rica right after my senior year with friends and refused to go in the Pacific Ocean because I didn’t want to be seen in a bathing suit. I faked a stomach ache and sat with my toes in the sand while my friends pranced around in their bikinis, kicking up spray. In pictures I look swollen, puffy, bloated. I think I embarrassed some of my friends by being “the fat girl” while they were all sleek and lean and in their prime- the picture-perfect co ed group of friends with the blemish weighing down the one side of the frame.
That fall I attended college at Florida State. I walked and walked and walked across campus in the humidity, sweating off pound after pound of weight. I lost 30 pounds in three months, instead of gaining the freshman 15. I started feeling more confident, and more in control. I attended the gym on campus regularly and ate salads while everyone else shoved pizza into their faces. It was a start.
Fast forward 7 years (wow…) I am currently 195 pounds and losing, I have a loving husband of six years, and a wonderful step-son. I’m a Licensed Practical Nurse in Northern Ohio and take healthy living seriously, although I love me some ice cream and lasagna. I am a work-in-progress. I am training for my first half marathon in February at Disney World (Glass Slipper Challenge!!!!!!) And try to make healthy decisions every day. Slowly but surely I will become strong and healthy. I have surprised myself and others, have wowed my friends and family, and hopefully I will inspire and empower people to believe in themselves!