My name is Carrie. I am 35 years old and a mother to five children who range in age from 21 years old to 5 years old. So, basically, I have been a mom most of my life. Having kids, especially a bunch of them, can wreak havoc on a woman's body and I have the c-section scars and stretch marks to prove it!
I have had issues with my weight off and on since my pre-teen years. I swear, I went from being the prettiest girl in school in 3rd grade to ballooning up so fast during that summer that my friends didn't recognize me when we went back for 4th grade. I still do not know what happened. I know my childhood was a rough one. My father was obese and had serious issues with food. But, as for myself and that summer? I have no idea. I just remember the embarrassment and shame I felt when I showed up for the first day of 4th grade and my friends looked at me in disbelief and all whispered about how fat I was now.
The next few years were spent in total self-consciousness. I hated gym. I hated the clothes I had to wear. I hated not being as strong or athletic as the other kids. And I started to act out more in an effort to make friends. My parents got divorced and I was constantly moving back and forth between them, changing schools 11 times in six years. I eventually grew into my 'baby fat' a little bit by the time I reached 12-13, but I was still heavier than most people in my grade. I was always the 'new fat girl'.
At fourteen, I was hanging out with older kids, acting 'cool' and trying to make up for my size by being the one who was outrageous, fun and up for anything. This pretty much backfired on me when I got pregnant by a 19 year old guy who I was totally 'in love' with. As so often happens, he disappeared from my life and has never been heard from again.
I gained over 60 pounds during that pregnancy. I was young and figured I was going to get fat anyway, I would just eat whatever I wanted. And I did. I managed to lose most of that weight after my DD was born, mostly because I was always so darn busy. Going to school, daycare, taking care of my dad who was very sick at the time, etc. It was pretty rough at that age to be so responsible for so many things. But, I did it.
And then I got married at sixteen to a much older man. This man was very controlling and needless to say, I didn't get to leave the house much. So I packed on weight for two years straight. At my heaviest, I was 254 lbs. I remember coming home for the holidays to see my mom when I was 17 and when she opened the door, her mouth practically fell onto the porch. She had tears in her eyes and it was all because of what I had let myself become.
That marriage ended and I began again. I lost a ton of weight after I went to work and actually lost about 100 pounds. I felt good, I looked good.... and then came hubby #2 and pregnancies #2 and #3. I did pretty well, hardly gained any weight and was thinner after I had my DD#2 and DS#1 than when I got pregnant. But, I didn't go back to work after they were born. And sitting around the house being a stay at home mom, I gained back almost all the weight I had lost. It took seeing a picture of myself with my kids at the zoo to realize just how big I had gotten again and I just sat down and cried.
Not long after that, I started having heart trouble and ended up having open heart surgery to repair four holes in my heart. THAT was pretty scary. But, I am happy to say I recovered and am all fixed up now.
When that relationship ended after 6 years and I went back to work, I quickly dropped back down to about 170 lbs using the Atkins Diet. Even during a year of surgeries due to shattering my left tib & fib in a 3-wheeler accident, I was able to keep the weight off. Until I became involved with another man who didn't like me to leave the house. And yup, you guessed it, I gained a ton of weight back on. Back up in the 200's I went and had baby number four. I decided I was not going to be kept in the house any more and went back to work when DS#2 was a few months old and started losing the weight again. Needless to say that relationship ended after almost four years. And even after having DS#3, I was able to keep most of the weight off.
I say most. That is because I have been up and down the scale numerous times but have been within the 170-195 range. Never back over 200.
However, I am no longer happy with that. I know that I am not where I should be. I am not as healthy and happy and active as I can be and it is all because of this extra weight. It is time I took control of my life and my health and well being and started to do something about it. And that is why I have begun this journey.
I have 50 pounds that I want to lose in order to get down to my goal weight of 145. I am doing this through diet and exercise, but not any of the fad diets that give you instant results only to gain back all the weight you lost and more once you quit the program. I don't want instant temporary results. I want long lasting health and happiness. And that only comes when you change your whole lifestyle.
I have reached the point where I will never give up. No matter if I 'mess up' one day or not. I am taking this day by day. I am not making myself discouraged with huge, unattainable goals. I will do the best I can today in order to be healthier than I was yesterday. And then I will do it again tomorrow. Baby Steps.
I am determined to enjoy every day of the rest of my life. I will not sit on the sidelines anymore allowing my weight and lack of strength keep me a prisoner and bystander. I've wasted enough years not being able to do all the things I would like to do because I was too heavy and out of shape. No More!
We are only blessed with one life, one shot, one go-round and it can't be done over. I'm going to make the rest of my life as happy, exciting and enjoyable as it possibly can be. For God. For me. For my family. For YOU so that you can see that it can be done.
PS - You can read more about the challenges I have with my injuries in THIS POST.