Happy Birthday To Me

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Faaaaatty, happy birthday to me.

Okay on paper that sounds kind of harsh.  But I can’t help the way I feel.  More sad, saggy reflection contemplation today.  But good news is I just completed week one of my Whole30, Whole Year.   Technically I started this “new lifestyle” the day after Thanksgiving thinking that if I could just stick to it for 30 days I would be able to squeeze it in before Christmas, save myself my usual December Christmas cookie binge and be off the plan in time for Christmas.  One week later and I am starting to realize this was not the way the plan was really intended to operate and my heart is opening up to considering this to be an actual lifestyle change.  Mostly because I actually am feeling better already.

Since my last kiddo was born in April I gave myself 6 months to just let things ride.  I am noCandyt a “bounce back” kind of Hot Momma.  I accept that and give myself a little grace.  On top of the 4 kids (7 and under) I work full time in a position with a lot of responsibility in a city 45 minutes away.  My life is chaos and sometimes  I consider myself to be doing great just to get through the day.  After the sixth month I decided to start trying to get the situation under control but all of my half baked plans and tinge of left over eating disorder habits brewed together into a perfect storm that by Halloween meant my will power, sugar cravings and stress level combination left me totally out of control of my own impulses. On Halloween night we got one trick or treater.  Therefore, an entire giant bowl of candy as well as the full buckets of all three of my super-hero kids was consumed in the first three weeks of November.  I kid you not, I would come home from work, and while making dinner and deflecting my skinny kids requests for “just one piece of candy” be simultaneously stuffing numerous treats in my mouth.  I would literally start thinking about it on the drive home and put off all other things once I walked in the door until I got my “fix”.  How scary is that?  I felt totally out of control.  I tried to quit, would do good all day avoiding the overflow candy bowl at work where “kind” coworkers brought their extra candy in to share, and then totally lose control again the second I walked in the door.  So. Much. Candy.  I can’t hardly believe I can admit this in a public forum.  It is my deep dark secret and I feel dirty disclosing it.  But it’s true.  I just couldn’t stop.

Enter Thanksgiving and the last “symptom” I could endure.  I worked all morning making an apple pie and several sides and an appetizer to bring to our family “pot luck” style Thanksgiving.  Once there I drank wine.  More wine than I have had in ages (just recently weaned the baby) and ate appetizers freely.  The meal itself was mostly veggies and some turkey.  Dessert was light.  There was no stuffing myself, just a reasonable attempt to enjoy the meal.  But like most days of my life of late.  I feared indulging too much for the likely case I would suffer the consequences later.  I was right.  Eating is no longer a joy for me.  I can’t expect to go any day without some form of abdominal distress.  I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say my spirit was broken.

That night I googled the Whole30 having heard it could be a way to test out the foods in my diet to determine what might be leading to these issues.  The 2 second review seemed easy enough and off I went.  After just three days, the sugar cravings and insatiable need to consume Halloween candy was gone.  Just like that.

Then I downloaded the book and the real work began.

I am going to chalk today up to a win.  Instead of birthday cake.  I let the kids and hubs eat pizza and I took the time to make myself my own dinner: roasted asparagus, mini medley potatoes, artichoke and New York strip from my shares all the beef my dad raises on the farm every summer.  Purely delicious and so filling.  It was honestly a struggle to clear my (small) plate.

My birthday wish…. to look back at this day a year from now and see how successful I was.

“In one year, you will look back and be glad you started today.

Whole365-The Beginning


lighted happy birthday candles
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On the eve of my 33rd birthday I stand in front of the bathroom mirror surveying the damage.  In a million years I never thought I would ever be one of “those people”.  Those Obese people, the People of Walmart people.  Chunk and cellulite glare at me in the reflection.  My fat rolls have fat rolls.  The skin on my stomach is a trellis of stretch marks from the pain of growing so absurdly huge with each of my four full term pregnancies that the skin eventually gave up trying and just broke.  My stomach sags over my under ware touching my thigh in a way that literally conceals the waistband from certain angles. Yuck.

With my fourth child in 6 years turning 7 months old today and the results of countless excuses and neglect starring me in the face, my skin and I are both deflated.  As I pull the floppy skin up and down stretching it to see if a “normal” sized body even still exists under there, I wonder if this sad skin will even return to normal if I were to lose 100 lbs.  Will I have to have skin removal surgery? 100 lbs is a lot to lose.  It sounds like a monumental amount of weight, but truthfully, I probably need to lose even more than that.  And what is the base line?  Where do you start counting from? Where do you start? If I am really putting it all out there I should admit the weight I was the day my last baby girl was born.  An embarrassing, staggering, whopping 281 lbs.  Do I give my self credit that 7 months out and I have stabilized at a mere 250 lbs?  Does it even matter?  I’m not going to lie, 250 lbs seven months after ballooning up to 281 does not feel like something to brag about.  Honestly, those 29 lbs are basically a 7 lb baby, a roughly 7 lb placenta, and close to 15 lbs of water weight that all came on in the last 3 weeks of my struggling pregnancy.   I was so swollen, the day before my induction, I could barely open my eyes from the puff in my face.  Diabetes, blood clotting issues, my last baby weighing in at 9 lbs and suddenly creeping up blood pressure, no wonder my doctor said “let’s call it at 38 weeks.”  Throw in a placental abruption at the end for kicks and let’s just say I am grateful, thankful, and blessed to be here, mulling these fat rolls over with four healthy kids sleeping in their rooms.


But I am not blaming the kids.  THIS IS ALL ON ME.  This is a lifetime of knowing better, but doing worse.  Of stuffing my face with terrible, empty foods because I was stressed or tired or lonely or addicted or whatever.  You don’t get to be 100 lbs over weight from pregnancy.  You get to be 100 lbs over weight from neglect.  Self neglect.  This total disregard for my own well being has brought me here.  My “self righteous sacrifice” of “putting my kids needs first” is a farce.  In neglecting myself, I do them more harm in the long run.  I jeopardize my health and my ability to care for them because I don’t first care for myself.  In my younger years it didn’t seem to matter.  I could eat crap, get no sleep, burn the candle at both ends and not worry about it.  I’d deal with it later.   Or I would start some fad diet and make an attempt to justify my excuses.

Well, it’s later and for the first time in my life the results of my decades long lack of self care is rearing it’s ugly head.  I have come to believe that all of my ailments are the result of my weight.  Can’t sleep?  Lose weight. Tired? Lose weight.  My left foot hurts constantly from the tendon between my toes splaying out and the bone touching the ground when I walk.  “Well, don’t weigh 100 lbs too much and that wouldn’t hurt.”  I have veins popping out of my left calf and it is oddly 5% bigger around than my right one. I’ve had superficial blood clots, headaches, nerve pain (stingers) sore back, and bad teeth.  You name it, it’s all because I am fat.

The buck stops here.  There is no more room for patience with myself, cutting this our counting that.  Without drastic and abrupt change, things for me won’t end well.  I have all the markers for all of the terrible, no good, very bad diseases.  What was the point of all of this hard work to get to where I am with my family and career just to likely keel over dead from a stroke before I get the chance to reap the benefits? It’s time to be different, to turn things around. It’s time to change.