I was enjoying reading my girl Nic’s blog tonight. She posted some beautiful candids of her, her husband, and their son.
It struck me as I was scrolling through them, that we have no pictures like that. Most of the pictures we have are of V and Bil. Not because Bil doesn’t try to take my picture, but because I hate having my picture taken. Oh, I’m not shy or anything like that. It’s just that I loathe seeing pictures of me. For some reason, I can look in a mirror and think, hey I don’t look that bad. Then I see a picture taken of me and reality sets in.
I. am. fat.
Ugh. I hate that word. I really do. I was told all my life as a kid that I was fat. To the point I had such a skewed version of what I looked like that I quite often don’t recognize myself in pictures. We were looking through old slides one night at my parents house and a picture I had never seen came up of my grandfather, my brother, and someone else. I looked at my mom and asked “Who’s that with Grandad and Mike?” She gave me a funny look. “It’s you”. I stared at the picture again and blurted out “But I wasn’t fat!”. And sure enough, it was me, about 10 or 11 years old, standing in a stream, wearing a bikini. I was NOT fat. Why did I think I was? Because my parents were always after me to suck in my tummy. My doctor always told me I was too heavy according to those little BMI charts. But I look back at pictures and I was was not fat. I was no toothpick, but to say I was fat?
This horribly unrealistic expectation of what I was supposed to look like, lead me down the deep dark anorexic path. And it was so easy. A missed meal here and there. Working out, jogging, and less eating. But it wasn’t enough. By the time I was in high school I had become bulimic. Throwing up became a sort of release. Did you know bulimia is like alcoholism? Once a bulimic always a bulimic. It’s a slippery slope that is so easy to return to. It’s been 15 years since I started down the road that completely destroyed my metabolism, made my hair thin, eroded tooth enamel. But according to the world I was thin and therefore beautiful. I had so much positive reinforcement it was difficult to pull myself out of the pit that was killing me.
But eventually, with help, I did. To this day I’m terrified of throwing up. Not because of the normal reasons, but, because it feels good. I know. Bizarre. But it really is a horrible sickness. I’m so afraid of becoming bulimic again. As much as I hate being fat, being thin was worse. I look back at my high-school pictures and cringe. My collarbones hollowed out, my cheekbones sunken in, my hands looked like those of a skeleton.
At my lowest weight, I weighed 105. Literally nothing but skin and bones. I will always suffer the effects of what I did to myself in the name of beauty.
But once you ruin your metabolism and you go back to eating, the weight starts to pile on, no matter how healthy you eat. Through the years I’ve done the yo-yo diets. The South Beach, the Atkins, Dr. B, Weight Watchers… you name it. And so now, 15 years later, I weigh 190. Yeah. 85lbs. Ouch. Ideally I’d like to get back down to 150, which isn’t that unreasonable I don’t think. I’ve already managed to lose a lot of the weight I put on when I was pregnant (being on bed-rest and eating like a pig did nothing to help me keep weight gain to a respectable amount during my pregnancy). But now, 2 years later, I have to face the fact that this is no longer ‘baby weight’. I’m overweight and I need to deal with it.
But I’m struggling. I’ve plateaued at this weight for months now. And when that happens, it’s REALLY easy to lose motivation. I have totally lost my weight loss mojo.
So there it is. My goal. Loose this extra weight. I don’t want to be the Fat Mom. I want to like how I look in pictures again. I want to enjoy time with my daughter without being tired. And most of all – I want to set a good example for her.
I never want my child to feel that she’s fat, to make food a crutch, or even worse, make it a pawn in the game of ‘who’s the prettiest’. I want to show my daughter what it is to live and eat healthy.
Now if I could just figure out where to start.