That sounds sort of sad, but I think in a way being overweight is a major comfort zone for me. I have been bigger than average from the time I was a child. When I was a little girl, my mom insisted on dressing me in pants with elastic in the waist or shapeless homemade rompers (I really need to scan some pictures of these … they were interesting to say the least). She told me I would be uncomfortable with pants or skirts or dresses that zipped and/or buttoned; I think she secretly thought I would get upset because I wouldn’t fit into “normal girl” clothes. And this went on until I was about 12! Yeah, I was an incredibly style-free tween (Puff paint tops and cotton shorts, FTW!).
I never really had an opportunity to learn about nutrition as a child, either. We’re from the deep south, y’all, and there is nothing all that nutritious about deep-fried everything. I was frequently rewarded for good behavior with some sort of treat, whether at home or in school. And this mindset carries over into my adult life, unfortunately. A good example: When I was pregnant, every single time I had a good doctor’s appointment (which was all of them, honestly; I had a very easy pregnancy) I told myself I deserved a treat, usually in the form of a Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit and hash browns.
My mom wasn’t exactly a shining example of how to live healthy or have a healthy body image either. She would go on kicks where she would pick up some fad diet (Atkins was particularly memorable considering the only snack food in the house for several months was pork rinds and cheese) and lose weight. She would talk about how much better she felt. Then she would gain the weight back and talk about how terrible she felt. It was a bad cycle, and she never seemed 100% satisfied with herself. I think I have a lot of the same emotional tendencies.
As a teen, I began to get more into sports, which probably helped keep my weight a bit more under control during those years. Seems like my parents would have encouraged this activity, but for some reason my dad thought I needed to be in better shape before I hit the court for basketball. I remember him telling me I would be slower than all the other girls if I didn’t run sprints in our yard; he told me I had to lose some arbitrary amount of weight before he would let me play. I ended up playing anyway for a couple of years, but I think that played a part in me eventually ending my bball career after my freshman year of high school.
I could probably go on and on about the things that led to where I am now, how I got here and why I have such a hard time getting away from here. But the fact is, I am dissatisfied with the way I eat, the amount of physical activity I get and the fact that I can’t walk into any store I want to shop at and buy clothes for myself. And I can either learn to accept those things or I can change them.
I can’t do anything about what’s happened before. It happened. In retrospect, none of this was really that bad, but it still has an effect on me. I just need to learn not to use those things as an excuse. I want to be healthy, and no one is responsible for that but me.