I am on a family vacation in the mountains this weekend, so I have prepared the below post for all you who maybe care to hear ‘my story’.
This post was influenced by similar posts written by Betsy and Holly where they told their stories and how they got to where they are today. I just loved these posts and since I was going to be away this weekend, I decided it was the perfect time to write my own.
I was born on July 11, 1986 with a dented head and a flipper foot. Granted, I must not have been the most beautiful baby ever, but being the first born, I was loved regardless.
The dented head and flipper foot quickly repaired themselves as I grew into a toddler.
It appears I was quite the proper lady, even then.
At age five, I began kindergarten.
At home. I was one of ‘those kids’. I still cringe when I see a misspelled word.
During my entire childhood I had a few close friends from church, but otherwise I was a shy child, who kept to herself.
I was especially close with my younger sisters. We curled each others hair and stayed up late at night giggling and telling stories. By day, we played ‘Mommy’ with our baby dolls and tag in the yard.
I was also quite the fashionista.
As I grew, I traded the sunglasses for actual wire rimmed glasses, and fashion for sweat suits.
I continued this look well through my adolescent years, although eventually I lost the glasses.
And gained another sister.
We were happy, our family of six. Not much had changed during my growing up years. My dad worked, and Mama D. stayed home and taught us four girls school, while managing to keep our house from falling down around us. Not an easy feat, that I can promise.
When I was seventeen, my world turned upside down. My dad, who I loved, admired and respected more than anyone in the world was suddenly diagnosed with an illness. For the sake of his privacy and mine, I do not care to share the exact nature of his illness. Please understand.
At seventeen, I had just graduated high school and started my first real job. The world was so big and scary already. Now my very foundation was being shaken. Fortunately, my dad recovered, although it was a long and hard road. A long, hard road that my entire family had to travel down. Around this time, my mom also found out that she was pregnant.
Pregnant?!?!? You can imagine mine and my sisters reaction, I believe. We were 18, 16, 14 and 9. Our mom was supposed to be DONE having children.
We came around though, and just in time for this little miracle to be born.
Cecily is truly a blessing. She helped pull our family together, and just be happy again.
She still makes us smile every day.
The next few years were pleasantly uneventful, and our family went back to the old normal family of yesteryear, but plus one.
The summer of 2007, my parents bought a lake house.
That was the best summer of my life. I recall spending the entire summer there, swimming, skiing and wakeboarding.
To this day, I hold the memories of that summer dear.
It was the summer I learned to jump the wake on my wakeboard. It was the summer I learned to wakeboard, in fact. It was the summer before my dad got sick again.
This time, it was more than I could deal with. It was bigger than me. That Thanksgiving and Christmas were two of the worst of my life.
I literally sat in my dark room, watched TV shows on DVD and ate.
It was during this time that I reached my heaviest weight.
I didn’t weigh often, but I recall getting on the scale and seeing 149. I feel sure I passed 150, though. At 5’4” I was more than a little chunky. I felt horrible about myself. I was unhappy, so I ate. Ate and watched TV. Ate and read books. I ate, and did anything that was not active.
As you can imagine, I was in general, just a miserable person to be around. This time of my life put stress on the few friendships I did have. I found myself going to work, and coming home and hiding in my room. I rarely went out, and when I did I didn’t have fun. How could I? I wasn’t fun. My life wasn’t fun.
Eventually, thank God, one of my closest aunts realized that I needed help. She referred me to a therapist, who I saw for about four or five months. She taught me that it was okay to not have everything under control, and that life goes on, but there will be speed bumps all along the way. The key to navigating those speed bumps is to keep them as just that, speed bumps, and not make them into mountains, throwing you off course.
Slowly, I started working out again, running and eating a balanced diet.
I lost weight, getting down to 138 lbs.
I quit seeing my therapist so much, and eventually I didn’t see her at all.
My dad got better, and in December of 2008, I ran my first half marathon. I finished with a time of 2:15:48.
I had run 5ks in the past, but the half marathon was my first long distance race. I had a goal time of 2:30, and I blew that out of the water. I was so proud of myself, and upon completing that race, I swore to run the marathon the next year.
In March, I quit my job where I had worked for the past six years, and I started a new job that I love.
I lost more weight, getting down to a healthy 128 lbs, where I plan to stay.
I also began attending a wonderful church, and made new friends.
I started coming out of the shell I had worn since childhood, and realizing that people actually liked me for who I was!
More importantly, I realized that God loves me for who I am. Just as I am.
Realizing this changed me.
I started writing this blog, and realized even more how may wonderful people there are in the world. People who genuinely care about me, and read what I write. People that I genuinely care about and read what they write.
I’m not that shy little girl anymore. Nor am I the girl who sat in her room and ate chocolate for an entire winter.
No, I am a girl who went to Boston for the Summit.
To meet people she had never met in real life before.
And loved every minute of it.
I am a girl who is training for her first marathon, December 12, 2009, just as I swore I would do.
More importantly, I am a girl who loves her family, God and her life. And that’s enough for me.
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