Sunday, February 24, 2013

So How Did it Get to This Point?

This is kind of a painful post to write, but part of this journey is being completely honest with myself and my feelings.  In doing so, I have to explore the uncomfortable truths and somehow work through the discomfort while looking forward to being free of the chains that have kept me here for so long.

My weight problems started when I was quite young.  I was a normal sized kid - a little tall for my age, but not at all overweight. When I was 10 years old, my father told me I was putting on weight, and that I should do something about it because "fat people aren't allowed in [his] house."  He then told me he'd throw me out on the street if I got fat.  He told my mother to put me on a diet.

So I suppose at the basic level, this is where the problem started.

I was ten years old and had gained a few pounds.  But see, that's kind of what kids do, right?  They grow.  And when you're ten you grow a lot, and it's awkward.  Your body starts doing weird shit and you tower over all your classmates, your feet are pushing out of your Buster Browns, and you're already super self-conscious around the smaller, prettier girls.  And then your parents come in and make a HUGE deal out of the fact that they have to buy your pants a size bigger all of a sudden and tell you that you HAVE to wear undershirts no matter what, because they "hold you in."  So, you know, maybe I was putting on fat weight.  Or maybe I was just approaching puberty and my developing pre-teen body was just doing its thing.  But rather than encourage healthier habits, and allowed to process what was happening to me, I was force-fed salads and fruit, and browbeaten into believing there was something wrong with me. My mother would point at fat people on the street and say, "Look, Deedee.  There's your incentive.  You don't want to end up like that!"

In the meantime, my mother, who weighed less than 100 pounds my entire childhood except when she was pregnant (and even then only got up to 110 or so each time), subsisted on Hostess cakes, peanut butter and margarine sandwiches on white bread (it's a Canadian thing - they eat strange shit), and three bites of whatever she'd made us for dinner.  I rarely saw a vegetable pass her lips unless it was drowning in cheese sauce or butter, and she didn't exercise.  Well, there was a brief period in the early '80s when she went to this place called Sophisticated Lady and did Jane Fonda Jazzercise-type stuff, but that was it. I'm pretty sure the only reason she went there was because she'd entered her mid-30s and her metabolism was slowing down, and my asshole father had probably made some wise-ass nasty comment about her barely-existent spare tire.  He really, really, REALLY hated fat people.  And this, in tandem with my weight struggle, would taint our relationship until it ended in merciful estrangement years later.

I wish I could say I'm making this stuff up.  I wish I could say I'm just exercising my flair for the dramatic.  But sadly, I'm not. When I launched my appeal to the insurance company for my surgery, I included an 8-page photo timeline that spanned thirty years of weight fluctuations.  To call me a yo-yo dieter is an understatement.  I'm like the Shinji Saito of dieters.  I've made that shit go up, down, sideways, around my neck, above my head, through my knees, and around the room.  Someday if I can decide just how to go about it, I'll post the whole thing here.  But just trust me on this for now - the variances are grotesque.  And looking at this, you'd have to be a robot to not wonder what the fuck was going on there.  No normal person has 50-100 pound weight fluctuations in such short amounts of time.  Over and over again.  Do they?

To tell the whole story in more detail would take way longer than I have time or energy for right now, but I do know one thing: I'm finished with feeling this way.  A lot of what's going to have to happen here will involve forgiving myself for the past, letting go of negative feelings that I've hoarded for so long, and believing that I'm worth the effort.  I deserve that much.

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