Laying It All On The Table (Mamavation Monday)


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I think “laying it all on the table” has something to do with poker.

Which has nothing to do with this post, but “My 6 Years Spent Standing On a Scale In Pursuit of Happiness” doesn’t really fit as a post title. But would be appropriate.

(as usual, since I don’t have any good visual aids, I am picking the photo that WordPress suggested that has the least to do with the subject matter. I like to keep y’all on your toes. Also, I am not a hairy man. Just so you know.)

Also, this is a super long post. Go to the bathroom first, grab a (healthy) snack and a drink. It’s gonna take a while.

I used to be anorexic.

There, I said it. It wasn’t that I thought I was fat (but I totally did, because I was teased a lot about having “junk in my trunk”), but I was so busy in high school (and my one year of college) that I didn’t have TIME to eat.

When I did, it was total crap. McDonald’s, chips, sodas, ice cream, whatever struck my fancy in the 15 minutes I would take to eat, that’s what would go in my face.

And unfortunately, that eating habit stuck.

I moved my body a lot back in the day; I was on the track team and I worked with the football team and I walked a lot and the weight would stay off because my “junk in the trunk” was not adhered to the couch.

Now it’s adhered to the couch.

After my son was born in 1999, I realized I had gained 100 pounds while I was pregnant with him. Nobody said anything to me about it, not even my doctor. I was a whale…went from 112 on my 20th birthday to 222 the day Short Stack was born (9 months later).

I was depressed. I didn’t know what to do, and I was afraid if I exercised incorrectly, I would injure my baby. I don’t know why I couldn’t get it together.

But I didn’t. And 100 pounds in 8 months is a lot to haul around.

So after he was born, I got back to moving my body. I would walk with him, play with him at the playground…I got out and got moving. Mostly to keep my brain from dwelling on the horrible breakup I had just gone through and the custody battle that ensued, but also because I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror with that much extra weight.

So I avoided mirrors and purchasing new clothes at all costs. I dropped to 165 pounds.

A few years later after another pretty horrible breakup, I went back to the anorexic thing because it was comfortable (and cheaper), and I was tipping the scales at about 190. I wanted to stay out of the “2 bills” range because I couldn’t stand the idea of letting my recent ex know that I was falling apart.

And I started running.

After my son would go to bed, my roommate would watch him and I would run around our neighborhood until I couldn’t move. I wanted to punish myself for being who I was. I wanted to run away from what I had to deal with.

I would run until I threw up, and then I would run another mile.

I ran until I couldn’t figure out where I was anymore.

I ran until I stopped crying because I was so dehydrated.

It was not a healthy place for me.

Fast forward 3 more years and I’m in the middle of another terrible breakup (bad things come in threes, right?). I’m hovering around 170 because the most recent ex told me I wasn’t allowed to be heavier.

I switched to an all-vegan diet for almost a year after that. Was no need to run because I was working for the Evil Empire, who kept me so busy and running everywhere that I had no time to use the free gym membership that came from being a slave to the Empire an employee of the lovely company.

I just didn’t want to eat anything that reminded me of the abusive bullshit he had put me through. Which was pretty much anything that wasn’t green….so I ate all green.

I felt amazing. I felt like I was alive for the first time in my life and I didn’t have to sleep for 10 hours a day and wake up tired. I didn’t have to smoke. I didn’t feel like drinking. I stopped being a mess.

Eventually I got off the vegan diet (during massage school, it was hard to stay on it when I didn’t know when I was getting a break to eat…excuses, excuses.) and I started dating a man who didn’t suck.

Towards the end of my schooling, I started getting really sick. Every morning. And then certain smells started making me nauseous. And then I took a pregnancy test.

Pregnant with my second baby, I vowed to make it different this time. I wouldn’t gain another 100 pounds, because I COULD NOT afford to be over 300 pounds.

Then came the hyperemisis gravidarum. Translation: I literally spent the next 4 months not eating, or not being able to keep anything but Gatorade and a bit of pasta down.

I lost 35 pounds and my midwives worried I was going to lose the baby.

So they told me to eat.

And eat I did. I weighed 244 the day I walked into the hospital to have Chuck, and 247 carrying her out to the car the next morning.

I excercised my butt off after she was born. I got all the way down to 220 in 5 months. I was so proud of myself! I stuck to something for a long period of time, and within 3 weeks of giving birth to my precious hellion, I could fit in (AND BUTTON!) my pre-pregnancy jeans.

Then came this.

I kind of stood around for a week, staring. Not knowing what to do and being in a rather large case of limbo until that 2nd opinion came back.


Cancer is a big word. A big scary word. A word that requires a lot of testing, and a lot of “pelvic rest” (no sex, no strenuous exercise and no other stuff) and after 7 months of being cut into, and then recovering just in time to be cut into again, I am finally in the clear.

I got the heads up from my doctor on Friday that I can start light exercise, and by March 1st, I’ll be cleared for anything I want to do.

So I’m going to start small. And build on that. Because I know that works for me, and this time, I’m not f*cking around. I’m done being this size.

I haven’t worn jeans in…um….well, I think the very last time I wore jeans was to the “Cancer Announcement” appointment. I don’t even think I could FIT in those jeans anymore, and they were my fat jeans.

I’m bloody tired of wearing yoga pants. I have a whole closet-full of gorgeous clothes that I can’t wear.

So here’s my plan:

  1. Quit smoking. (I’m down to 4 a day. From a full pack a month ago. So I’m breathing so much easier.)
  2. More veggies.
  3. Less crap. (I’ve been keeping away from the fast food and myriad snacks the Overlord keeps around the house, and I’ve been cooking more!)

That’s my small plan for now, and for the last week, I’ve been kicking my plan’s butt. I’d like to say I’ve lost some weight, but I can’t lie…I gained a pound. (Here’s hoping it’s muscle!)

I’ve been through so many crazy weightloss periods (and weight gain periods) that I think I can really help the Sistahood. I can see when people are starting to deviate from their goals, and I like to encourage people to stick to them.

I would love to have a group of women like the awesome chicks on Mamavation (AND all of you blog readers and Twitter followers!) to support me in the same way!

Cheers 🙂


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Greta
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 12:38:09

    Hey there! Welcome! Sounds like you’ve been through an awful lot. Here to support you! Good luck!


  2. MiLo
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 12:43:48

    Wow! You really have been through so much and let me be one of the first to say welcome to the Mamavation group! I can relate to the pregnancy up and downs, I’ve had 3 babies in the past 3 years. It can be extremely turbulent, between the weight gains/losses, the hormone fluxes, the sleep deprivation, and all the other traumatic storms that come in between those (as if they aren’t enough, right?) But you should be extremely proud of yourself for taking responsibility for yourself, for your health, for your own life. So many people pass up success because of that reason alone. Taking responsibility is huge! It’s eye-opening and brutal and relieving at the same time. I wish you the absolute best on your journey, I hope that I can encourage you the best way that I know how to do! We all need support during this, and thank you for reaching out! 🙂


  3. Andrea Kruse (@notimeMom)
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 13:29:24

    Welcome to an absolutely awesome group of supportive ladies. Post, tweet interact, we are all here supporting each other. I love how Leah promotes small changes… take one thing at a time. We are on this journey together and let me know if I can ever tweet some encouragement, etc. (@notimeMom)



  4. @klwschmidt
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 14:06:53

    Welcome to Mamavation!

    It’s a process, and take it in babysteps. That’s the key to success!

    And by the way – props on kicking the smoking habit! What is your twitter handle so I can follow you? mine is @klwschmidt 🙂

    and don’t feel alone, a lot of the ladies in Mamavation have suffered from an eating disorder at one time or another *hugs* You’ve found the right place. Can’t wait to get to know you better!


  5. kia
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 15:29:46

    Hi there. Wow, that is quite a journey you have been on. Congrats for being in remission!! I have not walked in those shoes but am glad you are getting back to returning to the activity level you want. I did do track in high school and college with the EDs so understand that craziness. That alone is a hard road to walk away from. Do keep with the baby steps… off the cigs, drink the water, and nope to fast food. Baby steps, you can do this!


  6. Megan @mnmspecial
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 15:55:55

    Congrats on the posting. I am a strong believer that you have to expose yourself in order to let it go and move on. I also had an eating disorder that makes me feel down on myself for gaining so much weight and I still find myself skipping meals here and there even though I am pregnant.
    Way to go on starting small. The goals you have set are great. I wish you the best of luck this week on cutting back on the smoking, junk, and eating more veggies.


  7. DaenelT
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 17:01:21

    Girlfriend, you’ve been through a lot, so first things first, congrats on being cancer free. I know that word. I hate that word. Second, small steps ~ do you realize the improvement you’ve already made in your system just by cutting down on the amount of cigarettes you’re smoking per day? Just that you said you can breathe easier is major! And third welcome to the crew, we’re here to support, encourage and kick your butt when you need it.


  8. Leah @bookieboo
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 22:29:56

    Welcome girl! I have an eating disorder too. You are in good company here. We are very open here about our struggles and celebrate our successes together. I’m so glad you found us! XXOO


  9. MrsFatass
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 07:53:40

    Well, welcome to the Sistah-hood. You will not only be able to motivate others, but you’ll have a whole army of women behind you helping you out along the way!


  10. Jenn of
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 08:31:34

    Welcome! That is one heck of an introductory post. I agree with Megan that putting yourself out there will truly help with your healing. We are all really excited to be here and support you. Try not to do too much at once. See if you can start the healthy eating or quit smoking, but don’t attempt too much. Wishing you the best of luck on this journey.


  11. smallworldbiggirl
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 08:57:28

    Woah. I don’t know if you’re a hugger, but I’m totally giving you one right now.
    Life has really tried to beat you down, huh. Good for you for not letting it.
    Welcome to the Sistahood. If you ever need support, a shoulder to lean on, or to bitch it out, we’re here and glad to have you!

    ps- I’m in the same boat. What is it about those last few cigs a day that I just can’t let go of?!


  12. Katrina
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 09:35:57

    Welcome to the group! Your post made me laugh, it made me sigh just a little and it sure made me nod my head a lot in understanding! You couldn’t have found a better group of ladies and I love how you’ve already been jumping in on Twitter! Big hugs! We’re all out here, going through a lot of the same stuff so don’t hesitate to shout out when you need someone, something or just want to brag a little about something!


  13. Angela @ Nine More Months
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 10:05:12

    This was an amazing post, and it shows what an incredible person you are. I am so happy that you put your whole story out there for everyone to read. You are going to be able to motivate and inspire more people than you know! Welcome to the group.


  14. Heather @ Not a DIY Life
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 10:16:41

    First of all, WELCOME! Second, I’m glad you’re not a hairy man. And third, you are in the right place!! Work on those goals this week, get them down to a science, then set other goals. We’re here for you!!


  15. Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 10:45:37

    Wow! Thank you so much for being honest with us! That takes incredible trust, and I’m so glad you trust us enough to open up to us. Welcome to mamavation – we’re all here for you and welcome you with open arms! We’re not only about weight loss and being healthy – we’re also about being friends.


  16. Joyce Cherrier
    Feb 24, 2011 @ 19:02:31

    I was so moved by your post Mia. I hope I have the chance to connect with you more 🙂


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