Saturday, April 18, 2009

(3) My Story

My weight issues began at age 13. I never felt attractive enough and constantly compared myself to other girls'. In my 10th grade foods class the teacher showed a movie about a girl who was anorexic. I think it was meant to scare us but it had the opposite effect on me. It intrigued me. I filed it away in my mind as "the" way to lose weight. I stayed in fairly decent shape through high school due to sports and working on my dads farm.
The summer after graduation I thought I needed to be skinnier so I began my first diet of "eat the least amount possible". I quickly lost weight and people started noticing. Compliments on how good I looked made me wonder "Did I look that bad before?". I loved the attention I was getting which made me want to lose even more weight.
When I got to college, starving became a full blown obsession. I found that if I tried eating more I'd immediately start gaining weight. This terrified me. I felt I had to starve to stay skinny. I remember one morning lying on the living room couch in the dark pretending to be asleep as I watched my naturally thin roommate eat a bowl of Lucky Charms. I was so envious of her, wondering how she could eat at all and be as skinny as she was. That day I ate 1/2 a blueberry bagel w/ a bit of strawberry cream cheese and I cried myself to sleep that night because my body hurt so bad. To this day my favorite breakfast cereal is Lucky Charms.
I continued starving until I met my husband when somehow I lost the desire to do that to myself anymore. I did gain weight but after allowing myself to finally eat again I couldn't find the will power to go back to starving. I'd try every now and then but couldn't stick with it.
As you can see in my pics, I gained weight with each pregnancy. After the twins', I yo-yo dieted for 5 years until I experienced my "defining moment".
My baby was in the NICU and I was staying at the Ronald McDonald House one block away. I'll never forget trying to cross the street to get to the hospital. I was moving as fast as I could but after three months of bed rest my muscles wouldn't work right. I was out of breath and there were cars that had to stop and wait for me. One driver smiled at me but I felt so ashamed and embarrassed, I started sobbing right there in the middle of the street. All I wanted was to get to my baby but I could barely move. At that moment I realized that I'd been taking my life and the ability to move my body for granted. I'd spent years making excuses as to why I couldn't get myself into shape when there are people, like a cousin of mine, who was paralyzed in a car accident. I'm sure he'd give anything for the ability to get up out of his wheelchair and just move. I promised myself I'd never not move my body again.
I'd known about 0-5 eating since college. An eating disorder counselor had given me a book about it but I'd dismissed it as a too easy, too good to be true gimmick. Now I was desperate. Starving was not an option. I had a brand new baby and I was homeschooling the twins'. Body For Life, the intense diet/exercise program I'd done before to lose weight, was too overwhelming. I decided to try 0-5 eating. Imagine my amazement when the weight just started falling off steadily. I was eating anything I wanted and losing weight. I'd finally found my answer to the mystery of weight loss.


  1. Wow Heather! It's very brave of you to tell your story and post these pics. You've revealed a lot of very personal information, but it's so uplifting! I think if I didn't know you, that it would be hard to believe that you had lost so much weight without strict and painful dieting. Eating 0-5 is so natural and healthy for our bodies. Getting our minds to forget everything we think we know about how to loose weight, or how we need food to cope with our problems... that's the only work required. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to your posts every day.

  2. Heather,
    Thanks for doing this. I know you have tried to tell me about 0-5 eating for years. But truthfully I was to depressed about my body to even deal with it on any level. I also struggle with my diet for my medical condition. I'm so limited on food that eating what I want is almost never and option. It adds to the frustration and makes it all the more difficult to decide to change my behavior or workout. I hope to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin. Thanks for being such a good example.

  3. I remember watching that movie in High school too. It has left a permanent impression.

    I remember everyone always saying you are too skinny. Are you sure you aren't anorexic? It used to make me so mad.I know that overweight people used to hate me for eating however I wanted and not gaining weight but it is catching up to me now! They don't say that anymore.

    I have avoided reading the blog because I know I'm at the point when I need to do something.

    It feels like I can't fit one more thing in right now but I think I'm overeating because I'm too busy and haven't taken the time to take care of my body.

    Hope this works

    Love ya
    Cousin Jenny

  4. Hi Jenny. Just thinking about how busy your life is makes me want to run to the kitchen for an "I'm completely overwhelmed" snack. Don't think you have to be perfect at 0-5 eating from the very beginning. It's a process that takes time. Don't let 0-5 eating overwhelm you even more. Take each day one at a time, moment by moment.