It seems as though every weight loss story begins with, “I’ve been overweight my whole life” or, “My weight has been a struggle for as long as I can remember.” So… at the risk of sounding cliche– Hi. My name is Jenna. I have been overweight since childhood, and morbidly obese through most of my adulthood. When I was 8, I was the pudgy girl in ballet, worrying more about the way my leotard stretched over my belly than I did my pirouettes or pas de bourrees. By junior high, I was shopping in the women’s section of Mervyn’s, and by high school I was pushing my size 18 pants to the limit. Overweight, obese, and then morbidly obese. It’s been my reality for just about my entire existence.
Food, for me, has been both a source of comfort and self-loathing. I don’t know exactly what happened to cause me to suppress my emotions as a child. Maybe it was my parents’ divorce, the constant arguing, my brother’s death– whatever the cause, I closed myself off from the outside world and tried as hard as I could to stop feeling sadness. When I felt sad, I ate. It made me feel better in the moment, and the brief feeling of euphoria masked the fact that I was depressed for a long time. I was an addict experiencing a rush of endorphins with every bite. I was disgusted with myself, but I just couldn’t stop. It got to the point where it didn’t even matter what I was eating, it was the act itself that brought me comfort.
Then, one day, I was walking down the hallway at work and realized I was out of breath. From walking 50 steps. I was experiencing constant heart palpitations and excusing myself from social events, keeping myself hidden away so I didn’t have to feel the burn of judgmental eyes on my body. It wasn’t until later that I learned the only person judging me was myself. On December 28, 2014 I stepped on a scale and it read 330.5 pounds. I just stared at the number glaring back at me. I knew it was bad, but I wasn’t ready for that number. It terrified me. At that weight, my BMI was 51.7, which is very severely obese, and put me at a major risk for obesity related complications.
In that moment, I knew that if I continued down the path on which I was currently, I wouldn’t live to see my daughter grow up. I wouldn’t help her with her college essays; wouldn’t live to see any of her dreams come true. The thought broke my heart. I was at a crossroads. And honestly, when one road leads to your death, you have no choice but to take the other.
So I did.
On that day, I told myself, “No more.” I re-activated my Myfitnesspal account, did an overhaul of my diet, started eating at a caloric deficit, and I haven’t looked back. Here it is, 13 months later, and I’m down 108 pounds. I feel better than ever, but I’m still obese and I have a long way to go.
So why this blog? It’s mostly a tool to keep myself accountable. I still have a lot of weight to lose, a lot of fitness goals to meet, and some emotional things to work through. I’m willing to bet that there are a ton of people out there like me, and I maybe if I could find and connect with even one, then this would be worth it. I’m at the point in my journey where I’m ready to put myself out there. I have a lot to share, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this blog evolves.