My weight. My size. These two things were a concern to me for nearly as long as I can remember. Two incidents really stand out in my memory though. One I believe it was my eleventh birthday party. I got these awesome black and white jeans. One pant leg was striped and the other was floral. Trust me, they were cool. I couldn't get them past my thighs. I cried, and for the first time in my life I remember thinking I was fat and feeling bad about myself for it. Mom said we could start going on walks after dinner, and it made me feel a little better at the time, but we never did walk. Another incident that sticks out is when I was 13. My sister and I spent the summer with my dad who was stationed in Las Vegas. He took us to a water park where, of course, you wear a bathing suit. We were standing in line waiting for one of the slides and he must have caught my eyes comparing myself to the other girls in line. I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but in essence he said I was beautiful. In ninth grade I managed to lose weight by sticking to a low-fat diet. I limited myself to 20 grams of fat per day, which is too low. I think low-fat must have been the craze at the time with things like Snackwell's cookies and things all over the place. But I guess between that and playing sports it took pounds off. I got down to 113 pounds at my lowest. I loosened the reins a bit after that school year and didn't worry quite so much about it. I think I graduated high school at 125 pounds.
Then I start my freshman year at ESU. You've heard of the Freshman Fifteen??? Yeah, more like the Freshman Forty for me. Then I started dating my now husband and gained almost 20 more pounds. I was up to 185 pounds and could barely squeeze into my size 12s. Fortunately for me the college had opened a new fitness center free to students and I was able to get down to 160 pounds before graduating.
I took a job near where my husband was going to college and my weight fluctuated back and forth between 156-164 and I guess I was okay with it. Aaron eventually proposed and I made an attempt to lose weight. I went to the gym, took our dogs on walks, and did a lot of Turbo Jam videos. But my diet was not good. And in retrospect, I wasn't working out as hard as I thought I was at the time. I weighed 153 pounds the day we got married.
In 2008 we moved to North Carolina and I met Crystal and we both took up running. Again, my diet was still crappy, so the lowest my weight ever got was 150, which is when I discovered I was pregnant. Because I never got my diet under control before pregnancy, it should be no surprise that I went totally nuts. I gained 51 pounds, ballooning to 201 on my 5'6" frame. I did exercise through the pregnancy, but if you eat whatever you want all the time you will still gain a lot of weight.
After my son was born I started working out again with great consistency. In nine months I got back down to 157 pounds..... then discovered I was expecting Baby #2! I was determined not to break the 200 pound mark again, and I did it by the skin of my teeth weighing 199 at my top weight. Exercising with two kiddos under two is tough! And they NEVER napped at the same time! At my daughter's first birthday party I was still 186 pounds wearing size 14. A patient of mine (who I'll admit, I wanted to smack at the time) said that after that long its no longer baby weight, its just your own weight. But you know what? She was right. And enough was enough. I started my new job since we had moved back to PA in January 2012. I lost 10 pounds in one month. Then I joined www.myfitnesspal.com at the urging of my sister and lost more. I kinda sorta started running again in May, but buying a house took me out of the game in August and September. But at this point Crystal was training for her first marathon. And she gave me the encouragement to believe that I could do it too. I ran my first half marathon distance December 22, 2012, then I knew I was going to run a full marathon.
I hit my current weight probably around February 2013. I've been hovering in the 136-142 range, and I'm happy with that. Depending on the cut of the clothing I wear sizes 4-8, and I'm fine with that. I wish I could figure out what clicked this time that never did before, I ponder this subject a lot. And the best I can come up with is that when I committed to running that marathon, exercise was no longer optional. Eating healthy, nutritious foods just came along naturally because I needed to properly fuel my body. It was as if now that I wasn't focused on my weight, now that I was looking to something greater, the weight loss was just a side effect.