The Journey Ahead

This year has had many changes and challenges.

I had my second baby, and along with that came some extra weight. I was lucky enough not to go through postpartum depression again, but with the ever-changing daily life and adjustment to having two small children, I wasn’t eating well and used food for stress relief, because, well…. being a stay-at-home parent, my options for stress relief are a little more limited.

Over the last 12 years or so, I have slowly gained weight every year. It started in college when I had more freedom and choices. I ate tons of greasy carbs, and during my last year of school, would go out to the bar a couple of times a week.

But it wasn’t until after my second baby that it started to really get to me. It was something I had thought about from time to time, but it wasn’t so devastating to until something else happened. Sometime during the summer I started gaining some weight and went up a pant size. I had been in the size previous to this for a few years, so it made me very upset and I didn’t know what to do. 

My husband started the ketogenic diet, and I tried briefly with him, but a lack of planning and a lack of gallbladder made it difficult to stick with. Then, during a weekend visiting my family, a total stranger made a very intrusive comment, which I will not repeat because it was very hurtful.

I honestly lost it.

I have never had someone comment on my body in the way this woman did. It caught me off guard how she felt the need to say anything to me in the first place. It was not intentionally hurtful, but she also had no business saying anything to start with as no one should ever moment on someone else’s body. Especially if the person is a stranger. 

I spent maybe three of four hours crying about what she said, wallowed in self-pity, and felt a little self-hate. (Of course we are our own worst critic). 

For a short time before that, I had been looking into some different diet changes that seemed to be more sustainable for me, and less limiting than the keto diet. A friend of mine had a lot of success doing Weight Watchers, so I decided to ask her for information about it.

Within a week of what this lady said to me, I started Weight Watchers. I won’t say it was her words that made me do it, but it certainly gave me a push to get started and a swift kick in the butt to see that this is not what I want for myself.

So far, I have lost at least 11 pounds (I didn’t have a scale for the first two weeks, so I don’t know what my starting weight actually was). I have a ways to go still but I am proud of myself for sticking with it because there are times when I get tired of it. I’m hoping to be down at least 15 pounds total by the time the new year starts. I then hope to continue losing until I feel comfortable with both my weight and my appearance.

I know life can be stressful, but I encourage any of you thinking about trying to get healthy to do it! Weight Watchers is fairly easy for me, and I’m not even going to meetings. I use the app they have with membership. I have definitely been able to see a difference in my food choices since I began. I used to spend my days eating a lot of sugar and that is certainly one of the reasons I got to the place I was in. 

I really am pushing myself to stick with it because I want something more for myself. I don’t want to be the “fat” mom. 

My hope for next year is to be a better me. I want to be a better mom, and a happier person. Weighing less will help in many ways, but I think it will be one less thing to bring me down in the New Year. Please wish me luck! 

And if any of you reading this are struggling with your weight, you are not alone! I think it happens to many of us, and we need to learn to love ourselves more. Cut yourself some slack! We all make mistakes and the biggest one would be to give up on yourself. 

What are ways you have improved yourself this year? Do you have any resolutions for the new year? Sound off in the comments below! 


About Mary Spangler

Mary was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently lives on Scott Air Force Base with her husband, SSG Spangler, their two sons and cat. Previous duty stations include Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Rivanna Station, Virginia, and Fort Shafter, Hawaii. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University in 2009. During her college years she also spent some time volunteering for the Student Veteran’s Association, and participated briefly in the Army ROTC program. She loves writing, music, gardening, watching documentaries and movies, cooking, hosting get-togethers, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

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