Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankfulness all around

Well, as much as I hated to do it...I have decided to take a REST day from exercise! I know, I know...BUT it's for a good cause - I can't walk people! My quads are killing me like never before. So, instead of killing myself with Step Class today, I decided to make it a rest day, and kill em again tomorrow.

*FYI - this is a VERY long read. And can be a little monotonous... so you have been forewarned :)*

So it hit me a little while ago, I've never really shared my true beginning story and why I'm so thankful that the light finally came on. Here it goes...with pictures and EVERYTHING!!!

All growing up I was never the skinny gal. I hated sports, and loved food. In high school I joined the guard with the band and was fairly active and actually started dieting (anyone remember that horrid Cabbage Soup Diet where you could only eat certain things on certain days?! UGH!).

After high school I got married, to the jerk (he doesn't even deserve a Capital letter). Let's just say that it was ABUSIVE verbally and physically. When I left him nearly a year later I had put on some poundage and still clearly remember him saying "you'll always be a fatass". Ugh. That was the start of a LONG 15 years of hell and weight issues. I will always remember how thankful I was for that day our divorce was final!!!

Let me also state that I don't remember numbers...I'm terrible like that. I'm not even 100% sure I weighed back then. As you can tell my memory is a blur when it comes to that time and thereafter. He screwed my head up pretty bad. I'm sure I can dig out my old Weight Watcher membership that would say, because after I split from the jerk, my Dad made a deal with me. He would pay for me to go to WW with him, as long as I lost. When I gained, I would have to pay that week. He also gave me the deal that when I hit goal weight he would buy me all new clothes.

Well, being 18, I didn't care enough I guess. I wanted to hang out with my friends and party and what-not. So that didn't last long. Never reached goal. Quite a bummer too! I sure would've loved NEW CLOTHES!

YEARS go by, of course my weight goes CRAZY and I'm "dieting" the whole time, but again never remembering numbers (I suspect 200's?). Enter new boyfriend. We fall in love, get engaged and I work on losing some weight for the wedding. I suspect I lost about 20lbs with WW'ers and working out (Gutts and Butts classes!). After the wedding, well...who cares anymore...right?

My Dad, Me, My Bro and My Mom (with their skinny genes)

New husband and I want to have a we start trying to conceive. Ugh...NO LUCK?! I do too much research and think we'll have to go the IVF route. I'm crushed, depression hits...and the weight really starts to pile on. My all time highest (not pregnant) was 222 (that I have written down) in 1999 and 2000.

I finally got pregnant using a fertility drug, but miscarried VERY early on. New husband and I start to have serious problems. I start focusing on myself and I start to lose weight again, using WW. Dropped about 40'ish lbs before realizing new husband is a drug addict and is arrested. Talk about eye opener. My whole world is turned UPSIDE down. We were buying our FIRST home, thanks from the help of my parents, and now he's turned out to be a jerk and a druggie?!!! WOWOW! As you can guess the weight starts to roll back on, up to 217 (that I can find written). New husband and I decide to divorce. Too much deceit was there and other issues. Again...thankful for the journey, but even more thankful for the end!

In 2002 I start down the road again, and manage to lose almost 45lbs! I am on FIRE and feel wonderful. Get a new HOT boyfriend (can we say boy toy) and down another road. Eventually I find out the boy toy is um...10 years YOUNGER than me. But I have already fallen in love with him. This becomes the start of the worst relationship...even worse than the jerk. VERY abusive kid who has some serious authority issues, not to mention lack of morals. WHY I stick with this toy for so long still is a question in my head. But I got down to my all-time new low of 167!!!

Wouldn't you know that losing all that weight, and uh...having a boy toy would make it so I got pregnant?!! WOWZA! But we lost that baby, and a few months down another pregnancy. You can bet between the abuse I went through (physical), the depression from suffering 3 miscarriages and beginning to think I will never have children started taking a toll on me. I regain and lose the same oh 20lbs for some time. And then finally, I get pregnant again. This time I deliver (4/28/05) a healthy and happy bouncing baby boy (weight at delivery 233!). He became EVERYTHING to me. I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am that God decided I could be this beautiful baby boy's Momma!!!

The AH HA moment finally hit me. This kiddo will be looking up to me, learning from me, and depending on ME. 8 months into his life I kick the boy toy out and decide we are MUCH better without him in our lives. There is something wrong with a guy if he thinks it's okay to beat the sh*t out the Momma while holding the innocent little baby and the baby is screaming about it.

This began the real journey. Yes...the journey where Mandie finds Mandie. Where I learn how to take care of myself because now I am responsible for this little guy. He will be looking up to me. I want to show him that Momma can take care of herself as well as him. So now enters the new Mandie! I'm kicking butt and taking names. The boy toy continues to try and screw up my life (yes even to this day!), but the little guy (who becomes the big boy later) and I are doing GREAT on our own!!! Amazingly I'm down to my LOWEST ever to 155 (Spring of 06) ! WOWOW! I am on fire happy. For once I feel I really know what I'm doing, and really doing!!!! Exercising and eating RIGHT, making myself and my baby happy... who cares I'm a single Momma...I'm doing 100x better without the boy toy!!! I am beyond thankful that I've finally gotten my life on the right track and I'm doing a pretty good job of raising my son!

Then lo and behold the Hunney and I match up! This is truly like the sunshine after the rain. I can't even begin to tell you how different and how wonderful this guy is to me and my son. WOW! I haven't felt happiness like this ... well ... ever! We fall in love...and of course my weight stops, but at least it maintains. I'm comfortable...and oh so happy. THANKFUL.

In August 2006 I find myself pregnant again. WOW! I think the weightloss had to do with LOTS for my body!!! We're not so sure what to think and feel about this pregnancy, since we are a new couple...but we accept it. We end up having a rough patch...but again, we're a fresh couple...but very much in love. Guess who stopped caring about eating right and exercising?! I was so afraid I'd have another I stopped working out immediately. And slowly but surely I started eating all those "bad" foods all again. I gain about 60lbs with the pregnancy and end up delivering another beautiful bouncing baby boy (5/7/07) weighing in at 213lbs. How thankful I was to again be blessed by God to be responsible for this little guy!!! I can't even express the gratitude and happiness I felt.

After my little guy comes, you can bet Momma is more than motivated to lose the weight again!!! Once the Dr gave me the okay I started working out, got a personal trainer, and really went to town! In August 2007 the Hunney proposed to me, and then I was even more determined to get that baby weight off!! We were going to become a family!!! I have never felt more! The guy of my dreams is going to be mine!!! I am cranking it now!

In March 2008, I got down to my pre-pregnancy LOW weight of 155 and we headed to Vegas and got married! When we returned from Vegas I ran my first ever 5k, and then my wonderful husband let me have a girls night out less than a month after our wedding...and I was on cloud 9!

Unfortunately in June 2008 our home was flooded. We had to demolish the house and start fresh. It was a LONG 10 months...and we spent it in my parents basement. It tested our marriage, our faith, but we came out ahead. We have never been more thankful for where we are now.

Well, you can imagine how tough, stressful and out of whack I went living with my parents. It was their family of 4 (my brother and his son plus my parents) and then my family of 4 all under 1 roof. Let's just say it was the toughest thing I've yet to endure. Cooking for 8 sometimes 9 and 10 when my step son would be there and my brothers other son...gulp!

Well, during these stressful times I regained 20'ish lbs. But I'm happy to report I'm back on the road again. We have been in our new home a little over 7 months. FINALLY I'm settled, and have finally found that path again. It was tough...but I'm here and more than ready to get to goal. In September I went back to Vegas when my girlfriend got married. After seeing those pictures helped me realize how I had let myself go. I'm thankful those pictures opened my eyes....because had they not, I'm afraid it was the start of where I had already been. And I swore to myself I would never get there again. I have 2 children that NEED me. They need to look up to me. And they NEED me to be healthy....

I'm in the yellow dress

So there you have it. How I got to where I am.... It becomes real clear to me when I write this where I let myself go and why. It's unfortunate. But I have the opportunity to take charge in my life and make it better. With the kiddos in my life it makes it easier. I know they depend on me.

Thanks for reading if you read this far!! WOWZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mrs.Ballou said...

Wow! What a story! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I am amazed at how far you've come and how well you have rebounded. You are so strong!!! :)

Christine said...

Wow what a story. And what beautiful family!

I am so thankful you shared this, it's completely inspiring to me. ♥

Heather & Chaos said...

Wow Mandie!! I know I've "known" you for almost what 5-6 years now? And yet it's still interesting to read your story and see the pictures! Thanks so much for sharing it!!! You and I will get to goal this time!! Let's ROCK IT!!!