Growing up there was never a question in my mind that I was FAT. Every time I looked in a mirror all I saw was gross globs of fat and it totally disgusted me! By the time I was in 8th grade I weighed over 200 pounds. Going to school was a nightmare because I was always the center of attention and ridiculed constantly from all of the other kids and even teachers. It was so bad sometimes that I cried for hours before I would have to go to school but my mother had no sympathy for me and she made me go to school every day. I never accepted myself the way I was so my self-esteem and self-acceptance were virtually gone. Over the years, my body and life took a toll on me and at some point the sadness turned to depression.
As far back as I can remember I felt and looked horrible. My world consisted of eating high sugar, fattening junk food and EATING was the most pleasurable workout for me. I think I came out of the womb eating Bon Bons and screaming for my next meal! Food was my fix, it was my addiction, and at a very early age I learned if I cried I would be fed. I learned if I was sad, depressed or having any uncomfortable feeling food would make it all go away for the moment. If I had a bad day food would give me a high like nothing else could.
Food was readily available and I knew how to get it when I needed a fix. Yes, I was a food junkie back then and still consider myself a food addict today even though over 20 years ago I lost 130 pounds and have kept it off since then. I always knew that I was one thought away from the next binge but I vowed to myself that I would never go back to the old me and so far I have kept that promise.
Today, food is fuel for my body. I appreciate how energized and strong I feel when I am eating for performance and not shoveling whatever in my face to push down an emotion that I could not deal with.
I grew up using food for every physical, emotional and mental issue and never learned or realized how emotionally dependent I was for that next fix to get me through the horrible childhood I had to relive so many times in my head. I never learned that I had the POWER to deal with it until I had to be hospitalized for a mental breakdown at age 35. Years of therapy followed to help me to cope and understand how my life was unraveling.
As a young girl and teen it never dawned on me, nor did anyone tell me, that I was killing myself and that my health was at stake. All I knew was that FOOD could and would get rid of any emotional pain that surfaced. Back then I had many feelings that I never knew how to deal with. I never had a voice as most fat people feel they do not have, We were silenced because if we spoke out it would always be associated with our weight and there is not an overweight person I know who wants to have their weight the center of any conversation.
Today, after 25 years of medication, therapy, praying and the will to live my life is totally changed. I thank God for giving me the courage to swim upstream. My life was worth every tear that I shed so many years ago!