I was the athlete. Field Hockey, swim, track and anything else I could get my hands on.
I loved food.
The joke always was, “Careful Jen, it will catch up with you when you get older..” or “Where does it all go? You’re like a food dumpster…” I laughed them off and continued on with my life like every other naive, invincible teenager. I continued swimming for a year in college and found my body at its greatest. Soon after, I left the four year school for a two year, thus ending my athletic career. I’d say the following few years were not that hard on my body. I was young and active still, granted I found myself in the worst relationship in the world, and making terrible financial decisions. Thanks to mom and dad and strong friends, I found my way out of both difficulties and found myself a job offer.
If I knew now, what I knew than, I would have made different choices. Wouldn’t any of us at some point? No…I guess not. For without my past, my present would not exist. But still, a little pre-glimpse of my future would have been a good warning.
There I was, a fresh new recruit for the county jail, enduring 9 months of semi military training. Ok, so maybe it was not that rough, but for a 20 year old who never experienced anything like this, I was in for a shock. I was pushed to mental and physical limits I never experienced before. Either way, I endured and passed middle of the class. Not bad. Thus my career began. Along with it, many men in and out of my life until I settled on one. He was charming, smooth with words and not bad looking to boot. Little was I prepared for the most difficult three year relationship of my young life. Between the stress and drama of the jail and another poisonous and destructive relationship, I gained weight. For the first time in my life, I was reaching numbers I had not seen before. Ok, so for a 5’9″ girl in her early 20’s, weighing 155 lbs was not the worst thing in the world. But than it slowly went up more.
Soon, I was bordering 170 lbs by my third year of working in a jail and a bad relationship. All good reasoning was out the window. By then, my financial problems were at an all time low. I had paid for someone else’s addiction, and in turn, I ate.
You may think, “Oh 170 lbs on someone your height cannot be that bad.” It was bad enough for me. Bad enough to add to my depression. Bad enough that I hated my body and everything I saw.
End of June, 2015
My best friend had just celebrated her bachelorette party. I broke up with the man that was dragging me down and found love unexpectedly. It all happened literally at the same time. I never meant to find someone, but I did. He was everything I was looking for in a man and more. He was fit, healthy, no addictions, had a career, financial stability, respect for me and an open heart. It was like a new era.
Mid August, 2015.
Politics, my own stupidness and straight unfair practices led to me being forced to resign from my job at almost 4 years. I felt defeated. Here I was sitting in the worst financial situation of my life at 25 years old, a body and mental health that was badly defeated and unable to find release from the black dog that enveloped it. Where was I to go from here? Did I even want to continue with this career path? How do I bring my self esteem back? Where do I go from here?
September 2015- January, 2016
I had built a strong 7 month long relationship with the man of my dreams. I had picked up my life and left my best friend and town I grew up in. I moved in with one of my sisters and looked north to Boston for my future. I did not realize the emotional stress that leaving home would create. It was a place that both nurtured and created me, but also helped create a dark and destructive world. I was torn between two feelings.
Relief and loss.
I didn’t exactly try that hard to find a job right away. I’ll admit it. But soon the financial pressure became too much and my hunt for a new job began. I was home at my sisters half the week, helping with the kids when it was needed, and spent the other half of my time in Boston with my man. My times with him were incredible, uplifting and healing. He began bringing me back to what healthy should be. We would go to the gym together, eat right for the most part and support each other. My time at my sisters, however, was not so good. My depression and loneness would set in and my binging and snacking would too. I would feel lost again. I missed my best friend. I missed my home. I missed my man. I missed having a life and soon, I missed working.
January 26th & 27th 2016
I finally had enough. Clothes were no longer fitting. My rolls couldn’t be sucked in any more. I couldn’t hide it. I couldn’t hide what my body had become. I went the grocery store with my measly amount of money and bought a butt load of veggies and chicken.
Even with this fresh purchase of produce, I ate my heart out of carbs and cheese and sausage. Fat Boy Pasta is the name. So dangerous, yet so amazing and addictive. I hated myself that night though. That is it. Enough is Enough I told myself. I can’t live like this.
The next morning I cut open an avocado and baked an egg into each half. Added just a tad bit of white cheddar and engorged it when it was done. I enjoyed a banana a little later and decided that I needed to do a small workout. I downloaded a few apps, 30 day challenges for different areas I felt I needed to work on including cardio. I completed them and felt pretty proud of myself. I continued the day with a big arugula salad, sautéed mushrooms and chicken. Dinner was more chicken, mushrooms and sweet peppers. I was naughty once and ate a snackpack chocolate pudding with whip cream on it. Ugh, my sweet tooth was so happy, but I was disappointed in myself and will power. I went to bed, determined to do better the next morning.
January 28th 2016
I weighed myself.
It was the first time in a long time and I was honestly scared of what I was going to see. My fear did not fail me. Mortification, disappointment and disgust hit me all at once.
How in Hells name could I allow such a thing to happen?! the anger and sadness welled up within me. I called my man and cried. I felt so low. He did his best to reassure me, but honestly, it didn’t work. He never was overweight or had an eating problems. He is an extremely fit guy and for the most part, always had been. For 48 years old, he put me to shame.
I wiped my tears away and tried another outlet. My best friend. She too tried to make me feel better about it, but for some reason, it just wasn’t enough this time. I felt like they both couldn’t understand.
After the phone calls, I ate my breakfast, same as yesterday. Did my workouts with sore and tight muscles and ate my banana. My pitbull, Lucy, looked at me like I was crazy.
She was fat too.
We were fat together.
Such a cliche for the dog to be like its owner.
My journey begins today. What was yesterday is behind me. The old saying from my academy training, “The Only Easy Day was Yesterday,” playing in my head. My determination to find a job, lose weight and become a healthier and happier person was my focus. I invite you on my journey. It wont be easy, but I feel I have hit my bottom. It’s time to grow again. I’m putting myself out there for the world to see in hopes that my journey can connect and cross by similar ones. I hope I can learn from others and others maybe from me. Who knows. With the love and support of my family, best friend, boyfriend and other friends, I am sure I can make this change.
I have to.
Bust: 40″ Chest: 36″ Waist: 36″ Hips: 42″
Body Fat is I think 27%