Thursday, April 28, 2011

She's so heavy

That would be me.

This is a long one so bear with.

I think I have been in denial for the past few years. Suddenly I see photos that made me think, "I'm not that big," and I think, yeah, I am.

Now, don't feel sorry for me, please. I don't.

I've spent a lot of years hating my body. When I was about 9, I heard that I was fat. Mom told me I'd "run it off" in the summer. That was when the troubles began. I would starve myself one day, and overeat the next. Mom told me that I needed to just relax, just eat a little less and not go crazy, so I stopped dieting for awhile.

The next fall, a group of boys laughed at me as I rounded the corner into the restroom. I don't remember crying then - I guess I waited until I got home - but I do remember crying about it.

Did Mom tell me that the boys were silly & just looking for someone to pick on? Or did I figure that out on my own? I don't remember for sure. I can't say I intentionally blocked it from my memory. I was just in the 4th grade. It was a long time ago.

I grew taller, and skinnier for awhile. Over the next few years, I'd gain a little, then lose a little. In photos I looked great. Unfortunately, I was totally body dysmorphic. I thought I was obese in 7th grade because my classmates weighed in the 90's. I weighed 117. I'd be skin and bones if I weighed that now. At the end of 7th grade I gained 13 pounds and actually had a bustline for a change. But suddenly even my family was in on the fat comments. I really don't want to go there online, but I felt terrible pressure to be thin.

In high school, I went to church with the popular girls, and everybody made over their tiny little figures, and all I heard was that they weighed 90 or 93 or one of them cried because she gained a pound...oh, I felt horrible, fluctuating between 123 and 133. Dieting seemed too complicated, and like a ton of work. Back then, there weren't that many opportunities to work out except sports, which I was too uncoordinated to do. I liked biking and I was in marching band, and I liked shooting the basketball a bit. Once I did Weight Watchers religiously for a week and lost a half-pound. It seemed like way too much effort to be so unnoticeable.

One of the popular girls, let's call her Jamie, said she just naturally didn't feel like eating every day and that's what kept her small. So I thought, well, there you go. I'll just skip eating sometimes. What I didn't realize was that I was starting a cycle that would totally ruin my metabolism. I'd starve myself as long as I could stand it, then eat everything in sight.

I've talked about my blood sugar issues in this blog and they sort of started then. I hated myself for not being strong enough to fight my weight. I hated myself for not having the willpower to stick with a diet, or to keep myself starving even though I was shaking like a leaf from hypoglycemia. I hated my body for having hypoglycemia (I was insulin resistant for a long, long time) and not letting me starve it into submission.

Occasionally I'd get really busy or active for awhile and lose some weight, but it never stayed off, so I felt like a failure again, and in my depression, pack on a few more pounds. I had some successful times, followed by failures, over and over. I've lost and gained the same 30 pounds - or parts of it - at least 5 times in the last 14 years. Now I'm pretty close to "maximum density" again.

This time there's a difference.

This time Randy has convinced me that I look beautiful to him. Beautiful, just as I am, not 50 pounds ago or "still beautiful despite the weight gain." He treats me like a queen, like he really means it. It has made all the difference in the world. This time, it's all right.

Never mind a few months ago, when I was complaining about gaining weight in my stomach, Mom said I needed willpower. I countered that it took all the willpower I had to keep going when I was taking two graduate courses while teaching at a new school - one with a bad reputation. I was proud of myself for that one. She managed to keep her weight down with willpower for a long time. Now she's sick & can't keep weight on, but fails to realize that we're not all that way. (I won't say that lucky, because she has definitely not been lucky in the health area.) The neuropathy medicine makes you gain; the treatment for a recent injury makes you gain. When I told her about one med, she said, "Are you sure you want to take that?" I'm thinking, "Uh, yeah, if it comes between gaining weight and my injury getting infected and rotting off, yeah, I'll take a little weight gain." THAT weight came off, but what was left was totally redistributed, rendering some clothes too tight.

I have long thought beauty came in all sizes. For whatever reason, though (probably at least one of those I've talked about today), I thought I needed to be super skinny, like in the double-digit weights. I could "settle" for being on the top side of my BMI, which would still be 60 plus pounds less than I weigh today. Fantasizing about how wonderful life would be if I lost 50 - or 75 - or 100 - or 120 - pounds didn't get me there.

Life is pretty wonderful now.

So am I, even with a big behind and busting out of my old shirts.

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