Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Then & Now: How My Weight Gain Has Affected My Life

I find it so interesting that throughout my school years, I used to complain to my friends about being too skinny.  No matter what I ate, I just couldn't gain a pound.  I was a steady 100-105 lbs during high school.  I actually would get turned away from blood drives because they would only take your blood if you were at least 115 lbs. 

 (Back when you actually wore a dress to prom and not a handkerchief.  Look how thin those arms were.  I wasn't sickly, but I was definitely TOO thin.)

So when I went to college and the dreaded "freshman fifteen" occurred I was actually rather happy!  I actually looked relatively healthy for the first time in my life.  Plus, I was getting a more "womanly" shape anyway (hips filling out and bust continuing to develop).  I went from a size 1 to a size 3 and I was happy.  The next year was the same thing, I went up a pants size and gained a few pounds (I am a big fan of, a really big fan).  By the end of Sophomore year, I was a size 5 and 135 lbs.

 (Not sure what I was thinking style-wise here, but still pretty tiny)

Then it didn't stop.  Not like I tried to stop it, I had started out so skinny, it was relatively unnoticeable when I would go up a pants size.  I only really noticed it in one area: my chest, and I wasn't really all that concerned.  I should have been.  What was happening was a steady decline into unhealthy habits.  I napped or sat around during the day and began eating when I was bored.  I became a "snacker", which I had never been before.  Not to mention that I had finally turned 21 and could now hit up the bars and drink carb loaded beer.  By the time I finished school (both undergrad and post-bac) I had hit 160 and was a size 8.  Again, I still wasn't bothered.  My boyfriend had proposed and we began planning our wedding (which ended up being a 2 1/2 year process).  The first thing I did was buy my wedding dress.  Big mistake. 

(It was this picture, at my best friend's wedding that made me begin to realize what was happening.  That dress did not fit and I was miserable the whole night)

It finally set in what had happened when I tried on my wedding dress for alterations 3 months prior to the wedding and IT DIDN'T FIT!  Spanx didn't help and the lady that did my alterations was rather sharp and to the point when she said "You need to buy a new dress".  Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I certainly did not have it in my budget to just go out and buy a new dress.  I had to make do with what I had, so we took it out as far as it could go and added lace to the top to cover what didn't fit inside the dress.  It never fit right on my wedding day, and I was self conscious the whole time about the way I looked.

 (I started out loving my dress when I bought it to hating the way it looked on my big day.  Never thought I'd have to wear sleeves to cover what I had caused) 
(Photo credit: Jessica Ames Photography)

But that STILL wasn't the end.  I didn't really try to stop my unhealthy habits until recently.  It was when I had to buy new jeans for the second year in a row.  I was now a size 14 at 190 lbs.  That's right, in a few years I gained a total of 90 lbs.  I was ashamed of myself.  

I had never been a very active person.  Growing up, I preferred to read books rather than play outside or participate in sports.  Now that I was older and my metabolism was slowing down, it was becoming more and more important to get up and move.  But I was ignoring this.  I'm not sure why.  All I knew was that I hated to exercise.

 (This was taken June of this year.  I began to realize I had stopped wanting to get my picture taken, and most of the time I was trying to hide myself)

So I began cutting my calories and trying to make healthier choices in the way I eat.  I start each meal with 2 large glasses of water before I start munching away.  I try to eat more vegetables, fruits, and salads.  I replaced my "snack" foods with things like rice cakes and celery.  I try to take the stairs whenever possible and I park as far away from stores as I can.  I know little changes like this aren't enough, but I am working on it.  Baby steps.  

I realize many women don't talk about this on their blogs, but I feel like I should.  Maybe putting it on here for everyone to see will hold me accountable for my health.  It's not really about the weight (even though it has me self conscious) because so many women are absolutely beautiful with curves.  I mean come on, just LOOK at Christina Hendricks! 

(This girl really knows how to rock those curves!)

What it's about is trying to stay alive longer than 50, because I am pretty sure that if I continued on the path I was on, I'd have a massive coronary and die.  What I need is helpful tips on how to manage my hunger and make healthier choices over all.  So as I research and try things out, I will post them here with occasional updates on my progress (or lack of).  Here's where you come in: motivate me.  Tell me I'm doing a good job or tell me I need to do more.  Whatever it takes.

XO - Bekah  

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