My weight has always been an issue. One that I am now sharing with you as I sort through the slop bucket. My mother and fathers (by birth and marriage) were born in 1959-1960. This was the era of Twiggy and thin was the height of glamour and sophistication. I was born in 1981 and thus entered my adolescence in the era of Kate Moss. Thin was in.
My mother was built like both of these women. Even now, while she insists that she has a big, big bottom, she is still quite thin for a woman in her fifties who has given birth to three children. Mom, if you are reading this, you are beautiful.
My late father (biological) was not a small man. In my youth, I remember thinking of him as a giant. He was 6'2 ish and probably weighed more than 250 pounds when he was healthy. I look like my mom, I'm built like my dad.
As I've said before, I hit 5'5 by the sixth grade and wore a size 10 shoe. I was broad shouldered and solidly built. By the ninth grade, I was 5'9 and wearing a size eleven shoe (but squeezing into a ten because nobody carried my size).
Since my mom is also 5'9, people assumed I would be built like her. To put this in perspective, I wore my mother's high school cheer leading uniform as a Halloween costume in the fourth grade. The wedding dress I was supposed to inherit from her wouldn't even zip by the time I was in sixth grade. I understand now that I was not fat, I was just made differently. Try explaining that to a fifteen year old.
I had been toying with an eating disorder since the 8th grade, but things got ugly by freshman year. There was a point at which I was cutting my lunch card myself so it would look like I had taken a meal when I hadn't. I was keeping a journal like a religion and felt like a failure when I couldn't get below 140 pounds. My parents didn't know, and in their defense, remember when they grew up. My mom had weighed 107 pounds at my height, at 140 I didn't "look" like a person with an eating disorder.
I never officially received counseling for those specific issues, but I did for depression and anxiety. Eventually, I found some really good friends and joined the swim team and life was good for a while. In the best shape of my life, swimming almost two hours a day, five days a week, I weighed 160 pounds. A German exchange student once told me that I was big like a man, a manly woman. This is not what you want to hear at 18 when you are graduating from high school.
Fast forward to 21. My kidney was out. I was living in Manhattan, depressed and broke. This is when I developed a "hungry hole" (as described by Scottish author Katherine Ford in her novel Fat Boy Swim). Cheeseburgers were cheap back then and I discovered that the more I ate, the more I could stuff all of the sadness and all the words I wanted to say back down into the black hole in my chest (dude, this is depressing). So anyway, I hit 200 pounds and except for this one time back in '05, I haven't been under it since.
While I haven't had any relapses of food restriction since my 20's, I pretty much replaced it with eating my feelings (even the good ones, happy feelings taste the best). I had a bad day, sad pizza. I had a good day, happy pizza and cake! I actually weighed 268 pounds at my wedding in June of '14. I got a gym membership and worked my tail off to get down to 250. I haven't been under 250 since. I have finally accepted myself. I no longer moo at my reflection or refuse to buy myself "nice things" because only thin people deserve nice things. But subconsciously, I think I have given up on losing weight.
Within the last two years, I really focused on healthy eating. I went to the gym with a trainer 2 days a week, and 2 days without. I was on a role for more than 6 weeks. You know how much I lost? 1/2 pound. Half a measly pound. And I know you'll say, muscle weighs more than fat, or you needed to give it more time, but I'm 80 pounds over weight. I started at a size 18-20 and ended at a size 18-20. No matter how you slice it, that's a sad pizza day.
So like I said in all my blogs before, I have started with what I can control. Steps. The batteries in my scale died (cat likes sitting on it and staring at the blue light) and I haven't replaced them. I can't control that number, I can control my steps. It's no longer about weight, it is about life. Can I do the things I want to? Not all of them, not yet. But I will get there. I will get there.
I'm a blogger and educator breaking through stigmas and helping women find their voice.