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How I got here (part 2)

I always felt conspicuous in some way; singled out for one thing or another.  Like when my hair was cut really short, and people thought I looked like a boy.  Or when I started developing early, and kids at school taunted me and called me “grapefruits.”  It might have even started when I overheard my mom telling my dad, how my sister was just so much prettier than me.  Whatever it was, I buried my stress and anxiety in food.

It sounds hard to believe, but I’m actually not all that fond of food.  I mean, there are certainly some foods I like more than others, but in general, there’s not a whole lot I enjoy.  But when I’m stressed, it doesn’t matter what the food is ~ I don’t think I taste it much, not really.  When I was engaged to my first husband, and his family hated me (and then my family hated HIM), being young and not having a lot of money, we’d meet and hang out at the local fast food joint.  And we’d eat.  Not excessively, but  the burgers, fries, and sugary sodas took their toll in a big way.  Like most people, I found it easy to gain, but not so easy to lose.  I confess, I didn’t really try that hard.

Eventually, after 5 years of marriage, I got pregnant.  At last, I could indulge in the foods I really *did* enjoy, without worrying about what I gained!  After all, I was going to breastfeed, and that meant I would drop the weight quickly!  So I could have all the bread, pasta, cheese and sweets I wanted, and no one would give me any grief.   With a lack of support from my (now ex-) spouse, and him having to be hospitalized for prescription drug withdrawal in the early part of my pregnancy, I was under more stress than ever – so I ate even MORE of the foods I should have gone easy on to begin with.  I gained a lot more than I had even planned for, and while I lost weight when my son was born, it was nowhere near as much as I gained.  And breastfeeding wasn’t the grand success I had hoped for, at least not weight-wise.  No one mentioned the fact that you had to EXERCISE, too!  I’d always had a crazy phobia against sweating (even wore a sweater over my clothes when it was warm so if I did sweat, no one would know!!), so that wasn’t for me.  No, sir!  I’d just cut back and watch the pounds drop off.  Until we had financial problems…. and then our son started having grand mal seizures.  With an emotionally defective husband, I turned to chocolate for comfort.  Cutting back, was cut short.

I felt that I was on a crazy roller coaster ride, and every time I would be ready to start paying attention to getting myself healthy, there’d be more stress from a different corner, and I’d eat my way out of it.  My ex did the same, although he was much better at packing it in.  So even though I was eating too much, I didn’t eat nearly as much as he did – which allowed me to convince myself I wasn’t doing too badly.

When our son was 4, I left his father.  More stress.  Staying with my sister and her family for a month while my ex kept badgering me to go back to him, and as our son was losing control, only added more stress.  My son and I, moving in with my parents.  It was like a pyramid of stress!  One thing led to another, and another… after a while, my ex gave up, and we got divorced.  Yay!

One year later – my baby is diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, my boyfriend (my husband of the last 15 years) moves in with us all, blah blah blah… you know where I’m going with this.  I could never escape from my stress, and I felt it consuming me.  The way I dealt, was to leave the house with said boyfriend, at least a couple of times a week, for a late night Tommy’s run.  THAT’s no way to lose weight.

Add a couple more pregnancies, and there you go.  There’s far more to my story, but I don’t want to bore you with it.  Suffice to say that there have been difficulties & crises along the way, most of which I dealt with by having a shake or some cookies or some melted cheese bread.

So today, I’m fat.  Not a pretty word, fat.  I hate it… but it’s right there in front of me, every time I look in the mirror.  After my mom’s remark to my dad about me being less attractive than my sister, I made funny faces whenever I was photographed.  Anything to avoid anyone being able to see what I “really” looked like.  But as I gained weight, I learned to turn away from any camera remotely pointed in my direction.   At least when I look in the mirror, I see what my brain tells me to see, and I never look in a full-length mirror.  But a photograph isn’t just worth a thousand words, it makes me feel like I weigh a thousand pounds.

So what do I do next?




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