Looking back over the years I always had to work at staying slim but it was just something I did. It was part of me. I loved to keep fit and I exercised most days not because I had to but because I enjoyed it and it made me feel and look good. On the average week I would swim, powerwalk, run, go to the gym and do some step aerobics in the house.
I come from a `well-made family` As a child I was always a bit on the chubby side. I wasn’t fat but still managed to attract the odd nasty remark about my weight from the bullies at school. It didn’t really bother me until around the age of 14 when I decided to do something about it. I lost about 2 stones dropping from about 11 stones to 9 stones over a 6 month period through cutting out junk.
I maintained that weight for many years until I fell pregnant with Michael at the age of 25 when I `let go` and ate for Scotland….. Ice cream, chocolate and steak pie became the norm. I was piling on the weight but hey I was pregnant and I didn’t really care. I was happy. Life I thought was good. I loved my husband and the future looked rosy.
After Michael was born I stood on the scales and I weighed 12 stones and 7 lbs. I was 3 stone heavier than when I fell pregnant. I was gutted!
I immediately started to cut out the rubbish again and through eating healthily coupled with breastfeeding lost 2 stones of my excess baby weight by the time Michael was 3 months.
Then it happened….I found out that my Husband and Michael’s dad had been having an affair with An 18 year old girl from work. He told me that he didn’t love me anymore and that he felt trapped. I had to let him go even though I was absolutely and utterly devastated. I am not the kind of person who could have spent the rest of my life looking over my shoulder or worrying about the `next time`.
It was not an easy decision and I felt like my life had been picked up and dropped from a great height, shattering into a million pieces. How could the man that I loved with all my heart have done this to us. All my hopes and dreams for the future were in pieces.
I was so upset I just couldn’t eat. I literally lived on coffee, Quavers and cigarettes for 3 months. The weight literally fell off me. By the time Michael was 5 months old I weighed just under 8 stones. That is half the weight I am today and far too thin for me. My friends were starting to comment about how skinny I had become. I didn’t care.
To make things even harder my beloved Nana had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was dying. She had weeks to live at this point. We all took the decision to look after her at home till she died in July 1994. I am so proud that between me and my mum we did it. I was off work so thankfully had the time to personally care for her. It was a difficult yet very special time. I still think about Nana every day and miss her dreadfully. I am crying just now just thinking and writing about her…. funny though how I feel she is with me, holding my hand and pushing me forwards .I know that she would be right behind me with what I am doing today.
Unsurprisingly I succumbed to a period of severe post natal depression. The combination of giving birth, splitting from Michael’s dad and losing my Nana in the space of a few months were too much for me. I really struggled for a time but by the time Michael was 9 months old after a course of medication and counselling I was bouncing back.
I had found by chance that keeping fit was a great way to beat the blues when I was down so exercised daily. It was MY TIME.
I was back at work by the time Michael was 10 months and pushed myself hard towards promotion. I needed more money to survive on my own. I applied for my first Sisters job at the age of 26 and got it! Financially things improved. Things were looking up!
It was tough being on my own what with working full time and looking after a baby but I was never scared of hard work. One thing is for sure it kept me slim. I hardly had time to think about eating. I ate to live. ..not like today.
For about three years when I was in my early thirties I was in the Territorial Army and could definitely keep up with the boys as far as fitness was concerned. Doing 50 full press-ups and 100 sit-ups was a cool down after a workout! I actually had a six-pack!
Work kept me pretty fit as well…as a ward sister in a busy community hospital and later a district general hospital co-ordinator I did a lot of running around. Thinking back I probably walked miles on a single shift with little time in between to eat!
I met what was to be my second husband when Michael was about a year old. We were gym buddies, swimming partners and good friends for at least 6 months before things progressed into a relationship. We dated for about 3 years but split because I felt things were getting too serious and I wasn’t ready to settle down again.
Later and to cut a long story short we got back together again a few years and got married. After an idyllic sunset, beach wedding in Hawaii and a fab honeymoon in Vegas we headed home to start our new life together. Very quickly I realised I had made a huge mistake. The man I thought was my soul mate and best friend whom I had known for 8 years was turning into a bully and control freak. I was always independent so the more he tried to control the more I fought for some space. Slowly but surely my spirit was crushed.
Things gradually went from bad to worse in the relationship but with one failed marriage already behind me I desperately wanted to make it work. I was miserable and unhappy and for several years buried my feelings. I started to comfort eat and stopped exercising. The weight piled on. I felt trapped in the relationship and he was becoming more and more abusive towards me. The more afraid I was the more I ate. I didn’t care. Part of me thought if I get fat he will leave me. Around that time he said… I know you will never leave me because you are too fat and no-one will want you.
Eventually things got to the stage where I could not take it anymore. The mental abuse was progressing to the physical. It was only with the help of the Police, Woman’s Aid, a court restraining order that I managed to take my life back and break free.
Through the stress I ballooned to 16 stone 7lbs and became quite ill for a while. I went to see my GP who started me on some medication and referred me for a course of CBT to help me deal with the fallout of Domestic Abuse. This worked well for me and after a few months I managed to pick myself up again….once more I was bouncing back. As the depression lifted I put myself on a strict low carb diet and lost 5 stones in 6 months with sheer grit and determination.
Now that was 2 years ago and in this time have managed to regain ALL the weight I worked so hard to lose .
…….how it happened I`m not sure but will try and figure it out in my head.
I need to do this to work on where I went wrong so I don’t repeat the same mistakes again post banding.
As you will find out I quite like lists. They can clarify the mind!
1. My current job, although stressful at times is pretty sedentary and I do not run about the wards like I used to. I also work long days and odd shifts so eat the wrong things at the wrong times……CHECK
2. When I lost all my weight low carbing I didn’t exercise so the minute I stopped dieting it started to creep back on…..CHECK
3. I have been studying a lot for work and spending too long in front of computer snacking on rubbish and not even realising sometimes what I`ve eaten……..CHECK
4. I like a glass or two of wine in the evening to unwind. Do you know that there are >700 calories in a bottle? That’s more than 2 Mars Bars….SCARY!!……..CHECK
5. In the past 12 months as well as studying and my full time job I have been working lots of locum shifts. Basically I have been working flat out with no me time in between. I am overworked and becoming burnt out…….CHECK
6. I stopped smoking 5 months ago but have been eating emotionally and replacing cigs with junk food…result 2 stones on…..CHECK
7. I come in from work and either work on computer or lie like Mrs Blobby along the couch…….CHECK
8. I don’t do ANY exercise……CHECK
9. I feel so ashamed of my weight that I don’t go out and often call off with friends cause I feel so bad about my size…….CHECK
10. Does Fat = unhappy and stressed or does unhappy and stressed = Fat. All I know is that I am fat and unhappy and I need to change both……CHECK.
Well hope that’s given you some insight into how I have got to where I am today as far as being overweight is concerned.
You may be in fact be wondering why I cannot do this on my own….I have in the past …right?
Funnily enough neither of these options is available to me right now and I just do not have the strength right now to climb the mountain I need to climb on my own.