The weight gain had started my senior year in college in 1994. I wasn't playing volleyball anymore. I was living off campus, which meant that I was driving to and from campus, no walking. I had a thing for creamy soups, which also meant soups with a high fat content. My favorite soup was Chunky Brocolli Cheese Potato and I ate a lot of it! I also had a lot of beer. Hell, we were seniors now! We were at the bar all the time! I wasn't sure how much I weighed or how much I was gaining, but I was wearing size 18. I guess when you are that heavy, you stop weighing yourself because you are already depressed enough.This picture is from my sister's wedding, 7 weeks after I had my son. This is one of the lowest points in my life. The smile on my face doesn't show the pain that was inside. Some of you are probably saying "Of course she had a bit of weight, she just had a baby!" I don't think it should look like I am still pregnant. I remember when we had to order our dresses the previous fall. The woman in the bridal salon told me that I should order a size 22, just in case. I remember walking down the aisle at my sister's wedding and I all I could think of was what the people were saying. "Wow, did she get big!" or "She is huge, she looks disgusting." It was supposed to be a happy day but in reality, I just wanted to hide from everyone.
This is me about 10 months after starting Weight Watchers, so this is 2003. You can see I was still on the heavy side. Losing weight is never quick. I love the Biggest Loser, but it's not reality. We have families to raise and jobs to do and don't have 6 hours each day to work out. We are lucky if we get in an hour! It took me 20 months to get 5 pounds within my goal weight. Also, I wasn't perfect. I cheated. I gained. But, we are human. All you can do is forgive yourself for the transgression and start over the next day.
Here I am in September 2009 after running the Rochester half-marathon. I am thinner now than I was in high school. If you had told me that when I started losing weight that I would run a half-marathon, I would have said you were crazy. Let alone 2 half-marathons in 2 months! 89 pounds seemed like an impossible feat, but I was able to do it. I often tell people that nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I think that is absolutely true. The weight loss journey is going to be a rollercoaster. You will have your up weeks and your down weeks. The weight gain didn't happen overnight, so the weight loss won't either. This is reality, folks. And the reality is that it is going to take awhile. But maybe that's what will convince you to never go back. It worked for me.