I have put a lot of thought into myself lately. I have thought about my page, The Shrinking Sparkly Girl and my #Roadto40 mission. I have thought about my journey, the ups, the downs and the constant battle to live up to the picture in my head. The choices I make or don’t make are mine, I own them and so the battle continues.
The battle of weight and what it means for me? Why is it a battle? Why is it something that I’ve struggled with my entire life? Why is it so hard? Why can’t I just fix it? Why do I need to think about it every single day of my life? It’s exhausting. It’s too much.
The idea in my head was that I was always just too BIG. It was in my own head though. My weight or size was never an issue or negatively talked about at school or with my peers. The ideas in my head probably stem from home. It stems from growing up listening to my Dad always telling my Mom she was fat (she wasn't) and as I matured jokingly making fun of me or telling me my ass was too big as I walked by him. It stems from my Mom letting me do cabbage soup and beet diets with her when I was a young teenager. It stems from laughing growing up as your Grandfather sang “I don’t want her you can have her she’s too fat for me”. It stems from my Mom asking me to join Diet Workshop when I was only 18 years old. The ideas in my head, they weren’t mine they were put there when I was a young vulnerable girl.
I lost weight on that plan when I was 18years old. I lost too much weight and over the next few years I lost a lot of other things too. I became obsessed with the thought of food and what food would do to my body. I wanted to eat but became so afraid of gaining weight. So I ate and then I purged almost all of my meals and abused laxatives for almost a year. The breaking point was when I was 21years old and I passed out at my office Christmas Party in the bathroom as I was purging all the appetizers I had just consumed. I left that party by ambulance. My secret was out.
The next 2 years were recovery mode, mentally and physically. I ruined my digestive system. I had 4 colonoscopies, 2 endoscopies, proctitis, gastritis, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, colitis and reflux all before the age of 25. I had steroid suppositories, special drinks and at one point had to take 4 pills 4 times a day just to control my over active bowels. My body healed for the most part but did leave me with lifelong digestive issues that I still take medication for. My mind continued to struggle and then I got pregnant. I remember being so happy that I could just eat. It sounds so simple, right? I was happy that it didn’t matter to me if I gained weight for the first time in my life it just didn’t matter. It wasn’t until after he was born that I had my first real set back. I quickly made a doctor’s appointment. I remember my doctor sitting next to me in the exam room as I cried and stared down at my infant son in his carrier telling my doctor how much I was struggling with food, that I was scared and I couldn’t do “this” all again. I remember telling him “this baby needs me.” He helped me so much. I went to see him every week for quite awhile and sadly I can’t even remember his name. It was because of those appointments, a year of Prozac and my baby boy that I can proudly say 1999 was the last time I ever abused laxatives or purged.
My weight has been up and down most of my life since then. It consumes me sometimes, the thought process, the worry of gaining more, the stress of every diet, every bite of something not on the so call “list”, the time and space in my head that it takes up, the disappointment of failed attempts and the joy of successes even if small. I don’t know why it’s so hard. I don’t know why I make it so hard. I just don’t know. I’ve tried to figure out why I struggle so much when other people make it seem so easy. Honestly, I just don’t know. What I do know is as I approach 40 years old enough is enough. I’ve contemplated everything over the last few weeks trying to decide “what to do”. I’ve decided I just can’t do this anymore. What does “what to do” even mean? To me it means another year, another diet to try, going back to my health coach, getting another new app to log food, buying another book or researching bariatric surgery. I am done with all that. I have to be.
I won’t forget the small successes of this year. I lost 25lbs. I got back to my smallest jeans in the closet. I drink a lot of water. I don’t put sugar in my coffee. I go to bed earlier. I drink a lot less wine. I buy and cook healthier and lighter foods most of the time. I keep a scale in the kitchen to just be aware and not get to far away.
I have a long way to go. I want to get to where ever there is for me and I will. I don’t need to be who I was 20years ago. I need to be me the almost 40year old version. This version the one I love the most regardless of the number on the scale.
I’ve come to terms with my weight, my journey, my goals, my love of wine and tacos. I am okay with the slow progress because progress is progress no matter what. I’m living, loving and continuing on with this lifestyle forever. If it takes me another year to lose another 25lbs I’m okay with that. I don’t have to live up to anyone else but myself.