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Half a year's progress

Although my progress has been a lot slower than many of the other people I've seen on MFP, this is the product of 6 months of hard work...let's see how much ass I kick in the next 6 months :)

  

 

 

Oh heyyyyy there!

BAM! Haven't been able to wear these lil Abercrombie denim shorts in YEARS but finally they fit! I wore em to happy hour last night, and I felt HOT! Just wanted to brag on myself a little and show off my progress :)

 

 

 

Father's Day and Why I'm on MFP.

Father's Day is coming up this Sunday and this is my second father-less one. My dad's birthday was May 12th, so this past month has been...long. Not as hard as last year, but just has had me thinking a lot.

How does my Dad being deceased have anything to do with me being on MFP? Well, friends, I thought I'd share how I got here. How I let myself go. And how I'm becoming a better person every single day, thanks to you guys.

I never had a weight problem really for most of my life. I was always very petitie and didn't really think about working out or eating healthy. My mom has always been into health and fitness, so I guess I always ate pretty well growing up due to her being in charge of the groceries. I played volleyball in middle school, because all the girls in our class did (went to a small private school). Then I was involved in musical theater for a large part of my life, which required quite a bit of dance training, so I got exercise there. Went to college on a musical theater scholarship, so I kept dancing and not worrying about what I ate. I was never bigger than a size 4 until I got pregnant when I was 21.

I lived a really, really normal life growing up. My parents were married, my dad owned his own business and my mom was in education, we lived in a decent neighborhood, and were your really typical all-American middle class family. Then, when I was 17, my dad had a stroke, and was hospitalized. That is when my parents learned that he had AIDS. Not HIV...AIDS. They didn't tell me or my sister for 2 years.

 How he contracted it, I will probably never know. All I do know is that my mother did not have HIV (she was tested every 6 months for about 5 years after finding out just to be sure), neither did anyone in my family. In a way, that stroke was the best thing that ever happened to him...we'd have never known otherwise, as he wasn't one to go to the doctor unless he was forced to. He was always so healthy and fit, it was almost unbearable to see him in a hospital bed.

For 2 years, all I knew was my dad had a stroke and now had to take medication for it and take it easy. During those 2 years, my mother revealed a lot to me about their marriage, how miserable she had been, how controlling he was to her, and how badly she wanted to leave but felt like she couldn't. Then one day, my parents had me come over and sat me and my sister down to tell us they were getting divorced because my mom had an affair. I hated her for months. I hated the man she left my dad for even more, although it wasn't his fault. (Note: my mother is now married to him, and I have forgiven her, and she is my best friend. Just because people do horrible things doesn't make them horrible people). Shortly thereafter, my dad told us that he had AIDS, and that since my mother was leaving, it was important that we know everything.

I went from this happy go lucky college student that had everything going for her, to deeply depressed and worried about everything. My dad's health, my sister (who was 13 at the time), everything. I fell into a lot of drinking and partying to deal with it all. Which is how I met my son's dad. Without getting into too much detail, he was a manipulative piece of shit who made me alienate myself from my friends and screwed with my already messed up head in a major way. I became pregnant at 21...and gained 70 lbs.

I was eating my feelings. It was easy, I could blame it on baby weight, but truthfully, I was hurting so much and so sad and I felt like the only thing that was there for me was food. So I ate whatever I wanted, wasn't exercising at all since I'd given up musical theater, and I hated my life. After my son was born I hopped on the yo-yo diet bandwagon, lose 10 lbs here, gain 10 lbs there...I just didn't care anymore. I'd even go as far as to say I wasn't a very good mother for the first couple years of my son's life, because I was so depressed.

I finally worked up the nerves to leave my son's dad. I don't know what did it, I don't know what light went off in my head, but I just did it. I found a job, and I just did it. That's when I ran into my now boyfriend, Jason. We've known each other since high school, but we happened to run into each other one night when I was newly single, and it just clicked. I was really beginning to feel like myself again. Then, my dad was hospitalized for pneumonia on Christmas Eve, 2008.

He pulled through, and came home January 3rd, 2009. All was well, I thought. Until he sat me down and gave me a serious reality check. He had revised his will and his life insurancy policy, and listed me as the beneficiary. He gave me all of his banking information, all the info for the savings account he'd set up for my son, everything. I was in charge if anything happened. Because it was a reality, that something could happen at any moment.

While I was able to continue building my life and relationship with Jason, the constant stress of "is my dad okay today?" hung over me like a dark cloud. I think my dad worried about me a lot and just wanted me to be successful. I finally got my dream job, where I am now, in September of 2010. He was so proud of  me. He helped me set up my 401k, advised me on a benefits package, everything. He was just so proud that I'd finally made it. I took Jett (my son) trick or treating in his neighborhood and helped him hand out candy to the kids that Halloween. Then I stopped by for a visit about a week and a half later, and could tell he wasn't feeling well. He had a doctor's appointement the next day, so I told him to call me if he wanted me to take him. That would be the last time I'd see my dad. He didn't call me.

November 15, 2010. I'm sitting in an extremely important meeting with several of the top beer distributors in Texas. My phone will not stop ringing (it's on silent of course) with an unknown number calling me. As soon as my meeting is out I rush to my office to listen to the voicemail. It's an officer with the Austin Police Department asking me to call her as soon as possible. I call her back and she keeps asking where I am because she needs to speak to me in person. Not wanting a cop to show up for me at my new job, I refuse to let her and basically force her tell me what's going on over the phone. She says "Meredith...is Michael _____ your father?" I said "Yes...why??" a long pause and then "Meredith...I wish I didn't have to tell you this over the phone, but he's been found in his home...I'm sorry, he's passed away."

I don't even know what happened next. I don't even remember getting from my office to his house. All I know is at some point Jason picked me up from work and took me there. I had to call and tell my sister, my mom, my aunt...I had to tell the same story over and over again that day, that week. I had to plan a funeral, I had to file his life insurance policy, I had to do all these things that my dad had told me exactly how and what to do, but somehow it was like taking a test I never even opened the book for. I had to explain to Jett why we couldn't go to Pop Pop's house anymore. That was probably the hardest of all.

I climbed back into depression. Food was comforting again. And I almost stopped caring about myself altogether. That's when Jason made me get help. I will thank him for that for the rest of my life.

I went to counseling for over a year. I finally learned how to grieve properly, how to not let it consume me, and how to love myself again. Then I realized I'd let myself go in the process of everything. I don't know what exactly happened, or at what moment everything changed, but around Christmas/New Years this past year it was like I suddenly realized I have so much to offer and so much going for me, and I owed it to myself to be good to my body. I had to heal from the inside before I could even think about the outside.

Then I heard about MFP. And then I started making friends on here. And it was like the spark had been lit, and I found myself again. You guys have been so important in all of this. Knowing that I'm not alone, that you guys are working hard to change your lives too, it makes me feel powerful, unstoppable...because I'm not alone. Jason is a wonderful boyfriend and an incredible person, but he's never taken his emotions out on his body like I have, he doesn't understand the triumph we feel over choosing  grilled chicken and veggies over a cheeseburger. So I want to thank you guys for being such an important part of my healing process.

While the scars are still there, the wounds are closed now, and I can finally say that I don't hurt anymore, and that I am truly, deeply, happy. Happy Father's Day, Dad, I love you and I'm sure you're enjoying a nice single malt scotch up there in heaven. Also, tell Meem (my grandmother) to quit bitching, she's in heaven, she has no reason to nag people anymore.

  

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