My name is Beth and this is my story. I wasn't born obese. I came into this world on June 15, 1964 weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces. During my childhood, even though I was thin, my father would tease me about my weight and call me names.
My childhood wasn't always a happy one. I mean it had it's happy moments but it was difficult. I was adopted when I was 3 weeks old. I was adopted into an alcoholic dysfunctional family. My brother, who was 7 years older, and my father were alcoholics. I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused by my father until I was 16 years old.
When I was 16 I met my first husband. He and I married when I was 18. It wasn't until I was 20 that I realized that what my father had done to me was wrong. Until that time I thought it was a dirty secret. I thought what my father had done to me was my fault - that there was something wrong with me. So, of course, after I got married I turned to food for comfort. I gained 40 pounds in my first two years of marriage.
I got pregnant with my first daughter in 1985. I gained 80 pounds with this pregnancy. I gave birth to my first daughter, Stefanie Nicole, on December 18th, 1985. She came into this world weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces. I used her weight as an excuse for why I gained so much weight during her pregnancy. I lost 60 pounds in the first two years after she was born.
In 1989 I had a rough year. My mother died at age 52 of heart failure. She was my best friend and she died so suddenly. Also during that time my husband got fired from his job. He found another job but then decided he loved me but was not in love with me. My marriage was on the rocks. I turned to food for comfort then too.
Then, in October of 1989 I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. My first husband was not happy about this. I gained 60 pounds during this pregnancy. My second daughter, Kaela Marie, came into this world on June 29, 1990 weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces. My first marriage lasted 2 ½ years after Kaela was born. I never lost the 60 pounds I gained during my pregnancy with Kaela.
In 1992 my first husband left me. I was totally devastated. I felt like a total failure. I felt I would never be able to get through life without him. I was at the lowest point in my life. I used food as comfort. I would eat and not feel any better so I would eat more. My weight kept going up and up.
In May of 1995 I hit rock bottom. My weight at that time was 270 pounds. I felt I couldn't go on any longer. I felt like dying was the only way out. So one evening I lined up 20 percocet and 30 Tylenol with codeine and a glass of water. I was getting ready to take them all when a good friend of mine walked in and stopped me.
It's funny - I believe in God and I believe in angels. I believe God sent my friend as an angel that evening. She wasn't supposed to come over that evening but she just had a strong feeling that she couldn't ignore that she had to come over to my apartment. She did come over and it saved my life.
During the next few months (and years) I went through counseling. I gained my strength emotionally but continued to use food for comfort. Ice cream, cookies, Twinkies, ho-ho's - they were my friends - so I thought! My weight soared to my all time high of 350 pounds. I am 5'7" and was in denial when I looked in the mirror.
Dating - oh that was another issue! Men didn't respect me. Some of them weren't even nice to me. I would settle for just about anything just to get attention from men. I then realized that I didn't have to just settle for just anything. I didn't date for about a year.
In 2001 I decided to post an ad on the internet. I was just looking for a friend. I didn't want a relationship - so I thought. In July of 2001 I answered an ad. I didn't hear anything for 2 weeks. Then I got an email from a man named Bob. He and I emailed each other for 2 weeks. Then we spoke on the phone for 2 weeks. The more we talked the more we had in common. We decided it was time to meet face to face. He asked what I looked like. I thought - uh-oh - here we go. He's going to find out I'm fat and that will be it. I told him I was overweight. He said he didn't care. He said he liked what was on the inside and that the outside didn't matter to him. We met face to face on August 27, 2001 and it was love at first sight! For the first time in a long time someone accepted me for who and what I was. Bob and I were married on June 30, 2003. He is a wonderful man and we have a wonderful marriage. He is my rock. He taught me that I could love myself just as I was. After all, he loved me for who I was and what I was so why shouldn't I love me too!
Even after I met Bob I still had my weight to deal with. I had tried lots of diets - Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, shakes, pills, cabbage soup diet - you name it I tried it. I would lose some weight and then go off of the diet and gain it right back.
In May 2002 I was at a family get together. A cousin of mine who had been overweight all her life was there and she had lost weight. She looked great! I asked her how she had done it and she told me that she had had gastric bypass surgery. I decided then to have gastric bypass surgery. On September 4, 2002 I had gastric bypass surgery.
In the first two years after the surgery I lost 190 pounds. I looked and felt great. I was at goal - 160 pounds. I became too comfortable with the surgery though. During the first 2 years I could eat anything and still lose weight. During the second year I started to discover ways of getting around the surgery. During the third year I gained back 50 pounds. Even though foods that were too high in sugar and fat made me sick I still ate them. My weight went back up to 210 pounds.
In September 2005 I decided it was time to take back control of my weight. I started exercising again. For 3 weeks I tried a low carb high protein diet. I lost 6 pounds in the first 2 weeks and gained 2 pounds in the 3rd week. During this time I had started emailing Richard Simmons. He would email me back and tell me his thoughts on the low carb high protein diet. He kept telling me to try his food mover. Well, after gaining 2 pounds in the 3rd week and getting yet another email from Richard telling to use the food mover I decided to give it a try. It really does work!!!
As you can see, I've come a long way. I now lead a full and happy life. I have my husband, 2 daughters, a granddaughter, a grandson, a son-in-law, a stepson, a step daughter-in-law, 3 step grandsons and my mother-in-law. I also have a full time job and many hobbies I keep up with.