Mirrors Never Lie
I’m fat.....really fat. Actually, I am morbidly obese. I know this.... It is knowledge that I live with every day, and something that I can’t forget. I never realize just HOW fat I am though, until I catch a glimpse of my reflection at unexpected moments, or see a photograph of myself someone has taken. I don’t even recognize the person I see anymore......
Everyday while brushing my teeth, putting on make-up, or fixing my hair, I see myself in the mirror. But I have developed a habit of looking only at my eyes......only at my teeth.....only at my hair..... I don’t see the “big” picture. Literally. I can sometimes fool myself into thinking I’m not THAT bad until I am caught off guard. Mirrors never lie. It is only at random unexpected moments that I catch a true glimpse of myself..... in the television when the screen goes dark between commercials, walking down the mirror aisle at Walmart or Garden Ridge, or a photograph someone has managed to sneak of me or convinced me to pose for.
And I’m ashamed
I’m ashamed of my appearance, I’m ashamed of how much I have “let myself go”. I’m ashamed of who I have become.
In high school I was always thin. The beginning of my Senior year I weighed 109 lbs. soaking wet. I’ve never been a size 0 or 1, but I did stay within the size 3 to 5 range. My weight has always been something I worried over, even when I was thin. I use to study myself in the mirror, judging my body. I always felt my thighs were too large, my arms not toned enough, my stomach not flat enough.... now I would give anything to look like that again.
I can remember when I was in high school, it was almost a contest, who could eat less. I would pick at my food, then claim to be stuffed. I even flirted with Bulimia, making myself throw up after eating a meal “because I ate too much”, though I never binged. I survived off one meal a day, and I usually didn’t eat much of whatever was being served. Only occasionally, would I get seconds if it was something very tasty.
At my Dad’s house there was no “snack foods”. We drank Iced Tea or Water... no Soda’s. I didn’t eat ice-cream, or candy, or chips. There was no eating in between meals. If you wanted breakfast, you had to wake up very early to get it, and I have never been an early riser. If I wanted any spending money for the weekends, I had to save my lunch money. Lunches were $1.50 a day, and I was only given $5.00 a week. Once I started working, I no longer received lunch money. At dinner, if you didn’t like what was being served..... too bad, you just hoped that something better would be served tomorrow.
I got married at 18, shortly after I graduated. My husband at the time grew up in a house that always had snacks and sweets....... ice cream, cookies, chips, soft drinks... and he expected it at our house as well. Suddenly I was able to snack in between meals, I drank soda’s all the time, and I ate 3 meals a day. Like a kid in the candy store, I tried everything we had, and loaded up on the “goodies” when getting groceries. I think a large part of my snacking was because the marriage was very stressful. We were both really young, and he still wanted to stay out all night with his friends until 4:00 in the morning. I thought he should come home every night. There were many sleepless nights, waiting for him. Almost immediately I began to put on weight.
After six months of marriage I got pregnant with my first child. When I went to my first Doctor’s visit I was shocked to realize I had put on 50 pounds in that first six months of marriage. I gained another 25 pounds during my pregnancy, which resulted in a 75 pound weight gain within a year! After my first child was born, I just assumed the “baby weight” would fall off........ it didn’t. 23 months later my second child was born. I only put on 30 pounds with her, but kept most of it after she was born. A year later, my first husband left, and we divorced. During the divorce I walked on the treadmill everyday, and really watched what I ate. The pounds, however, stayed on. It wasn’t until after I finally accepted that “this was happening” and that I wanted the divorce too, before I started to see results. I lost 35 pounds fairly quickly after that.
Being a single mother was stressful financially. As the stress piled on, my weight loss slowed, then stopped. I didn’t put on any extra weight, but I wasn’t losing it either. A year after my divorce was final I met and married my husband now. When I was pregnant with our son, once again I packed on the pounds...gaining 85 pounds! I kept it all. When my fourth child was born, I gained very little during her pregnancy, and lost all the pounds I had gained with her, but I remained a size larger than before I had her. I’ve been obese ever since.
I started blogging this past year, and have really enjoyed it. While I blog about many different topics, and am open in each one, I never blog about my weight gain, or struggle with obesity. I am too ashamed. I don’t want anyone I knew from school reading it, knowing I have done this to myself. I am very careful not to post any pictures that really show my size on Facebook, and I am leery about letting others take a photo of me, so afraid it will be tagged on Facebook.
I know there are thousands of stories just like mine out there, so I decided to create a new blog. One just for my more private thoughts and issues. One day I may have the courage to put it out there for all to see, but for now I will not broadcast it as I do my other blog. I realize that anything published to the web is accessible, and I am risking having this blog read by someone I would have rather not known, but this is a journey that so many others are on, I can’t help but to share..... I hope that through blogging I can help not only myself, but others as well.