Like many people, I remember being overweight for a good portion of my life and even when I wasn’t overweight; I had people telling me I was. Age 6, I specifically remember asking my grandpa for another soda. He told me my grandmother was worried about my weight and no, I could not have another pop. Keep in mind at this time, I was NOT fat but I sure as hell remembered it and boy, do comments like that mess with your head. I feel bad saying this because my grandma is one of the people that I am closest to in the world but she is also one of the key people who made me feel bad about myself. My father is adopted so I am not “blood” related to her. She has been skinny her entire life and simply does not understand. I have tried telling her this hurts to no avail.
Fast forward from age 6 to age 12, I am now in middle school and maybe 20 pounds overweight. I eat like crap everyday but I participate in sports so that keeps the chub at bay (partially). I run track (badly) and take part in volleyball. I am not very good at either sport and do not get much encouragement from the coaches so I do not try very hard. I know I wouldn’t have been an Olympic athlete but it would’ve been nice to hear something positive.
Now, I am in high school. Still slightly overweight. But again, I participate in sports and join a gym when I turn 16. I drive myself to the gym often. I get down into the 150s which for my height is what I believe to be a good weight for me (5’6”). I start my first job at a grocery store just around the time I get to this awesome weight and so that does not last. I start eating like crap again and for some reason, start working an insane amount of hours even though I don’t really “need” the money.
I continue to work at the grocery store all through the rest of high school. I try to take part in soccer but I have no endurance because I don’t really work out anymore so the coaches aren’t big fans of me. I am the fat girl on the team but I WANT to be good. I just can’t and I eventually give up.
I graduate from high school and decide to go to school in Omaha (where I was born and raised, should’ve gone away!). I have an older friend that is both a good and bad influence on me. I drink with her (bad) but she is fit so I try to work out and eat right so she doesn’t make me feel so inadequate.
I continue to work at the grocery store as I go to college and I bomb out of college because I am working 50hours a week. Again, why??? I do not know. My parents would’ve helped me but I was trying to be independent. After a while, I finally get my shit together and go to community college to finish my pre-reqs for nursing school. I quit my job at the grocery store (a very good decision, finally!). I start nursing school and start to work at a local hospital. I try to eat better and workout because amazingly enough, I now have more time. I might be in nursing school but am only working 2/12hrs shifts instead of 40-50hrs a week. For a while, during this period, I don’t hate my body and am probably in the 180s. Things spiral yet again during nursing school and I am back above 200 when I graduate.
I see the pictures of myself from college graduation and I freak. I gain weight in my face first so I look horrible. I graduate in Dec but do not start my job until Feb so I try work on myself during that time. When I start my new job, I am still trying to take care of myself and things are going to good.
A couple years go by; I get a promotion after being a nurse for 4 years. I balloon up to my fattest ever. I have stopped weighing myself, because who cares??? I have a Christmas party in Dec. 2010 and I see a picture of myself afterwards. I am horrified and I promptly untag myself from the pics on fb. I weigh myself at this time and find that I weigh 225. How have I let this happen over and over and how can I talk to patients about taking care of themselves when I am not doing it for me??? I have finally had enough. January 2011, it is on. I start eating better and working out. I hit a few bumps along the way but I finally don’t give up when I have a bad week. I start over and begin again. I am tired of feeling this way and will succeed this time. Because this time, it feels different. Today, I am 186 and going strong. People are noticing every day, telling me I look great. What have I been doing? My grandmother notices, saying I look good but “not to give up this time” (gee, thanks!).
Anyway, you probably want to know how being fat has ruined my life. It hasn’t really. I have a good job, good friends, and good family. I am 34 and have owned my home (by myself!) for 4 years. But, I have never had a long term relationship with a man and I believe it is mostly because I (sort of) hate my body. It is not as though the opportunities have not been there; I have simply always held people at arm’s length. In the last year and a half, I have dated more and am learning to love myself again. Because how can I expect someone to love me if I feel this way about myself? I have many friends in various stages of relationships and it is often a bone of contention between us. I tell them they do not understand the way I feel and they reply that they were single once. They don’t understand that I am 34 and have not really ever been in a long term relationship and seriously, fear being alone forever. They think I am being dramatic and maybe I am but that doesn’t change how I feel.
Now, what am I doing about this? Because I really can’t end this on such a horrible note. I am trying new things (running…..a half marathon? Wha?), getting out there and meeting new people. Also, I am realizing that I cannot blame the fact that I haven’t met someone on me being overweight. If it is meant to be, it will happen. I accept my life as it is because it is good. I mean I haven't really ever had something bad happen to me and if being fat for a portion of my life is the worst thing that ever happened to me. I am doing pretty damn good.
|September 2012 - Yep, I still like my Bud light....Nice, it's in both pictures, lol.|
- Jamie M.