I AM TIRED. I am tired of being the fat daughter, fat sister, fat friend. I am tired of getting winded walking up stairs. I’m tired of looking through my closet and only having about 5 outfits that fit me and don’t make me look like a complete cow. I’m tired of people like my father telling me I need to lose weight. I’m tired of him having to worry about if a couch is wide enough for me to sleep on. I’m tired of being afraid to see people I haven’t seen in 4 or 5 years for the fear that they’ll walk away saying/thinking, “Wow, she’s gained some weight since high school.” I’m tired of seeing people and fearing that they’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking - she’s too fat to be wearing that. I’m tired of trying to find the time where the gym is least crowded so the smallest possible number of people see me in my gym clothes, because they’re my least flattering clothes. Or of being afraid I’ll run into someone I know without makeup on or my hair done, since that’s the only way I feel like I can look attractive. I’m tired of going out with my girlfriends and knowing that I’m the one that doesn’t fit in. I’m tired of feeling ugly pretty much every minute of every day. I’m tired of being exhausted because of all these things I can’t stop thinking about.
If you have never been overweight, you don’t know what this feels like. If all you have ever had to lose is 10 pounds, you don’t know what this feels like. If “gaining weight” to you is that your jeans become a little too tight, you have no idea what I’m talking about.
I spent the majority of my middle school and high school careers in a size 8 weighing 150 pounds. I felt fat then, as most of my friends were smaller than me. I started gaining weight my senior year of high school, and continued gaining through the middle of my sophomore year. When I hit 190 lbs. and a size 14, I decided to make a change. I went on Weight Watchers and lost 30 pounds in 4 months. Now, at this time, I was happy. I had a great steady boyfriend, a job, school was going well and I wasn’t 21 yet so I wasn’t drinking and eating late at night. When I got back to about 160 lbs. and a size 8 (I had been working out and had a bit more muscle than in high school), I decided to stop. Over the next 3 years, I gained back almost 80 pounds. I find it no surprise that my weight gain occurred during a more unhappy time in my life - school was difficult, I was single again, work was stressing me out. And on top of regular life stuff, I lost 2 grandparents. Today, I weigh 218 pounds and wear a 16 in plus sizes. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last 3 months or so, which is mind-numbingly slow when you’ve lost an average of 2 pounds a week in your life before. My goal is to get to between 150-160 pounds in this year.
These are incredibly difficult things for me to say. I’m not a particularly forthcoming person about my private life, and this is the scariest stuff to say out loud. But I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. Obesity runs in my family, on both sides. I know part of my disease is learned and part of it is genetics, but I imagine the genetics part is a much smaller portion of my problem. I love all kinds of fattening food, and generally dislike healthy stuff. I hate going to the gym. But what I hate even more is waking up in the morning and expecting to see something else in the mirror. Being disappointed every day because I don’t like the person I’ve let myself become. People who are overweight can say that they’re happy and they love the person they are and the life the lead, but most of them say that because they don’t know how much happier they could be. And I only know because I know once I was spectacularly happy. And every day since I started gaining weight again has been a pound added to the guilt-trip chip on my shoulder. It has inhibited me from having fun, enjoying my 20’s and living life like a regular person. I know nobody likes their body. But this feeling is compounded by about 100 when you know you used to look good, and you’re the only person to blame for the way you look now.
This blog is not just for me. Granted, it is a way I think I could help hold myself accountable. And I hope that it is somehow therapeutic so I don’t ever have to be in this place again. But beyond those things, I hope that it inspires someone. I hope that it makes someone realize that losing weight is not a fight you must fight alone. Or I at least hope that it shows someone who doesn’t understand obesity what a powerful disease it can be.