I am not one of those people who can say “I’ve always been a bigger girl”. If you look at pictures of me prior to high school I was thin, I liked my waist line, and despite the distinct lack of any curve because of my age I look back at that time and go “what the heck happened.”
In reality I know what happened, my mood tanked and my friendships disappeared. At the end of elementary school and into middle school I started getting bullied by people who used to be my friends. They became cruel and I found myself very alone. I had a few good friends who I still love to this day but to be the teased by people you hung out with in the previous year was hard. Since I wasn’t hanging out with anyone I stayed inside and I watched tv and I ate junk food and that is how I coped with how miserable I was at school. As I went into highschool things started to get better for a while. I got heavily involved with a youth church (that my parents probably would still say is a cult, it wasn’t I promise). I started to feel accepted and as much as they disliked some of them, at least I felt safe with them. I saw them once a week they went to a different school I didn’t worry about being teased or bullied on the latest social media page that existed.
At highschool it wasn’t too bad I made some friends and I was getting involved in several clubs. But it still felt off and that’s because what I found out was that people were being cruel behind my back and I was just a joke to a lot of them. When highschool was hitting junior year people who were my friends decided I wasn’t good enough and I became the target of fake Xanga pages (that was the social media of its time). These pages were cruel and probably still exist somewhere on the web if I ever wanted to travel down the dark and twisty rabbit hole that it was. During this time when it was so bad that every post went after me I stopped caring, I 100% believed that didn’t matter anymore so I ate more. It didn’t help that at this time my relationship was less than stellar and I felt like why care about anything because I wasn’t worth it.
This lasted for a while until senior year when the idea of graduating and starting over finally became something clear and visible and I was ready to jump at it. So I did the first attempt at a diet. In reality it was me starving myself. I didn’t eat close to what I should have been eating. I skipped meals I kept my energy up with caffeine and quick bursts of sugar. I was “counting” calories but not doing so in any way that was sustainable. I dropped weight quick but would eventually be so hungry that being light-headed would cause me to sugar binge which made me feel worse. As soon as I started to eat normally again I gained every pound back that I lost and then some.
Going into freshman year I was finally out of the toxic relationship and I wanted to start fresh but it wasn’t so easy. I was sad all the time, if I wasn’t sad I was terrified and anxious that everyone I met would turn against me just like they did in highschool. I started meeting new people and became part of a peer-ed group that I loved. But people started disappearing, I was feeling lost that people I had grown lose too were all of a sudden parts of different clicks just because of how the peer-ed group broke itself out of its box. But I continued to try to keep myself healthy, it wasn’t really working but I was a firm believer in the fake it until you make it model of thinking. On the very big plus side I met my husband and he started making me feel like I mattered and that was probably the greatest thing he could have given me.
As sophomore year hit I made a huge change. I switched my diet to a vegetarian diet and it wasn’t actually hard to do. I had pretty much quit eating red meat a long time ago so I just had to give up chicken and sea food and I had a roommate that was already eating vegetarian and helped me switch. Things were great, I was feeling healthier, I had started watching what I was eating again and this time counting calories within a healthy limit and was losing weight in a good way. I felt good, I was getting to the gym regularly I was working, I felt like I was finding my place in my peer-ed group, but then my roommate decided that I wasn’t her friend anymore. I still don’t know what happened there and I know she had her own stuff going on, but it sucked. They started destroying my stuff, making fun of me, and writing on my stuff that I should kill myself. Everything had been going so well but when I had to pack up and move out of a dorm room and on to the futon of a sorority house that I wasn’t a member of, it was hard to keep everything going. I started calling in to work more, I stopped caring about eating healthy, and I basically stopped caring so again all of the weight went right back on.
When I got engaged that was the first big motivation to start making those choices for myself again. I finally had figured out the good and bad of the peer-ed group. I loved them a lot but I definitely let it screw with my psyche a lot, so I separated it out. I stopped taking every bit of it in, I didn’t have to socialize with person x just because we share the same t-shirt logo. When I started doing that I felt better, I was taking more control. I decided to join weight watchers during grad school and my plan was lose weight for the wedding, and I did. I lost 10% of my starting weight with lots of plateaus, and struggles and numbers going up and down each week. I was feeling good, I felt like this was attainable, but there was a slight issue, what would happen after the wedding. I was ignoring this fact, and it was a huge negative that I never came up with my reason to continue losing weight after the wedding. Once the wedding was done, my reason to keep the weight off passed and I stopped keeping the weight off. I put on the weight and then some.
At this point it was frustrating even when I was eating well I still felt awful. I started feeling awful all of the time, there were more days I felt sick and in pain than days I didn’t. Despite eating healthy I wouldn’t lose weight, I hurt all the time, and my depression was starting to kick up in full force again. So finally I started going to the doctor and they ran a bunch of tests. After probably 20 different viles of blood overall I finally started getting some answers and that felt good. I was extremely Vitamin D deficient so they started giving me some more of that for my system and they discovered that my immune system was acting wonky. Basically my immune system was attacking itself, my AnA was indicating some autoimmune reaction and that allowed them to give a direction and I started attending more doctors and getting answers and treatment. Its amazing when you stop hurting everyday how everything starts to look a little easier. I will have to go back eventually and get another panel done because they will always want to monitor my immune system but at least I know that it’s not just me sucking its my immune system being a little jerk.
About 6 months after I got that diagnoses I decided to start the greatest trip ever and was pregnant. During the pregnancy I found a way to eat that worked for me. I was eating small things every couple of hours and I felt great. I didn’t gain a whole lot and actually lost weight the first few months of the pregnancy. I just needed to keep it up after the baby was born, and for the most part I did. With breast-feeding I have to consume a lot, which I struggle to do. Fruits and veggies are just not high caloric foods. I decided to join Weight Watchers for that extra push. This time I have been doing well, I track my food which is good, but I actually eat and feel good. I had lost the first 6 weeks of the process and gained only once which I expected, cupcakes are not a great way to get your points in for the day. I feel really good and my reason to be healthy and get the weight off is easy and permanent. My reason is my pipsqueak. I want to be able to show him what healthy eating looks like, what body confidence looks like. I want to be able to play with him outside without tiring him out, and I want him to want to play outside with me.
Overall, my weight loss journey has been so tied in with my mood;I know when I get stressed I don’t eat and when I want to hunker down and live in the grey and depressed state of existence that those bags of cheese puffs would be my best friend. But I have to stop expecting and planning for those stressed and depressed times. I need the skills to handle them but I can’t give up because I may get kicked in the face with a bad couple days. This isn’t going to be easy, and I am sure I will want to pull my hair out when I plateau yet again. But my reason, my why, this time around is long-term.
Now off to eat my first round of fruit for the day. Enjoy
Until next time, go listen to some Disney music, everything is better with Disney music.