I finally reached the point when I had to just get it done.  But, I didn’t arrive at this point standing in front of the mirror and observing to myself, “Whoa, you’re looking a little plump around the edges, Donna, you really should do something about this fat thing you got going on.”  If that were the only necessary step, I’d have been svelte and sassy my entire life!

I belong to this amazing family:  The Schwalm’s.  There are probably hundreds of us by now, spanning four generations.  My grandparents had nine children and their children have had children who’ve had children!  (Zero population growth?   Tis to laugh!)  Among us though, are several short individuals.  My Mom is five feet tall, my Aunt Deb is a little shorter than my Mom and the rest of us get progressively taller, past six feet even.  I’ve always been five foot four inches.  Recent chiropractic visits gave me another half-inch which I proudly claim, so now I’m a glorious five foot four and one-half inches!  But, I digress.

We used to lovingly tease my Aunt Deb about her inability to ‘slink’ because she was short.  (Definition of slink:  The ability to “work it, baby!”  Oh snap!)  Well, I can’t slink either.  I’ve only got four inches on my aunt, but all this extra weight prevents the entire slink thing from happening.  In my opinion, short people who are also obese have a really tough time pulling off sexy, it doesn’t matter what level of confidence we own.  Well, I am drop dead sexy inside and I need to see it in my reflection!

So, I have this great list of reasons why I am obese today.

  • I had four cesarean sections which have destroyed my abdominal wall.   (I’m a kangaroo.  Ugh.)
  • My ob/gyn told me I shouldn’t exercise my abdomen if it still hurt (I’m talking months after I had my boys, he still told me that!  Who am I to argue with a doctor?)
  • I made horrible husband choices.  The first cheated, the second abused me.
  • Taking care of one/two/three/four children is a lot of work.
  • I work hard all day; when I get home the last thing I want to do is work-out.
  • There isn’t enough time in my day to dedicate to just me.  (How selfish would I be?)
  • I had a special needs child.
  • I don’t have enough money, shouldn’t even THINK of spending any on myself (i.e. gym membership, workout DVD, etc.), not while I have children at home.
  • My boyfriend broke up with me.
  • I’m allergic to Texas.
  • Food hates me.

However, I needed to accept:

  • I gained 50 pounds during each pregnancy and only lost 25 after.  My pouch is real, but so are the 100 pounds I kept on.
  • My ob/gyn was absurdly out-of-date.  Good at delivering babies and great bedside manner.  But honestly?  I latched onto his “medical opinion” and didn’t let go.
  • Unconsciously remaining “fat and ugly” to keep my second husband at arm’s length never worked.  Tried it for almost ten years.  No bueno.
  • If I don’t spend a little on myself, I’m not going to live long enough to be a Nonna!  I want to be around when my grandchildren are born!
  • I can’t control the decisions other people make; I can only control my response to them.
  • A healthy, happy Momma is a better parent.
  • Food doesn’t hate me.  I’m flavor-addicted.  I NEED to taste.
  • I AM allergic to Texas.  The air in Houston is very unhealthy and my asthma diagnosis prevents me from exercising effectively outside, so I have to figure out how to do it inside.

Overcoming all my well-developed excuses hasn’t been easy.  This has been a long and arduous battle.

I got rid of the second husband – not because I needed to lose weight!  I gave birth to four beautiful reasons to never endure abuse and I’m pretty special myself.  Abuse is something I fell into; I certainly didn’t sign up for it.  But the gradual brain-washing I stoically endured took a great toll on me.  Group therapy at Katy Christian Ministries and their support system changed my life.  I needed time to lick my wounds, to grasp and overcome what I experienced, what my children experienced, gain an understanding of how he developed and maintained control of me for so long – Identifying Abusive Behaviors.  I couldn’t have done it as well and as swiftly as I did were it not for KCM.

There were many times I sunk into depression as I struggled to become a survivor of domestic abuse instead of a victim.  Depression is debilitating if not addressed.  I’m not shy.  I have suffered some very serious lows I just couldn’t manage to climb out of on my own.  Recognizing and accepting my weakness, I sought help from my doctor.   Short term medicinal therapy helped me get over some difficult hurdles.

Once my brain was healthy again, I had to be honest with myself and take full responsibility for what I put into my body.  I open my mouth and I insert food.  I chew it, I swallow it and I reach for the next bite.  I continue this process, mostly hurried, until I have over-eaten.  Nobody forces me to eat.  I do it all on my own.  And my intake level surpasses my activity level to such a point I have successfully maintained a 100 pound excess!!  Thinking positively, I can’t wait until I get to maintain a healthy 140 pounds because I have this maintenance thing down cold!

To that end, I was again at the gym today.  Troy, Obstructor of Obesity, confirmed I would be coming Friday for my second session of sweat and pain.  I proceeded to the elliptical rider, did my mini mile and went back to work.

I’m in a good place.  I suffered a bit of anxiety today while contemplating an open position within my company I feel qualified to fill.  Normally, I’d have calmed the vultures in my stomach with something to eat but I wasn’t hungry.  I didn’t eat.  Hurray!



  1. Sharon Donovan said,

    9 August, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Your courage to be open about all this is inspiring. I believe your courage is also what will ultimately bring you to the weight you’re aspiring to achieve. You WILL do it!!

    • 9 August, 2011 at 10:42 PM

      I agree. I have never seen my mom be so confident in herself that she CAN lose this weight if she puts her mind to it. I’m very proud of her, and glad to say that Donna Lynn Smith is my mother.

  2. 9 August, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    It sounds like you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle….good job!!! Be careful while exercising with your heart….take it easy at first….but you’re definitely on your way, girl….:)

  3. bonnie said,

    10 August, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    I’m so proud of you, Donna! You know, strangely we share a lot in common in the bad husbands dept., But I also moved on and got therapy. I needed to understand why I would let myself be treated that way so that it would NEVER happen again. It sounds like you are on a true voyage of self discovery and I want to tell you, girl, enjoy the ride! The views are spectacular!

    • TealThumb said,

      10 August, 2011 at 8:13 AM

      Hey Bonnie! 🙂

      Every time I hear about another person who’s come out of an abusive relationship, I am elated! The social stigma and ignorance surrounding domestic violence, whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, verbal or spiritual, is oppressive. It took so much strength to rise up, but once I took the first step, I became like a train gathering speed. I’m almost at full power now!

      If there’s one gift I could give to every person suffering in an abusive relationship, it would be the knowledge they aren’t alone at all. What a difference it made in my life. Thank you so much for sharing!


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