I remember being teased about being fat in second grade; it lasted into high school. When I was 10, my mom offered to pay me for every pound I lost. It just made me feel like there was something wrong with me.

My mom was overweight as well; I saw boxes of diet pills in the kitchen as she pushed us to clean our plates. About the same time, I became a latchkey kid. When I came home after a long day of being teased, the only one there to comfort me was last night’s cold spaghetti.

The spaghetti worked just as well after listening to my parents fight. In college, I finally got my very first boyfriend (now my husband). When my dad met him, he said, “Take her for a walk around the block, would ya?”

I was mortified.

When I got engaged, my future parents-in-law tried to dissuade my fiancé from marrying me; they didn’t want fat grandkids. That sent me into a spiral, and I gained even more.

My favorite aunt died in 1998 of diabetes, and I vowed that I wouldn’t end up like she did, with dialysis, multiple amputations and failing eyesight.

I never really knew what to do about my weight until I finally tried Weight Watchers in 1999 in preparation for trying to conceive. I lost 60 lbs.

Two babies later, I was back up around 30 lbs. Back to WW, but it didn’t take.

As a last-ditch before considering bariatric surgery, I signed up with a personal trainer. After eating the equivalent of 5 chicken breasts a day for 18 months I lost about 60 lbs with him and got to my all-time lowest adult weight of 181. Felt great, but when I ran out of money, I lost my accountability and the weight crept back up.

The more I gained, the worse I felt; the worse I felt, the more I gained.

In November 2007, my aging mom moved into town. The stress associated with that triggered a deep depression; I was in counseling for six months and I was on medication for about 18 months. At the moment, I’m also battling acne and plantar fasciitis.

In April 2011, my mom died after a year-long battle with lung cancer.

I’m back at WW now, but I’ve gained a lot of weight (due to caregiving stress). I’m a member at  SparkPeople.com as well for the added motivation.

Last year, my then-5-year-old daughter was referred to the Weight Management Center at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. We’re working with the team there to work on increasing healthy choices and behaviors; not just for my daughter, but for the whole family.

Say a prayer for us!