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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Emotional Breakdown #2

And so it happens again. It's weird to me how much more aware I am of myself and my appearance these days. But first off, this is a major weekend for me as it marks the milestone of my first year being here in North Carolina and being completely on my own and away from the normal that I once knew. Part of moving away from home included reconstructing myself, learning who it is that I am, and becoming closer to God. I've succeeded at all of this thus far and currently working on the physical reconstruction. And with that? Comes the awareness.

Part of my coming closer to God includes going to church and I enjoy going to church with my honey as he is a musician (drummer) there and I enjoy supporting him as well as hearing the good word of God from the pastor there. When I made the journey to NC from IN, I lost a great deal of my clothing as I couldn't bring everything with me that I had wanted to. Many boxes were left behind, personal stuff, clothing, etc... so now I pick up a piece here or there as finances will allow. I bought a new blouse and a new pair of slacks for church on Sunday. The blouse came into and so I tried it on with the pair of slacks I do have. I can't stand the way the reflection looks. I know I am a beautiful woman, I am radiant and I have the glow of God and of love around me at all times. This glow however doesn't do anything with my appearance.

Acceptance is hard for me perhaps. I've decided that I want to line my living room wall of full-length mirrors and I've told my friend this who is helping me get some stuff for my home. I need to walk past these mirrors every day and accept these changes and I need to accept these imperfections while working to change them. I'm not quite understanding why this is the hardest part of this! I like the fact that I can see my knees again after so long, I like that my 'belly skirt' is shrinking and is much smaller, and I like how I can fit into smaller clothes. So what is the problem? Why do I have these emotional breakdowns when I look at myself?

Monday, June 28, 2010

So, why DID it happen?

By nature, many of us are people watchers. Everywhere we go, we see people of different shapes, sizes, colors, and an array of personalities. Although none of us should be judgmental, some people are rather it be aloud or in their minds. Have you seen someone who is overweight and thought, "Wow! They need to put the fork down!" It happens. We all think it. I thought it when I was younger and I promised myself I would never be that big. If only those thoughts remained a reality.

I was never a small child after I started grammar school. I remember vividly how the kids would tease me and taunt me on the playground. This was a trend which continued through high school even, as some people were downright cruel and nasty towards me because at 17 years old, I weight 210 pounds. When I was growing up, clothing for large teens weren't trendy like they are today and I remember my jeans were always so wide at the ankles. It was the days of piss-legging the pants and mine were so wide, it was virtually impossible to make them piss-leg properly!

So, why did it happen? And how did I grow to nearly 500 pounds? Before I continue, this isn't to lay out excuses or release the responsibility for my size as I do hold responsibility. I do not deny it. I came from a large mother and father. I remember times when my mother would fry chicken and our plates would be loaded with chicken, mashed potatoes, pasta, corn, cornbread, and even sweets at times or she'd broil up steaks and lay large pieces of steaks in our plates. As time went on and we lived on food stamps, we rarely saw fresh vegetables or fruits and we drank Kool-Aid with sugar or we had tea. From an early age, my nutritional lessons were shot as we grew up on these type of foods and drinks.

As an adult, I lost some weight living at my grandparents house as I walked to work every day and usually back if my grandpa didn't come get me. I chose to eat salads over french fries and I loved to drink water. My high school sweetheart and I got together one weekend and his grandmother was blown away by the weight I had lost. Her reaction to my weight loss kept me on track and increased my desire to become even healthier. And I had. By the time I moved out of Owensboro, KY, I weight 165lbs, down from the 220 pounds I had originally started at.

Life as an adult changed things for me. Each time I became pregnant, I'd gain 20 or 30lbs, unless I miscarried in earlier weeks, but the pregnancies that went beyond the first month, I gained weight like crazy. I always knew when I was pregnant because of the weight gain alone. Although those pregnancies only resulted in one live birth, I carried on the weight of each of them until I made it to 300 pounds.

At the age of 24, I was already at 300 pounds and my next obstacle came into my way: antidepressants. We've all heard the stories of people who take these medications and the weight they gain, well, it's true. In five years of medications, I had grew to the near 500 pound mark. These medications caused me to eat in unusual patterns, they made me feel like a zombie to where I wouldn't leave the house at all, and eventually became fearful of social situations. Here I was, growing to this enormous size, sometimes eating enough for three people or sometimes not eating at all. It continued until one day I said no more and flushed all my medications down the toilet.

The first three months, I went through severe reaction to coming off the medication, but once it was out of my system, I began to work on my weight and got myself back down to 350lbs to where I stopped trying to lose the weight and maintained a 350-360lb body. It was then, my life had changed yet again and my comfort was food. I had been with my ex-husband since 1993 and in 2005, we decided our marriage was over and although we made this decision, he was still very much in my life as he lived in my basement. He caused stress and depression upon me and I turned to food to soothe the pains he left in and on me. In May of 2009, I was back at 463lbs.

By reading this, I think you're capable of lining up the weight with the issues that caused the weight gain. Some people turn to counseling, some people to alcohol, some don't eat at all, and some find the comfort in Ben and Jerry's every now or a bag of chips to comfort themselves from the pains of life. My point of writing this out is to open the realization to people out there, being overweight is a disease, a sickness in itself. For some, it's an emotional disorder as we turn to food for comfort.

And so you have it. The WHY it happened. My life has changed, again, even more drastic than ever, and tomorrow, I'll write more about the positive effects of these life changes. I will eventually get into the 'how' I'm losing this weight, so please keep checking back. And remember, regardless if you have 20lbs to lose or 200lbs to lose, we are all in this together and we can do it! Find the core of your weight problem and attack it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Welcome Aboard

It's been said to me that I should start blogging again as my followers and friends have missed my writings, however, I simply wasn't interested. A few days ago, an event took place in my life which made me think about others who may be motivated and inspired by me if I were to write again. Those who know me will be the first to tell you that I am a motivator to others and an encourager to them as well. I'm the person who stands behind those who are going through storms and holds an umbrella over them while they push through, while becoming soaked myself. That's who I am.

Hello. I'm MzTonya and I'm fat. In early 2009, I stepped on the scales in the doctor's office. It was humiliating because of the type of scales they had used and secondly because I was coming up on my near all-time high again. I'm here to bare all and to do so without shame. For if I were to withhold information, then what would the purpose be in my attempts to inspire others? My all-time high weight was 491 pounds. Yes. You read the correctly, 9 pounds away from being 500 pounds. If you were to look at me when I was that high, you wouldn't have guessed as my fat had it's way of compacting into places which evened me out. I, however, knew the truth. Last year when I stepped on the scales, I was at 463lbs.

There comes a time in the lives of fat people like myself who accept the conclusion, this is who I am and this is who I'm going to be. The hope within diminishes and you accept yourself for what you are. I accepted myself at 463lbs. Why not? My friends supported and loved me dearly, I'm the apple of a man's eye who sees me for me, and I don't have health problems. I've never once had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. So I accepted me and expected the world to do so as well.

It doesn't happen that way. As a matter of fact, the world is a cruel and ugly place. They will smile at your face but snicker behind you. Many people don't understand that being fat is a disease in itself. There's a core to the weight, but in order to find that core, you have to understand yourself. You have figure out what it is that drives you to eat in such unhealthy ways. Myself? That is a story on it's own and I will attempt to give insights as to how I became so big in the first place.

In closing this morning, I want to talk about the inspiration for this blog. My sweetheart was coming over after we hadn't seen each other in some days and I wanted to look cute for him. I ripped through my closet trying to find something suitable however, my clothes were all too big. My jeans which fit perfectly when he and I first met reminded me of an oversized burlap sack with me stuffed in them as if I were a sack of potatoes and my shirt looked like a tent. I stood in front of the mirror and literally had an emotional breakdown. I cried! My emotions which came out of me caused me to feel silly later, but during the time it was happening, I was a wreck.

Most people cry because they can not fit into their clothes due to weight gain. I'm not sure why I cried because of the clothes being too big. I think it was disappointment because I haven't gone shopping for new clothes. Why? At the time of the breakdown, I had only spoken to others about the loss I've had, but I haven't quite accepted the fact that I've lost weight. In my mind, I'm still that 463 pound woman who moved to North Carolina last July. In the mirror, I am a 394 pound woman.

And so the journey continues. Welcome to my blog. I would love to know who's reading, so please feel free to share, comment, follow, or whatever else you want to do in order to let me know that you are here. I'm not sure what direction this will take, but to know this, this is my personal blog so we'll talk about life. My life consists of God, my daughter, my sweetheart, friends, two cats, work, and school. I'm a very open person and I speak my mind without fear of rejection or anything. So, let's go!