From the time I was only five years old, I remember being insecure about my weight. I was always "the fat kid" and by "fat kid" I mean, extremely obese child.
You see, my parents got divorced when I was only four years old and no I'm not asking for a pity party because I too got divorced when my kids were young, but the difference is that I chose to live with my dad because my mom just wasn't in the right place in her life to raise me. So, at four years old, my dad who really didn't have a domestic bone in his body had to learn how to care for a prechooler. I will say he tried, but I was doing my own hair and picking out my own clothes when by the second week because he just couldn't.
Nutrition was not an important topic in my house. I think the staples of all of our meals were Mac N Cheese and Fried Okra. Literally, I probably ate it 3x/week. IF we were not eating those things, we were at my grandparents eating "Fried Taters" and Fried Catfish with homemade cornbread smothered in butter OR at Waffle House eating Patty Melts with Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked HashBrowns. Oh and let us not forget the daily trips to Taco Bell for a Nachos Bell Grande and the late afternoon visits to The Tasty Freeze for Ice Cream Sundaes.
Yes, I'm totally serious. I'm surprised I did not have a heart attack by the time I was ten years old. Now that I look back, I cringe thinking about all of the horribly disgusting things I ate. I didn't know any better and apparently neither did my dad. It wasn't important to him, therefore it wasn't to me.
I grew up in a fairly large school. I played softball and excelled at it. It was my thing and it got me in the "cool crowd," but I was still slightly outside the cool crowd circle. Some of them whispered about me and made jokes about my weight. They'd do mean things in class just to embarrass me. I remember the feeling of my face burning crimson red from the embarrassment. It was terrible. I couldn't take it anymore and my dad agreed to move us to a smaller school when i was 14.
That summer, I made a decision to no longer be the "fat kid." I learned of the Tae Bo DVD and started doing it over summer break and I also paid more attention to the foods I was putting into my body. It worked. By my 10th grade year of school, I had lost a ton of weight and I looked great! People didn't know who I was. I was so proud of myself. But with my new self came stress that I didn't used to have. I became aware of every single thing I ate. Overly aware, to the point of an eating disorder, in fact. I became so consumed with what I looked like and how I fit into my clothes and whether I was "skinny" or not, I had lost sight of myself and went from a healthy diet and lifestyle to a deadly one.
I went on for over a year before anyone knew my secret, until one day I got dizzy and my heart started hurting and I got scared. I had to tell someone. My mom found out through that person and she was furious with me. She told my dad and he was even more furious with me. He didn't know how to communicate with me any more and we basically had a falling out. I understood though. Even though, my mom was highly aware of my sickness and watched me all the time, I found ways to continue.
I remained very unhealthy until I was 19 years old and found out I was pregnant with CDC. I knew at that time, I had to be healthy for another life and I immediately stopped. I gained 42lbs when I was pregnant with her and I was miserable. I knew that I had done the right thing for my baby, but at the same time I completely let myself go. If I would have stopped with the eating disorder, but still maintained a healthy diet and exercise, it would have been a different story, but I didn't.
Fast forward past all of my child bearing years to today. I am 27 years old. It has been 12 years since I first started dealing with an eating disorder and sadly, I am still struggling today. No one knew. No one knows. I still battle myself every single day. Throughout my pregnancies and for short whiles after, I was fine and my brain was healthy, but slowly but surely after each baby and especailly now since not being pregnant for four years, I struggle. It's like a constant fear of being that "fat kid" again. Even though, I KNOW I need to be healthy and do things the healthy way, it's like my brain won't connect to that rationalization. So many times, I think I have it under control, but then I lapse again. It's so frustrating and I can't tell anyone because they don't get it and they blame me and become angry with me and I don't want to put anyone else through that. It's not their fault. It's my fault for not dealing with whatever emotion and/or memories I have from my childhood. I know I am not that child anymore. I've grown up. I've accomplished a lot and I have kids who need me to be healthy and they need a good self image to look up to.
I will say that eating "Clean" and working out 4x/week has drastically improved the way I think about food and my body. I've never felt healthier in my life. I do not feel guilty and bloated after eating a meal. I'm proud of my meal preps that I do on Sunday evenings and I want to prove that I can be in control and I can be healthy and happy regardless of my weight/size. I want to prove it to myself more than anything! And, I will. That's my giant goal this year. Be healthy and happy, no matter my weight or size.