Fat. F-A-T. I used to be it. Now I’m not. There are many people who find this term offensive, and might want to tell me I just said something vulgar. In my case, it’s just the truth. I wasn’t almost 200 lbs because I was so muscular, I weighed that much because my body was covered in fat. So I was fat.
Want to see how I got to there?
Here I am at 16 years old. Wasn’t I precious?
Looking back on these pictures of my weight change I realize why I always had a boyfriend in high school and never had them in college.
This was the time when my sister and I looked more alike than we ever have. I wonder if we went to this church dance attempting to look like twins?
High School Me: “That Wife Jenna, take that picture down right now! How awful to be seen in our swimsuit.”
That Wife Me: “High School Jenna, we have never looked so good!”
Now you understand where I started from. Somehwere around 140 lbs, thin (for me) and muscular from years of sports and dancing. I started college and it didn’t take long for me to lose control. In April of 2004 I still looked good but you can see I started to get a little bit of a belly.
One thing that you usually don’t think about in relation to gaining weight is that you don’t take pictures as often. If you aren’t happy with your body you aren’t going to be jumping in front of the camera every chance you get. So I find that there are huge gaps in the pictures I have of myself, and the changes in my body end up looking incredibly drastic. I look at the pictures now and wonder how I could have missed preventing such a huge change in my body.
The picture above was taken in April 2004, the picture below in December. Only 8 months to get to this point.
This is my 20th birthday party, April 2005. I can’t stop scrolling between the picture of me in April 2004 where I look healthy and happy wearing white and yellow (two colors that disappeared from my wardrobe for several years), and this one where I look almost unrecognizable.
3 months after my 80’s themed 20th birthday party I moved into an apartment in the same complex as That Husband. We weren’t just neighbors, we were next door neighbors. If you walked out of my door, took a left, and knocked on the next door you would have met my cute and slightly nerdy future husband.
People often ask what took us so long to meet. Why didn’t we start spending all of our time together in July of 2005 instead of January of 2007? Truthfully, it’s because I looked like this. One of the things I love most about my relationship with That Husband is our ability to be honest about touchy subjects. We both acknowledge that I was so heavy at this point that he never would have been interested in me. If our roles were reversed and he were 50 lbs heavier than he is now I probably wouldn’t have been interested in him either. It sounds harsh, but it’s simply the rules of attraction. If I hadn’t lost all this weight, we could have become friends, but we would never be married.
In October of 2005 I dressed as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween. I wandered around at the big Halloween party at the house next door for a little bit, but then I just came back up and watched a movie. I wasn’t happy with who I was and it showed.
While I was upstairs sulking my roommates were wandering around dresses like cute little fairies. On the right you can see my roommate Megan, and on the left is my future husband! Why didn’t I dress up like a fairy with them and take a picture with that hot guy dressed as Zorro!??!
By this time I was medically considered obese, falling behind in school, and unhappy. I was leading a really social life and participating in loads of activities, but I was also spending lots of time talking using the free counseling program that BYU provides. I started taking Prozac and I started scheduling regular appointments with my bishop (church leader). One day he recommended a psychiatrist to me, unlike my couseling through BYU I would have to pay for her, but said she had been very successful with cases like mine in the past.
I went, and I told her what was on my mind. She paused, and then handed me a book that changed my life…
Oh, did you not realize this was a multi-part story? I’m leaving you in suspense over the weekend concerning what the book was. Any guesses?