Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm feeling all Sprat-like...

I grew up in a house where thinness was next to g-dliness.
You could never be too thin.
Jutting hipbones or razor-sharp clavicles were a source of pride.
A badge of fucking honor.

Unfortunately for me,
my mother was convinced that I was fat...
So I went on my first diet at 6.

I remember it vividly because we went out to dinner with my grandparents and she dictated what I could eat.
She also wouldn't let me have dessert.
I remember crying, not because of the lack of dessert, but from the abundance of shame.

Fueling her fervor--
I developed early.
Booooobs by 10.
Period by 11.
I was petite and curvy. (I'm 5'3ish)
Curvy in my house?

Just translated to:

You're too fat to wear that....suck in that tummy...you need to go back on a diet....wear black, it'll hide your pudge...

and so on.
In much uglier words than I care to repeat.

By the time I was 13, I had been on every diet known to man, and had serious body image/food issues.
I was basically a functioning anorexic.
It never got to a hospitalization level, but it was still there all the same.

I counted every calorie and starved myself whenever possible.
If I did eat, I berated myself and did crunches til I thought I would pass out.

But nothing worked...
I was still "fat."

As I entered adulthood, my body started changing (like it DOES), and I did everything to fight the tide.

Getting to 100 on the scale was tough...
Especially with my mother constantly pointing out my every flaw.

From 18-22, while completely on my own, away from the environment I grew up in--
I still struggled with food and weight.
This time being my own tormentor...

I was trying to eat normally and abandon my anorexic-type habits (with the support from my then-boyfriend), but I discovered:

I didn't know how.

Add the stress of working full-time, supporting myself, the shitty eating habits of college kids, and weight started creeping on.

I "ballooned" from 100 lbs to 140lbs.
I looked at the scale and wanted to die.
I was disgusting, right?

In the Summer of 2003, as most of you know, I was raped.

In what I saw as a protective measure, I started gaining weight.
A lot of weight.
I had been told my whole life that know one would want me if I was fat.

In my head?
I was already fat.
So in order to be safe, I needed to be really really fat.

Then no one would touch me ever again.

Fast-forward a year, and I had put on over 100lbs.
I woke up one day and didn't recognize myself.

It was as if every insult my mother had ever hurled at me, everything she said I was, her perception of my obesity- had come true.

I felt invisible.

Eventually, I got some therapy, meds, support, and I started to heal.
I wanted my life back.
I wanted to move past the nightmare.

But I was trapped in my own body/my own head.
Years worth of tapes played in my head, and I hated myself even more.
The perception of fat was gone, and the reality of fat was here to stay.

The first time a doctor used the word obese in reference to me--
I felt like he was finally seeing the truth I had known my whole life.

I wanted to get the weight off but I didn't know what the hell to do.

Because of the CP, I am not a great exerciser.
Most workouts and machines are hard for me to do.
I can't go running/biking/rollerblading...

I was eating right, walking, doing the best I could to be healthy.
I quit smoking
I didn't drink.
It wasn't working.
At all.

Back to old habits!
Crunches galore.
Diet pills.

The weight was clinging to me like white on rice.
My metabolism was all kinds of fucked up due to the years of dieting, starvation and poor nutrition.
Go figure!

So here I am today, still battling the bulge, as it were....

It's been 7 years that I have carried the bulk of this weight...
and a lifetime that I have struggled to accept my body.

I've lost and gained and lost again...always just increments.
Never big losses.
I was my heaviest at 255
I'm now at 200.

A number that I am deeply ashamed of.

But there are days that I feel like I have accepted myself, and gotten closer to being mentally healthy about body/food/eating disorder issues.

Then there are days where I know the fight is not over.
It may never be.

Days like today.

My FIL got my Husband a Summer pass to the local gym.
He thought it would be a good stress reliever in the midst of our financial clusterfuck.

My husband came home sweaty and exhausted, but excited.
He needs to lose 30 lbs.
The trainer at the gym said that they can have him down to that in 20 weeks.
Six-pack and all...

My husband loves me. Tells me so every day.
He also tells me how beautiful I am, how attracted he is to me.

He could give two shits about what I weigh or the size sewn into my pants.

But as he was talking?
I started to worry:

What if after he gets back in shape he notices how big I am?
What if he's no longer attracted to me?
I should go do some crunches....

Seriously. That ran frenzied through my brain....

Can I lose enough weight by the time he loses his weight that I won't look so bad next to him?

Fucking insane.

And I KNOW that, but it hasn't stopped me from feeling like Mrs. Jack Sprat all damn day.


The saddest part to me is that it wouldn't occur to me to look at someone else the way I often look at myself.


I don't look at my husband and see 30 extra lbs.
I just see my man.

I don't look at friends and see flaws.
I see people.

Despite my education, my years of therapy, a loving support system, etc.
I still have my days.

Days where I see myself through someone else's eyes and hear someone else's voice in my head.

I do need to lose weight.
We all know that it's good to maintain a healthy weight.
I am not at one.

What I fear is that If I ever make it back to that healthy weight, I won't accept it.

Because my body was never allowed to just BE.

Food was not simple nourishment and occasional pleasure, it was the enemy and my weakness.

I was not taught about healthy, I was tortured for perfection.

Healthy was never really the point.

I want it to be.
So I keep on trucking.

I force myself to eat. Because sometimes? I don't want to.

I try to exercise but if I eat a brownie, well then I ate a fucking brownie.

I make myself hear my husband's compliments.
Make myself accept them.

Someday, I hope to completely and wholly believe them.

In related news?

I started back on anti-depressants today.
We were approved for Medi-Cal.


Meds for everybody!
Okay, just me, but still...


Amelia said...

I am the same way. I can pick out something beautiful on every person I see, but when I look in the mirror? All I see are my flaws. It's hard to change, but I'm determined to, because if my daughter grows up to look like me, she certainly doesn't need to hear how ugly I think I am, especially since she's the most beautiful thing on earth. I hope you find the strength to help you on this journey.

Jayne said...

I wish you the same, Amelia.
We need to see the beauty in ourselves so that we can pass it on tow our children. I have a son, and I want him to respect women, and have a real sense of what beauty and womanhood is.
But it starts with me.
Thank you for sharing!

Reckless Sarcasm said...

I'm so glad I found you. I have struggled with the sameish issues my whole life. Recently, I've been losing. I've lost 30 lbs so far, but I still see the giant girl in the mirror.
I've heard it said that as you lose, you will have to deal with the issues that made you act this way towards food. Sometimes you will remember things. I've started to remember things. Horrible things. Things I can't even bring myself to repeat.

I know I need therapy, but I'm afraid. I think I should leave it well enough alone. The past is the past, but is it?
I think sometimes I'm afraid to be healthy. Every time I start to lose weight and gain attention, my body has a knee jerk reaction - EAT!
I feel that if I'm covered in my fat armor the same things won't happen again.

I'm working through it. Slowly but surely.

Best wishes on your journey!

Jayne said...

I'm glad you found me too!
My contact info is on my bio page, please feel free to email me!

Not that it is ANY of my business, but therapy could be a great help to you.

Therapy is some scary shit ans can be gut wrenching, but the healing and self-awareness you can find through it is worth it.

I wish you so much luck and love on your journey as well, ans as much as I can be as a stranger-I am here for you!

Endellion said...

you made me cry, but i've been crying a lot anway, i worry so much about passing on my issues with food and body to the kidlet

Jayne said...

E-I'm sorry I made you cry! I worry about passing it on too, I want O to have a healthy love and respect for women, and realistic expectations. I want him to see beauty in all it's forms and I'm so afraid I'll fuck that up. BUT, all we can do is try to love ourselves more and more every day so they see that, and make sure that our kidlets are loved unconditionally.

Love you!

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