From the time I was a small child I fought with my addiction to food and body image. I was never fat as a kid but I often compared myself to classmates and friends around me. And as I progressed through the dreaded teenage years the same thing happen. I never felt good enough in sports, didn’t matter what the stats said, I needed to be better. Yep! I’m a little competitive! If I couldn’t be the best then I didn’t want to play! I felt like I was always competing and most of the time it was with myself. It didn’t matter what it was, I competed. I competed against food! I thought if I stayed at a certain weight that life would be so much better. I’d be cooler, funnier, life of the party! But every time I looked in the mirror all I could see was fatness. I body shammed myself every single day. Pick myself apart. My butt was too big, I had thunder thighs… my stomach wasn’t flat enough. I felt like I was deformed and ugly. I was neither of those things but it was a constant battle within. I used to eat a Zesta cracker for lunch and I would break that cracker into fours. The more I limited my food the better I thought I felt… which in reality I had no energy, my muscles were weak and so on. I didn’t want any of my friends or family to know what I was doing to myself… I liked being the life of the party and laughter was always my way of fixing everything that I hated about myself! I took it from starving myself to binge eating and making myself throw up. I liked how food made me feel and the rush I got and instant gratification… but I would soon feel horrible for eating all those calories and knew I had to get rid of them. Once I got out of high school and away from that environment, I tried to focus and eat the way I was supposed too.
After high school I got married at 19, and had my son before I turned 22. I was in an very abusive marriage and that did not help with how I felt about my body. He would make horrible references to my body and how fat I was getting. That my ass, “looked like chewed bubblegum” I did gain a lot of weight while I was pregnant… before pregnancy I weighed about 125-130 and while I was pregnant I soared to 185… shortly after giving birth I found the strength to divorce him and start a new life with my son. I had tons of support from my family and friends. But there were scars that would not heal and the more I tried to lose that “baby weight” the more it shadowed me.
I struggled and struggled throughout the years after my divorce. I was a single parent and I hated to cook! So we didn’t eat the best of foods to say the least! Sonic and Pizza Hut and processed foods. We lived in a small town not much to pick to pick from. I taught my son that to be rewarded for something good was to go out to eat… if we had to go grocery shopping in the city then if he was good I’d take him to McDonald’s. Luckily by a miracle my son has never had to struggle with his weight. Maybe because he had a fat mom and never wanted to go down that road himself. I remember eating his leftovers after he’d eat because I didn’t want the food to go to waste!
This went on for years! I would do good for a while and then back to overeating! Why have one cookie when I could have the entire package? I literally woke up one day in the middle of January 2000 and decided no more!! I weighed 242 lbs! I got back into that competing with myself again and off I went… I walked 3 miles 5 days a week, watched what I ate made it my focus. By the end of the summer I had lost 100 lbs!! Life was back on track and I felt great! I got into mountain biking and I loved it! A friend of mine got me into competing and it was so much fun! Then I wrecked my bike in 2005. I messed up my back really bad. Dr told me no more riding or playing softball, another passion of mine. I was devastated and after back surgery I never bounced back. Physically I mended but not being able to do the 2 sports I loved sent me on a downward spiral. The bad habits I had overcome for years came back with a vengeance! I went from 142 lbs to 330 lbs in a couple of years! We moved to a bigger city and the food options were so much more to chose from. I went from a small town of having just a couple of choices to eat to moving here and having many many options. I was in food heaven!! And every day of the week they had a different special for the night… Monday night was Spangles night, Tuesday, Taco Bell night, Wednesday night was Kentucky Fried Chicken, you get it… every day they had a special and it was cheaper than going to the store and getting food to cook. My fast food addiction had begun! Not only did I LOVE sugar and sweets now factor in fast food and it was everywhere around me! To me it was like an alcoholic having a whiskey stand on every corner… I never got bored… the choices were endless! Then add in all the times I did go to the store and I would fill my cart with cookies, I’d buy whole decorated cakes, cereal, you name it… anything with sugar. I’d hide it all if friends came over… I had a sickness… my eating was so out of control… I wasn’t willing to make changes! You know you have a serious problem when you can’t even look at yourself in a mirror… I didn’t even have a mirror in my house. I didn’t want to know what I looked like! And forget about going out in public if I didn’t have too! I went from enjoying being a social butterfly to just holding myself up in the house. I became a hermit!!
There is plenty more to say… but I will end it here for now… stay tuned for more! Next blog will be about my 3… yep 3… weight loss surgeries!