It’s funny. I was always the skinny kid. The kind of skinny that had people asking my parents things like, “don’t you feed her?” and “is she sick?” on a regular basis. In high school and even in my 20s, after the birth of my two children, I was still slim. I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and never gained an ounce.
I was 112 lbs (and 8 weeks pregnant) at the age of 20 on my wedding day. I was 115 lbs a year after my daughter was born. I was 120 lbs a year after my son was born 5 years later. Throughout my 20s my weight seemed to stay in the 120-125lb range without worrying about what I ate. I was lazy, lived a very sedentary life so I can’t attribute it to exercise. I just had “good genes” and a “fast metabolism”.
Then around my 30th birthday I gained 10 lbs bringing my weight to around 135 lbs. At 5’4″ that was still a reasonable weight and I was unconcerned about it.
By my 40th birthday I’d gained another 10 lbs and while it’s bigger than I’d ever been, it was still a reasonable weight so I was still unconcerned about it.
The photo above is of me at my daughter’s college graduation lunch in June, 2011. I was 42 years old and my weight had jumped up to 168 lbs and somehow I didn’t really notice. Until I saw this photo. Most of my clothes no longer fit me but I’d just ignored that fact, hoping it would go away. I bought some new summer clothes that were baggy and lose so I could hide my saggy, flabby belly. I’d never had to deal with weight problems before and I wasn’t about to acknowledge I had a weight problem now. Until July, 2011 when during a routine physical when my doctor said my liver felt enlarged and decided to send me for a bunch of blood tests and an ultrasound of not only my liver but all of my organs.
The good news is that my liver was not enlarged and my blood tests all came back within normal levels. But the whole experience was enough to throw a good scare into me and make me stop and reassess my lifestyle. Maybe eating pizza 2 or 3 nights a week and pasta daily wasn’t a good idea. Maybe sitting all day wasn’t such a good idea either. Maybe it was time for some changes.