I have seen a lot of pictures on social networking that are made to empower women of all sizes to be who they are. I’m not as big as some of those women pictured, so why am I lacking the confidence that they have? Why is it so difficult for me to accept my body and all of it’s flaws?
I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight. I constantly think back to elementary school and how, even back then, I compared myself to the other kids in my class. I was always one of the fattest, if not the fattest kid in the class.
Some of my worst childhood memories are of gym class. I was always picked last for every sport and I always thought of the gymnastics unit as a way to showcase my limitations. Kids found every reason that they could to tease me.
I remember having a friend named Dylan in the first grade. We were in the same class and we also went to daycare together. We were best friends until one day he decided to tell me that he couldn’t be friends with me anymore, because I was “too fat.”
Here I am, I just graduated high school and I’m still hurt that my best friend in first grade said that he couldn’t be my friend, because I was too fat. Kind of pathetic, isn’t it?
When it came time for me to go to middle school, I was the biggest that I had ever been. I was almost 200 pounds and wasn’t very tall. I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to wear the Abercrombie, Hollister, and American Eagle clothes that everyone else was wearing. Unfortunately for me, those clothes weren’t made for fat kids. I wanted so badly to be like everyone else.
I started opting out of meals in the seventh grade, I only bought powerade for lunch. To this day, I still don’t think that many people know that.
Going into eighth grade, I sprouted a few inches. With that and my limited intake of calories, I lost quite a bit of weight. I wore a size four, was 5’2″ and only weighed 120 pounds. Even with that weight loss, I still didn’t allow myself to eat full meals. Every day for lunch, I shared a salad with one of my friends and that was about it.
I was thrilled when I was able to actually go out and buy clothes that were suited for girls my age. I could wear Abercrombie whenever I wanted to. The teasing never really stopped, but it wasn’t as frequent. I had more friends than I had ever had. I felt like I could do anything.
At the end of eighth grade, my family started falling apart. My dad was divorcing my stepmom at the time. That’s a whole new blog topic, so I’ll try to keep this on track. Long story short, I was very upset about it. I definitely ate to suppress those feelings.
I slowly started to gain weight again. My freshman year of high school I wore a size 5. Then, my sophomore year of high school I wore a size 7. My junior year of high school, I wore a size 9.
My senior year of high school was never what I expected it to be. My family fell apart, once again. My mom left my stepdad, then she moved out. My sister and I decided to stay with my stepdad so that I couldn’t finish out my last year of high school in the same school. Then, out of nowhere, my stepdad moved in with his new girlfriend. Somehow, my sister and I ended up living on our own. It was a very complicated situation and it all happened really fast.
My sister and I managed to live on our own for about a year. It was really difficult, but we made it work. When you live alone, you have to feed yourself as well. I can honestly say that I didn’t make the best nutritional decisions. I tried to justify that all by saying that I didn’t have time to cook between work and school. I went out to eat instead of taking the time to cook for myself.
I sincerely regret that decision now. I should have managed myself a lot better than I did. I don’t know if it was the emotional breakdown that I was having or the early “freshman fifteen.” Honestly, it was probably a little bit of both.
I never realized quite how much weight I have gained over the last year until recently. I can’t fit into any of my clothes that I used to wear. That alone, hurts me probably a lot more than it should.
I didn’t write this post so I could feel sorry for myself or look for pity from anyone else. I wanted to write this, so I can move on. I don’t want to dwell on anything any longer. These pent up emotions that I’ve had for so long, have driven me to eat and become a stranger to myself.
I want to make some lifestyle changes, so that I can become the person that I want to be, not the person that everyone thinks that I should be. I need to find my own confidence and gain some respect for myself along the way. I’m done hiding all of my feelings behind food. I’m going to do this for me.