Monday, February 8, 2010

An introduction

Most people eat food.

Me? I eat my feelings. It’s kind of how I got to where I am today.

I’ll tell you about that in a second. First, let me tell you why I’m blogging in the first place.

I recently joined the Weight Watchers at Work program that Children’s is combining with their You4Life wellness Program. We participate in the typical Weight Watchers meetings, but have other incentives and accountability tools from You4Life to help us stay on track.

At the open house for the program, the opportunity for one person to blog about her experiences was presented to the group. My heart started beating. Hard. I’m supposed to do this, I thought. But that’s a far cry from who I was just a short while ago.

A few months ago, my teammates went to the wellness fair to get their metrics done in order to qualify for an insurance discount. I, on the other hand, pretended to be too busy to go with them. The real truth is that I wanted to stay in the dark. So much so, that even the prospect of saving money didn’t trump it.

See, I can look in the mirror and know there’s a problem. I can avoid seeing pictures of myself to hide the truth from myself. But the issues are still there. I have finally decided to bring things into the light. I’m Erika and I’m obese. And now I’m working to change that.

How did I get here?

I’ve pretty much struggled with my weight my whole life. I was never a skinny kid. I was one of the tallest in my class until about eighth grade. I just kind of grew before everyone else did, upward and outward.

When I was 12, I went on my first diet. That became a pattern that would continue for years. On a diet. Off a diet. Always thinking about food no matter what. I lost a lot of weight before going off to college at Georgia Southern. But there, instead of gaining the freshman 15, I gained the freshman 50. Apparently chicken fingers, grilled cheese, burgers, beer and 2 a.m. trips through the drive-through will do that. Who knew?

I lost a lot of weight in the late ‘90s. But then my world changed. In 2000, my mother died of melanoma. I was devastated. And to combat that, I ate. I ate a lot. I ate all the time. And I got heavier and heavier. During these past 10 years, while I washed my feelings down with chips and cookies and fast food, I became someone I didn’t even recognize.

So here I am—trying again in earnest, and sharing my journey with you. I hope to be someone you can relate to, whether you struggle with your weight or don’t. I promise to be honest and let you know how things are going. This is for me as much as it is for all of you--because, so far, I’m finding that being in the light isn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to add your comments in the comment section or send me an e-mail by clicking the “Contact” button. You also can subscribe to the blog and be notified when there is a new entry.

24 comments:

buffycat52 said...

Erika, I too am obese and I did the same thing with the metrics program offered here. I am taking this journey with you. I commend you for being brave to share your feelings.

Flynnsight said...

Erika Anderson, you've--unsurprisingly--outdone yourself here. Your transparency is inspirational, and I'm looking very forward to following you on this journey. Color me an Anderson cheerleader :-)

myself_theroad said...

I am so PROUD of you and always have been your biggest fan! I'm so happy that you are investing in yourself in this mannber because we ALL want you around for a long time. Who is going to babysit all these kids that I don't want to have?!?!? xoxo nell

magmom7 said...

Erika, Lange sent me to your blog and I'm glad she did. As you probably know I lost 80 pounds about a year ago with WW. However, I'm struggling to keep it off. Let's do this together! Your story sounds so similar to mine. Lose, gain, lose, gain - ugh!

I know you can do this. WW is the way we all should eat our entire lives. It's so hard, but you can do it!! Just think of where you will be in a year and how thrilled you will be to be there.

JanM said...

You go, birthday twin! See you at the meeting today!

Patty Gregory said...

Erika, this is incredible. I salute you and your courage to not only do this, but to share it with the world. Simply awesome.

Anonymous said...

You'll do great. So excited for you along your journey.

Frank said...

Good job! Keep up the good work. Very inspiring. :)

Haley said...

Good luck along your wellness journey!

Anonymous said...

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Good luck, Erika! You'll do great, and even in those instances where it won't feel like it, we'll be here to push you forward until you can take off again on your own. Love, rappy.

Megan said...

You're an inspiration! Please post often! I can't wait to follow you on your journey and hopefully lose some weight too!

rocko said...

Best of luck, Erika! I'm cheering for you here in Chicago. Love, rocko

Anonymous said...

You go girl!!! I'm your newest cheerleader! (I'm Laurie, the new parent at Ronald McDonald House You met last night)

Anonymous said...

Erika! YOU ARE SO BRAVE! I am so glad you are doing this blog, this journey! I have realized something about myself reading your words. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Good luck! Stay positive!

Sharon
CHOA RN

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing woman Erika...don't forget that. Love, Brant

Anonymous said...

I am SO proud of you! You know I'm always in your corner. :-) Love! Meagan

Mary Anne said...

I'm with you. You can do this.

Roosevelt said...

Test

Anonymous said...

You are going to be an inspiration to everyone at Children's! We are behind you.

Anonymous said...

You are doing so great. I am on this journey with you.

Ron F said...

Erika,

I too am an Erika fan! What you are doing is incredible and an inspiration to many of us. Thanks for your leadership!

Linda M said...

Love your blog...congrats on the 3.8 pounds - have a healthy weekend!

Libertad said...

Erika, I love your latest post! lol. You are hilarious- I am so freaking proud of you!!! I am impressed by your honesty. You're in this to win it, and that is truly inspirational. I applaud your discipline. Keep up the incredible work!!!