I haven’t always been Fat. When people meet me for the first time, at over 300 pounds, and they learn that I was quite a normal weight, even thin, all through high school, they appear surprised. That doesn’t mean I was without weight issues in high school; they just weren’t what I thought they were. My Body was just fine during those teen years. If only I had known that then.
In the summer between 7th & 8th grades I got sick with viral pneumonia. My 5’2″ body went down to 76 pounds. My parents were told that I probably was not going to make it. I missed out on all the fun my friends were having and spent the entire summer either in bed at home or in bed at the hospital. My father would have to carry me to the basement laundry tub to wash my hair. The pediatrician even started calling me Lazarus once I took a turn for the better.
When I arrived at school in the fall, incredibly thin, I got such marvelous attention for that. Even teachers commented on how much weight I had lost as if it was something to be proud of. But inevitably, I increased my weight by about 40%, adding on hips and boobs in the process. I was the massive size of 105 pounds, or at least I felt massive. The positive attention for my “weight loss” had disappeared and I had this emerging woman’s body instead. That began my unhealthy journey with this body that felt all wrong.
Through high school I stayed at a relatively thin size, though at the time I felt as big as a house. I am shocked when I come across clothes from that time. They are so tiny but seeing as one of my best friends was a size 0 (yes, really) my feelings of being enormous never went away. At the same time I began to get attention from boys because of my body shape. That should be a good thing, right? Nope. Not a good thing. A very uncomfortable thing. At least for me. I had encounters with all kinds of boys…and men…okay, mostly men…that left me very confused about this body I was in.
After I got married at age 18 (best decision of my life) I suddenly had my own household and the ability to ignore veggies. I wasn’t “going out” much anymore and that lack of running around led to the “freshman 15” except I wasn’t a freshman but just an “adult,” out on my own. I started to notice a direct correlation between weight I was gaining and being ignored by men. Had I discovered the golden invisibility cloak?
In May 1986 I gave birth to my firstborn. The day before he was born I weighed 140 pounds. I felt enormous, of course, but I clearly was not. But suddenly I had a rather sloppy shape and seemingly a ticket to go out into the world and not be cat-called or asked inappropriate questions. How wonderful! But what was wonderful quickly became not so wonderful and ultimately was the path to where I am now. I would gain more. Lose about 10 pounds. Have a rather panicky feeling in my chest. Gain 10+more. Over 30 plus years it led to where I am now. Over 300 pounds at 5’2.”
My health is in jeopardy. My mobility is practically non-existent. Everyday tasks are exhausting and in some cases impossible. Through all this my Body has stuck with me. It wakes up every day and does its best to keep up with me. Its best is not very good at the moment. I have more posts coming that will both elaborate on things I mentioned and give you a birds eye view of how one navigates life at over 300 pounds. Might this be a tale as well of how I overcome 30 years of bad choices? That’s definitely the dream…and the goal.