What It's Like to Walk in My Shoes

I'm writing this because I've heard so many of your stories and I think it's only fair that I share with you more of my own story, my struggle…my weight loss journey to success. I know how you all feel.

Posted on | Jennifer Szall | Comments ()

I'm writing this because I've heard so many of your stories  and I think it's only fair that I share with you more of my own story, my struggle…my weight loss journey to success. I know how you all feel.

For those of you with children you'll appreciate this: On my 30th birthday I had a 1-month old baby, and 4- and 6-year-old daughters! I was overweight and exhausted. That night a few family members came over to wish me a happy birthday. My mom bought me a fat-free chocolate cake and made the comment, "See Jennifer, you can eat this cake and not worry about gaining weight!" I know she meant well, but after they, left I cried my eyes out. I was so embarrassed for being so fat.

Maybe you can relate to this one too: I was at a family get-together enjoying everyone’s company. Because of my weight, I didn't go out much. About halfway through the party a family member asked me if I was pregnant again! No, I said and I joked about my weight. Later that night at home I once again felt sad and ashamed about my weight.

I work out hard and sometimes I still feel ashamed and this is why: No matter how healthy I eat and with all the exercise I do, I still have a bit of a belly. I've heard Dr. Oz talk about this on his show, and because of having 3 children and gaining weight, I realize that I'm stuck with it due to torn muscles. If you poke my belly it's as hard as a rock, but looking at it you'd say, "She has a little jiggle!"

This bothers me after all my hard work, but I know it was my pregnancies that did it. It bothers me so much, I sometimes wish for a tummy tuck to take away the final reminder of my overweight, emotional days.

My gym story; this one took a lot of courage to share: I decided to join a gym. My hair dresser turned friend, Kim gave me a good nudge to do so. That, combined with what my doctor was telling me, I knew it was time to take action. I remember walking up the gym steps in my husband’s baggy t-shirt, size 18 sweatpants and a pair of old sneakers. My heart was racing; never belonging to a gym before I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was so embarrassed of my weight that it took every fiber of my being to do this.

I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined the gym. It took me a long time to build up the endurance I have today, and at one point my knees were so bad due to my weight, I actually had to slow down at the gym and lose more weight so my knees could handle the work outs that I now love to do at the gym.

Finally, I'd like to say that because of the way my feelings were hurt while I was overweight, that sometimes, even though you all see a thin, confident, happy, and positive me, there are still times when I know I take things a bit too personally.  It's like being snapped right back to the fat me. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen. I'm still working on moving past the “fat me” emotions.

So you see, I do relate with many of your stories and I know how if feels. I believe in treating people the way you would want to be treated. We can't control society, but we can control ourselves.

As I've said before, I'm here to help you all succeed on your weight loss/maintenance journey. It seems as though my journey has lead me here, to try to help all of you with my knowledge and past experiences.

Maybe if we all thought about what it was like to walk in someone else's shoes, we could offer them some of our knowledge instead of judgment.

Blog written by Jennifer Szall
My name is Jennifer Reopell Szall and after giving birth to my first daughter in 1992, I began the weight loss yo-yo game and...