By Triplezmom on January 22, 2014
I wasn't going to write about this.
The first time I realized that I might have an issue with my weight was when I fainted on the way home from the local pool. I was 14 and despite years of activity and a doctor who described my weight as "normal" and "healthy", I felt fat. I'd felt fat for years.
Possibly thanks to the ballet teacher who nicknamed me "Fatty".
Never mind the inappropriateness of calling a child fatty as a nickname, I wasn't even fat.
But that summer I turned 14, I was finally able to make my stomach concave. I also spent the entire day at the pool, swimming and not eating. I would faint and take a brief rest in a park on my way home, then continue on home. I never mentioned the fainting. Or the not eating all day.
I don't remember exactly what I weighed that summer, but I know that during the next year I grew to my adult height (all of 5'2) and was dismayed to hit 100 pounds. I dabbled in making myself throw up after meals, or going all day without eating. But I knew - I'd read too many books - that if I kept that up, I'd be in big trouble.
When I graduated 4 years later, I weighed 115 - most of it in the boob area. I was so dismayed over my perceived figure flaws that I wouldn't wear a bikini without a t-shirt over it. If I had that body today, I would wear a bikini to the grocery store, I swear to God.
The dress was too big, because I felt that if I was bigger than my old size 2 it didn't matter what size I wore. Also, please ignore the bad hair. It was the '80's.
I got slightly more accepting of my body in college - in that I wore clothes that fit, despite not being a size 2 - but I remember my weight and body acceptance being a constant battle. I kept exercising, but I wasn't so disciplined about food - I gained another 15 pounds. Then I gained and lost a bunch, thanks to stress and my first husband being kind of an asshole, so I was right back where I was when I had graduated from college.
Until I got ulcerative colitis at 25. At first, I tried to enjoy the fact that I lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks. Until I realized that not only did I not look like me at that weight, having ulcerative colitis is a hellish way to lose weight. To get better, they put me on massive doses of steroids.
Sad, depressed, lonely and with the appetite of 4 teenaged boys put together, I gained all the weight back - and then some. I was actually fat for the first time. My now-ex was not pleased. I was on steroids for something like 9 months, because my original dose was so high. I was an emotional wreck and the cracks in our tenuous marriage turned into fault lines.
After 18 months being steroid free and 3 months without my ex, the extra weight just started to fall off. I lost 30 pounds, mostly by remembering what an appropriate portion looked like. Then I started reading Geneen Roth's wonderful Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, threw out my scale and starting accepting my body. I knew I wasn't thin, but I realized that "not thin" is not the same as fat. I felt good.
It worked really well until I got pregnant with Ironflower. Actually, that's not quite true. It worked really well until I had Lovebug. Ironflower has never been much of an eater, so nursing her didn't seem like a big deal, appetite wise. It was all about losing the weight I'd put on while I was pregnant. Which was considerable.
Me with Ironflower. Within 15 pounds of my former weight, unknowlingly preggo with Lovebug.
Then I had Lovebug, who LOVED to nurse. The child ate all the time, so I was hungry all the time. Then my colitis flared, so I was on steroids and trying to nurse a super-eater. All concepts of portion size went out the window. And while I tried to walk with the kids every morning, I spent most of the rest of the time sitting. Two kids in 15 months, quitting my job, steroids. . . I didn't lose any baby weight that time.