My whole life I’ve been big, not obese but big. Always. I was 5’10 and 150 in elementary school. I was mistaken for a TA in jr high because I was head and shoulders above everyone else. If being freakishly tall at an early age was not enough, my German heritage insured I had enough fluff to survive any harsh conditions. I’ve been built like an adult since I was prepubescent, it was a struggle to find jeans but never to sign up for a basketball team.
I was not even 10 years old the first time my mother told me not to wear shorts or bend over in public. We were attending a dog wash for the local rescue group we worked with, the event had been set up in the summer months outside of a Petsmart and business was booming. I was gleefully scratching ears and smooching snoots when my mother pointed out in front of the other ladies washing dogs that the cellulite on the back of my thighs was inappropriate and I should bend at the knees to squat for the angelic fur babies at my ankles not at the waist. No one wanted to see my cottage cheese. I was on the verge of young adulthood when my petite cousin made mention while rummaging through my closet that I was the only one of her friends she couldn’t share clothes with- we could only share socks! Ha ha, a good laugh was had by all. I was in high school when my carpool schoolmate grabbed a roll on my stomach and told me no one our age should have rolls.
I was never fat. I was never gross. I was never inappropriate. I was a child and being brainwashed by situations to believe I was unworthy of beauty due to the size of my hips or dimples in my thighs. I was pigeonholed as the fat friend. The girl with the pretty face and wicked sense of humor. That type of emotional baggage never leaves you, it hitches itself to your wagon and rides you till your last days, every step of the way softly whispering failures into your ear.
It’s easy to give in to the preconceived notions in your mind and eat that brownie or two or four, fat is as fat does. I ate my emotions. I found comfort in French Fried and peace in pints of mint chocolate chip. I eventually became a self fulfilling prophecy- I got fat. 280lbs of gloriousness to be exact. I hated myself. Just a good sense of humor and a waste of a woman, I gave up. I resigned to be fat. I had my babies, I drank, ate, and sat to my heart’s content. With every wheezing flight of stairs I marched directly to my own personal hell.
2014 brought a move to the PACNW for my family and the catalyst for change I had so desperately needed. Year of yo yo diets and extreme fixes had left me jaded to what realistic change needed to be made or how those changes even become long term. Fad diets, pills, shakes, lotions and potions. Id tried them all. I was my biggest problem. I couldn’t find a mindset that gave me enough motivation to stick to something. I needed more help than I was capable of providing alone. I signed up for a membership at the 11 millionth gym I’d ever joined determined that this time it would work!
If you’ve ever been a little chunky you know that it’s impossible to go from fluffy to fit overnight. I made a plan to go to the gym 4xs a week and take one yoga class as a way to do a low impact workout I would die in the middle of. I found a routine in attending the gym, I would drop off my boys at the child center, attend the spa for a massage and red light therapy then off to yoga.
The gym wasn’t a hassle it was a retreat. This was a crucial point in my life where serenity was greatly needed and welcomed at this establishment. I went to class four times a week for my first year and melted my way back into my old fictitiously fat self. 170 lbs and still 5’10, I still can’t see past the cellulite or jiggle in my thighs, in my mind I’ll always be the girl with the pretty face and good sense of humor no matter how small my waist gets. I have resigned the fight on fat and picked up the pursuit of healthy and happy starting with how I see myself.