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Inspirational Stories From Big Losers

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Pam's Story

This is Pam's story about her journey on Weight Watchers. She wanted to share it with you in hopes to encourage you in your journey as well.  

I have struggled with my weight loss all my life, or more importantly by
body image. I remember my first realization of this, when I was 6 or 7 yrs
old, in grade 2, and my name was chosen from a hat as May Day Queen.
Everyone laughed and said that I could not possibly be the May Day Queen, I
was simply too big! I was very tall for my age, and grew to my full height
(5"8) by the 8th grade. I think people perceived me being tall, as me being
fat. My Mom had me on Weight Watchers when I was in 6th grade. I remember
eating a lot of tunafish, that is about all. Looking back at pictures, I
really wasn't overweight, but I was tall, and bigger than most of my
classmates.
I have been very active all my life, and played softball, basketball,
volleyball all through Junior High, and High School. I had a strong,
muscular body, I was built like a tank. I hovered around 160lbs, and was
solid muscle. Still, in the 80's when "Thin was In" I was not "it". My
coaches and my mother nagged me constantly about my weight. When I was 17, I
joined the Diet Centre, and lost 30lbs, I was skinny, and thought I was
happy. Of course I could not keep off the weight, I gained most of it back
in a couple of months. I fell into a total depression, and overdosed on a
bottle of pills. It was not a great time in my life. I was in Grade 12, and
missed the first couple of months due to being hospitized. It was then when
I first tried to work through my distorted body image, and what had brought
me to this point, but unfortunately I only scratched the service of what was
really going on.
My parents then deceided to move from Des Moines, Iowa, back to Canada in
the middle of my Grade 12 year in High School, more trauma to work through.
I finished school, barely, and discovered that I liked my new home. I became
a Social butterfly, with many boyfriends, and partied and worked, partied
and worked for most of my early 20's. Most of this time I didn't weigh
myself, but was usually a size 16 to a size 18. I still was in sports, and I
found that my body image in this years was much better, I felt more
confident, and liked myself more. I did some travelling on my own, and felt
I was hitting my stride, I was really liking who I was becoming.
In 1993, I met my husband, Greg. At this time I was probably a size 18. I
can't say what my weight was for sure, as I hadn't weighed myself for ages.
We knew it was love pretty quickly, and after meeting in August, we were
engaged at Christmas, that same year. The next month, after beginning to
plan our wedding, our plans suddenly changed, as I discovered that I was
going to have a baby!
During my first pregnancy, I ate everything in sight. People didn't seem to
care about my weight.  And I loved being able to not worry about holding my
stomach in all the time. I was pregnant, it was supposed to hang out! I
ended up gaining 40lbs with Maddison when all was said and done. Everyone
said, breastfeeding will take that weight away no problem! Well, not for me.
I went up to a size 20-22 ,and stayed there for a long time. Pretty much
right up until my next pregnancy. With Turner, I was a little more careful,
and only ended up gaining 20lbs. I stayed about the same size after the
pregnancy. I was still pretty active, but didn't exercise regularly. With
Mackinley, baby #3, I  gained only 12lbs and was 274lbs at my last prenatal
Dr's visit, 8 weeks after she was born I joined Weight Watchers. I did it
for myself, not for my husband (who did not ever say a thing all those
years!) not for my kids, or my weight obsessed mother, no one but myself. I
also joined the YMCA at the same time.
The weight came off easily at first, then  more slowly after the first
20lbs. I started back to work full time 1 year ago, and have found it harder
to keep on plan. I have only managed to take off 20lbs in 1 year, but I have
noticed my fitness levels are much better. Working evenings only, has been
great for me. I go to the YMCA almost every morning and take a class from
900-1000, while the kids go to the babysitting room. I do step aerobics 2
times a week. Strength and conditioning on Tuesday, Skipping class on
Thursday, and Taebox on Friday. I love exercising. It is my sanity, It is
the only hour in the day that is totally MINE. No husband, kids, work,
phone, bills etc etc to worry about. It is my stress release, it keeps me
sane!
Lately I have struggled with going to the meetings. I found that I could
just not fit it into the crazy Saturdays that we have, between art classes
for Maddison, hockey practice for Turner, groceries, etc, I have tried to go
it alone, and of course with all of you. I haven't lost any weight, but am
keeping with my exercise, as I know that I cannot be a happy and content
person without it. I had a bit of a lapse in September when I was feeling
overwhelmed, and had to stuggle with the depression that has followed me
most of my life. I took some time off work, and got back on track with the
help of a good Dr and therapist.
As for my distorted body image that I have struggled with all of my life.
Well, I am now a little older (34) have had 3 beautiful children. I have
stretch marks in the oddest places. The breasts are not quite as perky as
they used to be, but I am finally content. I feel strong and healthy. I am
confident and secure with my body. I know I have a ways to go, but I feel
that I will get there, some day. I have a great support system, and it will
happen, I'm sure of it.
thanks for letting me share my story.

Pam Hills
OP since October 00
258/200/158