I've lived in a land of excuses. You see, this isn't my first time losing weight. I lost my fitness after being pregnant. I had just reached 24 weeks with my firstborn son, and then the placenta abrupted and he was born through a very traumatic emergency c-section. My beautiful little boy lived for 30 minutes before his premature lungs just refused to handle the strain of breathing. In my grief, depression, and more than a little insanity, I begged my husband for another baby. Though I hadn't lost all of my 'baby weight', I found myself pregnant again, having only given myself three months to heal.
There was a lot of drama when I was pregnant with Pumpkin. When I started bleeding at 12 weeks, I went to bed for the next 4 months. I got up to use the bathroom. Every couple of weeks, DH would take pity on me and push me around the grocery store in a wheelchair. He would walk it to the car, and then spend an hour watching me grin from ear to ear because I was able to be somewhere other than bed. Though we were very careful, Pumpkin was born at the end of our 28th week of gestation. I was free to leave my bed, if I felt like my insides weren't going to fall out. I was terribly overweight by then, having lived off of packaged meals and snacks. DH had to work, and there was no one to care for me during the day. So, he placed food near me, and we ate whatever he could throw together for dinner. We ate a lot of pizza.
It took me a long time to feel ready to start taking care of myself. I had a new baby who was in the hospital for the first month of her life. I was trying to pump my milk every 3 hours while recovering from another bad incision. When she came home, she didn't sleep for 5 hours at a time until she was 5 months old. I was a zombie. But, when things quieted down, I started trying to make changes. I was so desperate to be back to normal that I started starving myself and exercising like a crazy woman. I got results. However, they weren't sustainable because I hadn't learned new habits to take the place of my bad ones. I had just starved my body into submission.
DH and I ended up moving shortly after I had slimmed down, and our living situation became more stressful. He and I weren't getting along all that well, which was just leftover issues surrounding the death of our son. I felt very much alone, struggling to live with people who were basically strangers to me. As the stress mounted, so did the pounds. I gained a lot of my weight back during the year and a half that it took for us to save up the money to get our house. DH and I had resolved many of our problems, but I still wore some of mine on my body.
Settled in our own house, I really felt comfortable and ready to start making the changes that I needed to be healthy. I still hadn't learned much about the right way to eat, but I was working on it. I did a lot of praying and fasting. I began working on my diet in 2006, and started focusing a lot on feeding my body well and getting strong that summer. I was frustrated and confused when the scale stopped moving, and decided to take a pregnancy test when I realized that I couldn't seem to stay awake during the day. I started crying over the phone when I told DH that I was pregnant. We felt certain that with so much time since my last pregnancy, I had healed well and stood a good chance of having a healthy baby. We learned shortly that this wasn't going to be the case, as I was diagnosed with a blood disorder which explained why I couldn't carry children to term. I was put on many therapies and injections, but our youngest son was stillborn in the back of an ambulance that fall.
Though I had lost quite a bit of weight, I couldn't maintain the loss when my mind was never in the present. When we buried our son, we buried our hopes and dreams of having more children. I struggled with God in a mighty way, and I acknowledged that He was big enough to handle my feelings- so I let him have every tear, whimper, scream, and shaken fist. He didn't leave me, even when I raged and turned on myself and God with a bitterness over the malfunction of my body. I can say that for some time, I hated myself and wouldn't do a thing to improve my health. I didn't care if I was thin, or a mass of flesh. I loved my family and kept breathing for them, though it felt as if I were very disconnected. It took me a long time to heal. It took a long time for me to even care at all what I looked like or felt like.
This learning and healing process is what I value when I think about weight-loss and sustaining a healthy weight. I have made peace with myself, and I've buried the hate that I had for me. I know that I am broken, and though it oftimes makes me sad that I can't have any more children, I don't punish myself for the "failing" anymore. I know how to eat well, and I exercise for the love of being strong. I refuse to treat myself poorly, like forcing myself to run a mile because I made a mistake and ate too many potato chips. I have forgiveness for me, and I don't expect that I should be like anyone else. If I am happy as a chubby girl, then that is how I will stay. I am alright with that. I have no desire to drive my weight down just to look like anyone else. I don't deserve to be punished for potato chips. Instead, I deserve a chance to reevaluate what I'm doing, and to be equipped with the tools to instead do what is healthy and right for my body. I will never be able to "fix" me, but that doesn't mean that I have to live my life hating who I am either. Everyone is broken in one way or another, whether on the outside or inside. We all deserve to be loved and nurtured. That is what Father offers us and wants for us. Who am I to say that He is wrong? Who am I to hate myself when I am so beloved to the very Maker of all creation?
Maybe I will always struggle with keeping the weight off, as far as the habits of life go. Thankfully though, I know how to achieve success. I desire to treat myself well, which is something that I lacked for so long. Now that I don't have such bitter hate toward this body of mine, I feel better equipped to live each day as as a new gift, and to be nice to me. That is why I will not allow myself to be so far away from a weight that makes me comfortable, and gives me freedom. I deserve better than that.