Hi! My name is Andrea and I’ve been a part of MLFC since August of last year (I think). I’m 27 and single, live in Kansas (until Memorial Day, then moving to Colorado to be near my family and friends), and teach for a living. For a long time, I have been thinking about my weight and WHY I am the way I am. I know that it is my fault and I blame no one else for the choices I have made my entire life. It has been an interesting learning experience for me to think about the “Why?” Let me start from the beginning.
Family History: My mom and dad have been married for almost 35 years and when I was little my dad traveled for work and being the youngest in my family I think my mom was a little overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are AWESOME. They give me love in the best way they know how. I have two older sisters who have always been close and most of the time I felt like the outsider.
Now onto me. For as long as I remember, I have always been plump. I was the cute little girl who was chunky and sweet and knew how to throw tantrums to get my mom’s attention. My sisters and I always played outside or make-believe inside so I didn’t have a serious problem with weight, but I definitely was never skinny. I always have had an intense love for sweets and could smell chips from a mile away. When Halloween came around, I would collect my candy, give the stuff I didn’t like to my dad, eat my candy, and then start eating my sister’s candy before they could get to it. I would sneak into my oldest sister’s room, find her candy and eat a few pieces at a time so she wouldn’t “notice”. HA! I wasn’t fooling anyone. But this is just the START of my long journey with weight.
When I was ten, my parents decided to move to Colorado from Wisconsin. We left all of our extended family behind and moved to the land of the unknown. I had a VERY hard time with the move and struggled in 5th grade. I’m not sure how I passed because I never did anything. I was withdrawn, uninterested, and unfocused. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep. Yes, now I know that I was depressed. My teacher never did anything and my mom never did anything. I think my mom was having the same feelings though. She started eating chips all the time and was gaining weight as well. Within a year, I had gained 30 pounds. 30 POUNDS! I remember the doctor telling me that and my mom saying “That’s a lot of weight in 1 year, Andrea.” But that was the end of it.
When I would sleep over at friend’s houses I would sneak upstairs and get more snacks out of their cupboards and hope no one would catch me. I was out of control. In middle school, I remember getting laughed at because I wore the same pants two days in a row. For a girl who already is depressed, that was something I never forgot. I played basketball and volleyball on teams for a long time and when I started getting older I tried out for a traveling basketball team. The coach said I was too fat. I couldn’t make the high school volleyball team because I was too fat, even though I was SO MUCH better than several other girls. During volleyball tryouts, I got laughed at when I was serving the ball because my armpits were sweaty. Again, will I ever forget that? No. I was made fun of and avoided by a lot of people in school.
When I started college I weighed 220 pounds. After my second year of college, I lost 30 pounds doing Weight Watchers with my mom during the summer and working at a daycare. I was active and eating less. Back at school, I gained about 10 pounds back but not horrible. After my junior year was over, I joined Weight Watchers again during the summer and again lost 30 pounds, so I was down a total of 50 pounds. I weighed 170ish and felt great! However at the beginning of my senior year my “friends” and I were at a party and a guy thought I was cute. I wasn’t interested but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. I didn’t talk to him that night but I sent him a message on Facebook to say hi and he asked me out. I said “sure” even though I wasn’t really interested, it was nice having attention. After I replied that I would go out with him, he stopped talking to me. I was devastated. I assumed there was a big joke about me and how stupid I was, especially since he was back with his girlfriend. I gained weight.
Now a lot has happened since then, but basically I feel like I’ve been on a diet since. I fail and try again. I’m always thinking of the next quick fix. I have been sneaking food from friends, hiding food from my neighbors when I get home with fast food and they are outside, hide food from my parents and sisters, and eat way too much. I know what I need to do, but I get hungry on Day 1 of any diet and give up. I know that I still suffer from depression and that when I get home from work I’m bored and tired so I eat. Food is my friend, my energy, my anti-depressant. I workout consistently for a long time and then see no results because I have no control in the kitchen, so I give up.
Basically my point is this. I still don’t get it. Nothing ‘works’ for me because I’m not working for it. I know what to do, but I don’t do it. BUT... I’m proud of myself for not ever giving up. I will keep trying, and trying, and trying until I get it. It may not be today, or tomorrow, but I know that I have the support system I need and if I keep pushing eventually I WILL get it and it will be a sweet, sweet victory.