This picture makes me cry!

This picture makes me cry!
Thought it was time to change my picture

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How I Have Changed

This post isn't just about the most recent pregnancy changes but more "how I have changed" over the last few years - in essence, the impression that weight loss, infertility and finally pregnancy has left on me. Man that is mouthfull - talk about a lot of baggage to be carrying around!

Hmmmm, where to start - weight loss brought about a new image of myself. In some cases almost a more distorted image of myself. I had always been the fat girl and I was comfortable with that. I didn't say HAPPY but I was comfortable. I knew how to protect myself from snide comments and the sneers. I knew how to dress in black to appear slimmer (haha - that's a joke!). I knew how to disguise my ability to eat 2 double whoppers and a large fry by eating a light dinner with family and then heading to the drive thru. I knew these things and then came weight loss. It was scary and meant dealing with a lot of demons that I had pushed down for most of my life. It was a challenge and as I realized that I could climb those mountains I began setting my sights higher and higher. Did I ever reach the top of my "weight loss mountain". Did I ever plant my flag at the crest and take in the beautiful valleys that I had come through??? I honestly can't answer that because I still looked in the mirror and saw things I didn't like. I saw stretch marks and saggy skin - OH and saggy boobs too! But I was healthy and happy and in love with a wonderful man. I went from being the fat friend to being the amazing shrinking woman and my identity began to change - I began to be known by people only as thin and healthy. In fact, there are people who never knew me fat.......huh, what???

Fast forward a few years - I'm in the middle of marriage and work and kids and cats and life in general. Living a life that I never dreamed I would have because I had kind of chalked up my future to being the crazy cat lady. So hubby and I are trucking along in life...throwing around the idea of having a baby. We had already waited a couple of years because it was important to us to let the newness of our marriage settle in, especially because my husband was raising a son from a previous marriage. We just assumed that having a baby would be easy......I mean every time you turn on the news you see headlines of some teenage girl giving birth and abandoning her baby.....surely a stable, loving, mature couple could get pregnant. WRONG - the first few months we got the usual "let the pill get out of your system" speech. After that it was "relax and have fun with it". Everyone had there own piece of advice and though I'm sure they all meant well, no one can understand the heartbreak that takes place month after month. Finally after being referred to Reproductive Endocrinologist was I able to get some answers. PCOS with insulin resistance.......I had no idea really what that was or what it meant to my fertility. I did know that it meant drugs and the doctor warned me in advance that those drugs caused weight gain. I thought at first it would be no big deal but after 21 months of "no big deals" I was basically spent. I had given up hope and put on 15-20 pounds. I was raw emotionally and a shell of the fat and skinny girl that I had once been. Infertility had left a brand on my heart - I will never be the same. Not only have I changed physically but emotionally I have travelled so far. I have learned the true depth of my husband's love, I have learned that life is too short to spend every minute of every day obsessing about eating exactly 1500 calories while tempering that with 325 calories burned in exercise. I've learned that there are some spaces that are in us that can only be filled by something specific - you can't substitute those holes with other things - food does not fill a void nor does it ease the longing for a child.

Fast forward one more time to Pregnant Barbie - WOW - I thought I would never say that! Again I have learned so much about myself......I am no longer my own person but I belong to someone that I've never met. I have fallen in love with my husband over again, every single day. I have fallen in love with this baby in spite of the fatigue and spreading hips. I find myself no longer looking at being thin or fat but at being a healthy mother who has a healthy baby. Everytime I go to the gym (when I can muster up the energy right now) I think about how good the exercise is for the baby.......5 weeks ago I agonized over heartrates and calories burned. I wouldn't eat an apple because of the carbs. Things are so different now - I have a true sense of peace regarding who I am. This is something I have never had - it is a little foreign to me. With that sense of belonging and peace comes my ability to become lazy too! Yep, that's the downside. I'm not nearly as driven right now. I'm not trying to be the next Top Model but I do want to be healthy and pizza, chocolate cupcakes and NO exercise does not equal healthy. There has to be a balance and I am out to find it.

I guess my whole point in putting this down was just to see how life changes. Sometimes we have no idea how things from our past will affect our future - we aren't able to see the big picture - we don't know how the cards will play out. All we can know is to keep moving forward, keep hoping, keep striving, keep believing. If we can do those things then maybe our miracle, whatever it is for us personally, will come forth???



Frances said...

You said it sister! What a fantastic post. You sound like you are in wonderful place. And I'm so happy to hear it!

Miss July...not...yet said...

you just made me cry.
You are amazing and what a wonderful view on life. Isn't that baby just the most precious thing ever?
Thank you for sharing all that with us.

Kate said...

sounds like your finally happy, and that makes me happy!

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

Love it. Really. Thanks.

Natalie said...

this is the first time i have visited your blog and what an amazing intro! so nice to meet you...

Scale Junkie said...

I love this post! You never know what life is going to bring your way, just never know. I'm so happy for you!!

''A Tenacious Dieter'' said...

Oh lord! had to say well done on your progress *claps* what a GREAT before and after transformation!
And congrats on the baby under construction lol.

Candace said...

Hi Steph - Hugs to you and the munchkin. Hugs to hubby too. What kind of reaction is the 'kid' having to the new baby. Being a boy, I'm guessing reservation - but please share the families emotions. Of course, I don't care what cat's think, but feel free to share their reaction too since this IS your blog after all.

Tina said...

What a beautiful reflection from such an incredible soul! Wow, I am so privileged to have "met" you. You're an awesome woman!!

MMalloy said...

Very well put, I often look back and find myself saying "if I only knew how things would turn out" but then I remind myself that I am who I am and where I am today becuase life challenges us in the most unique ways.
Just think what you will be able to teach your little jellybean (that is so cute and it was my dads nickname for me until I was almost 13 ;)) I am so happy for you and that you are in such a happy place in life, I hope you never have to leave that place!
On another note, yes we are walking the 3 Day again this year. I am so excited and cannot wait to share in the experiance again. Maybe I will come to TX for the 3 day next year.
Wedding planning is CRAZY. I have so many ideas, but unfortunatly most of those ideas cost money so I am trying to be creative and pick my favorite ideas and go from there. I am so glad school is done so I have the summer to concentrate on getting everything in order.

Ready Maid said...

What a beautiful essay! Thanks for sharing the miracle of life and the mystery of change. You are a shining example for many to follow and a source of hope for others.

Anonymous said...

"I knew these things and then came weight loss. It was scary and meant dealing with a lot of demons that I had pushed down for most of my life"

Yes I feel that I have spent 31 of the past 40 years learning, practising and perfecting how to be the "fat girl" and whilst it is not a role I can say I am ecstatic about, it is a place I am used to occupying (kind of safe and comfortable).

I am using my blog at the moment to go over some of the bad things that occurred to me in childhood and teenage years which contributed to my weight gain and lack of self esteem (I won't say "caused", merely contributed towards).

But the prospect of becoming (eventually) a "slim girl" or normal sized person is quite daunting -- I don't know yet how many demons and fears I might have to face then.

Best wishes with your pregnancy -- hope all is well with you and JellyBean!