So Jack wants to know why. Why did I gain 45 pounds in one year and have kept it on for nearly 13 years? Why didn’t I lose the weight the first time (and the second time and the third time)? Why do I think I’m going to lose it this time?
Why Did I Gain?
Well the easy answer is that I got pregnant. And when I got pregnant, I crowned myself the Pregnant Princess who ate whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. For the first time in my life I felt free to EAT, and eat I did. I didn’t just eat a slice of pie, I ate the whole pie and then wanted to know what else you could give me to go with it. I can remember finishing off a whole package of Oreo cookies in two days. No lie. I think that was also the month I gained 13 pounds – my OB never said a word. And being the young naïve woman that I was, I thought that once I had my baby (who surely would come out weighing at least 30 pounds) all the extra weight would just magically fall off a few weeks post-partum. Needless to say, my baby did not weight 30 pounds – he weighed 8 pounds, which left me with a lot to lose. And actually I did lose some – I was working retail full time and I really cut back on my food. I got within 15 pounds of my pre-preggers weight, and then I started dieting plans. One after another, I thought that I would lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks, and when I didn’t, I gained a few more pounds and moved on to another plan. With every new plan – failure (in my eyes), even though I was losing at a reasonable weight (about 3 pounds per month), but when you take one step forward and two steps back, you end up more miserable than you were before.
The more truthful and difficult answer to why I gained all that weight is because my world got turned upside down. In February of 1996, I was a new college graduate, I had no job, I was living with my parents, no boyfriend or prospects of meeting anyone, no responsibilities at all really. I was a young single girl, living in her own single world. Fast forward 12 months later and all of a sudden I had a husband, a brand new baby, a mortgage, a full time job, and no idea how to cope with any of it. So I did what I knew how to do – I ate. Don’t get me wrong, the husband, the baby, etc. are the best things that have ever happened to me, but I felt like JILL got lost in the whirlwind of it all. Suddenly I had a new last name; a new identity, and I didn’t really know who this new woman was supposed to be, and let me tell you, it took me a loooong time to figure it out. I was happy, but confused, and my self esteem plummeted over the next few years. The worse I felt, the more I ate and the more I ate, the worse I felt – you all know how it goes. When I got married, I weighed 135 pounds, which really was five pounds above the number I weighed all through college. The last time I did Weight Watchers, I weighed in at 186 pounds, my all time highest weight. I should mention that during that weigh in, I was wearing jeans and a sweater, so I probably really weighed somewhere around 180.
Why Did I Start To Lose Weight?
I lost 7 pounds with Weight Watchers before The Crazy finally caught up with me again and I decided that WW I could just not get along anymore, so I went to my doctor for help. He prescribed me some low dose appetite suppressants and I lost 30 pounds over about 5 months. That got me started, but I didn’t want to take diet pills for the rest of my life, so I weaned myself off of them slowly. I still have about 20 pounds to get back to that weight of 135, which for my 5’3” self is at the high end of what “they” say I should weigh. If I could get down to 140 though, I‘d be happy.
Why Do I think This Time I Will Lose It?
Well, I don’t know. I mean, I’m not 100% convinced I will lose it, honestly. I always seem to sabotage myself just when I get on a roll. I know intellectually what it takes to lose the weight, I just don’t know if I have the drive and mental fortitude to get it done. I’m sure some of you will say that I need to dig down deep and find the drive, but what if the drive isn’t there? What if I dig down deep and find…nothing? I guess this is the last part I need to work on… building my own self-efficacy (and actually I am working on it because there is a group on iChange that I’m a member of called Building Self Efficacy). I’m not sure what it’s going to take to push me to fight for those final 20 pounds lost.
So Jack, does that answer your question? Does my WHY make sense to anyone else but me?