What’s eating me?

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So I’ve been asked my a couple of people to talk about my story, share my “secrets” and such. I’m going to, but right now I’m not sure how it’ll come out so please bear with the stream of consciousness style of this post.

Overall I’ve lost 95 lbs. I can see my goal on the horizon, I’m almost there. I’m still not sure what I’ll do once I get there in terms of maintaining but let me share my journey from 235 lbs to now.

I have been overweight for the majority of my life. As far back as I can remember I was the fat one. The rest of my family was lean, svelte, and attractive. I was the black mark, something went wrong with me. My parents divorced when I was 5 and my father equated buying us sweets with love. I lacked the manic energy that my sister had and the weekly influx of junk made me put on weight.

I was a chubby kid. Then after moving to the UK, I became an obese teenager. My mother tried in vain to correct this. She heavily restricted what I was allowed to eat. She tried to get me to do aerobics class with her, we both hated it but I suppose it was for the greater good in her eyes. Because of the restriction, I started to sneak and hide food. I’d save up every spare coin I had and go to the shop after school for a couple of chocolate bars and a bag of potato chips. I’d visit the fish and chip shop in town regularly. I’d eat the packed lunch my mother made for me and then buy extra food from the cafeteria.

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time walking. That probably kept me from getting even fatter than I was. My sister, meanwhile, was an image obsessed athlete. She would spend over an hour getting ready for school in the morning so that she’d look perfect. I’d throw on my ripped, stained, too small sweatshirt and call it a day. I never learned how to do makeup or do my hair, I didn’t shave my legs or underarms, I cut my hair very short. I made very little effort and took no pride in myself. I figured that I was a fat, hideous blob so what was even the point of trying to look presentable? I’d never be my mother. I’d never be my sister. I should just give up. Due to my utter lack of self-esteem I found myself involved in one toxic relationship after the next. It was a low point in my life.

In 2001, my sister and I moved back to Canada to live with our father. I was 17. I didn’t have to sneak food any more, I didn’t have to ask permission to eat, I just could. Old habits die hard though and I continued to secretly eat. The family would have supper together every night and then go their separate ways, I’d return to the kitchen later on and eat leftovers or take “just one cookie” from the pantry over and over and over.

I started to like myself a little more, I found acceptance from people online and I met my future husband the following year, when I was 18.

It was when I moved to the United States at 18 that I went completely crazy. Now I was free of any type of accountability or judgement. Now I could indulge my every desire and food is everywhere here so that was very easy. I moved in with my future husband and his family, his mother was someone who liked to feed people. She baked constantly, there was always sweet things or fried things or just downright delicious things. I was introduced to food I’d never even heard of before and I could eat as much as I wanted as often as I wanted.

We moved out, got married and had three kids. It was between my first and my second child that I hit my heaviest weight. After my second child was born I was 235 lbs. I decided that I needed to change things, I started slowly to realize the reasons why I ate so much and why I ate garbage. I started to eat clean and exercise, I lost 30 pounds.

I fell pregnant with our youngest child and did relatively well through my pregnancy. I am cursed with gestational diabetes; I’ve had it three times. The one upside of it though is that I am forced to follow a diet while pregnant and never really put on a lot of baby weight. After my youngest child was born I started to eat with reckless abandon again because I was breastfeeding. Breastfeeding gives you a ravenous appetite and I constantly grazed, mostly on that same junk that had become my soft place to fall. I saw my weight creeping back on, I had to return to my “fat” pants. Warning bells went off in my head and I decided that I would do something about it for real this time.

I’m done having children, I don’t have to worry about sustaining a growing fetus or producing enough milk for a baby anymore. It is time to focus on myself. It is time to start loving myself and treating myself as someone who’s worthy of being taken care of.

I’ll make a follow-up post to this detailing what exactly I did and even suggesting some daily meal plans, for now I feel like this is a good place to pause.