A Deeper Look Inside My Weight Loss Journey

I'm sure most of you know that I recently lost over 100 pounds. You can read all about how I did it and see before and after photos {HERE}
Obviously there are many sides to any story, especially a journey like loosing 100 pounds. I didn't just accidentally gain 100+ pounds. I'm sure occasionally it does happen but there are reasons why I ended up the way I did and I wanted to share a little bit more of an intimate look into my life and the struggles I have had with  weight and self esteem.
Whether over weight or under weight I know this is a topic that touches so many woman's lives.
Ever since I can remember, I have been conscious of my weight.  That probably means around the age of 6. At that time I was not chubby but weight was something that was always openly discussed and frowned upon in my family. By the time I was 9 or so I started to be a little bit chubby. I was by no means deemed overweight by my doctor but because I was not tall and thin, I was not a waif, some of my family members thought I was fat.
I had been getting comments for years like "don't use so much butter", or "are sure you want to eat that?", or "maybe less jam on that honey"........whatever..........A LOT OF NEGATIVE FOOD TALK!!!
Please, please don't talk to your children this way. It's HURTS us inside!!!! Lead by example. Don't give us broken tools and expect us to figure out how to use them. IT'S NOT FAIR.
Teach your children what to eat, show them, eat it with them. Don't tell them they have to be skinny and then feed them donuts. IT'S CRUEL!!! 
By the time I was 12 my father had taken to me to Jenny Craig, which did have a program for OBESE children, not children who where slightly chubby at the awkward age of 12. They accepted me anyway advising caution

I came from a broken home at an early age. I lived with my mother most of the year and only went to live with my father in the summers. Needless to say my mother was not happy when I flew home with an extra suitcase full of Jenny Craig food at the age of 12.  I only stayed on it for a couple weeks. It was too difficult for a child of my age and my mother, rightfully so, thought it was ridiculous and unnecessary. She was right but it was too late. The damage was done.

 This was the straw that broke the camels back. Jenny Craig at age 12? Really?   This is when my "issues with food" officially began.  
By the time I was in Junior High I was CONSTANTLY worried about my weight. I was very conscious of what I wore but was too young to know how to control my food intake.
By the time I was in high school I tried being bulimic for a little while but thankfully hated it so stopped that pretty quickly. I continued to worry and obsess about what I ate and how my clothes fit and couldn't understand why I wasn't rail thin like most of my 15 year old friends. At this time I weighed about 130 pounds. I just happened to have a C cup and hips but I thought I was fat.

So basically I've been on a diet since the age of 12! 
So for most of my childhood and all of my adult life I have been obsessing about food in one way or another. It's constantly on my mind, hardly ever leaving my train of thought for a moment's time. It's kind of like being in prison.

For most of my twenties I hardly ate much of anything. I'd usually eat one meal a day and usually not a healthy one either. Then I would work out for an hour and a half  6 or 7 days a week. I was a complete nutritional and health disaster. I ate far too little calories and worked out WAY too much. I was a waitress for 12 years before I became a nurse and I can remember I would go to the gym between shifts when  I worked doubles instead of resting and taking care of myself. I maintained about a size 8-10 doing this for most of my twenties but then every few years I would get really depressed (this is another topic I should write about at a later date) and I would use food as my comfort. I would just start eating and eating and eating everything in sight. I would usually gain 20-40 pounds, stay depressed and overweight for 6 months and then snap out of it, go on a crash diet and loose the weight again. This roller coaster cycle went on for years.

I can remember when my husband proposed to me I was heavy at the time and the very first thought that entered my mind was, "OH MY GOD. I'M SO FAT. I HAVE TOO BE SKINNY FOR MY WEDDING" How sad, now that I think back on that. Of all the wonderful blessings of joining my life with my husband's, what was I most worried about? My weight!!! sad. sad. sad.
******Well, my friends the wonderful news is I have changed. I am a new woman. I am no longer obsessed. I am not spending every waking moment worried about what I should or shouldn't be eating. I am enjoying my life, my children, my husband and I am thinner, healthier and happier than I have ever been.
How did I manage to unravel a lifetime of damage in two years? I'm not exactly sure but what I do know is that with the birth of my children came the most incredible gift of all. A NEW OUTLOOK ON LIFE. I am a new woman. I wrote a post not too long ago called "Forever Changed." which expresses just how much my life has changed since I had my children. Honestly, every little tiny aspect of my life is different. All those years and years of therapy working on each and every tiny crevice that plagued me were gone in an instant, the single instant my son was born.

I can't explain it any other way but all of a sudden food did not have the power to control me any longer because IT WASN'T IMPORTANT!!!!.  Not important  like  MY KIDS AND THEIR WELL BEING. Suddenly, I was given a real , hard reality check and all that truly mattered were my babies and their well being. Period!!! 
Anything else was trivial at best. Including most of my life long problems.

God works in very mysterious ways and this is nothing short of a miracle.
I was able to loose 100+ pounds in a healthy way, truly healthy for my mind, body and spirit. I was kind, gentle and understanding with myself, which I never had been before. I stopped obsessing and just let it be and it worked! If I wanted a cupcake or two I ate them and moved on. Period. No guilt. No binging. No week long punishment. A miracle in my eyes.

The weight just fell off. I am in tears writing this because I never thought I would tackle this obstacle. I thought for the rest of my life I would be imprisoned by my own mind. Don't get me wrong, I am still critical and wish I could look this way or that,  but the true obsession is GONE!!! 
Thank you God for giving me two beautiful, healthy children who not only bring me so much joy on a daily basis but have changed my life for the better in every way I can imagine. I am truly the woman I have always wanted to be. WOW!

Thank you. Thank you for listening.
That journey was a long one and I am so happy I was able to share it with you. I truly appreciate each and every one of you for listening.
Again, this is a subject I am passionate about so I would be happy to chat with you about it or share my story with your readers anytime. Simply shoot me an email at "www.bouffeebambini@hotmail.com" Be sure to include the www.

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I'll leave you with this bit of inspiration

Linking up here at my friend Lindsay's {BLOG}



Laura Jennings said...

Oh Hanna,
Thank you for sharing your story with us. It's awful to hear what you went thru as a child, I can't even imagine. Looks is such a touchy subject for young girls as it is with jealousy, bodies maturing at different rates and all the changes that happen to your body..
You truly are an amazing woman and I am so happy to hear this has a happy ending and you are taking care of yourself :)

Augmented Gem said...

I am glad you told your story. I know there are many who will be able to relate, and be happy that they have someone to relate to. Along with your words of new found happiness within, I love your finish about beauty and insecurity. It's truthful.

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

This is beautiful, Hanna. What a testimony of God's power. You are now able to use something that was a heartache for you to help other women. I'm so glad for you that you've been able to overcome this. What I love about our Lord is that He looks at the heart from the very beginning. You were always beautiful, but I'm glad you feel healthy and more comfortable with yourself now. You do look fantastic.
We have a saying around here: pretty is as pretty does. ;) I always tell my daughter, it's okay to be pretty on the outside, but none of that matters if the inside isn't pretty. You are beautiful inside and out. You're also very brave to share your heart with us. Thank you for being real. No sense in wearing a mask.

Enjoy your day with your beautiful children. :)

Karm said...

you are an amazing woman. I am so proud of your accomplishments. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am still at the point where I am not truly obsessed with my weight and body, but I am turning my healthy life around and sticking to a goal and also enjoying my sons lives. Great job!

adventuresindinner said...

Gorgeous inside and out.

I had a family friend (later, much later-became my father's new wife) who called me Miss Piggy and would make the accompanying noises whenever I ate something. Well, I showed her by reaching the point in my weightloss journey where I ended-up in the hospital.

Now, I don't worry about my weight. I love food-all food and have trained myself to recognize when I'm actually full.

In our house there are no off-limits foods and my wee one goes for the food she is craving for snacks. Yesterday she had the choice of an apple or a cookie. She was in the mood for an apple.

I think of all the time I wasted on weight and it is is literally the only regret I have in my life.

Melynda said...

I have followed this journey of self as you have shared it. Again presenting a private and painful part of your past in honest and thoughtful dialogue. This is a problem in our society and more so today. Young women are doing everything except eating correctly and having acceptance of their true self. We shall have nothing but future health issues for these young souls and the babies they bring in to the world. I know your story will help, and I thank you again for sharing it.

Melynda said...

You know I forgot this on the first comment, we were called "fatties" in my childhood home. I hated that. And Hanna, you must understand how powerful the line "don't give us broken tools and expect us to figure out how to the them" is. Years ago I attended a business seminar, and we were told to find something new each day in life and learn from it. That way even if you only learned on new thing each day in the space of a year your knowledge would explode. I do this still today, not only in business but in my private world as well. That my friend is a powerful lesson for anyone to learn on any day of the week.

Megilon said...

Thank you for sharing your story!! It is amazing how much of a long term effect things from childhood can have. I think many of us can relate to your story because so many of us have struggles with weight.

Monet said...

First let me start by saying, your children are adorable ! Also, I believe all things happen for a reason. This morning I was so down and out about how much weight I have gained because of my pregnancy and how its been 5 months since my son has been born and I haven't lost anything. I feel so much pressure from people expecting me to just drop pounds especially the females in my family. My aunt for one is always pointing out how overweight my dad's side of the family is and I dont wanna "let myself go." I have a new outlook now that I shouldn't rush losing weight and obesess about it as I have. I should just take it day by day and not be so hard on myself. I will accept myself as I am and not become discouraged when the pounds aren't dropping quick enough. I have thirty pounds to lose and I will lose it gradually...I really enjoyed this post = )

Kristin said...

Hanna, I was in tears reading this. Wow. Our stories are so similar. My family (one side) is so uptight and self0righteous and judgmental about people's weight. If they're thin, they have worth and they're a person. If they're overweight, they're dismissed as being nobody and less of a person (if a person at all). It was pretty awful growing up in that family, with weight issues.

The other side of my family was just my grandparents. My grandmother had a weight problem and thought the fatter the child, the happier and healthier they were. (I can't make this up) My father was their only child and I've seen pictures and they're disturbing, to say the least. When he was two, he looked to be the size of a 7-year-old (an overweight one, at that). My father struggled with weight issues, health issues, and self-esteem issues his whole life. But that didn't stop my grandmother from feeding me milkshakes and pizza while we watched Johnny Carson and I was only 8 or 9. Or cakes and cookies and fried foods and ice cream and chips and...well, you understand.

Yep, did the anorexia thing, did the bulimia thing...it never really stuck, though. Actually thought I didn't have enough will power to stick with it. Wow. Talk about emotional abuse.

I'm better with it, but not great. I still have issues with framing everything in terms of weight, like you did about your wedding. Oh no, I have this reception to go to in __ months. I have to be thinner...it consumes you. *sigh*

Anywho, thanks for this post. I think you may have inspired me to not only work on this issue but to also write about it. Thanks, Hanna. I think you're AMAZING.

Kristin :)

Mary said...

You are a beautiful person, but I suspect that was also true a hundred pounds ago. You story will be helpful to many and perhaps prevent other children from being harmed. This is my first visit to your blog, but it will not be my last. I really enjoyed the time I spent here and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

stephanie said...

such an inspiring post friend! so glad you've have such a great testimony to share now and hopefully encourage others who are challenged in this area. which let's be real is MOST women! Thank you for your honesty!

The Cantelmo Family said...

Thanks for sharing. I also dealt with similar issues. My sister more so than I did, I ended up getting an eating disorder. It has been a challenge but I am free of it now. I worry about my kids because we are all big boned. I try to just model being active and having fun with food. But I always have to make sure how I talk to them. Thanks for the reminder

Tatiana said...

I think you're so amazing for overcoming all that you have. You're words are so inspirational and your actions speak for themselves of the gorgeous woman you are inside and out. I'm so happy for your achievements and for all you've overcome.

Carly said...

LOVE this. So much truth.


Lindsay said...

This post is so beautiful Hanna! I am so proud of you and admire your strength! I am always here for you! HUGS

songbyrd on the mountain said...

You are so brave to share this. I believe many women will be impacted by what you have written. You are beautiful inside and out. God has done a mighty healing work in your life and the fact that you see it and embrace it makes it all the more lovely.

Melissa said...

I loved your post, thanks so much for your daily inspiration!

Your photos are wonderful!

Alyx said...

I just saw your story on Alycia's blog, and it is so amazing! You are definitely an inspiration, and your accomplishment is something to be proud of!

Nicole Cook said...

I sincerely love your story and admire you so much. What an inspiration you truly are to women out there. Sometimes that's not an easy thing to share either, so again, thank you. And thank you for acknowledging my comment and taking the time to respond on my blog. I am now a follower of your blog!!!

Xo. Nicole
- a blog for hair, makeup, beauty, etc.

Kristen {a little ditty} said...

Hanna, thanks for sharing your story with us, your honesty is refreshing. I have so enjoyed following you on this journey and now reading all your "success" posts. I hope every parent out there knows how much impact their words have and I hope they choose them wisely! I'm so happy that you've overcome these struggles and hope this story can help others too!

Rachel @ My Happily Ever After said...

This is so inspirational...thank you so much for sharing. I feel like I've had the same issues with food throughout my life and I still haven't found a way to handle it. I'm glad to hear such an amazing success story and know that, hopefully someday, I'll be able to figure it out (and look fab!) like you!

Rose said...

Hi Hanna!

This is such an inspiring story! I just wanted to tell you how brave i think you are, not only for taking charge of your life, but for sharing it with us this openly!!!

I really love your blog, I've just found it and am SO happy for it, because I really think I'll enjoy reading it!

xo Rose


Laura said...

Wow, how inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. I've struggled with my weight my entire life as well. I even had gastric bypass in 2007 and after having my daughter in 2010 I havent been able to get the weight off. It's been crash diet after crash diet and it's not working.

I appreciate you sharing your story. I hope I can be successful someday too!

Brittney - The Luycx's said...

Your story is amazing & inspiring! :)

Chondra said...

I came upon your story after you guest-posted for a blog that I read, The Lee Family Happenings. Tears came to my eyes as I read your story - it's your story, my story, and so many others'. We may not all be to the point you are, but all know of your bravery in writing of your struggles. It caused me to immediately write down some things that came to mind from my past, but things I can and WILL overcome through the process of getting healthier!! Thank you for your story. Chondra Rankin

Angela Solis said...

Your story truly inspires me! I had a gastric bypass in 2003 and ended up losing almost 200 pounds. I then got pregnant last year and gained back almost 100 :( I am now trying to get myself motivated to lose it again. My weight has been a life long struggle and it seems whenever it get it under control I just lose it again. I am so happy to have found your blog. I will use it to help keep myself inspired. Thanks so much for sharing your story :)

Vikki Wallis said...

WOW!!! what an awesome inspiring story! You really are an inspiration. It was so honest and revealing! Its nice to see a success story that alot of us face. You have motivated me! Thank you so much for sharing!

jpefani said...

I just stumbled across your blog today while looking for recipes for Pineapple Upside Down Cake for one of dearest friends whose birthday has arrived. As I looked further into your blog I read your post on how you made weight loss work for you and then moved onto this post.

Like so many other readers, I came from a family who gave me nothing but poor examples of healthy eating and well-being habits. My mother always used to say, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels..." My story is similar in so many ways and it breaks my heart to think so many women have been plagued by weight obsession.

Still today I am working through my deep-seated issues about weight. Having just finished my doctoral course work, I spent years eating poorly, being sedentary, and abusing my body. It really shows and while my mission to be healthy started before reading your blog, it has inspired me.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It means so much to so many!

Kaara Anderson said...

THank you for sharing this! I'm currently at the heaviest in my life. I had a similar upbringing in that I was constantly told I needed to watch me weight, etc. but it was never modeled to me. My mom had a very unhealthy idea about weight and was a horrible eater, usually just binging and having one huge meal for dinner and then starving herself and being horrible to me the rest of the day. Luckily I was part raised by my grandparents who ate 3 square meals a day that were pretty balanced, but they also weren't into eating much other than potatoes meat and celery salads ;) I have very mixed emotions about losing my weight because I feel that if and when I do lose it, it will make my mom happy and I don't want to make her happy. How messed up is that? I'm finally to the point where I think about working out constantly. I just need to DO IT. you are an inspiration and I hope you know that. If you have thoughts and ideas for me, or would like to chat. I would love it! I need to share my journey and its helpful when other can understand since most of my friends are skinny and had more normal childhoods its hard for them to say much except to just say they're proud of me, which I do really appreciate ;)
Thanks again,

Ooh Baby! said...

Thanks for sharing your story - so much of it resonated with me. Especially the part about "missing" life events because all I could focus on was my weight. I have been a weight watchers member for 8 years, and am currently at goal. It's a tough and rewarding journey to learn to love yourself enough to engage in self-care like healthy eating and regular exercise. Nice job! Congrats!


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