Hi, my name is Mary Beth. I am a 22-year-old student at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. I live with my parents and younger sister. I also have an older sister who lives in Chicago and a wonderful boyfriend, Thomas.
My weight has been a struggle for the majority of my life, but it has really seemed to skyrocket within the last five years. Until a year ago, I was in a five year relationship with a person who did not respect me. He was extremely controlling, and later became very violent. I believe that as a result of this bad relationship, I have become addicted to foods and habits that are unhealthy including emotional eating. My weight at the beginning of the relationship was 180lbs. By the end of the relationship, I weighed in at 250lbs.
As each day goes by I become more and more disgusted with my body. I am beginning to feel as though my weight is pulling me away from my very active family. My younger sister, Jennifer, has always been a tiny and toned gymnast and long distance runner. My dad, David, was overweight for much of my childhood. However, about 10 years ago his doctor told him if he did not shed some weight he would die. It was then my dad took up running and now looks better than ever! My older sister, Laurie, followed shortly and now runs every morning. My mom, Karen, began using the Weight Watcher's program with a group of co-workers about two years ago. This program has really taught her how to eat and prepare meals in a healthier fashion. I'm not sure exactly how much weight my mom has lost, but she is visibly smaller and looks amazing! She has also taken up running and helps sponsor Girls on the Run in St. Louis. My boyfriend, Thomas, claims to have been overweight as a child, but I have never seen any pictures of him where he looks chubby. Regardless of whether or not he was overweight as a child, he is now thin and muscular. Thomas works an outdoor manual labor job, which keeps his fitness in check, and enjoys weight lifting. And then there's me. I have always been one of the biggest (and most made fun of) kids in my class, but I was always active. I played softball for 14 years, soccer, tennis, I was a cheerleader, gymnast, loved swimming and the water, and participated in Air Force Jr. ROTC. Even though I participated in all of these activities, I was still overweight.
I have always been a social butterfly. I've always had a large and diverse circle of friends and we are constantly in the mood to go out. We are in college for crying out loud! But when I go out, I feel people starring and I get really self-conscious. Thomas, being as sweet as his is, says they're just checking me out. However, I don't see that. All I see are people starring at a girl that is not comfortable in her own skin anymore. I'm to the point now where I'm afraid of meal times. I have become afraid of putting anything in my mouth in fear of gaining more weight.
To top everything off, I was also diagnosed with Thyroid Disease a few years back. Anyone with this disease knows how hard it can be to drop weight and how easy it can be to pack it on! I was diagnosed with Hyper-Thyroid Disease, so at the beginning my heart rate was so fast I could eat a giant banana split every day and not gain an ounce! Why would you complain, right? Well, untreated Thyroid Disease can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, loss of muscle strength, excessive sweating, the list goes on. So I had what is called Radioactive Iodine Therapy to burn off the affected areas of my thyroid gland (don't worry, its painless). From there my heart rate slowed, I have become more lethargic, and the pounds began to creep on.
I've finally hit a point where I refuse to go down this path any longer. I am ready to take control and completely change my life. I decided to start this weight loss blog hoping it will hold be accountable to lose the weight and make the lifestyle changes I need to make in order to be happy and healthy. At the same time, I know there are probably many other stories out there that sound similar to mine so maybe we can help each other out in our journey to better health. I will post everything I try (workouts, recipes, products, tips, etc) and tell everyone if and how they worked for me. I will do my best to post something new daily to keep everyone updated on my progress and my overall journey. Please feel free to leave me comments, questions, tips, suggestions, etc. Thank you for following me on my lifestyle change journey!