Friday, April 12, 2013

My A-Ha Moment

Maybe you had one, maybe you didn't. Here is my story about how the light bulb finally went on for me.
I have not always struggled with my weight. When I was growing up, I was a pretty normal sized kid and in high school I was a size 7/8. It was just one of those things that I didn't really worry about, although I did think that I had a poochy stomach. Ugh, not even close.

My weight started packing on when I started having kids. With my first, I had gained about 40 pounds but it was actually pretty easy to lose the baby weight. I was only 22 years old, in pretty good shape and I even started working out after she was born. Then came baby #2 and another 50 lbs. These did not come off so easily and were still hanging around when I got pregnant again twice in the next three years. After that, I hovered around anywhere from 165-180. I didn't see myself as fat, though. Funny how you can trick yourself into thinking you don't look that bad. That lasted for about 11 years.

Something happened to me last summer though, that gave me the swift kick in the pants to actually do something about it. Warning: this is not a heartwarming story. Also, I really debated long and hard about whether or not to post this. Only a couple of close family members actually know this story.

My ex and I live about an hour or so apart from each other so we typically meet about halfway in between to exchange the girls. There are two ways to get to said meeting place; the interstate, which has tolls or the back way through some small towns. Last June 27, I was on my way with the girls to meet their dad. It was a nice Sunday night, so I decided to take the back way. As I was passing through one of the small towns a car pulled out of a gas station parking lot and hit our car. The other driver was not paying attention (obviously) and rammed straight into my passenger side. Neither I nor any of the girls were hurt, but they were shaken up. Fortunately, the speed limit was only 30mph so it could have been a lot worse.

Turns out the girl who hit me was 19 and was just moving out of her parents' house. She became rather hysterical and kept repeating, "I'm sorry" to me. I went into Mom mode and told her that it was alright, even though it most certainly was not. Her dad showed up and apologized and was really nice about the whole thing. He was actually a cop in the next town over and was fully insured (praise Jesus).

So, the cops were there gathering all of our information and the EMTs were there checking everyone out and my ex showed up so he could take the girls home. During all of this organized chaos, I only had one major paralyzing fear; that I was going to get arrested.

Backstory: In 2008, I was pulled over for speeding (story of my life) and got a ticket for having a suspended license. Turns out I had not paid an old speeding ticket from 4 years prior. I thought it had been taken care of. So, I got it paid and was all prepared to go to court and be done with it. Well, I missed the court date. I didn't receive any follow up information in the mail and it didn't occur to me to call so I went about my business and "forgot" about it.

In 2009, I was pulled over again for expired tags. Again, I was cited with a suspended license and the cop actually took my driver's license. I did make it to court and was told that I had to take care of my first citation. When I called the court to find out what I had to do, they told me I needed to post $2000 bond. Having no idea what that meant nor having a spare $2000, again I let it slide and did not go back to court. I drove around for three years constantly being paranoid that I was going to get pulled over.

Back to the accident. Everything was being wrapped up and my ex had the girls in his car and the cop came over and explained to me that because I had been driving with a suspended license, he was going to have to put me under arrest. I could tell that he really didn't want to do it, it was just his job. I burst into tears. I was humiliated and scared and didn't know what was going to happen. I was handcuffed, and placed in the back of the cop car and drove what seemed like an extremely long distance to the prison. This small town did not have a local jail (?) so they had to take me to Leavenworth prison. Yeah, that one.

I sat in a holding cell for at least three hours before they got me out to "process me". I had my fingerprints and hand prints taken and then they took my mug shots. Looking at those pictures was very humbling. I didn't even recognize myself. I looked old and haggard and overweight. Who was this person that I had become?

I finally got to call Jason and we tried to figure out what to do. Our only car was wrecked and he had no way to come pick me up. I called my ex to find out if he could do it, but he didn't have the money for bail. See where this is going? Yep, I had to spend the entire night in jail. It was freezing cold and I had one sheet and one blanket and I cried myself to sleep.

The next day, Jason's mom drove from Joplin and they came to pick me up. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that that night changed me. I did not want to spend the rest of my life looking like that person I saw in the mug shot. Within a week, I downloaded the C25K program, got my butt outside and started walking and running. It was in July in during one of the hottest summers on record. So tough, but oh so worth it.

Now, here I am approximately 35 lbs lighter and so much happier. Oh, and I have a clear driver's license thanks to 2 lawyers and $3000 in fees and court costs. I can't be mad about that though because I did it to myself. Whatever you do to yourself, you must then undo. I will be 39 years old in two months and I am in the best shape I have been in years. I have been through a lot of shit in my life and it is unfortunate that it had to take such a dramatic event to open my eyes, but that's kind of how it is with me. You have to slap me sometimes to get me to see what is right in front of me.

If you are still with me after all that, then thank you. I hope you took something away from my story. I have never claimed to be perfect. I am just trying to make my way through this world and I have made a lot of mistakes, but that's how you learn. Just keep getting back up and doing it again until you get it right. I'm glad that I finally got it right.