joe and i just got through with a long, and at times heated, discussion of our workout goals and frustrations, and now i’m lost in my thoughts. my mind keeps wandering back to the past, no matter how much i try to stop it. but it makes sense. after all, that’s where it all began and what’s given me the mindset i have today.
i’ve always been heavy. couple that with a very uncool wardrobe and you’ve got a winning combination. i wanted to be thin. i wished i could wear the designer clothes that the popular kids wore. but i wasn’t, and i couldn’t, and the ball started rolling.
eighth grade was probably the year that scarred me the worst. i had my group of friends, classmates who didn’t care how i looked or what i wore. they liked me for me. but the majority didn’t. i went from being referred to as “she” to “it.” “hey, it’s it!” classmates would say when the saw me. “what do you want, it?” i always liked school, but that year i didn’t want to go. i didn’t have the motivation. i didn’t have the courage.
when my parents told me we were moving to tennessee after my eighth grade graduation i was upset at first. i had a few close friends i didn’t want to leave. but as i thought about it more, i figured i could make a fresh start. i could go to a high school where i wasn’t known as an “it.” maybe i could build back a little more of my self-esteem.
high school started off fine, but i soon found that things were the same there as they had been in maryland. i guess kids are the same everywhere. if you’re not a size six with a wardrobe of clothes from the gap and banana republic, you just aren’t good enough. at least that’s how i felt. that’s how i was treated. i was still heavy and growing more and more self conscious every day. i was sick of being made fun of. i was sick of being mocked and ridiculed. i was sick of hanging out with my family on saturday nights because i wasn’t “cool” enough or “hot” enough to get a date. hell, the only banquets i went to were the ones where the girls had to ask the guys. my self-esteem dropped lower.
enter college. i think, surely things will change now. college students aren’t as superficial as high school and junior high students are. i was wrong again. at least i think i was, and i probably always will. by that point i was so shy i barely got up the courage to knock on the door of the newspaper office my freshman year to get on the staff. i wouldn’t talk to people i didn’t know very well. i sat in the back of all my classes hoping no one would notice me. if they didn’t then they wouldn’t make fun of me. they wouldn’t ostrasize me.
i gained more weight in college. i only had one boyfriend for the first four years (i finished in six because i started working full time my junior year). and really, i’d lost any motivation. my self-esteem was shot. i knew i wasn’t good enough and i probably never would be.
but then i had a breakthrough. after my first year working as a journalist my mom forced me to join a weight loss program. i was angry at first, but looking back i’m so glad she did. it took me a year, but i went from a size 12 to a size 4/6, depending on where i shopped. i quickly learned to shop at bass more because i could always wear a 4 and a small. it did wonders for my self-esteem. i finally felt like i looked good, like i was worth something.
my mind’s run the gamut tonight as i’ve been thinking about what i need to do to at least get back to a size 6/8. i’ve gotten back up to a 10, and i know i need to do something about it. and i will. and maybe the anger that i’m feeling right now will be just what i need to push my motivation over the edge. that and the fact that i am loved unconditionally by the most wonderful man in the world, a man who always thinks i’m gorgeous and sexy, a man who makes me a better person, a man who i know i want to spend the rest of my life with.i’m always going to struggle with my weight. it’s going to be hard. but i can do it. i will do it. i won’t be an “it” again.