As a small child, I was a tall and skinny little girl with dreams of becoming a professional dancer or a famous children’s author. However, as I became a teenager, I began to slowly putting weight due to the big portions served at each meal. My entire family was considered to be obese and overweight, but my family did not alter the way the food was prepared. My grandmother always made several types of southern style comfort foods, as well as fatty foods.
Wearing plus size clothing
I began to wear plus size clothing at age fourteen, which was embarrassing for me since my classmates made fun of how fat I was every day. I became extremely insecure about my weight and was being bullied, which caused me to eventually drop out of high school. My first job was at a local McDonald’s in the Orange Park Mall, but the manager could not find a 2X uniform to fit me. Two months later, I had to have my manager order me a new uniform in the size 3X.
Having three children
My weight continued to go up and down, which frustrated me because I could lose weight but I could not keep it off. After giving birth to my son who weighed 11 lbs and 10 ounces, I was able to lose the weight and keep it off for a few years. Then, I got married and learned that I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter, who weighed 10 lbs and 10 ½ ounces at birth. Additionally, I learned that I had Gestational diabetes, which played a role in having my second son a month early, who was my smallest baby at 6 lbs and 10 ounces.
Newly divorced and struggling
As a new mother, I enjoyed taking my children for walks and playing with them at the local parks, but I still felt insecure about my weight. I was about 300 pounds and extremely depressed, which basically caused me to try anything to ease the pain I felt inside my heart. Nothing ever helped, so I remained in size 3X clothing and believed that no man would ever want to be with someone like me. However, I met the man who is my husband today and he always made me feel beautiful, no matter what my body type may be.
Medical issues arose
Almost every year since the year 2000, I found myself in the hospital having surgeries for one reason or another, which caused me gain more weight. Then, in the year 2002, I found myself in a battle against stage 2B cancer and the treatment changed my life in many ways. For example: I am now disabled from the treatment I endured and I suffer from severe chronic pain. Fortunately, one of my radiation doctors told me that I am a special and I my life is precious.
The weight struggle begins
When I was finishing up cancer treatment, I ended up in a wheelchair for about two months due to the damage to my radiation area. So, I decided to lift a gallon of bleach and a gallon of milk every day, until I was strong enough to finally get out of the wheelchair. Next, I created a fun dancing game that my children and I could do together, while I struggled to keep them fit. Soon, I was buying new clothes, since I had lost some of the weight which I had accumulated from the surgeries and cancer treatment.
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