I See Me

I am not going to lie, for the past 13 years I have watched myself gain 80 pounds. I kept telling people I grew three inches in college and I got boobs, but the truth was, I just stopped working out and I kept drinking cokes and eating whatever I wanted. The fact that I was introduced to the deliciousness of beer didn’t help either. Alas, here I am. As of today, July 1, 2013, I weight 193.5 pounds and I wear a size 16 pants (usually comfortably). The real problem is age 15-20…I thought I was fat. I couldn’t see me.

That’s me in the middle at 17. I thought I was fat. Those would be abs, yes, real live abs in the flesh, but I thought I was fat. I would go to the gym and work out for an hour or so and then still hit up the hour long spin class. My meals were a lot of smoothie king and crackers and cokes. I am actually quite surprised I wasn’t thrown into some crazy hyper/hypo-glycemic state of malnutrition. I went to college 3 months later. I still thought I was fat. I got a bit smaller before I got bigger, but still I thought I was fat. I was a size 4, 21% body fat, when I left for college. That fact starts the 13 year journey.

I was 19 years old the first time I cried about my weight. I was in my room and my roomie was in there with me. I was getting dressed for a night on the town. I pulled out my favorite pair of jeans. They made me feel like I was a size 4 again. By this time I was in a size 8. This didn’t bother me, I still felt equally as fat as I did at a size 4, well I tried to put the jeans on. By this time my boyfriend was sitting downstairs on the couch. He was wonderful, he would always tell me I was beautiful. When I tried to put them on I couldn’t’ even get them up over my thighs.  I took them off and looked at the tag to make sure they were the right pair. What had happened, I was just wearing them last week it seemed like. I tried again…15 minutes later my boyfriend came upstairs, probably because he heard me crying on my bed to my roomie. “I am so fat,” I cried, “and I just keep getting fatter.”

I sit here, 12 years after that night, admitting to you, that I did get fatter. I did and I did it quickly. Over the next 5 years I would gain weight at such a rate that I have stretch marks on my hips and thighs. I went from a size 4 in high school, size 8 that fateful night to at my heaviest, a size 18 and 41% body fat. By visual standards I was not considered obese, by medical standards, I was considered morbidly obese. When I looked in the mirror I never wondered what happened. I knew.

You see, I worked out obsessively and ate tiny amounts as a teenager, because I was “supposed” to. I wasn’t a cheerleader. I wasn’t a dancer. I wasn’t the most popular girl. I wasn’t an outcast. I was a girl, doing what I was “supposed to do” by societies standards, stay tiny. I stayed skinny, but I thought I was fat. I never did it right. I didn’t know that coke was killing my insides. I had no concept of processed versus real food. I didn’t know that my smoothies were chalked full of sugar. I didn’t know that the worth of me was determined by anything other than my jean size. I certainly didn’t know the benefits of vegetables, fruits, fish, omegas, ecetera. I just knew I was fat. When this knowledge became tangeble in a pair of size 8 jeans that I couldn’t get over my thighs, I gave up. “Screw it.” I would say as the BMI, scale, and sizes went up. I became more and more apathetic.

This is a size 18 and 215 pounds. One should note that I am wearing maternity jeans here so I did not have the muffin top. None the less, I kept saying “If I stay this size, I will be more than ok for the rest of my life.” In some sense, I was right. I would be ok. The size didn’t matter, but what did matter was the health. I am not going to kid you, that same apathy I had about being fat, was the same apathy that caused me to ignore the symptoms of the fatness. Migraines, cysts in the breasts and ovaries, constant yeast infections, staph infections that got out of control, not to mention the dark circles under the eyes. I squeaked by each day feeling more and more apathetic about my weight, my size, and my health. My apathy would slowly turn into resentment toward a life of cute swimsuits and J Crew shorts that I never experienced in my 20’s. The life I felt like I should have had.

I turned 30 in July of 2012 and it was then and only then that I decided to do something about it. As it stands, this site should launch exactly a year later when I turn 31. I am not 100 pounds smaller and I there has not been a huge shift in my size or weight. I had to first tackle the mindset that created stretchmarks, migraines, and dark circles. I had to stop looking in the mirror and telling myself I was fat. This has taken a while and in the mean time, I made one change at a time. I struggled to stop drinking cokes, but I have. I write down everything I eat, more than that, I don’t beat myself up if I eat a bit more than usual.  I celebrate small victories, like drinking tons of water in a day. I smile in pictures and forgo the perfect angle. It has been only in the last month that the scales are actually tipping in my favor and I finally got under 200 pounds. That was a big victory. I celebrated. I tooted my own horn and I posted a status about it, because I deserved the facebook likes and the comments. In the past year I worked on seeing me.