I have always been heavier, since the age of 10. I thinned out a little in high school as I grew taller, but I was never skinny. I didn’t really care. My family always ate nutritious meals that my mom cooked. She has a degree in nutrition, and is an amazing cook, although I didn’t appreciate all the foods she made back then.
I don’t know where my problem with food came from. We never had much junk food in the house, but instead of not caring for it, I inhaled it every chance I got. Sleepovers? Baby sitting? I’d eat bags of Doritos or sneak into the kitchen for another handful of cookies. So here is my history of the last few years, complete with pictures that made me do a double take.
I was neither fat nor thin in early high school. Honestly, at that age, I didn’t really care. I was just coming out of my awkward middle school years, and that was enough for me! I was about a size 10/12 and carried about 150 pounds on my 5 foot 6 inch body.
This is me before a dance in 9th grade, at age 15 (in a dress I designed and my mom helped me make, I might add!):
The summer between 10th and 11th grade, I took a great tap dance workshop at Sunset Playhouse. There ended up being only two other girls in the class. About half the time I rode my bike there and back. And the dancing was intense. I learned more that summer than I had learned in years of lessons through the Wauwatosa Recreation Department. John Cramer, artistic director at the time, taught the class, and really pushed me, even when I was the only person who showed up. We learned a kick-ass routine to the Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week.” You know how fast that song goes? Yeah, I tapped that fast. It was awesome.
So I lost some weight that summer and toned my body. I didn’t really notice it until my friends pointed it out to me. Here’s me, happy and healthy on the first day of 11th grade, probably about 140 pounds and a comfortable size 10:
Junior year, I got less exercise and lost some of that tone that I worked so hard for. I also went through my teenage depression and gained weight. It didn’t really phase me. I had other “important” things to worry about. The dress I wore to prom was a size 12, and it just barely fit. I was back up to about 150 pounds. Here is my dad and I before prom, April of 2002:
My boyfriend broke up with me a week later, but the spring weather kept me from wallowing for too long. I didn’t have an exercise routine, except for walking to to school, and when senior year rolled around, I had gained a little more. My dress for senior ball was a size 14 and I was around 160 pounds. Early 2003:
I worked on singing and acting all winter in hopes to get a role in our school’s production of “Les Miserables.” The work paid off- I got the role of Madame Thenardier! There were weeks of long rehearsals, which included lots of junk-food snacks and fast-food dinners. Plus, they made my costume big on me, to make me look more plump, and strongly hinted that I could gain weight and look more like the Broadway pictures. I never bothered to step on a scale, but a couple months after the show, I was shocked to realize that I was up around 180 pounds! Yikes:
My mom discovered the Atkins Diet, and I tried to follow it with her. The last two months of school I went to the gym and worked out for at least an hour almost every day. I felt great! By graduation I was back down to 160. I don’t know why I don’t have any pictures of my high school graduation, but I wore a super cute black dress from Express. It was a 14, but it fit comfortably.
I stayed on Atkins for the first couple months of college, but the cost was a big deterrent. Ramen noodles and Mac & Cheese were much more budget friendly. Combine that with the late night pizzas, drinking parties, and living next to a George Webb, and the weight started creeping back on. In July of 2004, I did the Rocky Horror Show, where I met David. I was around 170 and feeling bad about it. I’m including this picture for laughs. No, that is not David, yes, I had blond hair:
David and I started dating soon after and I gained the happy relationship weight after a while. I guess that will happen when you’re dating someone who loves to cook and is damn good at it. I went to Florida with my family in the late spring of 2005, and was so embarrassed of my body. When I saw these pictures, I knew it was bad:
And almost three years later, I am even heavier. Ladies and gentlemen, I broke the 200 pound barrier. For the past 6 months, I have hovered around 200, the highest being 213. It makes me sick to admit this. How did I let that happen? So now I decided to make a real change. I realized I needed to devote time to this, as I would any other work. I turned down theater to make time to improve myself.
Two weeks ago, I weighed in at 204.5 on my scale at home. This morning I checked in at 194. It feels SO good to have some distance from that 200. I also hit a landmark at the YMCA. They have one of those old school doctor’s scales with the sliding weights. Since I started going to the Y near my work, about 8 months ago, I always slid the “200” weight over first. I don’t have to anymore. I can just use the “150” weight!! Of course, I have to move the single pound slider all the way up, but still- it is thrilling!
I am determined to keep this weight loss up. My dream weight is 140, but I will be thrilled with 150. My goal for the end of the year is 170. I know I will hit some roadblocks and will probably stall at some points, but I will come back and look at some of those early pictures of 150 and 160 for motivation. I wish it could be faster, but after all, it took five years to get to this point. Going back can’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I know I can do this!