My whole life I have been overweight, I have never really known what it felt like, or looked like to be thin. I have always been told I had a “pretty face” or I would look so beautiful if “I lost a few pounds.” My weight has been a family issue since I can remember so naturally I developed low self-esteem and an extreme sensitivity to weight related issues or comments. I have been an emotional eater and binge eater since I can remember, I use food to fill voids, suppress emotions and as way to be social. I also hide food and binge eat when I know I can get away without judgement and have been doing this for years, still to this day. This habit is my worst out of all of them.
In October of 2009 I got to my breaking point with being criticized about my weight and feeling so unhappy that I began to change my lifestyle. I rapidly lost weight and went from my highest of 235 pounds to my lowest of 145 in 6 months. Throughout my journey I never felt so happy and so comfortable in my own skin but unfortunately throughout this I isolated myself from my friends and family. I felt like I couldn’t go out or do anything because I was always going to be around food and tempted, I unfortunately could not find the balance in order to keep the weight off while still enjoying life. I didn’t feel accepted being thinner and I felt even more judged than when I was over weight and I grew tired of people telling me how “big I use to be” because that person was still apart of me and those words still hurt. So I did what I knew would make me feel better, I began to eat and eat and eat to feel normal and accepted. In the summer of 2011 my weight jumped back up to 180 pounds, but I was working out a lot and had gained a considerable amount of muscle that I didn’t feel ashamed of my body, I actually felt proud of how I looked. However, towards the end of the summer I found out that my dad had been diagnosed with stage three cancer and I never felt so scared in my entire life. I dealt with my dads cancer the only way I knew how, I ate. Since my dad has been diagnosed with cancer I have gain another 30 pounds. Throughout this entire journey that is the most amount of weight I put back on in the shortest amount of time. I didn’t even realize the connection between my weight gain and my dad having cancer till recently. Now I am almost back to where I started and I can’t even express how disappointed I was in myself and how much I felt like I let people down and how even more judged I felt.
Than I had a realization, my life isn’t about pleasing other people. My life isn’t about how others see me, or how over weight they think I am. My weight isn’t and should not be the main focus of my life and it will not affect the person I am. I did something many people can’t even do, I managed to lose 90 pounds and although some may look at me and see me as a failure, I look at myself and see how successful and beautiful I am in this moment.
I am on my journey again to be healthy, not skinny, not to feel beautiful, not to achieve an “ideal weight” and not to please anyone. I want to be healthy so I don’t have to worry about all the health and medical conditions that come with being over weight, or so I don’t have to feel sluggish and worry about waking up and having my joints hurt from all the excess weight. I’m on the journey to finding balance and living a healthy life.