I always find myself going back to this. I was an athlete- an exercise junkie. I loved the way I felt when I moved.
But I was very unhappy. I lived through some harsh events and lived with a verbally abusive mother and yet exercising was my comfort. I would have these small battles with food that I always solved by making myself throw up because Bulimia was the in thing in my high school.
In college, some things changed- I ate the same (maybe a little more) but I was no longer an athlete. Injuries prevented me from playing sports but even as I gained weight my on-and-off again struggle with Bulimia helped me keep off some of the excess weight. I was just “thick” as the boys would say.
The way I dressed changed too. I wore very sexy clothing my first two years of college partly because I was feeling like less of a tomboy (curves will do that to you) and partly because my boyfriend at the time was always so critical of me and I wanted to keep him interested. Unfortunately as I gained weight, he became an expert in making me feel like crap.
My personality changed too. I was no longer the social, outgoing person who was willing to walk all over campus just to be outside. I liked staying in my room. I smoked more and even dabbled in recreational drug use. My boyfriend cheated. We broke up, got back together, I cheated and lied and hid and found comfort in the binge-purge cycle.
Eventually, my clothes changed more. Short mini skirts were replaced by jeans- the baggier the better. I covered my body in layers and with clothes that were big enough to fit my male friends and I got lost in a “hip-hop” look.
I left college after two years and moved back home with my mother. It was a mistake. Despite the budding romance that was happening between me and the man who would eventually become my husband, I was at war with my mother who reminded me that I was becoming a “fat heifer.”
I spent a lot of time eating out with Drew. we loved diners and a typical date for us was dinner and a movie. Or dinner and games. Or dinner and dessert. You get the point, right?
I no longer ran to the bathroom to force my food up. I did not have too. I was diagnosed with Mental Bulimia- I was so stressed about food and gaining weight, I would force myself to throw up just from worrying. Every meal ending the same way. I would get queasy and light-headed and I would dart to the bathroom where I would throw up. I chalked it up to eating foods that I was not used to and he let it go for a while.
It was a problem until my in-laws, a very accepting Italian family taught me to love food because food was the universal sign of love and good times. Much like my own family, they loved food and everything centered around it. The biggest difference was that they encouraged me to have seconds and they did not make me feel bad about having thirds. They overcooked and we all overate. But there was no guilt. I stopped vomiting and learned to enjoy.
I was happier than ever in my love life and with my new-found-family. I even finished college. But I was growing more and more angry with my body. I tried to dress well, but as my body expanded my wardrobe dwindled. I became frumpy and less active and even less sociable. I never felt comfortable in my own skin so my wardrobe reflected my new found embarrassment. Sweatpants, sweatshirts, and bandannas.
So where am I now? I love food now, but rather than making myself vomit, I drown my shame in more food. I am sociable- on line, that is. I don’t like going out too much because its uncomfortable and I never have clothes that fit well. I always feel unkempt and I know people look at me like I am.
I am still struggling with the same issues I have my entire life but I am now aware of them. I know that my weight is not a reflection of who I am.
When I wrote that I was not actually ready to take this journey seriously, but I am now.
I was recently diagnosed with an over-active thyroid. I am awaiting further tests and info, but one thing is certain-that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have known for a long time that I was not living life to the fullest in part because I have been so unhealthy for years. Although I quit smoking, I am still extremely overweight- OK obese and my level of activity has been practically non-existent. My 36 year old sister died in March of heart complications , leaving behind two daughters (3 and 13). I am scared.
Immediately following the conversation with my Endocrinologist, I had a conversation with myself and decided to be proactive in my health. No more excuses. It’s time to act. I sat down and I focused.
I am sharing everything with you here on Moms of Hue, on my blog Mom on the Rise, and on my PeerTrainer Log. I’m doing so with the hope that you all will keep me honest and focused, but that you will also join me in getting healthy.