Hanford mom getting national attention for gaining weight

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's not the usual headline. A Hanford mom is getting national attention for gaining weight! She says she lost herself in her mission to drop the pounds. So, Joni Edelman started writing about it, never realizing that her "reverse" before and after pictures would grab the attention of bloggers from around the world.

Edelman, a mom of five, posted a picture of herself as a size four, in a bathing suit, next to a picture of much larger version of herself. The same face, with a lot of years and a lot of heartache in between. She said, "Before I was thin, and I was working so hard to be thin and now I'm fat and I don't mind saying the word fat I'm a plus sized woman and I'm happier."

Edelman realized she didn't like what she weighed and didn't like the way she looked while working nights and going to nursing school. So she started counting calories. What happened next was a downward spiral. "Within a few weeks I was running within less than a month I was marathon training and it really was purely what I saw in the mirror. A hundred percent and I looked and saw nothing about my body that made me happy."

The numbers plummeted down on the scale. In six months she lost 60 pounds. Running 35-40 miles a week, not sleeping, and not eating. She felt she needed to lose the baby weight and maintain a perfect figure for her husband. "I just said to him I feel like this was false advertising. I feel like you married a thin woman and I can't be that thin and I'm sorry."

He told her looks didn't matter, and Edelman says those were the words she needed- the permission to stop worrying about it. So she started another journey. This time, putting the numbers back on the scale. "Thin-ness was not the cure to my unhappiness, it didn't make me more happy-it was obviously easier to shop for clothes etc. but at the end of the day when I looked in the mirror I was still the same person."

It didn't happen overnight. It took five years -- but she tells us, finally, she's fat- is physically feeling better and she's truly happy about it.

Her essay has certainly gotten people talking, media outlets from all over the world have since contacted her. She tells me she just wants to send the message -- that everyone should be happy with themselves just the way they are.

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