I grew up active. I lived in a city and walked everywhere. I did gymnastics and played volleyball and went to the pool all the time. At 13, I moved from my beloved (equatorial, fairly exotic) city to the Midwest. It felt like hell. I curled up in front of the TV, ate out of boredom and mild depression, and tried to survive my first winter. I did survive, but I had gone from a fairly fit preteen to postpubescent piece of chub. I gained weight every year of high school and left for college a size 16.
Surprisingly, I did not gain the Freshman Fifteen. I can't be sure about the details because I never weighed myself in college, but my dress size never changed. I was heavy, for sure, but I didn't have a car or any money, so I rarely had food in my room to snack on and I walked much more than I had before.
Senior year some things began to change. I could drink (something I never did before I turned 21), I had a car, and I had a boyfriend. My relatively ascetic life of only eating in the cafeteria was suddenly replaced by weekly trips to Chili's for Margarita Mondays.
After graduation, my boyfriend, G, joined Weight Watchers. He had done it before and had success. He was a very athletic guy whose metabolism and activity had evened off in college, and who developed a love of beer. G convinced me to do Weight Watchers with him (not in a creepy "you need to look better way," promise). This was my first attempt at official weight loss, and it went pretty well at first. I lost about 15 pounds, began shopping for size 14s, and started to recognize the portions that made sense for my body.
Over the next two years, G and I were always trying to count points (WW terminology) and generally yo-yo'ed around the same 5-10 pounds. Then we got married, and damn if I didn't gain 40 pounds.
It didn't happen quickly. It took 3 and a half years, and that's where I am now. I don't blame it on marriage, certainly. As much as G has introduced me to wonders I never new about before (good quality pizza, craft beer, hoagies, etc.) I take full responsibility for the expansion. And it hasn't been a steady increase, either. I have had periods of success, which are then usually derailed by something like the holiday season or a stressful period, and pounds pounds pounds.
One thing I have achieved since the wedding is learning that I have the ability to exercise. Ever since I gained that first weight the winter I was 14, I have felt embarrassed at the thought of exercise, like people would laugh if they saw my fat ass trying to run down the block. With G's help, though, I started going to the track. The first time there, I ran a quarter of a lap. Nine months later, I was able to run 5 miles and join my family in the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, which I had only ever walked before. This was, like, seriously, my proudest moment, and it was only a year ago. Since then, I've exercised somewhat consistently, but haven't been running much. But I know that I CAN, which, five years ago, I couldn't even comprehend.
That's my story, and I'm hoping the next year brings some changes.