I come from a small town, about 6 hours north of Ottawa, ON. I was born and raised in Sudbury, ON. Most of you probably never heard of the city (shocker!), because like mentioned, it’s a small town – essentially a hole in the ground. I spent 24 years of my life there and I was due for a change. I wanted to take control of my life, I wanted to create my own story and I wanted to become somebody. I didn’t feel that I could achieve my goals in Sudbury (in the long run.)
In January 2014, I moved to Ottawa, ON. I completed 525 hours in the biggest law firm in Ottawa (for free) in order to receive my diploma as a Law Clerk. Moving 6 hours away from home can really take a toll on you – both mentally and physically. I missed my family, I missed my friends, I missed by God daughter and my nephew…but most of all, I missed familiarity. I stayed with a family member for approximately 8 months, where I made my room my new “home”. I became very stressed out financially, I became very lonely as I didn’t know anyone here, and my love life was non-existent. I went on dates that never seemed to workout, I met a lot of “characters” and I got stood up more than once.
Summer was quickly approaching. I had been in Ottawa for 5 months now and hadn’t really made any friends – which was a bit strange because I once was a social butterfly. Back in Sudbury, I was pretty athletic. I played on 2-3 softball teams, I would play pick-up hockey, I played in a pick-up volleyball league and I was also developing a passion for the gym. I didn’t want my first summer in Ottawa to be spent inactive, so I put up an add on Kijiji seeing if there was a softball team that would pick me up. I got a ton of replies in regards to playing, which I was ecstatic about! After a few conversations with this one team, I chose to play with them. Things were about to take a turn around.
I had the opportunity to play in a tournament 2 weeks after joining the team. This was a significant event in my life. That weekend, May 31st, 2014 – this is where I laid eyes on Steve. You know how some people tell you that you just “know” when you meet someone? Well, I just “knew” that Steve was going to be someone quite significant in my life. After just one week of talking to each other, making me feel like a school girl all over again, we entered into our relationship (June 7, 2014). What Steve didn’t know, was that I was broken, I had anxiety, I suffered from severe depression…and I still had suicidal thoughts. But soon enough, he would find out.
A new relationship usually comes with weight gain. For some, it’s minimal and for other’s, it piles on quickly. Steve and I lived about 40 minutes away from each other, so we use to always meet up halfway to grab a bite to eat. We did this about 5 days a week – eating out, and let me tell you, my choices were never healthy. You can only imagine the weight I gained. I very quickly became more insecure, I became jealous, I became someone I tried so hard not to be. Why did he stick around? That’s a mystery to me, but I am so grateful that he did. I put that man through a lot, I tested him every single day and I became insecure to the point that if he didn’t text me back right away, I began texting him repeatedly until he answered. I was ashamed that the once “spunky” Roxanne, you know, the one who once was independent and carefree…she was LONG gone.
In October 2014, I remember waking up on a weekend to Steve by my side. It was common to have sleep overs on the weekends, and often during the week. On that morning, I requested that Steve take pictures of me, in hopes that these would become my “before” photos. It’s not something I wanted to do, but I knew it had to be done. I don’t think I had realized how much weight I had actually gained since I met Steve, but let me tell you, those pictures hit really hard.
Some of you may look at this picture and see it has an improvement from when I was 13, or you may think that I am not “obese”, but what you don’t know, is that just 1 year prior to this picture, I was approximately 25-30lbs lighter. In just one year…this is what happened.
I made a vow that I would change my life around. I allowed Steve to raid my cupboards where I was residing, and help me get started. I remember this day like it were yesterday. Steve had come across: Doritos, Dill Pickle chips, candy, a variety of chocolate, ice cream (oh how I LOVED ice cream), popcorn (extra extra buttery) and so many other foods that were contributing to my weight gain. I had an excuse and justification for LITERALLY everything! Most of the time, my justifications were “let’s save that for a cheat meal”; “I have this for when company comes over”; “that’s there because…..(I was literally trying to make up any excuse I could on the spot)”. I was so angry with him for throwing out all of these items. This was money I had now “wasted” on food, and all thanks to him. Again, I made it very difficult on Steve.
After clearing out my pantry of all the bad food for me (and drinks), it was time to really focus on being active and eating right. The funny thing about this, was that I had been a GoodLife member since January 2014, and I was working out about 4 days a week. But what they say is true…
“YOU CAN’T OUT-TRAIN A BAD DIET”
Even though we went through all the necessary steps, I still somehow couldn’t start. I wasn’t ready to start. When I looked at my pictures, I was so disgusted and disappointed that I allowed myself to get that heavy, that I just didn’t care. I didn’t want to put in the hard work; I didn’t want to stop enjoying what I ate; I didn’t want to spend my spare time in the gym working for a body I probably wouldn’t ever achieve.
I was so unhappy with myself, that I was pushing everyone close to me as far away as possible – especially Steve. I didn’t feel worthy of him. I would ask myself daily “why me?”; “it’s just a matter of time until he leaves me for some skinny, beautiful, smart girl” – that’s what I convinced myself. I wanted to change so badly, but I didn’t know where to start. I attended counselling for several weeks, but it didn’t really seem to work (in the long run anyway). By Christmas 2014, the darkness I had once experienced in my childhood, was coming back with a vengeance. Once again, I wanted more than ever to take my own life away. I was THAT unhappy with myself, that I wanted out. I remember being in the kitchen one evening, trying to fight my jealousy. I couldn’t control myself, my thoughts or at this point, the words that came spewing out of my mouth. It wasn’t pleasant, but we somehow passed that and we came out stronger than ever.
In February 2015, I had enough. I was sick and tired of being in this dark hole. It was time to change my life around, and I was going to do whatever it took to do it. It took 9 whole months since we met in order to just make myself ready. February 2015: that’s where it ALL began!