I was a tall and very slender child. OK I was borderline scrawny there for a few years. I guess nobody even realized it until they looked at photos later and discovered they could count my ribs through my swim suit. I had a healthy appetite. So my weight was never questioned. I went through a few years where I bruised easily as well, and I’ve always been a klutz, so more often than not I had a bruise I could not explain. But puberty came, and I started softening out. I was in a bra by third grade, and by 6th I was more endowed than most of my classmates. I remember always trying to hide my boobs under baggy t shirts in 5th grade. I had a class of 12, and only 4 of which were girls. Needless to say out of us 4, I was the only one who had really sprouted anything beyond little baby boob buds. So I was pretty happy when I hit 6th and we had integrated into a larger school district and I found girls with just as much development as I did. But I still gravitated towards shapeless t shirts, it had become a habit.
In high-school, I knew I was chubbier than the other girls. But I never felt huge. I never felt pretty, and was always self conscious about my body, but I didn’t feel huge and gross or anything. I started getting out of just t shirts and wearing better fitted tops. I think I maxed out in a size 15, but the beginning of my senior year I was down to an 11. I was pretty excited because I could actually wear a bunch of cute baby tees I had found on sale at JC Penney. I had developed more confidence in my body, and while I still didn’t wear shorts (long story but I was always most self conscious about my legs and arms more than my middle back then) I could rock these cute shirts. Yea, there was NO hiding the fact I had large boobs, but I looked really cute and I was happy with that.
And then a few weeks later I was sitting in a pregnancy clinic and being told that I was pregnant. At 18. Barely even 18. Which for the record had really nothing to do with the new confidence and clothes that sparked the reckless behavior. The confidence was me making peace in a horribly emotionally abusive relationship that had just ended and I was free and celebrating me. The pregnancy was me making a bad decision in the healing process and leaning on the guy I had actually lost my virginity to and one of the few males I really trusted to spend time with and needless to say I spent the next few months gaining weight.
My son was born right after graduation. Two weeks after. I did graduate. With honors. I gained 35 pounds and gave birth to a 9 pound 3 ounce baby. And a week later I was wearing those size 11 jeans again. Go me, right? Well I went back to work right away, and I worked at an amusement park. Part of what had gotten me slimmed down every summer, I was a very active ride attendant. Sweaty active work. But I was gaining weight. By August I was up to a 13. I was on the Patch and it was the logical explanation. I was starting to feel more self conscious about my weight and realizing I was definitely gaining and bigger than I wanted to be but I had no clue what to do. The next summer, I was a 15. And I went on Depo a year in a half after my son was born. I boomed to an 18 where I have pretty much stayed. Although in fairness, I was a large 18, nearly 20 often in the last decade. But it was then that I really started calling myself FAT.
I had a doctors appointment when my son was five or six, and I needed some lab work done. I was having horrible menstrual cramps pretty much always. Nobody could figure out why. Walking down the hallway to the lab I was reading the sheet my doctor sent me with, looking at the tests he had ordered and there in the diagnosis line was the word that crushed my spirits. Obesity was his diagnosis and cause of my pain and suffering. I’ve had this doctor since I was 11. He had watched me gain the weight after my son was born, and not once ever spoke up. Not once asked if I was concerned or wanted to do anything or needed help. Not once voiced his concern that I had gained so much weight in a few years. And then he could scribble that down and still take no action to help me.
I went home and cried. I cried hard. Obese. This was always a word used for these women who wheezed when they walked, couldn’t get up out of a chair without grunting and often needing help. The large women who waddled and wore Mu-Mus. Actually if you have ever seen the show on TLC about these 600 pound individuals getting gastric bypass surgery. Well that is what I was raised hearing obese describing. Not people my size. I was devastated. My confidence plummeted. What little I had left at this point. I battled depression through a lot up to this point, including another abusive relationship, and struggling being the mom of a special needs child. I had no worry about the size of my butt I knew it was getting big but the word obesity wrecked me, and I felt like a monumental failure at this moment.
In the last several years, I have done extreme calorie counting, everything going in, everything burned. I tracked it all. I joined the gym. I did really good on goals. And I barely lost weight. I sort of yo-yo. Losing weight seems to be a very slow process for me. I am getting back on the wagon here very soon as I will be moving into my own place, just me and my son and it will be easier to control our diet and create home workout plans. My son is overweight now too, and of course I have to carry some of that shame and responsibility. Both of us have lost all the healthy progress I had made in my life when I moved in with my mother when we left to move and start a new life a and five years later with another state jumping move under us we are still cohabiting, but in a very small space. Which will be changing once I take the plunge and switch jobs and get my tax return back.
I don’t expect I will see size 11 again. It is possible, but it would be probably a very long journey. But I don’t care as much about size now as I do feeling good about myself. I am not the sloppy t shirt wearing dust bunny I was. So even if I don’t see fantastic results, just being healthier and happier is the goal. The rest will fall into place. I refuse to take pills, shakes, creams, or patches in a false attempt to make a miracle happen. If I lose inches it will be because I worked them off.