From first to eight grade I attended a co-educational, private, Catholic school. I wore a uniform [which I actually adored] & there were decently strict rules about jewelry, makeup, hair color/length/style, & nail polish. There wasn’t much room for anyone to really stand out. Even with all of that though, I still noticed how different I was from the other girls at an early age - between the 4th & 5th grade, possibly earlier.
I have very clear memories of being incredibly angry at my parents for giving me thick, curly/frizzy hair, thicker eyebrows, & so dark they’re almost black colored eyes. I felt so plain & so unkept at the same time. On top of that, I was a bit stockier than all the leaner girls in my class.
I had a ton of friends. I was in with the “popular” group, but still had a ton of friends in the “smarter” crowd since I too was a nerd. I just couldn’t help noticing the difference. Boys liked me so it wasn’t too much of a big deal. But I knew my body was different, even hidden underneath the plaid uniform skirts.
All the girls I was friends with did gymnastics & dance, while I was more of a tomboy. I think I took ballet for all of 3 months, & played softball for 7 years. I loved sports & my body developed solidly, as oppose to long & lean like the other girls. My hair was always in a ponytail because really, no one knew how to manage it. [Thankfully I learned & I LOVE it curly :)]
However, during the middle school years, I slowly began to binge more & more. I ate my feelings I suppose. I was going through a rough personal time with family & I tried to control it with cutting, drinking, & food. Eventually I went the other way with it.
By the time I was in high school, I was the heaviest I had ever seen myself by sophomore year. I don’t know what that weight was as I didn’t have a scale, but I know I was around 135lbs. I had braces & my hair was still unmanageable.
Needless to say, it was good I had a great personality & boobs. I had low self esteem though, & attracted the wrong type of attention. I was in several abusive relationships during my high school career. I became anorexic & limited myself to only raisins, diet coke, & occasionally a few crackers. Per day.
By my senior year I was still involved in an abusive relationship [now pushing 2 years] & was down to a weight of 115 pounds. Going to college was one of the best things for me. I was active and learning to eat correctly. I still attracted the wrong kinds of attention, but through counseling I learned how to sustain healthy relationships & eat again.
A really bad break up my junior year of college set me back in the eating department. I literally stopped eating. I lost 10 pounds in a week. My counselor noticed an instant body change. Even before this set back though, I could ignore my hunger. It would just go away. And I noticed if I ignored it, when I woke up, my stomach would be flat & I would be happy. People were envious of this & I took it as a compliment. I didn’t realize how unhealthy it was because I always felt fine.
It continued in this way… I literally had to be reminded to eat, & my portions were always tiny. I love the taste of food, but when I let myself go, I have a tendency to binge & snack instead of doing it in moderation. I was finally getting the hang of things [sort of] by the time I met the love of my life, Chris.
When I met him, I loved my body. I was slender. I was active. I was having fun. I was loving my life. When we moved in together, & we started eating & going out to eat & cooking big meals, I was less active. I was lonely. I missed my friends & my family. I was in a new environment & as much as Chris tried, I needed more.
What I needed was to take control of my body in a positive way. Since I have been out of a job in this military town, I decided to put my energy into myself.
My best friend & I use an application for Apple called “Lose It!” in order to track our calories. I now make sure I end up netting around 1200 calories a day & I work my body until it can’t take it anymore. This is the slowest way I’ve ever lost any weight, & I get frustrated constantly. I’m super disciplined & I can be very hard on myself. Thankfully I have Chris & my best friend to keep me grounded & happy & healthy. Even though it’s slow, however, I know I’m doing it the right way… & that makes it satisfying enough!