Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looking back

I hooked a rarely-used external hard drive up to my laptop tonight to look for a new Twitter avatar (found one!) and was looking over pictures of me from the 2nd time I got skinny.  I’m almost in tears because I was so pretty and had SUCH a good life…I was so happy and active and outgoing then.  People now tell me I’ve lost my spark, and I know that’s because it’s buried so deeply, literally under more than 100 pounds of fat.

I was always a fat kid…I got sent to fat kid daycamp for several rounds at the state university nearby where we’d exercise and learn how to eat right (I was awarded “Biggest Loser” with a loss of 13lbs over one course of the program!).  I went on diets all the time, but nothing ever stuck.  I tried playing rec-league basketball in 4th or 5th grade but never really understood the rules, so I was a wallflower during the games.

The first time I lost a significant amount of weight was in 1996-97 on Fen-Phen, the drug combo that ended up killing a lot of people.  I’m still afraid I’m going to suffer some kind of latent heart disease from it, but so far, I haven’t had any problems (knock on wood).  I was in middle school and remember teachers complimenting me and being able to buy new clothes, especially short skirts.  I didn’t have to work for it, it just happened.  My mom still prepared all my meals, so it was easy to be on a low-carb, low-cal diet when I was doing the Fen-Phen regimen. 

It all came back and then some over the next few years, mostly because I didn’t learn how to be healthy the first time.  I didn’t learn how to eat right and I CERTAINLY didn’t learn how to exercise.

My junior year of high school, I went to an endocrinologist to sort out my thyroid medication and was put on a “modified protein fast” – again, another low-carb diet.  This time, I had shakes to drink and was running on less than 800 calories a day.  The weight came off fast; I lost 70-80lbs before my senior year, when the prime of my life (so far) came. 

I tried out for and made our school’s then-new (now-defunct) dance team, I was a co-president of our drama club and was involved in all sorts of clubs.  I finally caught the attention of dudes, especially one who I’d been crushing on all through high school.  I had an amazing senior year and was excited to go away to school, but moving away meant I wouldn’t get to participate in the next phase of my endocrinologist’s diet - maintenance.  I went straight from my modified protein fast and dancing many hours a week to living right next to a dining hall, eating crap with a bunch of boys, and only getting physical activity by lugging books to class. 

The Freshman 15 turned into the Freshman 80 for me throughout my undergrad years.  I parted ways with my boyfriend of 3 years and kept gaining weight.  The summer before my senior year of college, I went back to the same endocrinologist and went on the same eating plan, losing about 50lbs really quickly.  I got another boyfriend and had another amazing senior year.  Grad school came and I started gaining weight like nobody’s business.  From drinking too much and stress eating, I packed on the pounds.  I split from boyfriend #2 and a not-so-pretty situation and sank even deeper into an already terrible depression.  I finally made it out of that dark hole, but not before gaining a whole bunch more weight.  I went to a weight-loss program at a hospital close to my college that featured meals kind of like Nutri-System, but never was able to lose more than 20lbs.  I graduated with a Master’s Degree last year weighing around 270lbs. 

I’m trying to do this journey the right way through diet and exercise, and for someone who is unemployed, not so coordinated, and hates exercise, this is fucking hard.  That sounds stupid…if I’m unemployed, I should spend all my time working out, right?  Ugh. 

I would LOVE to go back to the endocrinologist and give it one more shot now that I realize what it takes to keep weight off.  I know it costs a lot of money, though, and I hate asking for more when I already “take” so much by living at home.  I know people are going to give me flack for saying I’d like to try it again.  I just know that I get motivated by progress.  I’m making changes and not seeing results, and I know if I were to actually SEE progress, I’d be more likely to keep at it.

I don’t know what my conclusion here is, I just wanted you guys to know a little more about me.  I also didn’t quite mean for this post to turn out so depressing and long-winded, but these pictures to me represent what I had and lost…I’m happy in these pictures.  I’m beautiful in these pictures.  I was vivacious and fun then. 

I want it back.

(Some of these pictures are photos of pictures in albums, so they’re not the best quality.)

I’m a size 10-12 in all these photos, I think.  That’s probably my “happy size”

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I wore shorts and camisoles on our Senior Trip to Disneyworld!!

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My arms have definition!!

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Holy collarbones, Batman!

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(wrong date on the camera, I can assure you)

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I miss this girl.

8 comments:

  1. Oh sweetheart. I know, kinda how it goes. I look longingly back at the pictures of when I was 25 lbs lighter than i am now and think 'I WANT THAT NOW'. I have found that thinking that was hasn't helped me get to where I want to be at.

    Just start living each day the best that you can. Shut out where you want to be at in the end and solely focus on the DAY at hand. Jack Sh*t wrote a post about it 'Today'. Read it, re-read it.

    Love you heaps and remember that we are hearing cheering you on. You're beautiful no matter what, but I do TOTALLY understand wanting to be in a place that you're not at.

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  2. hey - sorry, i hardly ever comment but i do read.

    i just wanted to tell you that each day is a new day. and the bloggie world is behind you!

    also, i also wonder what damage i did with diet pills. i didn't take them for long (i think it was hydroycut - can't even spell it) but as we all know, that stuff is so terrible. a doctor once told me that its really hard to inflict long term damage unless you were seriously abusing the pills. i hope the best for you!!

    *e-hug*

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  3. Michelle - Thanks for understanding - funny how someone saying "I know how you feel" makes you feel better, huh?

    Caitlin - Thanks for reading! And 20 years of trying to lose weight and "stay on track" hasn't compared to the year or so I've been following health/wellness blogs. It's so amazing to have such a great community! And about the diet pills - I wasn't *abusing* them, but even people who were using them as directed got hurt...the best thing I can do is keep proactive and make sure I get an EKG done every so often (when I finally have health insurance...bleh)

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  4. ECK!! that is super scary about needing an EKG to make sure you are OK. it's also really freaking scary that our govt says stuff is ok, and then you end up needing follow up medical tests to make sure you're ok, even when you took it as prescribed. shudder!!!

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  5. I'd get an EKG just to make sure - I don't think they said people who took it would HAVE TO...I'm just paranoid about that sort of thing. And yeah, it's very scary about prescription meds...everyone assumes it's a miracle cure, but even the people who develop the drug get surprised by side effects down the road. :(

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  6. Um... so I have to say this. You are beautiful NOW. You are pretty NOW. And acting in the interest of self-love, you are getting HEALTHY. IN THE INTEREST OF SELF-LOVE. You can be vivacious and fun at any size. You can be happy at any size. This isn't about size -- it's about acting in the best interest of your body, treating it properly, and feeding it well. You are doing these things! This is just going to get easier and easier and it will work faster for you if you start seeing it as EASY to love yourself and EASY to treat yourself well. Start loving your body today. Be grateful that your heart has been strong (yikes about the Fen-Phen), and that your body has taken care of you. Now, you're taking care of it, properly, and that takes a little longer than some low-carb, high-protein shake diet can do. But in the end, Kat, you're going to be just as beautiful as you are now. You're just going to be smaller.
    Thanks for this blog -- it's helping me find the right motivation. We do this to love ourselves. We overate and underexercised because we hated ourselves -- look how destructive we can be to our bodies when we hate! Let's start loving -- and reaping the rewards of love.

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  7. Hey Kat, This is my first read of your blog. I loved it. All the time I was big I never really got down to my goal but from your pics you look so comfortable being small. Its my dream to wear those kind of clothes. I can't wait to have the time to read more :o)

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  8. Thanks, Carol - you're completely right :)

    Thanks, Candace! I remember being that small and marveling at how I could move and how amazing I felt...it's a great goal to have - we'll get there!

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