My parents were Alcoholics when I was growing up. My Dad was happy when he drank my Mother was happy at first but then she would get angry and then would cry.  She would often keep me up very late at night or early morning crying on my shoulder. Life was chaos in our house.  I lived on the edge most of the time never knowing what was going to happen next.  Although we tried to look like your average middle class family we were anything but.

You may wonder what this has to do with my weight. Have you ever heard of a cookie drawer?  It’s the biggest, deepest drawer in the kitchen and it’s filled with packages of cookies. Oreos, Chocolate Chip, Sugar, etc… You name it, it was in there. My parents used food to either bribe me or placate me so when they went out to the bar I wouldn’t be as upset. They would say, “invite some of your friends over and we’ll get all of you Frisco Freeze. So I learned how to deal with my emotions with food at a very early age. I spent many nights sitting up with my mother while she cried about one thing or another. I then had to get myself up for school in the morning.

I was overweight probably from the time I was about 7. At nine years old I remember having a terrible time finding school clothes. At School I was bullied for my weight on a daily basis, I was constantly living on the edge at home and miserable at school. There is one memory after all these years I can’t seem to forget. I had stayed up with my mother into the wee hours of the morning and had to get myself up for school. I got myself dressed in what I thought was a cute skirt and matching vest with a blouse underneath. I was in Fourth grade at the time. The teacher told all of us to line up for lunch. She was always picking on me for one reason or another. Next thing I know she yells at me “Vicky, line up straight and what were you thinking wearing that skirt? It’s too short, you’re too big to be wearing that skirt.” She had embarrassed me in front of the whole class. Wouldn’t you think if a teacher sees a student dressed wrong they might think there is a problem at home? Instead she bullied me for my weight just like the kids. I told my sister about that incident the other day and she said, “Vicky I had no idea, I’m sorry.” It still brings tears to my eyes, not because of what the teacher did to me but because a teacher would treat a child like this. Junior high was worse. You think your going to have fun in Junior High and meet new people and instead your bullied every day for 3 years. I can’t imagine what kids go through now with social media.

Even though I knew why I was overeating I couldn’t lose the weight. I remember watching Oprah she  Once said, “When you figure out why your overeating you will be able to lose the weight”- not true.  When I became an adult I used diet pills a couple times and lost the weight but didn’t keep it off. I tried fad diets as well as Weight Watchers, I still couldn’t lose the weight.

In 2012 I was injured on the job. I worked on McNeil Island. As I was getting on the bus to be taken to the facility the bus driver closed the door on me approximately 10 times. My back, neck and right shoulder were injured. I was seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon and it was not working. I was in horrible pain. I was only sleeping 3-4 hours a night. It was painful to do anything. But I knew if I stopped doing things I wouldn’t start again. I had surgery on my shoulder in January of 2013.  Shoulder surgery is the most difficult surgery to recover from. Then in November of 2013 I had spine surgery. Prior to my surgery I was walking with my sister every morning using a cane. I also started watching my portions.  If my husband and I went out for pizza I would have a salad and one slice of pizza. I always had a salad with a meal so I would eat a smaller portion of the main meal. I stopped snacking. I was shocked when in June I went to put on my shorts from the summer prior to find they were so big they fell right off. It was then I stepped on the scale to find I had lost 60lbs. My sister had been telling me to buy some jeans that weren’t so baggy.  Now I knew why they were baggy. I had just been oblivious. I continued to walk every morning even though I was still in a lot of pain and watched what I ate but I had to have another spine surgery. My Doctor had to fuse more of my spine. Every time I have a surgery its a setback for my weight loss. I can’t exercise for awhile. It takes a year to fully recover from a spine surgery. I had surgery In August of 2015. I tried to recover as quickly as possible so I could continue walking.  But then I had to have surgery on my neck.  In January of 2017 I had my neck fused.

Due to my weight and how hard I had pushed my body over the years I had no cartilage left in my knees. So in between spine surgeries I had both knees replaced. The pain in my knees was so bad I couldn’t even go to the mall and walk through a store anymore. But I never gave up. I kept pushing forward doing the best I could to walk and eat right. I certainly wasn’t perfect with my diet. I still had issues with emotional eating. But I tried working on that over the years too.

My back is fused from L1-2, L2-3, L4-5.   C3-4, 4-5, 5-6.  Although my back wasn’t perfect after all the surgery it is somewhat better. My knees feel great. At the end of January 2018 I felt like I had taken my weight loss as far as I could on my own, I needed a trainer. I needed to tone my body and the internet just wasn’t cutting it. But a trainer was too expensive. I had wanted to take some step classes.  So I looked for a gym that offered classes. I found Figures. Figures has been a joy and a God send for me. Heather exudes a wonderful energy. I love her Barre classes and they have worked to tone my body like nothing else.  I also Love Kathleen’s “Body Fit” classes. She is so energetic and explains everything in detail. The other class I take is Zumba with Wanda. A great workout and lots of fun. I recently took two more classes Zumba with Debbie and pure strength with Kimberly. I loved both of them. I imagine all the classes at figures are fantastic. I can’t say enough about all the staff, they are terrific. It is like having many trainers. I am so grateful for all the staff and members at Figures.  Everyone is so supportive and I’m continually inspired by other people who take class with me. Many members have come up to me and told me how wonderful I look. They are so kind. At times my inner dialogue still needs some work. Just because you lose the weight doesn’t mean you magically see yourself different.

When I began I weighed 267lbs now I weigh 169. I lost about 82lbs prior to joining Figures and since joining Figures I have lost another 16 lbs. I’m still in pain, some days worse than others. But I will continue to get up every day and be grateful that I still can!

I am 2 pounds away from losing 100lbs. And this time I did it without diet pills or anything else. I did it all on my own. Well, with a little help from, my husband, Heather, Kathleen, and Wanda.  🙂  wooohooo!!!