Although I said I was going to continue to blog about the deployment that followed my chronological blogging, I am going to skip ahead. From time to time, I will go back to some of the pivotal moments in my life journey, but I think it's time to give you the nuts and bolts of how I got to the point of weight loss and creating a healthy lifestyle (not in that order).
In late 2004 we relocated to Jacksonville, NC, bought our first house and settled in for a long 3 years without deployments. We thought it would be just what the doctor ordered for our whirlwind lives together thus far. There was some truth to it, but more than not, all that time together proved difficult for our marriage. I started to gain some weight and was sitting at about 10 pounds heavier than my usual weight.
I decided to get back to the Body for Life routine, but came across Body for Life for Women version, which proved much more successful. I dropped down to a size 8, worked out almost everyday and felt pretty good. I was working on getting funding to open an indoor playground for kids when another opportunity was dropped in my lap--I became a sweat-equity business partner in a double drive-thru coffee kiosk that was just about to open. It was a dream come true: I could work in an industry I loved and be a business owner without taking the risk of the financial backing! The position required many hours and much sweat! Sadly the sweat wasn't enough to offset the increased calorie consumption working 16 hour days for the first couple of months we were open. Once we had good, solid help, we got into our routine, and my days slowed down to about 12 hours a day. I spent so much time in my car and in the kiosk (which we didn't sell food), that I ate fast food constantly.
About 6 months into the opening of the coffee shop, my husband was received overseas orders for the family. We made the decision that the business opportunity was too good to walk away from which meant hubby was going overseas alone. 3 months later, my son and I stayed put in NC and my hubby moved off to Okinawa, Japan. At this point, I had already gained about 35 pounds and didn't even realize how big I had gotten. Within 3 months of him leaving, I was stressed to the max and had gained another 10 pounds! 35 pound weight gain in 1 year: That is not an exaggeration. I was almost 200 pounds with not a day of exercise in site. The stress was so intense and my business partner's expectations were beyond what I could give anymore, that I decided to quit.
I'm going to move to Okinawa to be with my husband, right? Nope!
Within a couple of days of quitting, one of my regular customers offered me a job on the spot. We were extremely tight financially, so I thought the guarantee of a job was more important than being with my husband. So off to the non-profit community for me! If you haven't been in the non-profit community before, it requires a lot of "meet and eat" scenarios. In the first month of working there, I gained another 5 pounds. Maintaining that 200 pound figure even proved difficult with the habits I had acquired. It was tiring and wearing on my body, but I couldn't see that my lifestyle was killing me.
For Christmas, my son and I flew to Okinawa to spend the holiday with my husband. I remember my best friend's husband seeing me for the first time in 3 years and his expression said it all, "How much weight did she gain?" He and I never talked about this, but I could see it written all over his face. The pounds were a shocking image. At that moment, I realized just how far out of control my weight really was, but I wasn't ready to address it. Seeing my husband for the first time in months fortunately distracted my attention from my weight gain and failures. Our marriage still wasn't great, but it was familiar and I had missed him, which was enough to bring me to something more positive. Touring the island, I immediately fell in love with the beauty, the people, the culture and just about everything about it. It didn't take long for my husband and I to decide it was time for us to join him in Okinawa. When I got back to reality, nothing slowed down. I had less than 3 months to get our house ready to rent out, our son and I cleared to move overseas and get 3 dogs to Japan. It was not an easy feat, but some how, I managed....That's it for today, but come back tomorrow for the next chapter of the "settled" weight story! The day after that will be how I lost it all and kept it off!