This is Part 2 of my reflection of my weight history, you can read part 1 here: My Weight History In Pictures – Part I – “The California Years”
I remember the first time I weighed myself in our new home. I weighed 212 pounds. I thought I would have more time now to take better care of myself. I was told I would have a work/life balance here when I was offered the position. I thought I would finally have time to go to the gym more and I did for a while.
Looking back I don’t know if that work/life balance was something I didn’t know how to do, or if it truly was the area I was responsible for. I wasn’t working as many hours, but I was commuting much further and still getting home late almost every night. I didn’t work on the weekends, but that time now seemed to be filled with yard and house work. We were so excited to be able to buy a house and moving from California to Arizona meant you got a lot of house for your money. We bought a house that was too big. We went from having a 1,000 square foot condo with a little patio to a 2,800 square foot house with a huge yard and pool.
In less than a year of being in Arizona I had put on a lot more weight. I had tried and quit Weight Watchers at least a couple of times that first year. We could afford to go on vacations more often and we splurged on fancy meals when we did. Most vacations revolved around eating and drinking.
May 2001 ~ 240 pounds
That summer I went on Weight Watchers again and actually managed to lose about 20 pounds. Mike lost his job and we tried to be frugal while he was unemployed so we didn’t eat out at all. He found another job fairly quickly and we resumed our frequent dining out and traveling. I would do well with losing weight for a while then we would take a trip and it would take me months to get back on track.
At the end of 2001, I was asked to take on additional responsibilities. I was the first Controller to manage 2 divisions, and I wanted to succeed. I battled my weight through that time gaining and losing the same 10 or so pounds. By later 2002 I was starting to lose the battle.
October 2002 ~ 225 pounds
I continued to gain through the holidays and couldn’t really got it under control. I would manage to stay the same for a while and then a trip or stressful period at work would come and I would gain another 5-10 pounds.
May 2003 ~ 250 pounds
After our cruise in 2003 I managed to drop down again to about 235 pounds.
March 2004 ~ 235 pounds
In June of 2004 we sold our house and built a new house. During the time the new home was being built we lived in an apartment. We thought we could do it to save money. The problem was we hated being there, and we went out to dinner almost every single night. We walked a lot during that time, but by the time we moved to the new house I weighed 242 pounds.
April 2005 ~ 242 pounds
When we got to the new house we didn’t eat out as much, but we were busy with taking care of an even bigger house. Additionally, I was promoted during that time to a Regional Controller. I was still managing 2 large divisions and I had taken on even more responsibilities. I was working a lot of hours again. On the weekends we would work on the house and then get fast food take out for dinner. When the house stuff settled down, we started cooking all the time, but it wasn’t always healthy. Within a few months of settling into our new house I had gained even more weight.
September 2005 ~ 255 pounds
I got back into the 240’s for a while, but then the weight crept back up. We wanted to start a family, but we were concerned that I would have a difficult pregnancy with my weight and age (I was now 35). I started researching plus size pregnancy and convinced Mike it was doable.
I got pregnant in July 2007 and was at my highest weight ever.
July 2007 ~ 266 pounds (the day I found out I was pregnant)
In November and December of that year I went through the most stressful period I had ever experienced at my job. With the housing market starting to rapidly decline and other significant issues occurring within our company, I was working most nights until 9 or 10 at night. I was 6 months pregnant and exhausted between work and the upcoming holiday preparations.
By Christmas I was so swollen and I had started to rapidly gain weight after a very low gain during the first 5 months of my pregnancy. In January my blood pressure shot up to 190/110. I developed pre-eclampsia in my pregnancy and my son was delivered prematurely at 29 weeks just 2 weeks after Christmas.
December/Christmas 2006 ~ 292 pounds (6 months pregnant)
I was able to take the extra baby weight off within a few months and was back down around my pre-pregnancy weight. We decided to try for baby number 2 in February of 2008 and we found out I was pregnant the following month. The day I found out I was pregnant I weighed exactly the same as I did when I got pregnant the first time.
March 2008 ~ 266 pounds
The second pregnancy was full term and other than a lot of swelling I had no complications. I did manage to put on 42 pounds causing me to hit my all time highest weight.
November 2008 ~ 308 pounds (9 months pregnant, right before heading to the hospital)
Again I lost the baby weight within a few months, getting back down in the 260’s and staying in that range throughout 2009/2010. During this time we had our 2 boys to focus on and for part of that time we had a small scrapbooking kit club that consumed all of my free time. I rarely slept more than 5 hours a night and I felt pretty unhealthy. By early 2010 we closed the scrapbooking business down to focus on our kids, but I was also started working more long hours and late nights. Mike had also taken an interest in cooking and was good at it, so many weekends we enjoyed his new found hobby and indulged in his creations.
May 2010 ~ 265 pounds
In October 2010 right before leaving on vacation, I found out that our company was consolidating our accounting centers. The upside was it would be in Phoenix, so I would be able to keep my job, but it meant taking on additional responsibilities including coordinating the consolidation. I had already been working a lot of hours and had a heavy workload, it was about to get worse.
The following week, we found out that my mother’s cancer had spread to her blood/bones. At the time we didn’t know how bad that was going to be, but she had to take a leave of absence from work to start more aggressive treatments. In mid-November we found out the cancer had spread to her brain and she would need to start radiation immediately.
By Thanksgiving weekend my mom was very sick from the medication and radiation. On my 40th birthday, my mom’s husband and I admitted my mom to the hospital. We spent every day following that with her at the hospital. I worked during the day and spent the evenings and weekend at the hospital and then in hospice. Only 13 days later, on December 10, 2010, my mom passed away.
I walked around in a daze for the rest of December. Burying myself in work helped numb the pain. Eating also lessened the pain temporarily. I had been training to walk the 3-day 60 mile breast cancer walk. But I couldn’t walk anymore. I was avoiding being alone in my head. I also began having severe foot pain.
During all of this I was gaining a lot of weight. By New Year’s Day I was at my heaviest non-pregnant weight.
January 2011 ~ 280 pounds
I was promoted again to a Senior Director and had more responsibilities since the consolidation of our accounting centers. I was working a lot of hours and just like every other time I had been promoted I threw myself at it 110%. I also now know I was looking for a way to not think about losing my mom so suddenly.
My foot pain got worse and required surgery, completely squashing my plans to resume the 3 Day training. I spent months trying to numb the pain of losing my mom. I started drinking more wine in the evenings. I used my foot as an excuse not to exercise. I spent money shopping, recklessly buying things I didn’t need. My blood pressure was now high enough to require first 1 and later 2 medications. I ached everywhere and was given tests looking for arthritis. I was completely sedentary. It got to the point where I was even given anti-depressants by the doctor. It was a wake up call. I looked at the box for weeks, but I would not take them.
By the summer of 2011, I was at my highest non-pregnant weight ever. I started to question the security of my job with the extended period of time the housing market had been depressed and a few other things occurred in my life that lit a fire in me to finally do something about my weight.
July 2011 ~ 282.5 pounds
For years I have always put my job and everyone else first. To me that meant I had little time left to take care of myself, exercise and eat right. My priorities were definitely screwed up, my family and my health had to be first. I saw many talented good people lose their jobs during the downturn in the economy, including many in my own company. The reality is when a company is done with you, you’re like trash and get tossed out. It’s harsh, but it was real for a lot of people. I was lucky it wasn’t me. But it made me realize that I could no longer put my job before my health or my family.
What I also realized during that time was that the only thing I could control was what I did. I am the sole supporter of my family and I needed to take care of me so that I could take care of them. With that final realization and with Mike’s full support we began following the Dr. Oz 14 Day diet on August 15th. I was still very limited with my exercise program due to my foot surgery, but I began doing yoga a few mornings a week.
Within a couple of months I had lost 25 pounds.
October 2011 ~ 257 pounds
The holiday’s and year end hit and it became harder to follow such a strict diet and I still hadn’t been consistently exercising. I had gained back some of the weight but was holding at 260-265 for several months.
In June of this year I was reaching a breaking point. It was time to take control, but I was not sure I could do it. I would talk to Mike about it but I couldn’t wrap my mind around a plan. The Dr. Oz plan was hard to follow. It required a lot of meal prep and specialty grocery store trips to make some of the recipes in the books.
In June we went to visit my family in California, when we got home my clothes were so tight I could barely breathe. I was barely able to fit in my size 24 pants the swelling in my ankles was so uncomfortable.
When I re-focused my weight loss efforts in June I had gained back about 15 of the 25 pounds I had lost last year.
June 2012 ~ 273 pounds
By July 1st I had re-joined Weight Watchers and started exercising and had lost 2.4 pounds.
July 1, 2012 ~ 270.6 pounds
Following the plan has been natural to me, tracking and watching my food intake has been easily doable. I am now setting and meeting exercise goals and feel I am well on my way to building the habits that I will need to focus on sustaining the rest of my life.
As I look back at my history, I realize that I will probably always struggle with this. But just because it is a struggle, doesn’t mean that I can’t win.Even if I only put in half of the effort into this that I have always put into my job I can do this.
And now, as August begins I am down another 9 pounds and dare I say it – I love to exercise. I still have a long mountain to climb in this journey, but in all the previous efforts, I have never felt so much clarity about where I am headed and what I need to do to get there.
August 2012 ~ 261.6 pounds