The “O” Word

This is a rare photo of me from head to toe without my children strategically placed in front of me.  My daughter asked to take my picture and you can't say no to a 5 year old with a camera.

This is a rare photo of me from head to toe without my children strategically placed in front of me. My daughter asked to take my picture and you can’t say no to a 5-year-old with a camera.

Am I obese? Yes, yes I am. I am finally using the “O” word. I’ve never denied I have a problem, but I’ve always used “cute terms” to describe myself. I’m full-figured. I’m overweight. I’m plump. I’m the fat chick. No, I am medically obese. I need to lose more than 100 pounds to be even considered overweight. This is the harsh reality that I’ve hidden from most of my life.

Finally, as of 2013, I am taking control of my obesity. I’m 44 years old and admitting I am not in control of my weight. I know I can control it, but it has been a struggle since childhood. Now as a mom, I don’t want my children to have this issue. I can’t protect them from everything in this world, but having an obese mother isn’t going to help them nor does it set a good example.

 Fortunately, I married a man who loves me through thick and thin and when I’m thick or thin. Not once has he complained about my weight, but I know he wants me happy and healthy. Don’t we all want that for our loved ones?

 Of course my family is part of the reason I am on this new weight loss journey, but the biggest reason is I want to feel normal. I want to run and walk and climb without thinking about my weight and having to stop to catch my breath. I don’t want to be the biggest woman in the room. I want to join conversations about clothes and exercising without feeling like I don’t fit in. I don’t want to be known as the fat mom. I want to be known for who I am – the smart, funny, cute woman, the mom of the fairytale children and the wife of a smart, funny handsome man, a good friend to people, a writer…just Jen.

 I am starting my new weight loss journey next month with gastric sleeve surgery. This isn’t a decision I’ve made lightly. In many ways, I feel like a failure in that I need surgery to take control of my health. And yes, I’ve tried every diet, exercise and drug available.

At 44, I want to enjoy my life and my body. I want to be a runner. I want to take hikes. I want to wear a bathing suit without fear or shame. I want to be normal and I know this uncomfortable, stressed, obese woman isn’t really me. Gastric sleeve surgery is just one of the tools I will use to find the person I know I am.

 I’m starting Down The Scale to share my journey. I hope to keep myself accountable to my weight loss, but I am openly looking for support and the sharing of experiences. While I feel like I’m the only one in my immediate community who looks and feels this way, I know I am not. We all have fears, struggles and dreams and they’re not always the same. Not everyone will agree with my actions and opinions and I’m OK with that. Supporting someone doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with them, but when it comes from a place of love it is important to take it in.

 Thank you for reading and hopefully being a part of my Down The Scale community. Here’s to finding peace, happiness, humor and love in our lives….


26 responses to “The “O” Word

  1. Diane Bukowski

    Good for you Jen! I’m proud to be your sorority sister. I also have some weight to lose so I will travel your journey with you. Best of luck, and here’s to healthy beginnings!


  2. Jen, You are an amazing person and a great writer! I support you 100% and I am looking forward to reading your blog.


  3. You have always been Jen to me…Jen one of my best supporters, Jen one of the strongest people I know or would it be Jen one of the strongest persons I know…help me out here Jen. See how much I still need you!


  4. Your honesty and realness is so beautiful, warm, and welcoming. I think we all struggle with body image in some form or another and can relate to the feelings you describe. I appreciate your openness because these truths are not easy to share, but when one person does, it gives someone else the courage to step forward and say, “Me too.” Together, there is hope. Thank you, Jen. I look forward to sharing your reflections.


  5. stacie cunningham

    -“the smart, funny, cute woman, the mom of the fairytale children and the wife of a smart, funny handsome man, a good friend to people, a writer…just Jen.”-
    this is exactly how i always thought of and think of you, Jen! but at the same time i applaud you for taking measures to be a healthier, happier mom AND person… to each his own and i always say-if you can do it-just do it!, no matter what it is you’re going to do…we miss you lots here in LWR!


  6. stacie cunningham

    sorry-forgot to add that i will be thinking about you and praying that everything goes perfectly and a speedy recovery and all that… 😉 😉


  7. Wow, Jen! Good for you! I will be happy to jump on the bandwagon with you!! I started a weight loss journey of my own a few months ago and I often look to the online community for support…the fact that I actually know you is an added plus! I have overhauled my diet and cleaned it up significantly, and I am finally to the point where working out is a habit I actually enjoy! A few sessions with a personal trainer has helped tremendously as well! Check out an app called “my fitness pal” if you have not already, it is free and very helpful! I also love “Clean Eating Magazine” which is full of great ideas, product reviews and (mostly) easy recipes! Let’s help each other with the battle of the bulge! Much love to you!


  8. Incredibly inspiring, Jen. I, too, am proud to be a fellow Phi Mu sis…who needs to follow a similar path. Though I am very active and engage in regular sport, I struggle against my Hahimoto’s Syndrome and a life-long battle to find my happy outside me. I am so proud of you and your dec
    ision! I eagerly await to read your blog and also look forward to our next reunion…


  9. Hashimoto…a little typo from my tablet 🙂


  10. Good for you Jen! No need to apologise for the solution you’ve chosen, the important thing is to reach your goals and if that’s the right way for you – go for it. We’ll be watching your progress and cheering along the way. Maybe it’s time I took a long hard look in the mirror…..


  11. Michele lewallen

    Way to go Jen! As you know I am the other fat lady in the room at Lafayette functions. I could totally relate to every single word of your post. I started to tackle my obesity problem in March and I’ve lost 30 pounds and so excited to lose more. I am proud of you for making this change it will only make us even more awesome hot mamas. Let’s keep in touch over the summer and maybe take a few walks together. I will keep reading for inspiration.


    • Thank you so much, Michele! It’s nice to know I’m not along at Lafayette! We will be the two awesome hot mamas! And congratulations on your weight loss! Inspiring!! Let’s walk for sure!


  12. Jen. You are awesome. The real meaning of courage is doing something for someone or for yourself that done because of your love for others. Your love for your family is beyond comment……words are trivial.

    PS sorry for the genetic contribution Love you always


  13. Georgine De Ano

    Jen, I love that you are writing again! Wishing you the best of luck and please know we are behind you 100%! YOU GO GIRL! Hugs, Jeannie


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