|Early start to my cat lady life.|
After a year or so of this, I picked myself up a boyfriend. I began to obsess about everything, thanks to my OCD, involving food. People started talking to me more, boys liked me, teachers even treated me differently. My obsessiveness got so intense that I found pro-ed blogs, LiveJournals mostly, and looked at what these girls were doing. While scrolling through the pages, looking at the emaciated pictures of these girls who were still calling themselves fat, and seeing everything they were eating (in these blogs, you'd post every single thing you were eating, down to the ounce), I thought.. well, if these girls are fat, then I'm way too fat. I began to love that grumbling stomach, begging for food, because it meant that I was doing something right. I never realized that what I was doing was wrong.
|I didn't pee my pants, this was a practical joke.|
Funny, funny. (I'm short on pictures so this is what you get)
|At a school dance in 7th grade.|
Then, something changed. I was so hungry. So, so hungry. I remember the first bit of food I ate after my long stretch of not eating anything. I remember being at the mall, with my mother I think. She had gotten a pretzel from Auntie Anne's, and I wanted one. Surprisingly. I ordered some big cinnamon one, and I ate the whole thing. I binged and I felt terrible about it. I wanted to puke, but as I mentioned above, I was terrified of throwing up (as I still am to this day). I didn't want to throw it up. I remember going on my LiveJournal and spewing out my regrets into the internet. How ridiculous is it that I felt so much guilt for eating this pretzel?
|Freshman year of high school.|
Fast forward to today and what happens? I binge eat when I'm sad. I binge eat if I'm lonely. It's a way of comfort, and that's never okay. Whenever a 'diet' or 'lifestyle change' is introduced to me, I get really excited. I get an insane high that I can't even attempt to explain; remembering my past and counting calories and figuring out how in the negative I am with calories and working out and burning those calories. In my past, whenever I attempt to go on a diet and work out, it always goes to the extreme that it was when I was 11 or 12. There is no middle ground for me. There is no healthy diet for me, at least not yet. I think once I recognize these things fully, that I can have a more reasonable relationship with food. I feel like today I'm better. A lot better. I love who I am. But sometimes, it's bad again. If I want to start a new workout program, I get anxious and scared that I'll get obsessive again, and that makes me not even start it, which is so sad.
If I step on a scale and see a number that I don't like, my mind immediately goes into overdrive thinking of how many calories I can burn in one week and how many pounds that translates to. I daydream about my old days of wearing Abercrombie & Fitch jeans, and not worrying about whether or not I would be able to find clothes in any random clothing store. Somedays I dream of that, and as sad as this is to admit, I think that that's a natural part of being human in the culture that we live in. We aren't supposed to like what we look like. I mean, that's why the diet industry is making billions upon billions of dollars each year, right? We all see this thin propaganda, usually without even thinking about it. It goes in one ear and out the other, but that is not to discredit what it does to our brains. If I'm out with friends for dinner, I try to be as normal as possible while ordering food. Fat people are scrutinized for what they eat, thin people aren't. I can be at dinner with a few friends and we could all order huge cheeseburgers, but who is the waitress going to give the stink eye to? Do I really have to even ask?
|Cincinnati Pride: Courtesy of Citybeat|
The moral of the story? You have to love yourself. And even that isn't enough sometimes. A fat person not eating is not a noble lifestyle change. It's a disorder, an illness, a disease. Congratulating them is hurting them. We all have to love ourselves, and I cannot stress that enough. I love myself so so much, and that isn't even enough sometimes. Maybe somedays I watch more tv than other days, and see more weight loss propaganda, or maybe one day I am thinking about stupid shit too much. Whatever the reason, the guilty, regretful feelings still come back. But when do I love myself the most? When I'm not obsessing about my stomach, when I find a cute outfit, when I'm around people who love me, when readers like you email me or message me on Facebook and tell me how much I've changed your lives. Those things drive me. They make me so so happy. I'm so glad I can make you all love yourselves so much. In that sense, I didn't want everyone to think that I'm free of these same thoughts that you have. I just try to approach them differently.
I know that I'm not the only one who has dealt with these issues, but how would I know if people don't talk about them? That is why I wanted to write this post. That is also why it was so hard for me to write this post. I'm on the verge of tears, and I'm shaking, but I had to do this for myself and for you. You are okay. You are beautiful. You deserve to love yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. You are perfect.
You are amazing, and I love you.