The short version? I was fat. I lost weight. I felt inspired to help others do the same. I started a blog. The End.
My story is far more complex than that. I think it begins when my life began.
Actually, before that. I went to an energy psychologist one time (totally cool, if even just to learn the techniques, by the way). My "broken" place occurred when I was three months..In utero. I fully believe in the connection between mother and child, and that the connection starts in the womb. You can agree or disagree with me; that doesn't matter. After all, this is my story.
Here's why I believe that my food issue goes back that far, to where I was broken. I suspect that around three months is when my mother learned of her pregnancy. I was adopted as an infant. I was the result of an unplanned pregnancy between a woman and a man who was having an affair with said woman. Neither was capable of caring for me. My biological father had a wife and other children to take care of. Part of me wonders if his wife ever learned of this affair... Or if his children know that they have a half sister. My biological mother had an older child, her job wasn't the greatest, and her parents helped with the older child. The best thing for me was that they give me up. Words cannot express how incredibly grateful I am that they made that decision. The alternatives? They could have kept me, and I'm fairly certain I would not be where I am today. Or, they could have chosen to terminate the pregnancy. It wasn't nearly as easy in 1980 as it is today, but it could have been done. I'm insanely happy that I'm here today, to tell my story.
Have you ever heard of a man named Sigmund Freud? He developed stages of psychosexual development... Google it, if you're interested. I've heard conflicting info on Freud and I know that people either love him or hate him. This is my take on his work... I was a psych major before I switched to social work, so I have some psych education and Freud was studied quite heavily, in my psych, social work, and sociology courses. Basically, a person can get "stuck" at any given stage of development. The very first stage? The oral stage. Things like trust and comfort are huge factors in this stage. Hmmm... Having been placed for adoption, I wonder if this is why I got "stuck" here. Or at least, I feel I did. The primary concern at this stage is weaning an infant, and the child will become less Dependant on his/her caregiver. Perhaps because I had a sense of not being wanted (that's the only way I can think of to word it at this moment), I didn't want to give up that dependency. If a child becomes fixated in this stage, they can have issues with dependency and aggression. Me? Not so much aggression, but dependency...I can see that. Those who are fixated at this stage have issues with eating, drinking, smoking, or other things that may have to do with the mouth... Chewing pens, gum chewing, nail biting, etc. So....
I've been chubby for pretty much my whole life. The only time I looked "normal" was when I was an infant. Then I grew and grew ,and was chubbier and chubbier. That naturally resulted in childhood teasing, and poor self-esteem before I even know what self-esteem was. Combine that with feeling like your own mother didn't want you... Even if you are lucky enough to have amazing parents. And what if one day they decided they didn't want me? Then what?
I think that laid the foundation for where I am today. Other things in life happened along the way that I'm sure contributed. Feeling "fat" even when I wasn't that fat (or maybe not even "fat" at all by some standards)... But food was a comfort for me. Food was the first thing I turned to when I was angry, sad, or sometimes happy. Everything was about food. I've had binges. I've eaten just to eat, or because there wasn't anything else to do. I could snack like no other... Whole bags of microwave popcorn, with melted butter and salt were consumed many, many nights throughout my childhood. I was a huge fan of potato chips dipped in things like cheese dip, chip dip, ketchup, or soy sauce (I know, right!? GAG). I recall eating leftover rice out of a bowl in the refrigerator... Cold. With no utensils. Yes, I used my bare hands to scarf down cold rice in the middle of the night. I'd "sneak" cookies.
As I got older, I hated eating around people. I felt like I was being judged constantly. I was afraid that the negative things running through my head were things that other people thought. I decided that diet pills were the answer. I hid them in the glove compartment of the vehicle I was driving. My parents found them. That was a tearful situation. I tried other diet pills throughout the years... Hid them in my purse. There was a time or two that I bought laxatives because I thought I might try them out. I never did. I hid a Slim Fast in the trunk of my car. I saw a Lifetime movie about a girl with an eating disorder. I thought that her method of restricting calories was brilliant. I went on a severe restriction, allowing myself no more than 500 calories a day. I found the journal I wrote it in not long ago. I thought that phase lasted for a few weeks. Actually it was a few months. Surely I must've lost some weight during that time. Oh...Thank goodness Diet Coke was calorie-free! Ahhh...Diet Coke. I drank A LOT of it. Now? It's very rare that I purchase a soda. I think in the last year I've had two, hoping that it would give me an energy boost. That plan didn't work. I've tried diets...Atkins, South Beach, and any other crazy thing I'd come up with. I used Weight Watchers twice. I quit twice. I lost my first 55 pounds during the time I did WW. Then I stopped and so did my weight loss.
I remember pinching my skin/fat sometimes when I was upset. I'd pinch it between my fingers or I would grab a handful of it and just squeeze as hard as I could. I wanted it gone. Why couldn't I just rip the fat away? I did a lot of stupid stuff in effort to make people like me and see past my fat. I drank a lot in college, and after. This also resulted in "fourth meals" and "hangover food" the next day.
I graduated college at my highest weight...Which is unknown. I do know that about four months later, when I first went to WW I was 340 pounds. 340 pounds. I hate that number. I suspect that at my highest I may have been close to 350. Also? I was only 23. My life was leading me to an early grave. Over a six year period I sloooowly lost weight. I tried exercise and would stop. Or I'd eat healthy and then stop. I never seemed to do the two together. I was not committed.
Until my 29th birthday rolled around... I looked at pictures and thought "I'm 29. I'm 29, and I look like that." I lived it up through my birthday weekend and the following Monday I changed. I don't know what exactly made me do it, but I did. It was like someone flipped a switch and my mind was changed.
That was December, 2009. I started this journey weighing 285 pounds. Wow... It's already been two years. I'm half the size I was at my largest. Actually it's a little more than half...Wait or is that less? All of this counting and figuring has left me slightly confused. I'll put it this way...I've lost more than half of my highest weight. There, that's better.
I started out to lose weight. It was purely for vanity reasons. I wanted to look good. That's all. At that time it had nothing to do with health or anything else. I did what I had to in order to drop weight. While that's still my focus, I've learned that what's really important to me is living a healthy life and encouraging others to do the same. I did a 5K over teh summer. My time wasn't amazing, but it was the first one and I am NOT a runner. Although I did a 5K so apparently I AM a runner. I look forward to working out. I'm biking again. I can't remember when I last biked... High School, for sure.
That's how I got here... The (mostly) long version. I've left some details out, but those will appear in my blogs.
I haven't even touched on relationships and the constant rejection I felt.... I've been cheated on, lied to, dumped for other girls, and there was that one time I was physically assaulted. Oh yes, there is more to this story... Stay tuned.
***The good news? I've changed for the good. I dealt with the hard times, and I've moved on. It took a long time but I got here. I'm never going back.