When I talk about my past in conjunction with my weight, I tell people that I've been "big" my whole life. It's a nice neat explanation. But I'm lying my ass off. The truth is, I wasn't always big. Once upon a time, I was just right.
I had a flat stomach. I had strong legs and arms from swimming and playing softball. I had the exact same body I see on my daughter. Athletic. I was active at a time when kids would be out playing in the streets without parents fearing for their safety. I'd be out until it was time to shower and hit the sack. Then, I changed.
When I was 13, someone close to my family took advantage of me, physically. It wasn't rape, but I've no doubt that's where it would've ended up going had he not been interrupted by his 2 year old daughter. I'd like to think I would've pushed him off. But I just froze and shut down completely instead.
I withdrew from life and just let life happen around me. I became a loner that wanted nothing to do with anyone and specifically with guys. So I ate and got fat. Fat girls weren't taken advantage of. Being fat meant I would be safe.
Fortunately for me, I've always been a strong person. Eventually, I'd had enough of my own shit. I was fed up with letting that asshole impact my life for so many years and empowering him by doing so. I was done with it. I wanted to put him behind me for good. I literally got up one day and thought, "No more."
I lost some weight but was still overweight. At 21, I met my husband, got married, got pregnant, etc. After I had my baby, I was 230 pounds and completely intimidated about losing so much weight. So I did nothing. Then, I turned 31 and my husband took me shopping for my birthday. Size 18 was too tight! I realized that though I took care of my family, I was hiding again by not taking care of myself. Once again, I kicked my own ass into gear.
Three years ago, I began with weight watchers and lost about 10 pounds. Since then, I've lost over 50 pounds by counting calories (which has resulted in almost completely clean eating). I lift and I run. I love to run but I haven't been lately. I think it's making me bitchy, so I'll have to do something about that. I don't see it as running (or hiding) from something, which would be my first guess if I was a spectator. For me, it's running to something and for something. I run for me. I run because I can and because it makes me feel invincible. In the process of running, I've found myself and you know, I'm not really too shabby at all!
I'm doing this anonymously because I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I don't. I hate that this happened to me and that it happens to so many people. I'm convinced, however, that the whole experience has made me more sensitive with other people. It's definitely made me stronger. Overall, my life's been a bumpy and stressful road. But it's my road and now it's of my making. Yes, part of what I do is for my husband and daughter and our lives together. Ultimately, it's really about me. I do what I do for me. I'm proud of that. My future is mine. And it's going to be healthy in all aspects.
When I put that asshole behind me (physically and emotionally), I did it for good. I haven't truly thought of him in years. I just wanted to share with you girls that sometimes, why we do things to ourselves is so much more complicated than we'd like to admit. The important thing is that when we're knocked down, we have to get up, dust ourselves off, (maybe even flip people off) and take care of ourselves. We're worth it.