Fat. It may only have three letters, but it can be as, if not more, insulting as a four letter word. The negative connotations associated with it are endless. It is used as one of the cruelest most degrading sort of insults a person can sling at another. To be fat is to be lazy, gross, unhealthy, unattractive…the list goes on.
I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fat. I was six years old the first time I can remember being told “You’d be so pretty if you were skinny” and “you’ll never get married if you don’t lose weight” and “you’ll never find a boy by being fat”. These phrases came from my own family members. Think about that for a moment. Six. Years. Old. Who tells a six year old anything like that? And you know what? I believed them.
I grew up thinking I was the ugliest, most disgusting creature on the planet. I went from a healthy child to chubby. From an overweight teen to obese. I grew to become a morbidly obese adult. I tried losing weight. I tried fad diet after fad diet. Don’t eat this, eat only that. I tried exercise fads, and I’d do well for a month or two until my body plateaued from the change in diet and routine. Then, inevitably, my initial weight loss would lead to an even bigger weight gain. Nothing worked for me.
I blamed everyone and everything. Well, it’s so-and-so’s fault for telling six-year-old me this or that. Or it’s genetics. Or I learned bad habits from this parent. Or I was hurt due to a car accident. I went with those excuses for a long time, but you can only blame others for so long before you finally grew the F up. I’m an adult, and it is my job to be responsible for what I do and my own actions. I can’t change what happened or what was done any more than I can change other people.
And with that epiphany.
Absolutely NOTHING happened.
I didn’t have a goal in mind other than that, to me, unobtainable goal: to be skinny. I didn’t have a guide to show me how to make changes in my life, or any type of support system. And, to take said adult responsibility, I didn’t really want to. I just wanted the results, as if some magic pill would land in my hand to make me thin or my fairy godmother would wave a magic wand, and *poof* skinny girl.
Then, after living more than a decade with diabetes, my mother died from a myocardial infarction (a heart attack) from diabetes related heart disease. During the last few years of her life my mother couldn’t walk more than a few steps without assistance, nor could she drive herself anywhere. Now I had, theoretically, a more achievable goal. Don’t wind up like my mother.
And with that goal in mind…
Absolutely NOTHING happened.
At least nothing regarding my weight, except it kept increasing. Life went on including the most stress inducing; at least it was for me. Financial setbacks. My house was foreclosed on and was forced to find a roommate. I would have to move in and share space with a complete stranger. And that first meeting, which would lead to the creation of Mysfam Cottage, is a blog post for another time. But condensed, strangers became roommates, who became friends, who became best friends, who now introduce each other as sisters.
Sisters who continued to struggle with their weight issues while living their lives. Vacations happened along with home buying *cough* Mysfam Cottage *cough*, which led to my trigger, my obtainable goal. Everyone has a trigger, that moment when the determination to lose weigh not only clicks, but sticks. For some it’s a health scare or the desire to be more interactive with their children. For me it was a trip. A trip to Hawaii with my BFF, to be specific. We decided in April of 2017 to go for Christmas. Christmas in HAWAII!!! But…I knew I had to be 300+ lbs (136 kg) at this particular point in my life, though my highest known weight was 289 lbs (131 kg). I didn’t want to go to Hawaii that heavy and I also started researching airline policies regarding overweight passengers. One stated that any passenger over 250 lbs had to purchase an extra seat. So, there. I had a goal. Be down to 250 lbs by Christmas.
Finally, I had a goal. My goal. And you know what…