Good Morning....So the first thing I need to get off my chest is the ridiculous title of the blog. I just think the word "journey" is over-used. I should have been way more creative when I started this....but journey was about the only thing that came to mind. I am "joyfulgirl" because of the Dave Matthews version of the song, and I am not even a Dave Matthews fan. A little over 4 years ago I met the most amazing man, right here on the internet. He is a HUGE Dave Matthews fan. He told me that I am his joyfulgirl....and now I tend to use it for all my login names.
Ok, so now where do I start? there are so many different starting points. I guess the main reason I decided to start blogging is my newest quest to lose weight. I have read a lot of other blogs from people that have lost amazing amounts of weight....mabe mine can motivate someone. Even if it doesn't help motivate anyone else, I am hoping it helps me....selfish, huh?
I have been overweight my entire adult life. I had my first daughter at age 20, second one at 25 and my son at 27. Alot of women blame their weight gain on having children....but not me. I actually lost weight every time I had a baby....I used to joke that pregnancy was my weight loss plan. But in between babies I would balloon up. I think I stayed in the low 200's most of my 20's and early 30's. I started working outside of my home when I was 34 when my youngest child started kindergarten. Probably at about 35 I started creeping higher and higher. I was in a loveless marriage, taking care of my three kids, working and dealing with a man I didn't even really like. Food felt good. Heck, food still feels good. I started hovering around 270.
When I was 34 I knew I needed out of my marriage, but I sort of told myself that I could stay for the kids sake until they were grown. I proceeded to do just that. I did everything for my children and my job for the next few years. The only joy I had for just myself was food. It is like a best friend to me....and I suppose one of my worst enemies, too.
When I was 38 I admitted to myself and to my husband that I didn't love him anymore. We are both at fault for that, I know. For his part, he is an alcoholic....he was/still is verbally abusive to the children, constantly screaming at them for things no child should be screamed at about. I detested living that way, my excuse for staying was the children. The truth is, I was too scared of the unknown to actually leave. I was afraid of not being able to make it on my own with three teenagers. Yet I knew that staying was hurting everyone. For my part, I never tried to get him to stop drinking.....I did try to stop him from yelling at the kids, but it never worked. I even had him go to parenting classes, which helped for the course of the 8 week program, but then went back to the same old thing.
I think the reason I never bothered trying to have him stop drinking was because.....what if he actually did it? What if he actually stopped drinking.....would that mean I would then have to try and make the marriage work? I had spent so many years living that way, I didn't like him anymore. So I knew in my heart that even if he ever quit drinking, he was not the man for me. We also had nothing in common. We never spent any time together. I knew that in the end I would rather live alone for the rest of my life that continue living that life.
Outside of my job, my children, and their activities...my life was mostly food. I did get some joy out of being online, talking to other people in similar situations, I talked to very interesting people that way. One day in April of 2006 I got an instant message from a guy in Connecticut (I am in Texas). Harmless enough, we started an online friendship. During the next two years we chatted almost daily....and had so many things in common. He was married, unhappy....and staying for the kids. Sound familiar? I thought so, too. We kept each other company and bounced everything off of each other. We were both going through divorces.
My husband moved out in late 2007 or early 2008. In April of that year, I was planning on meeting up with Howie....the guy from CT. We were going to spend a few days together for the first time. I was thrilled and scared....nervous and fat. I thought he would never want to be with me, I was huge. I started dieting, Atkins works for me, I understand it and can do it. I lost about 30lbs before we met in April of 2008. It was an awesome visit, we have soo much in common and truly just enjoy being together. After being so lonely for so long, I cannot even express how great it was finally be with someone that just wanted to be with me. He also never looked at me like he saw a fat girl. If I talked about being fat, he would get upset, He liked me just the way I was.
We could plan activities or just do nothing at all and it was wonderful. Our values were the same, the way we think about raising kids is the same, we laugh at the same things, the things that make me sad, make him sad.....and vice versus. The visit was too short, and after he went back to CT we both realized that we didn't want to live our lives apart. His kids were grown, mine are still teenagers. Trying to figure out the logistics of how to make it work from 1900 miles apart was very difficult. We decided the best thing would be for him to move here. His divorce was final, mine was close to final. He is a teacher, so we started looking for a teaching job in Texas for him. He wouldn't come down here without a job. He finished out the school year in CT. and found out at the end of the year that his job would not be renewed for the Fall of 2009.
So, job or no job....he was moving down. Worst case scenario, he could be a substitute teacher for a while. We found him an apartment and at the end of July, 2008 I flew to CT to meet his family and start our roadtrip to Texas with all of his stuff. We arrived in Texas on July 30, 2008 and he moved in to his new apartment. A few days later he got a lucky phone call for an interview for a teaching job at a small private catholic school. They hired him on the spot. Everything was going great! He was adjusting to the Texas heat, my kids were excited to get to know him....and we were excited that things finally seemed to be working out for us. I was probably at about 265lbs. I wanted to lose weight, but we were either eating out or cooking.....social events seem to revolve around food.
Our relationship is amazing, my kids have adjusted to having him in our lives, we are all happy. After about 6 months in the apartment, we decided that it would be better if he moved in with us, we knew forever was in our future. At first I thought it would be better to just live together, without getting married. But, after doing that for a year....we decided to go ahead and get married. We were already married in our hearts, might as well make it legal! SO we were married in April, 2010.....4 years to the day after he sent me that first instant message. In the two years that he has been in Texas, I have gotten fatter. We both love to eat, but I am bigger now than I have been my whole life. I have actually gone over 300lbs. I can't even believe I just typed that. Nothing fits, I am miserably fat. I am so happy in my life and yet depressed about my weight at the same time.
We like to go to a waterpark in the summer. Season passes, weekly visits....it is what we enjoy in the summer. Last week we went for the first time. My swimsuit from last summer is basically too small for me this summer, so are most of my clothes. I NEED to lose weight. I WANT to lose weight. I know I am not healthy. My son is about to begin high school and I feel like he is embarrassed of me. I am embarrassed of me. I had to fly to New Orleans for a conference in April and for the first time, my seat belt didn't fit....I was too mortified to ask for a seat belt extender, so I just didn't buckle, I pretended to.
So, here I am....ready to start on this journey....I still don't like that word, but I suppose that is exactly what this is....a journey. I watch the biggest loser, I read other blogs, I see people in magazines....and if they can all do it....then so can I. I am going to attempt this on Atkins at first. Mostly because I know how to do Atkins, I know I can start seeing results fairly quickly. I plan on evolving into just a healthly lifestyle, but I have to start somewhere. I have a membership to the Y, I need to stop donating money to them every month and actually go and USE the membership. I start today, June 1, 2010. I will weigh myself at the Y tonight after work and post my actual starting weight here in the blog, as humilating as that number might be.....I have to be honest with myself about how bad the situation actually is.
Here I go.....anyone want to join me? =)