Thursday, February 7, 2008

the will set you free.

I was asked by a reader to write a little bit about my mindset in terms of healthy eating and living..and how I got to where I am today...

So here goes, oh yeah, and I'm posting my morning snack at the end of my diatribe!

I am a big woman. I was a big baby, a big child, a big teenager, and I'm still big. Like, not just fat...big. I was the kid that was always in the 90th(+) percentile at my check ups as a kid.

I'm 5'7"ish (I really wish I was 5'8") I don't know why..I just like 8 better, but alas, I'm never going to get there.

I stopped growing when I was about 13 or 14 (told you I was big), well..that is when I stopped growing up. I've continued growing out, and shrinking back in at times, ever since.

Being "big" is my fate, my lot in life, and I'm ok with that. Now.

Growing up, I knew I wasn't small. Kids aren't stupid, but kids are mean. Mean kids helped me know that I wasn't the same, that I wasn't quite as good. In second grade I wrote in my journal " I don't want to be fat, tomorrow I start my diet." Heartbreaking. No 8 year old should write that down, but I can be you that I wasn't the only one, and little girls, and maybe even little boys write that today. Isn't society great?

I was always active though, I played soccer and did gymnastics. But I was still big, mostly because I was a binge eater. Binge Eating is an eating disorder, some say more widespread than anorexia, because the medical effects aren't the same. I suppose you can call it emotional eating as well. anyway, I don't remember a time when I didn't binge eat sweets. If there were treats in the house..I found them and ate them. all of them. Seriously, it was bad, and could be a much longer post.

I'm not a doctor, and I couldn't tell you if I hadn't binged, if I'd be the size I am today.

Anyway, we'll fastforward through teenage hood (just in the interest of time, the binging didn't stop, the wishing I was skinny didn't stop, the thinking that if I could just lose weight the boys would like me...didn't stop).

My freshman year of college was amazing. I met amazing people, including a boy. I'm not married to this boy by the way, in fact we don't even speak that much, and really...our "relationship" wasn't that great (as my husband loves to point out) but he did do one huge thing for me. He made me look at myself. Not in the mirror, introspectively. He helped me realize that I was a "rescuer" and that I had an eating disorder. I hated him for that, for making me realize things, although now...I should thank him, I really should.

Anyway, I can't really describe the process of the binging ending. It just...sort of slowed, only to rear it's head occasionally. I know that the self awareness thing isn't helpful for everyone who has an eating disorder, but for me it was.

All through College, I was still big. The end of binging didn't end my "weight problems" as I thought of them. Although ,I was healthy. I was fortunate enough to go to school with a fantastic student rec. center, and I was able to take aerobics and pilates classes through the Univeristy P.E program. I walked to and from school... I weighed anywhere from 20 to 5 pounds less than I weigh now...and I thought I was fat. But you have to understand that although I thought I was fat, I also knew that I was smart, pretty, funny, likeable, hireable, a good friend etc etc. I never truly based my entire self worth on the number on the scale..and I think that has helped alot with the mindset I have now.

I gained weight after I graduated from college, got a desk job, a fiancee/husband, and had little money--I was working as an AmeriCorps member, very rewarding, highly reccomend.

Anyway, I know this is getting long--sorry, this past August (2007) I knew I wasn't healthy. I knew that after gaining 40 pounds since my graduation, that things needed to change. It was just about the number, it was also about eating habits, and exercising habits. So I joined the gym.

Right about the time I joined the gym, I discovered this amazing website

It put alot of things into perspective for me, and they have a fantastic blog roll. Their blog roll, is seriously so diverse. They have bloggers who are into fitness, they have bloggers that are into fatness, but most importantly, for me and my journey, they have bloggers that are into Health at Every Size. I read tons of blogs about this, as well as weight loss blogs. I went through a conflicted time, I so related to those bloggers trying to lose weight, and to the bloggers, that had always been "fat" no matter how healthy they were, or how much the exercised.

I struggled with what I felt was right for me. After stumbling upon some food blogs, I finally got a grip on my self. I became really interested in nutrition, health and whole foods. I knew that weighing 262 pounds and being sedentary and eating lots of trans fats, was bad for me. I also knew that eating all the food groups, whole foods, cutting out the processed crap, and getting my butt moving, every day...was good for me. and as for the scale? It would just do whatever it felt like doing. I can and do believe that about 90% of the time, but part of me still struggles with wanting to "weigh less." No part of me struggles with deprivation, depression, hunger, or killing my self to be "thin." Which brings me to where I am today. I love food, and I'm enjoying trying different recipes, and eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies, as well as carbs and fat and protein and desert. I don't ever deprive myself, I just think about what my body wants. And rarely, does my body want a big mac.

whew...ok...I hope that wans't too convoluted.

I ate this mini reeses cup while I wrote this.


Karen said...

Very well written! Thank you for telling your story. It was very real, authentic and heartfelt. I congratulate you on all of your past and future successes!

Anonymous said...

Your post was really well said, and your website is very motivating. I wish you the best of luck! I'll stop in and keep reading as well. :)

littlecalder said...

this post was quite amazing, it was great being able to read it. i'm one of those people who compulsively checks email/blogs/etc a million times during the day, and its so nice that most of the time when i check yours, there's something new there! its always such a nice occurrence, especially when its something as inspiring as this one!

Comrade GoGo said...

Thank you so much for writing this post! I'm going to read it again now, because I think it contains a lot of wisdom :).

Allison said...

Thanks so much for all of your support! Happy Friday!