Divorced, Broke, and Fat: The 3 Words That Launched My Health Journey

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Divorced

I’m a Mexican American woman who came from a twice divorced home. My mom left my dad when I was ten. I remember sitting in my room, tears streaming down my face, as my mom told me that she was leaving my father. My dad with the old vintage cars, who made an amazing BBQ, and always held me when I was sad. Unhappiness masked my idyllic childhood and I was too young to fully comprehend or notice.

I swore I would never end up divorced. That I would fight for my marriage and we would work through it. At that time, I was 24 and married. I lived in that first year in marital bliss. Time passed and children happened. He worked in the oilfield and I stayed home.  I was held hostage financially because I had no out. I couldn’t leave because I was broke. I justified to myself that we had a good marriage. He wasn’t an alcoholic, an adulterer, or an abuser.

At 31, I lived a lie. We pretended to be married because we had become too co-dependent to be without each other. I wanted marriage counseling and he refused. It isnt all his fault though. I also contributed to the destruction of our marriage with my lack of trust and my low self esteem. I had fallen into a depression. All I did was sleep and eat. I barely remember the last few years and that is awful especially because of my children. They saved me though. Without them, it would have been meaningless.

Broke

So, I left. I have a BA in English but I was jobless and pretty much penniless. I was pregnant with our third baby and packing up what little belongings myself and my children had into my mom’s truck. I had to move in with her at 31. I felt like a failure. I wanted to hold onto the false hope that he would fight for our marriage.

Hollywood, you screwed up! It sorted of ended in a noisy battle of finger-pointing and it took me months to be able to say his name without crying. Being penniless makes you realize how grateful you are for family. My mom especially has helped me so much with my children. As I search for work, there are days I feel like just giving up but I can’t. I’m not giving up but transitioning and becoming stronger.

Fat

Yeah, momma got fat. I used to be a hottie or so my ex husband used to tell me. I let myself go. I’m not going to lie. I went from exercising everyday to not exercising at all. For six years, I ate nothing but fast food and hiding my shame in those sinfully delicious rumpled wrappers. It was a constant cycle of guilt and disgust.

I wanted revenge. Hey, whatever motivates you right? I started walking for 20 minutes a day when I was cleared from the doctor. A month later I started getting up at 5am to walk/jog, and then my mom got me a gym membership. I finally started to do it for me. I was happier and I wanted to be healthier. Those excess pounds to me were a reminder of what I had done to myself, of that unhappiness, of that feeling of hiding who I was behind the wall.

Empowerment

It’s never too late to start over. I’m now 3 months into getting up every day at 4:30am to hit the gym.  My baby is almost 6 months old. It took me 2 months to stop making excuses and get up out of my bed. There is something deliciously intoxicating about taking back control of your life. I can’t change everything but my health was the one thing I could change. I’m still broke and divorced but at least I’ll be healthy, happy, and able to play with my children.

We can all do this together. Share your hopes, dreams, and goals with my #doitforyou hashtag.

Jessica

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