Heidi's Story

Never have I shared this much of my story with anyone besides my husband.  But they say if you want to change things you never have before, you need to do things you never have done before.  I have kept so much of my trials in life from even my dearest friends and family just because I was too insecure to open up.  I’ve kept out most of the wonderful great parts because they are easy for me to share and have more than likely have not affected my weight. That and this “opening up” would be a thousand pages long if I talked about all the good stuff.
Whenever you see someone overweight by 100lbs let me tell you they have earned each one of those extra pounds, and more than likely it’s from pain.

My parents divorced when I was around 4 and still at a healthy weight; it broke my heart.  I was daddy’s little girl in every way and all of a sudden he was moving out.  Shortly after that my mom, siblings, and I moved to another state and I was no longer the little princess.  My heart ached for my Dad and my sweet Italian Grandma both of who made me feel cherished and to top it off my loving mom had to start going to work instead of staying at home. 

We were living close to my moms family, it was fun being around cousins.  I started feeling a little isolated however, I realized I did not share the same relationship with my moms parents as the other grandkids did, in fact I felt downright not liked. The tension never eased with those grandparents.  On top of that no one shared my grief for missing my dad because he was my sibling’s stepdad.  School only made things worse, I was bullied, brutally.

After school I would have to walk to my grandparents home.  I went from living in an environment of always feeling loved by everyone to one where I was disliked by so many.  My safe places were few and I had lost my voice to tell those around me the agony I was in. I still played and had lots of fun…there is something inside of me very determined to be rather happy.  But I had defined myself as no more than an annoying child who frustrated everyone. My weight through all of this crept on to be no longer healthy…

 We moved a ton…did I say a ton I mean a TON!!! It was hard moving from place to place but I soon learned how to make friends and by the end of elementary school the bulling stopped magically (it could be that I was very tall almost to my full adult height of 5’11 with an amazon women frame)..  I gained great self-esteem and confidence through my talents and abilities. I realized I was one bad ass girl and I was fun to be around.  Heck I not only like myself I loved myself!  

We lived in a hotel for about a year so our food supply was low…I learned true hunger and I also learned how tempting and cruel TV ads can be when you are sooo hungry…but I did lose weight and I learned to be grateful for rice and beans and stores that did taste testers!  This is one of the reasons I love a variety food and I love to cook! When we got out of the hotel we lived in Hawaii for a summer (soooo worth the time living in the hotel!) After that we moved into a good home in a great neighborhood we didn’t have a car for 2 years. I became strong as we walked or biked everywhere. I was getting healthy and I learned to love to push my body to its limits.

Two very defining moments happened in middle school.  I was 13 and we always had different people over at our house. What can I say we had a fun house!  I was sitting at the kitchen table with one of my sisters friends, he was in his twenties.  I don’t know how the conversation came about but he asked me if I ever had a hickey? I said no and he lunged at me.  I to this day don’t know if he was playing or what but I clawed, kicked and got the heck away from him.  I realized 2 things about myself from this experience one- I was more than happy being the girl guys thought of as a sister and not a love interest and two-if anyone ever messed with me again I would and could fight to free myself!  So a little more cushion crept on why not keep more of a sisterly look right? Hello size 18.

The other defining moment was when an individual came into my family home and tried to end the lives of 2 of my family members.   We moved immediately after this.  I missed my friends and I did not feel safe.  No one ever talked to me about it.  We all were dealing with it in our own way. I wasn’t one of the one’s home when it happened so I felt I had no right to voice my personal trauma with the situation so I kept quiet…I was 14 and tough right?  Everyone had night school so I was left alone in the house most nights.  I was scared and I felt too embarrassed to say anything to anyone.  So at night when everyone was gone I would sit on the couch and read with a large sharp knife on one side of me and the cordless phone on the other…the guy was in jail but he had friends.  This went on for a few months until a beautiful thing happened to me and I felt a shift in the fear and I decided to let it go and be happy. The weight gained from fear was coming off my body I was making friends working out and just having fun!

Then we moved again…I was going to have so much fun with my friends in high school and we moved and I gained weight. Hello size 20 then 22. I was slowly making friends but I missed my group.  So weight crept on with loneliness till I made more friends and then it dropped.  Hello a loose size 18 oh how I missed you.  I had a good friend I worked out with and I was doing great.  High school was a blast I graduated went to college and lost more weight .

We as a family moved across the country I met and fell in love with the man of my dreams more weight came off, goodbye size 20/22 forever. I was size 14/16 and being 5’ 11” I was happy and the weight still was coming off.  I ran off to marry the man of my dreams after only 4 months of dating we were 19 and 20 at the time. My family didn’t approve of him then (they love him now!!), but I didn’t care. I knew with all of my being I was meant to be his wife. 

Three months into our marriage we were in a car wreck. We rolled our truck going 70 mph and I was thrown from the vehicle.  I opened my eyes when I heard my husband screaming my name, to this day I will not forget the sound of his voice full of anguish and fear.  Blood was everywhere.  At first I thought I was laying in wet grass, but the wetness was my blood.  I was miraculously cradled between two huge rocks.  I was in the ICU for only one day. I had torqued my body really good but not broken any bones, I had internal bruising and extreme road rash.  I was not cleared to go back to work for 2 months.  Chiropractors are awesome btw!  During that time I didn’t work out and weight crept on.

 I was trying to emotionally deal with the car wreck…just when I found the love of my life I could have lost him and he me.   I got back to work was feeling better and working out again when I found out someone in my church caused damage to some of my most faithful family members.  This shook my faith deeply.  Where before I just knew there was a heaven, I now questioned and feared what if we just disappear?  Directly after this I found out one of my closest family members had a very deadly form of cancer.  With my shaken faith and the series of tragic events my weight jumped back so fast that my size 20 pants were consoling me.   About 6 months down the road my family member had almost beaten the cancer that doctors said would kill him (10 years later he’s healthy and well) when a heart wrenching tragedy hit…My beautiful Italian Grandma passed away…Oh how I miss her!  Little did I know I was pregnant with my first child.  I believe it was divine intervention sending me this sweet child to help ease the loss of such a loved one.

As so often happens with babies I didn’t really think of anything else but the pure joy of pregnancy, birth and just being with my husband; happy! 10 years and 4 kids later I am still happy, but as many moms do I have stopped taking time for me and the weight of pregnancy has stayed with my body.  In general, I bounce back pretty good but after a great deal of contemplation I realize the events that took place at the start of my marriage left some scars that I put on hold in dealing with. I am now quite comfy in a size 24 pants….blah I can’t believe I am sharing this with the world!!!! Anyhow I am now purposely addressing those scars and letting them go.  In addition to that I am working to find the rest of myself beyond mom and wife.  I am blessed to have wonderful children and a husband who loves me and tells me I’m beautiful every day.  This journey is exciting there is a new wind in the air; I feel as if things are shifting and allowing me to let go.  This is the biggest step I have ever taken in opening up emotionally, but it is a step in the right direction. 

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