Even now, I recognize the inner struggle like a person with a true addiction when any of those familiar obstacles appear. For me it manifests its self usually in the presence of cake, doughnuts (with cream filling of course) or hot, large, thin crusted cheese pizza- you know the slices that are supposed to be made after famous New York pizzerias. Doughnuts, cookies and cakes -Ohhh my! Whenever I'm placed before these hindrances, I use all that I've learned this past year not to buckle. But with all of that being said and all best intentions remembered- I do have days that I must -and I mean that word; must- eat a doughnut. I actually get pleasure from food. As far as I've come I still do look forward to eating, the main difference now is the food I pick is FOR my health not against it; i.e. those evil doughnuts.

I love salads now. No, I mean it- I love salads. If I gotta have that silly slice of greasy pizza, I throw in one of my salads made just the way I like and then I don't need three servings of the pizza to make me feel full. My salad is always there for me man.... It never lets me down. If ever I'm empty, good old salad is there. Sometimes salad's cousins' apple and banana step in for those extra moments of weakness as well.

Many people don't know what it's like to really BE fat. Ten years ago, I certainly didn't. I wasn't over weight as a child, teen or in my twenties. But I was brainwashed anyway, I thought going over my usual weight by 6 or 7 pounds was beastly! How could I be such a porker?! Yeah well-try putting on 70 pounds. Yup, I put on SEVEN-ty pounds (eek!)... it just hurts saying it out loud besides being totally mortifying as well. I had two kids and quit smoking and next thing I knew I was huge! I look at pictures now and I think, "Who is that girl? - how did I not see how big I was?!?" But it's like any protective mechanism in a person's brain to shield you; I didn't want to see how bad it was, so I didn't see how bad it was!! My husband never, ever complained or made the jerky suggestions that echoed in my own mind- thoughts like; "Are you really gonna have another serving of those potatoes?-wow..."

It's taken a long, long time to get here and most days I forget I'm not big anymore. At the store I still grab the larger sizes first then it hits me, I don't wear those anymore. I've discovered so much about myself throughout this passage, the main thing being that I am strong. I am- I really am a strong person. For someone like me, a major food lover -to go from mega portions to the suggested serving size and then too stick with it for over a year- wow-yes folks, that's me!!! Mrs. Inner Strength!! (please hold applause).

 OK, I'm being silly but seriously- anyone who knows how hard it is to make a goal and to stick with it gets why I'm carrying on here. I've really given up on way too many things in my life and I had to realize that I'd given up on me. I just let myself become totally unhealthy and dependant on food for happiness. Yes I said before that food does bring me joy and it always will, but it isn't my only source of comfort. I credit my sister and Weight Watchers who taught me that rewarding yourself can come in many forms. A lot of us women celebrate with food and why not; birthdays and holidays go hand in hand with eating. So I've had to train my mind that when reaching a goal- whether it was five pounds or fifty, food wasn't the prize- I was!!! Being able to stand without having to sit after 5 minutes is my prize, not huffing up a flight of stairs is my prize and not wearing a size 20 is MY PRIZE!!!

Some of you know how hard it is to actually admit those words and numbers out loud and for all to hear. It's frightening in a way- scary because I was carrying around that much weight and also because my sense of worth does not come in my jean size- even though the world conspires to tell me it does. I'm beautiful and important at any size. Period. The realization is that I wasn't happy, I wasn't healthy was the key, that's what's important.

Remember ladies- you are amazing no matter what. You just gotta be happy with you and it doesn't mean a thing what others think. It's only what you think and feel- it's your perception. As for me, yes- I will always have a ridiculous infatuation for food but it doesn't define me or my waistline.

 

Before:

 

 

After:

 

**updated: I've lost a total of 78 pounds and I've kept it off for over a year now!!

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Comments:

nettie79
Nov. 9, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Well written as always! I admire you.... simply put. I admire you.... I wish I could be like you.

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Melsboys
Nov. 9, 2010 at 11:32 AM

I'm so excited I get to be the first to comment.  I know I've told you before how proud of you I am.  But I have to say it again.  You really set your mind to goal and you accomplished it- on your OWN.  You Jen deserve all the credit.  You counted, measured and scarificed many a night to get to where you are.  I know that first hand.  I hope YOU are really proud of yourself because you're gorgeous.  You were before but you're even more so now.  You actually GLOW!  I love you very much and I'm so happy for you!blowing kisses

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rosei...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM

thank you both so very, very much!!!! ♥♥♥

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sophi...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Beautifully written!  Meeting your goal is a HUGE thing that deserves to be celebrated! You have come a long way and you look fabulous and confident!  I will be coming to you for support in the future months after baby.  It's always good to surround yourself with like minded individuals that will inspire you and encourage you to meet your goals! 

Celebrate and enjoy the new YOU! xoxo

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Encha...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Oh, sweetie, I'm so proud of you & happy for you!  It's a struggle for any human being on some level to love her/himself & to accept responsibililty for being happy, healthy, & strong.  It's truly a journey through lessons to full maturity, & I'm so glad that you've done it & written so eloquently about it all!  Woo*hoo!  Whether it's food or work or anything, really, we must persevere & love ourselves, proving it with every choice.

I celebrate you & your achievements shamelessly & loudly.  *wink*  It's a wonderful thing you've done, doll, & I just couldn't be more thrilled for you!

Hugs...Ceci

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lates...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 1:41 PM

I'm proud of you girl!  Takes a LOT of strength and determination to kick 70 lbs.  I need to dump 90 and you are so inspiring being able to see someone who has done it and continues to do it gives me hope.  Thanks so much for sharing this with me.  Vote cast :)

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.Holly.
Nov. 9, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I'm so proud of you! You have accomplished a wonderful thing for yourself and it has to feel great!   To me real beauty comes from within and you definitely shine with beauty, both before and after. I wish you all the best in your continued journey to a healthy self - feeling happy and confident!

Hugs Jen!!

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mrsfi...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 2:39 PM

I haven't seen anything you've written before but this was beautiful! Way to go!

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Beatl...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 4:41 PM

I can't say enough how much of an inspiration you are.  And you look gorgeous, too! 

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i.hea...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Great job :)

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