I have no real memory of being anything other than overweight. Even now, at my current weight, I am in the overweight category. I’m no longer obese or morbidly obese, but I am still overweight. It’s disheartening and a little depressing. Apparently though, there was a time when I was underweight.
My mom tells this story about my being 2, weighing about 24 pounds (hell, I think Keb was that under a year old!) and walking through the grocery store in a diaper. Apparently I was gnawing on a tortilla I had gotten from Aunt Mimi’s. Mom went to take it away, and I started screaming. Allegedly Aunt Mimi told her to give it back, or people would think they were starving me.
By the time I was in 3rd grade that changed — dramatically. Starting with 3rd grade I became very aware of my weight. Of course, I’m guessing it was something to notice. I went from being a girl kids played with to “Fat Rhonda.” My legs started to rub together, and I got holes in the thighs of my jeans where they rubbed. I remember my dad telling me I had 3 rolls of fat. I withdrew from people, ending up more painfully shy than I was. Needless to say, I was bullied.
For the longest time, I couldn’t quite figure out WHY this had happened. I mean, I WAS skinny at one time. Very much so. What changed?
Then one night I really thought about it as I walked. I realized that we had been sent to live with my grandmother in Illinois for, I don’t know how long. It seemed to be a month or more. I say this sincerely; she was evil. Looking back as an adult and seeing what I saw then, I know that she was alcohol addicted and prescription drug addicted. She didn’t work. I don’t know what she did. Whatever it was, we kids were NOT to be in the house. So there we were in Mathersville, Illinois with no friends, no where to go to, a boring yard, someone who seemed to hate/resent us, and, money. The kicker is, she gave us money to go to the store. It seemed like $5 a day, but it couldn’t have been. Michael, my older brother, would save his. I spent every last penny on candy. I also ate every last bit of candy, a habit that continued when I got home.
I cannot tell you how much I weighed prior to 3rd grade. I can tell you that I was 99 pounds by the time the school weighed us in the spring. By 6th grade I was 153. By 8th I was 180-something. By 10th, I was 213. Sometime in my junior year I got HUGE. I was in a tight 22 (with a FOUNDATION garment). By senior year, I was back to something like 213-220. Over the years I’ve been larger and smaller than 213, but never less than what I weighed in 6th grade. My largest verified weight was 242, and that my friends, was after I knew I’d lost weight.
I can tell you honestly I that ate from emotion. I had learned it at my grandmother’s, and I’ve never looked back. If I am ever mad, anxious, upset, bored or any other negative emotion, I eat it. In high school, I could and did eat an entire box of Little Debbie snack cakes. Being as cheap as they were, I would eat my Dad’s treat (they were in the freezer for his lunches), then go to the store and buy a replacement box. Then I would eat the right amount of packages to match how many Dad had left. Do you KNOW how many calories are in Little Debbie snack cakes? Between 250 and 300 per pack. About the same as a candy bar, unless you’ve eaten all 6 packages (or 12) in the box. Daily…
Over the years, this took a toll on who I was as a person. It also contributed to my personality. I was, indeed, the fun fat friend. Since I had many gay friends, I had male attention. I just never had MALE attention, not really.
I’ve long since come to terms with how I got here. Now my job is to learn how to really deal with disordered aspect of my eating habits. This way, maybe once and for all I can learn to maintain weight loss rather than simply losing weight.