In the beginning..

I had a picture picked out that I wanted to be somewhere on this blog, either with this intro post or as a header picture.  It was of a large Ziploc bag that contained two slices of pizza and a Miller High Life. This picture spoke to me from my past. A past extending almost a decade and winding down to a close about six months ago.  At any time in this past this bag could have been labeled “Jessica’s Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack – touch and die”.

I decided against posting it, so instead, here is a link that might expire soon. The pizza looks second day aged delicious and the beer looks like it’s cold.  It disturbs me that after a month of moderation and exercise, I could still look at this and be tempted in any way.  I haven’t touched alcohol in over two months and couldn’t care less if I ever have it again. It represents useless calories, a sluggish headache feeling and the catalyst for my near divorce.

So what I’m saying about this beer and pizza is this: I didn’t pack on a Freshman 15. I packed on a Freshman 50 thanks to these guys and never lost it.  When I moved to attend a four year college in 2004 (I also went to community college if this ever sounds confusing), I weighed a now looking back enviable 140. By Fall break, that number was 150. Over a year later, 160 and my douche among douches boyfriend at the time broke up with me for many things but to make the break extra nasty, he blamed my weight. My feelings for him ended up running about as deep as a frisbee and within a couple weeks, I was fine. I was still in denial about my weight gain, so I kept eating and drinking even more. I started the summer of 2006 at 173. (Is it weird that I remember these numbers so well? It’s like they’re permanently burned into my mind as devastating mile markers so why didn’t I care?)

After what I consider to be one of the worst stack of events in my life, I maintained my weight and even lost a bit. I cut the drinking out and had to get my shit together.  An old friend ended up coming back into my life and we decided to become official just before he left for Afghanistan. I kept maintaining my weight and when he came home safely in June of 2009, I was still 173.  I moved to Texas to live with him. Living together, eating out, making convenient and fattening meals caused me to creep up to 178 by January of 2010. He got out of the Army and we came back home to Virginia. Even with devastating grief from the death of my mom, I was able to keep things under 180 until summer of 2011.

I spent that summer learning how to cook and bake, and I drank heavily. I spent most nights of the week drunk. Will’s alcoholism was making itself impossible to deny on nights that I stayed sober and by November, I demanded a change. I wanted a divorce or a sober husband. I’m lucky in that I’ve always been able to put the bottle down even after I go through long periods of staying drunk.

This isn’t what it’s like for him.  Depressed once again, I wasn’t eating as much and to be supportive, I wasn’t drinking. I dropped a few pounds and life was perfect until 75 days into his sobriety, he drank again.  Devastated isn’t the word. Suddenly, I had all this stress back and needed to make good on that resolve to divorce him. Unfortunately, with addicts, ultimatums mean nothing.  No, I didn’t leave. I just lived everyday hating my life. Suddenly, I had no interest in eating right and the measly pounds I lost came right back. Shortly after his relapse, the moment I’d been waiting for came and I found out he was in jail for a DUI.

I’m happy to report a good progress update (never an ending with addicts) and say that he is nearly 60 days sober. With that stress gone, I found myself able to focus on me. So about four weeks ago, I started working out. After a few days of busting my ass, I realized that I would be doing it all for nothing if I didn’t get my diet under control. So I started counting calories. I have one cheat day per week.  Eat less, exercise more! Who knew?


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