Hereâ€™s my story:
I am 34 years old. I have a 7 year old daughter. 5 Â½ years ago I found out that my (now ex) husband was having affairsâ€¦not a couple, but a lot â€“ and had been the entire time we were together. I kicked him out and to this day heâ€™s never explained why, nor do I need to know. I knew I could never trust him again.
At the time our daughter was not quite 2, and we had custody of his son from a previous relationship (who was 9 at the time). My ex moved out that day and never looked back. He gave me full custody of our daughter and his son went back to his mother. My ex has very little contact with our daughter â€“ his choice. He is always â€œbusy workingâ€ (he sees her about twice a year, and until last year she had never spent the night by him). Iâ€™ve raised her on my own and although she misses her dad and brother, she doesnâ€™t remember when they lived with us. We really are each otherâ€™s worlds.
The divorce was a shock but in a way I was happy. My ex was a very controlling man and very self-centered. Everything was about him and his happiness. He chose our friends, how we spent our money, and told me how to live my life. I was raised to believe you put your marriage first, so I did; in the process all I did was compromise myself. I took care of the kids, took care of the house, and he basically did what he wanted.
When he moved out he left me with all the burden, especially financially. He was court ordered to pay 50% of our debts (which he had racked up quite a bit) but to this day Iâ€™ve never seen a penny of it. Child support has been very hit & miss as heâ€™s learned to â€œworkâ€ the system.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, Iâ€™m not complaining. Iâ€™m trying to explain what my life has been like the last several years. Iâ€™ve worked damn hard to get where Iâ€™m at; last summer I bought my first house. That was a major accomplishment for me. Itâ€™s a small place, and my mortgage is the same as what my rent was, so financially it was a good decision for me. But between being a homeowner, a single mom (who takes her role as a parent very seriously) and working full time, I have little time for â€œmeâ€. Exercise, healthy eating and emotional stimulation have been basically non existent.
I was never a heavy child or teen. In fact, I remember being 118 lbs. at the age of 18 (Iâ€™m 5â€™6â€). Between college and all that comes with being a young adult, the weight slowly started creeping up. I remember being 135 lbs. and although I considered myself â€œfatâ€, I realized that men still treated me the same and still found me attractive. I started to worry less about my weight and just enjoyed life. I waitressed for several years and fell into the habit of eating full meals (along with having a cocktail or two) after work at night â€“ usually after midnight. Next thing I knew I was in my 140â€™s and really started to feel bad about my weight. Course now Iâ€™d kill to be that weight again, but thatâ€™s a whole other story.
I met my ex and after a few years we were married. When I got pregnant I was 165 and felt huge. When I gave birth I was 180 but the weight quickly came off and I was back into the 160â€™s. I didnâ€™t like the way I looked, but by then I was full swing into the wife-mother role and just lived with it.
Fast forward to the divorce: most people lose weight thru a divorce but never being one to follow the crowd, I gained. Iâ€™m a binge-stress-eater. Eating fills a void, just as shopping does. Or should I say, itâ€™s a temporary band-aid that festers into a larger wound with each bite and each dollar spent.
A year or two after the divorce things were finally starting to fall into place. I changed jobs and found one I love; my daughter and I moved out of my parentâ€™s house and got our own apartment. I started reading a lot of great books which really helped change my perspective â€“ temporarily. Cheryl Richardsonâ€™s books were great and really made me realize there was a great big world out there filled with endless possibilities. For the first time I was really able to live my own life â€“ my way. Suzy Ormanâ€™s books helped me refocus my spending habits and educated me on finances. I started losing weight because I was happy; it was a true inner peace that I had never felt before. Around that time I started losing weight and really caring about myself and was just under 150 lbs. I carry my weight very well (thank goodness!) and looked great. Most importantly I felt great!
Iâ€™m not sure what happened after thatâ€¦I think life just started to overwhelm me. Suddenly, here I am, lingering in the lower 190â€™s. How did this happen?!?!? Age, poor eating choices, depression, and the absence of all physical activity.
So here I am today, wishing I had never let that â€œinner peaceâ€ escape me. I want that feeling back again. And it wasnâ€™t even the weight, although thatâ€™s a big part of it. I just felt so content with everything and so optimistic. I have to find that in me again.
I canâ€™t believe anyone would still be reading my ramblings, but if you are, bless you!
So where do I go from here? How do I get to where I want to be? My ultimate goal is to be healthy, self-confident and financially stable. I know that all of this ties together so Iâ€™ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Ideally Iâ€™d like to be back in the 130â€™s â€“ 140â€™s at the most. I want to be physically active every day. I want to be able to do the things I enjoy for myself, like crafts and reading. I know that I need to start being selfish and make time to do the things I need to do.
1) I need to make every effort to regain financial stability in my life. I need to stop the snowball effect that falling behind with bills creates.
2) I need to make healthy eating decisions each and every day, no exceptions. No more fast food and no more binging.
3) I need to get on that treadmill every day, no matter what. Even for 10 minutes at a time â€“ anything is better than nothing.
4) I need to take time each day to read at least a few pages. Call it a â€œrefresherâ€ course â€“ I need to find that inner peace again.
â€œWhether you believe you can do anything or not, you are right.â€
â€œLove yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.â€
â€œHow I see myself is more important than how others see me.â€
â€œLong-lasting change starts on the inside.â€
I will no longer compromise myself...I need to take care of ME first!