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My Story, part 1

October 11, 2013

Weight LossFat HealthEating DisordersMy Boring-Ass LifeDiet Talk

Trigger warning: Discussion of eating disorders and weight loss.

Please help us welcome our newest blogging candidate, CherryBlossomKitty, who will be submitting three posts before our community votes on her inclusion. If you’d like to join our blogging team, check out this page.

Weight GuesserRemember those booths at the amusement park where they would try to guess your weight? Someone would look you over and write down a number, then you stepped up on the scale and if the guess was within five pounds of your actual weight, you would lose? I remember it well. I was ten or eleven years old, and the person guessed 114 pounds. I stepped up on the scale and, sure enough, I weighed 114 pounds. I remember the exact number and the exact way I felt at seeing it, even though it was 30 years ago.

And so began a life-long battle against my weight.

You see, I felt quite ashamed that I actually weighed over 100 pounds. I was under the impression that I should weigh less than 100 pounds at that stage of my life. I felt embarrassed and extremely self-conscious. I may have even cried.

I had always been a little bit fluffy as a child, as had my brother. It was in our genes — my father was a defensive lineman for a Big Ten college football team, for goodness sake. It only made sense that his children would be larger as well. But I refused to accept that. I wanted to be thin and girly, not a brick house.

My freshman year of high school, I was still pretty thick. But sometime during that year, I got the brilliant idea that I would just stop eating. By the beginning of sophomore year, I had dropped quite a bit of weight. Of course, all my classmates kept telling me how great I looked, which only fueled the fire of my eating disorder.

Today, I look at pictures of myself from that time of my life and I can’t believe how emaciated I looked. I looked sick. I felt sick. I had no energy. I became withdrawn, depressed, and developed a severe case of irritable bowel syndrome, which I still have to this day. Yet I still refused to eat.

My disordered eating continued into college. After a particularly nasty breakup, though, something snapped in me and I turned to food for comfort. I swapped one eating disorder for another and fell into binge eating. I was also diagnosed with a mental illness and put on medication that caused weight gain as a side effect. My body changed dramatically, and I was horrified.

And so began the endless dieting. Looking up new fad diets, exercising my brains out, anything to drop some pounds. But of course, as we all know, dieting doesn’t work. It only leads to feelings of deprivation, which in turn causes one to binge even more on food. It was an unbreakable cycle for me and it stayed that way for many, many years.

I still have days where I feel some shame or guilt about being overweight, but thanks to some really good therapy and sites like Fierce Freethinking Fatties, it’s become much easier to see beyond my exterior and realize that I am indeed a unique and important individual with some pretty awesome talents and accomplishments, if I do say so myself. And you know what? Being a brick house ain’t all that bad… just ask the Commodores.

 

Laura, aka Cherry Blossom Kitty

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