My mother was always obese. I’d seen photos of her when she was younger, and she was plump but not obese at that point. But for as long as I can remember, she was obese. I swore I’d never let myself get to where she was.
Then puberty hit. That’s when my weight issues first became a blip on the radar. Of course, back then I was not so much overweight as simply developing feminine curves earlier than the rest of my so-called “friends.” At 14, I was 5’ 2” and wearing a petite size 5. That’s not fat – that’s barely even curvy! But I did pretty much skip the whole training-bra course and jumped right into normal bras. And for this, my so-called “friends” were calling me “fat.” These were people whose opinions mattered more to me than my own. People I trusted. And they were calling me “fat.” So I tried to diet and exercise more. I would lose 5 pounds here or there, but I still stayed about the same dress size. And that’s when the self-hate started. No, I didn’t starve myself. I wasn’t nearly that self-disciplined. But that’s when I stopped enjoying shopping for clothes. It’s when I stopped socializing with people. I started believing that the snickers or giggled I’d hear from other people on the bus or at the bus stop were about me. I was always desperately worried about not standing out in my clothes, because standing out meant more people would notice me and then the snickers and giggles would only increase. So the clothes I *wanted* to wear never got worn. I quashed my inner goth-girl so I could look like everyone else – the people I thought were laughing at me. Honestly, the logic of a teenager makes little sense to an adult – even when the adult is the same person who thought that way once!
And now, at 40, my “weight issues” of the past seem like an imperceptibly small door ding on a car that’s been crushed at the junk yard. In other words, they were NOTHING. I’ve since not only broken my promise to myself and have gotten heavier than I ever wanted to be, but I’ve become the kind of person I loathe. I HAVE BECOME MY MOTHER! I COMPLAIN ABOUT A SITUATION (my weight) WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING TO FIX IT!!! AAACCCCHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
This realization hit me like a ton of bricks last night. I’d been feeling so fat and gross… unlovable and unworthy. My weight feels like this overwhelming mountain that I have to climb to get away from certain death, but it just feels like such a huge problem that I literally have felt immobilized and confused as to how to tackle it. But last night, fueled by self-loathing and self-directed anger, I got on the stationary bike we have at home. Only 2 minutes in, I realized how badly out of shape I’d let myself become. Just a few years ago, I was doing 45-50 minutes on the elliptical 5 days a week. Now, I could barely get through 2 minutes on a recumbent stationary bike without feeling like I’d just run a marathon! But I pushed on, and lasted for a total of 10 minutes. I figured, after walking for 30 minutes during lunch that day, 10 minutes on the bike isn’t bad. It’s a start, right? I mean, 10 minutes after having done 0 for, like, YEARS, still counts as progress, right?!?