When my child turned 2, I was only ten pounds shy of weighing the exact amount at the hospital before I gave birth to Caleb! How was that possible?? Oh, yeah....must have been the nasty eating habits, limited amounts of physical activity, and tons of denial. I remember that well....
When I was carrying a lot of extra weight, my legs and feet would swell often. I would also have unbearable, often uncontrollable heartburn every day.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
That was my life then. It went on for so long it just felt normal. I didn't seek medical treatment. The last time I mentioned weight related problems to my doctor, he told me I was a candidate for surgery. I was too far in denial to consider it.
My family took a trip to Panama City Beach, Florida. It was Caleb's first trip to the beach and I was beyond thrilled! I was so looking forward to capturing photos of every special moment.
Ryan and I planned to drive during the night so the kids could sleep and the drive wouldn't seem so bad Since I didn't want to wake Caleb up, we didn't stop much at all.
Ryan and I stopped for a break in the early morning hours and found a place to stay. We unloaded the kids and crawled into bed. An hour later, I lay awake with excruciating heartburn. I knew the long ride and the swelling were complicating matters, but at that time it was just a normal part of my life. I figured I would eventually fall asleep...
Nausea hit me and I found myself huddled in the tiny bathroom floor. I tried to stay quiet while I vomited the stomach acid up. Acid and blood were the only things that came out. A lot of blood. I was shaking and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to wake up Ryan and then scare the kids. I cried silently sitting in the floor and pleaded with God to make it all stop.
I prayed that I wasn't dying. I had heard about a recent story of a man passing away from a ruptured esophagus due to chronic untreated heartburn. I was so afraid that I was killing myself.
The next morning, I was able to tell Ryan what happened and he was so upset I didn't wake him up. We all loaded into the car and headed to the beach. While the kids were playing in the sand, I looked over at Ryan and told him I had to make some major changes to my body. I simply could not continue this way or I was going to die.
Looking back, I know that is what changed my life. I began losing weight in November (just three months after the beach trip) and I haven't stopped. I am absolutely terrified to let myself go again. After losing the first twenty pounds, the heartburn and swelling completely stopped. I have had mild heartburn maybe twice in the past year!
I hated every single picture of myself from the beach. I wanted to capture all of those memories, but every time I look back on them I see how poor my health, self esteem, and out of control life were. It is now my goal to take Caleb back to the beach and get some better pictures together. I can't make up for the first ones, but I can make sure every single future one is better and healthier.