This may be the most difficult post I’ve ever written. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally.
I’ve toyed with writing this post for weeks. I think I’m finally in the right place to write it and actually hit publish.
My weight has been my armor. My impenetrable wall. My protector. The thing that says to world, “Do not open. Damaged goods.”
As early as I can remember until I was 10, I went to a babysitter. The sitter had two sons who were older than I was. Her oldest son abused and molested me. I thought all kids played doctor with no clothes on. I didn’t realize all the touching, poking, prodding wasn’t what everyone else was doing. I thought everyone had code words to let me know how and where the ‘doctor’ was going to touch them.
Attention from boys was how I knew I was worth something. In high school I was a flirt, a tease, wore tight-fitting, low cut tops. And I got a lot of attention. I had a small waist and big boobs. And I showed it all off. I left nothing to the imagination and I got lots of attention for it. To me, attention meant love.
In 2004 I met X. He was so good-looking and he paid attention to me. He was perfect. I feel head over heels in what I thought was love. He was so perfect and I was SO undeserving. I was set on doing anything and everything I could to keep this perfect man happy. I would wear what he wanted. Be what size he wanted. Talked to who he let me talk to. Ate only what and when X allowed me to eat. Wore makeup when I around him, but not around anyone else. I did everything he asked me to.
It wasn’t enough. He cheated on me with someone significantly older. I thought I wasn’t doing something right. He wasn’t paying attention to me. He didn’t love me anymore and I was devastated. I tripled my efforts to be what X wanted me to be. I spent all my time with him. I stopped hanging out with the few friends I had left. I didn’t eat so I could be skinnier and more attractive to him. If he wanted me to grow a third arm out of my butt I was going to do everything I could to make it happen.
Eleven months later, something finally clicked. I’d had enough of his emotional abuse. I was fed up with him telling me I was fat, I needed to lose weight or he was going to cheat again (which he never stopped doing). The 652,357,419,851,687th time my mom told me I deserved better I believed her. I broke up with X just before I was set to move to Texas from Michigan with him.
Attention still equalled love in my mind. I went through boyfriends like they were Kleenex. I was young and attractive. I fell in and out of love with boy after boy. Then I met Y. He didn’t take it to well when I decided to move on. He told me in detail why and how he was going to kill me. He was going to get away with it because no one cared enough about a stupid slut like me to miss me or report anything.
That was the final straw. If love was attention like this, I didn’t want anyone to love me. So I ate. I ate my feelings. I ate so I wouldn’t be attractive to guys and wouldn’t have to put up with the way they were treating me.I didn’t want to be potentially desirable and end up in the same situation I’d been in time and time again. I went from 130 lbs to 225 lbs in less than 4 years.
December of 2007 I met Brian. I’d been single for over two years and I certainly wasn’t looking for a relationship. We started hanging out as friends and things just blossomed from there. December 11, 2008 he asked me to marry him. July 11, 2009 I became his wife. Never once have I doubted the sincerity of Brian’s feelings for me. Brian has shown me so much about healthy relationships and the difference between lust and love. He’s shown me I’m worth loving time and time again.
I’m finally starting to love myself.
Loving myself means I can ditch the fat armor. Loving myself means being HEALTHY. For Brian. Our future. Our kids. And myself.
Ultimately it’s up to me. I’m the one that has to put up or shut up. No one else can do it for me. I’m taking baby steps toward a healthier version of myself, but I’m afraid I can’t do it alone. I’m going to slip back into old habits. Old ways of thinking. That’s where Mamavation comes in. The love and support this group of women gives is amazing. If I have an off day or week, it’s okay. They still care. They help me pick myself up, dust off and start again. I’ve never personally met them, but we’re all fighting our own battles to get healthy and they GET it. To each and every member of Mamavation, THANK YOU! Thank you for you compassion and faith in me. You mean more to me than you can ever possibly know.