Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder part 3

Part 1
Part 2

So we left off the year that I got together with Hubs.

I had a lot of baggage building up. And the thankfully short but abusive relationship I was in before I met Hubs had re-awakened a lot of the things I'd been avoiding.

You see, I was raised with the mantra, "We don't talk about our feelings."

I'm not kidding.

Even back when my Dad died, my Mom cried one night and then never wanted to talk about it again.

She told me that when things were making me unhappy I shouldn't think about them. That you just imagine that you are putting them in the back of the closet and never think about them again.

So that's what I did with SO MUCH STUFF for as far back as I can remember.

Childhood abuse (physical, mental, sexual) instigated by a bully that went on from the time I was in kindergarten until Grade 6.

Stuff it in the closet.

Being date-raped by more than one person, having physically and emotionally abusive boyfriends, suffering from low self-esteem...

Stuff it in the closet.

But the closet got full so then I started eating for comfort and eating my feelings and that pattern is so deeply ingrained in me that it's surprisingly easy to fall back into.

So even though I was happy with Hubs overall, even though we were having some tough times financially and such, that last relationship before Hubs was having an impact.

My panic and anxiety issues started getting worse again and I was piling on the weight (you can see in this photo, I'd gone up to 237 lbs.

237 lbs

I was also having a really hard time dealing with the fact that I wasn't going to have anymore children. I had always imagined myself having 3 children - even back when I was in high school.

I'd wanted a girl, a boy and then one more child.

Of course, having had Son and being told that was it for me I had been resigned myself to only having one child.

But when Hubs and I got together and since he had Step-daughter -- I now had my girl, followed in age by my boy and I spent a lot of my time in therapy in 2008 talking about the fact that I really wished that Hubs and I could have a baby.

This was also compounded by the fact that I had to have a LEEP due to CIN II cells and my OBGYN said that I could have another child, although he recommended I get under 200 lbs, and that I'd have to have a scheduled c-section and be closely monitored if I chose to do it.

Hubs did not want to have a baby. He felt that we were too old.

265 lbs
So I ate more of my feelings and was up into the 260s by Dec 2008.

Hubs was working and had benefits so I started seeing someone re: weight loss.

I'd only gotten down to 257 lbs when Hubs was out of work again in early 2009.

No more benefits and I tend to take on the feelings of my environment.  Hubs was down and depressed and so was I.

Then, in June something surprising happened.  I found out I was pregnant.

It wasn't planned.  It was a shock and a surprise.  I was thrilled!  Hubs was wrapping his head around it all when less than a week later, on June 10th, I was at work and I started cramping.

I left work in tears, with a DR appt scheduled and fear in my heart.

I lost the baby.

I was about 5 weeks along but I was crushed.  Hubs was upset too, as he had really just started moving from surprise to excitement when it happened.

I blamed my weight.

I thought that I was being punished by the universe.

I held one small hope that, because of my age, that maybe I might have been pregnant with twins and only lost one - but an ultrasound confirmed that I was 100% no longer pregnant.

The DR told us that, should we decide to try, that I should wait until I had 3 "normal" menstrual cycles before doing so.

Truly, I had never felt so broken in my entire life.  Through all the shit I've survived - this was the worst.  I felt like my body was my enemy more than I ever had before.

Hubs and I did the deed ONCE a couple of weeks after the miscarriage, using a condom, just so I could try to find some joy in myself again.

My period never came back.  Though I was still tired, and feeling sick.  My DR told me it could take some time for my hormones (and myself) to get back to normal.

I wondered whether it was possible for a miscarriage to start off menopause or perimenopause.

On Sept 27th, I had a craving for a McDonald's caramel sundae.  Something I hadn't eaten since back when I was pregnant with Son.

When I woke up the next morning, I had one unused pregnancy test from when I had the miscarriage and it turned out to be positive.

I went in for an ultrasound a couple of days later and it turned out that I was 13 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

Oct 2009 - at a friend's wedding reception

Of course I was still really heavy.

And I got heavier as my pregnancy progressed.

This pic is one taken a few weeks before I had Baby Girl.

285 lbs

I was 285 lbs and almost 36 weeks pregnant.

My last recorded weight was 296 lbs and that was 15 days before I had Baby Girl.

I think I probably hit the low 300s - but I don't actually know.

I didn't lose a lot of weight when I had Baby Girl though...

I am smiling because I'd been really afraid that I was going to die or that something was going to happen to Baby Girl (though until she was taken out, we didn't know if we were going to be adding a boy or a girl to our family).

Also, the drugs might have helped.

But I felt really disconnected a lot of the time from when they first started trying to get my spinal done correctly until a few MONTHS after Baby Girl was at home with us.

I can't say that it was postpartum depression but it was certainly an ODD feeling.  And it was on-going.

When I was first home, I had only gone down to 286 lbs and I didn't really try to lose weight because I was feeling so disconnected from even myself.

I ate sporadically.  Some days I barely ate and some days I gorged.

Aug 1, 2010 - 276.4 lbs
On July 23, 2010 - I had a bit of a mental breakdown and started this blog because I was done with it.

Done with being large.

Done with being unhappy.

Done with being unhealthy.

I was finally ready to make a real change, a real difference in my life.

For myself, for my kids, for Hubs.

But the big push was the fact that I haven't felt like my true self in a very long time.

Sometimes I wonder if I ever did feel RIGHT in my body.

After all, if I look back at these 3 posts, I can see these pictures and from where I am now - I view myself different than I did when they were taken.

Even differently from when I looked at them before.

Fact - I don't see much of a difference (except in my face) when I am over 200 lbs.  Whether it's 206 or 285.  When I am not pregnant, the more I go over 200 lbs, I become more pear-shaped rather than having an hour-glass shape.

Fact - In hindsight, I can see that I was always "cute" and I was not hideous or monstrous at any age, weight or shape.

Fact - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and now, I can honestly say, I can see beauty in myself in all of the photos.

Not manufactured, not skin deep, not fleeting or false.

Just real.
249.6 lbs - October 9, 2010 - myself & Baby Girl

But this isn't about beauty.  This is about getting healthier in more than just a physical way.

This is about feeling as connected within and to my own body as I feel connected with my parental bond to the kids.

So I can be here for them as long as I can.

Thanks for reading all this.


  1. fantastic three-part post. It's hard to see your life laid out in front of you - with photos, nonetheless. But I have a feeling this is some of the best therapy you can do for yourself. And I'm glad you ended it with things you know to be true: that you are seeing beauty - real beauty in yourself. That's what it's all about.

  2. Thanks! I just realized I should put a more recent photo up and came back to edit and add one!

  3. I have always thought you are beautiful sweetie. You are so brave for laying out your life like this. I know how hard this is for you. I am so proud of you for working so hard, and for doing what's best for our family. I love you so much.


  4. I confess. I read part three first.
    Thanks for finding me and posting on my blog. I think we'll be good friends!

  5. No worries re: reading out of order. And I confess I do more reading of blogs than posting comments on them. A friend and I were discussing it yesterday and trying to increase the comments we make so people know we are reading.