I have thought a lot about the history of my weight gain through the years. I have been down the weight loss road many times before losing a little only to gain it back with a bonus each time. I haven’t always had an issue with weight. I was a normal weight all throughout school, my trouble began as an adult. After looking through pictures of me through the years, I realize that I had a distorted look at what was actually a healthy weight.
In high school I was pretty active. I was a cheerleader and I worked at a restaurant in my “free” time. My approach to eating though was very haphazard. One week would eat nachos or a burger for lunch and the next I would watch what I ate by only having a bottle of Evian water or a salad in the school cafeteria. I didn’t know anything about eating right and I never really thought about it.
Even though the restaurant I worked at mostly served high fat foods like burgers and fries, I tired of eating that quickly and most nights only had a small dinner salad with Italian dressing for dinner.
I graduated in 1988 and at that time I weighed right around 135 pounds. (Love the 80’s big hair!)
June 1988 ~ 135 pounds
The first 2 years of college I went full time taking a heavy class load and working 25-30 hours a week. The first year of college I was dating a loser guy who took me on dates to fast food places and at then later told me I was getting fat.
I was about 140 pounds. According to the boyfriend, I was fat. He dumped me shortly after that and I joined a gym for the first time and I went a lot. I started drinking Slim Fast shakes and then would binge on Weinerschnitzel hot dogs and fries because I was starving.
September 1989 ~ 140 pounds
Mike and I started dating in October 1989. He had a “real” job and took me out to “real” restaurants. On our first date he took me to Charley Brown’s for dinner and made a comment in the car to the effect that he hoped I would actually order something besides a salad.
That is probably what I would have done but I didn’t want to be “that girl” so I ordered an entrée. Most of our dates involved going out to eat and slowly I started to gain weight.
March 1990 ~ 150 pounds
By my 21st birthday I was working full time, going to college at night. I had joined Weight Watchers for the first time with a friend from high school that taught me how to count exchanges for a Del Taco combo burrito. I was starting to hide in my “fat clothes” – leggings and long sweaters or tops.
November 1991 ~ 155 pounds
A year later I had been on Weight Watchers another time or two. I would follow it really well through the week and blow it on the weekends with meals out and alcohol. I used to blame eating out on Friday nights for any weight gain I had on Saturday mornings. If that were really true it would have evened out over time.
October 1992 ~ 160 pounds
Mike had his own place by then and it was close to Long Beach State where I went to school. I would stay over a couple of nights during the week and most weekend nights. We would cook, but we were out of control for portions. I remember having 2 chicken breasts or almost a half pound hamburger with a meal. I was buying low/non fat foods, but they were overly processed and I just ate more of them. There were often “get together’s” with friends on weekend nights that involved too much alcohol followed by burgers, fries, taquitos and onion rings from Jim’s the following day to offset the queasy hangover stomach.
I worked with a few “Mean Girls in their 20’s” during this time. They seemed to easily stay thin. I was so self-conscious around them and it didn’t help when they made comments about what other people were eating including me. I remember one of them telling me a bagel had too many calories as I was pulling mine out of the toaster.
In the fall of 1993 Mike and I moved in together. We were both busy working full time, going to school and studying. I fit in exercise sporadically and tried to learn to cook healthier meals. We ate out a lot of meals and I continued to put on weight.
September 1993 ~ 170 pounds
In 1996 Mike and I graduated from college and got engaged. After years of working full time and going to school in the evenings my weight had hit an all time high.
May 1996 ~ 185 pounds
I wanted to lose weight for our wedding, but I was short on time and wanted a quick fix. Fen-Phen was all the rage and I found a medical center and started taking the pills. The pills made me not want to eat anything. At my bridal shower a month before my wedding I had no food and an always full wine glass. The result? Me passing out right after everyone left and completely freaking my mom out.
Mike, my mom and my friends insisted I stop taking the pills. The pills were also making my blood pressure sky rocket. I kept taking them until the wedding only stopping about a week before. By the time of our wedding I had lost 15 pounds.
August 1996 ~ 170 pounds
The “quick fix” didn’t work for long once I stopped taking the pills. Shortly after Mike and I married, I started working in public accounting. Many weeks I worked 50-60 hours. I ate out for lunch every day and in my free time I studied for the CPA exam. We also ate out a lot of dinners. Topping it off I hated my job. I started gaining weight almost immediately. I remember having to start shopping in the plus size department for suits, because I could no longer find anything in the normal sizes.
A year and half after our wedding I had gained all the weight back and added another 5 or so.
May 1998 ~ 190 pounds
I stayed around that weight until I left public accounting in early 1999 to take a position with the company I still work for. Little did I know I was going from the frying pan to the fire. I thought leaving public accounting would mean less hours. Instead I was working even more. Most weeks were close to 70 hours and I worked almost every weekend. The only free time I had was spent sleeping or Mike and I would go out to dinner.
I loved my new job, but I was stressed and I didn’t handle it well. Within a few months I had put on another 10 pounds.
September 1999 ~ 200 pounds
In March 2000 I drove home one night at 10:00 p.m. Another late night of many after several long nights at work. I was done with it. I decided to call a few recruiters the next morning and start looking for something new. The next morning before I had a chance to make any calls, I received a call that would change our lives. I was offered a promotion if I was willing to transfer to Phoenix. The offer was lucrative and meant that we could get out of debt and finally buy our first home.
I wanted to prove that I was worth the offer and I threw myself into work even more. By the time we moved to Phoenix in September I had put on even more weight.
June 2000 ~ 210 pounds
To be continued….