So… who am I? Well, if you’re reading this you were either led to this page after I shared it with you, or you may have stumbled upon it. Anyway, I thought long and hard about what my first post should be. It almost gave me a panic attack (ok! I’m exaggerating a little), but seriously. How do you start a blog about yourself and your life without making yourself sound self-centered?
I have given this blog thing a try here and there, but never followed through, like with many things in my life. So many times I wanted to have my own blog documenting this journey called life. Well, here I am at 26 years young, of course, and I’m getting ready to do just that.
A little (or maybe a lot) about me and why I am doing this blog.
I am a PACU travel nurse (yes! I get to travel for work.) and I am loving every minute of it. Anyway, thats as much detail as I’ll go into what I do for a living, because thats not necessarily going to be the center of this blog.
I have struggled with my weight, self-esteem, and body image issues since as long as I can remember. I think the earliest memory I have of being self-conscious about what I was wearing, was probably as early as eight. Yes, you read that right, eight years old. At eight, I was already worried about what people thought of me when they looked at me. This was mainly because I was “The Chubby Kid”. I was the one that really didn’t wanna play outside because deep inside I knew I’d get winded. I remember looking at myself in the mirror thinking “how could God create someone so ugly?”. And yes, I’ll talk about God and faith throughout this blog because He’s the reason I am where I am today.
Back to the question, “how could God make someone so ugly?”. At eight years of age I did not realize how profound this question I was asking myself was. I didn’t know that from this one question and one thought I would come to believe so many lies and go through life thinking they were true. I honestly thought I was the ugliest one in my family and from that point I can remember trying to do what I could to please my friends and family as a way of feeling like I belonged.
With this thought in mind I not only developed a sense of not measuring up, but I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Food became my comfort and what I went to. I was an emotional eater before I turned ten. I can remember my mom always giving me that salty snack, or sweet dessert anytime I asked for it. I’m not sure if it was because she didn’t want me to whine or maybe she just wasn’t educated on what I should or shouldn’t be eating. Don’t get me wrong, starting this journey has changed my relationship with food, but I am a firm believer in moderation NOT extremes.
Coming to America certainly did not help my relationship with food either. At the age of ten I moved from the Dominican Republic and yet again I ended up feeling like the outcast. I was literally the BIGGEST one out of all of my cousins, boys included. All of my cousins were slender and had beautiful hair (mine was very coarse and nappy). Don’t get me wrong, I have learned to fall in love with my locks, but it took me years to get there. Being around everyone that was so much skinnier than me made me even more insecure. I was the kid that didn’t wanna wear shorts and baggy clothes didn’t bother me at times. Its actually a bit harder than I thought to share these thoughts, because the majority of what I am writing has never been said aloud to some of the closest people I know.
Anyway, expression is the door to freedom and so is bringing things to light. So, as I mentioned, I moved at the age of ten and it was a big change being that I hardly knew any english. My go-to words were “yes, no, stop, mom, and dad…literally”. My lovely aunt was the one raising me and she saw the desperate need I had to change my health(I was ten and weighed over 110 pounds). Luckily, knowing that I was still a kid she didn’t put me on a diet as much as she made me play outside and eat healthy food. She did her best to cook at home, but of course there were times that we ate out. I still remember going to McDonalds for the first time and saying “I want the number one, the Big MAC” (insert hispanic accent here). What ten year old do you know can eat an entire Big MAC? I don’t know any, but even though I knew I couldn’t eat that entire burger I had it engrained in my head to always want whats Big. I always wanted “the bigger sandwich, piece of cake, slice of pizza” you name it. What I failed to realize is that these small habits I was adopting would literally lead me to destruction.
At the age of 13 I hit my growth spirt and was 5’7″. I’ve been that height since. I didn’t lose the weight, it just became redistributed across my body. I maintained it until senior year of high school which is when I began packing on the pounds. I remember graduating high school wearing size 7 jeans. Now, I know that maybe I wasn’t going to be a size 7 forever, but trust me when I tell you my size in a few moments, your jaw is going to drop.
I wanted to give a snippet of myself, and I know this first post is quite long, but I’m trying to give you the whole picture. Remember I said I was a size 7 senior year… Well fast forward to my graduation of college where I had gone up to a size 14. Yes! I doubled my jean size in a matter of 4 years, but its sad to say it didn’t stop there.
After many nights of crying myself to sleep over my weight and how ugly I felt I realized that enough was enough. At least thats what I told myself when I graduated. I told myself that since I was a nurse and was done with school for the time being I would go to the gym, eat “healthy” and lose the weight. Little did I know the lifestyle changes I was going to endure. Well, I’ll go ahead and fast forward and tell you that I went from that size 14 up to a size 18. I am in no way trying to shame anyone who is plus size because I, myself still am plus size. However, I am saying that being plus sized with the combination of an unhealthy lifestyle is a recipe for disaster. In a matter of 6 years or so I had gained more than 100 pounds. YES, MORE THAN 100 POUNDS!
That is literally the first time I’ve ever written that down. Even then I still had not hit a point where I wanted to truly change until January of this year. I am beginning this blog almost 6 months from the start of my journey because I wanted to make sure I stuck with it this time. So, I invite you to come along as I share my journey, what I have done, what has worked and what hasn’t and of course, how my faith has helped me tremendously along the way. I hope that this journey I am sharing inspires you to create your own and to do the things which you thought you never could do. Things that are out of your comfort zone and inspire others along the way. Trust me, it’ll be FUN.