I went back through old photos and culled out my favorites that showed me exactly how fat I actually wasn't. I really hated having my photo taken so there's only so many but I think I've got a good selection here.
I've sat back and edited them and I just want to go back in time and shake that girl and tell her..."are you crazy??? You're not fat!! Enjoy this now. Enjoy your body, enjoy your health, enjoy your life!
me at 17 years old
me at 18 or 19 years old...yeah, I was huge (rolls eyes)
me Freshman year in college
But it's not possible to do that. All I can do is look back and think about the missed opportunities. The times I wouldn't go swimming because I would look huge in a suit.
The times I wore baggy jeans and baggy t-shirts so that no one could see my huge, fat shape.
I remember back at Youth Rally (a week-long summer camp for Orthodox Youth and some of the best times of my life) where I must have been 16 or 17 and I had spent all week wearing baggy clothes but put on a nice dress for church that morning and two girls gaped at me after a double take and said something to the effect of..."thats what you really look like? Why didn't you wear this kind of stuff all week?"
I don't remember what I said back to them but I think about that now. About all the pretty things I could have worn that instead I either didn't buy or hid in the closet until I was "thin enough" to wear them. And, of course, thin enough never came.
me at Youth Rally at about 16 or so. I'm in the black, my sister is in the green
I don't believe I ever had a real eating disorder but I do remember a couple of months in high school where I ate less and less and less and managed to lose almost 20 pounds. I remember my Mom yelling at me about the food but I don't remember the exact words. I also remember feeling proud that I was able to eat so little and lose weight.
I think almost every girl flirts with disordered eating at some point in their lives.
I don't think there was ever a day I believed I wasn't fat. Not even in my first wedding.
me, age 20, first wedding
I didn't start to gain weight until my first baby. When he was almost a year old we took some pics at a park and when I saw them I cried "Why didn't anyone tell me how huge I've gotten!!!" Yes, I had gained weight but I was far from huge.
the "OMG Look how FAT I am now" photo
And then I gained more weight with baby #2. And then more with #3 still holding on to the weight I had gained with the previous two.
me with kids 1 and 2
I was the Maid-of-Honor at my best friend's wedding when I was 7 months pregnant with #3 and all I could think about was how horrible I would look at that size.
wedding hair and makeup, pregnant with #3
I was unhappy with myself (but when hand't I been?) and then our world feel apart as the ex walked out on us.
I stopped eating and the weight fell off.
And I got compliments on how thin I was getting!
me on #1's first day at school, before the psych meds kicked in
Then came the psych meds. And the weight came back. And brought a lot of friends with it.
I still have the original 50 pounds I gained with the first round of psych meds and have only added on since then and a lot of it is because food is my friend.
I did manage to lose weight on and off for the next 10 years, especially during times of a major depression and I look back at those photos now and want to kick myself.
me with all three boys...I would kill to be this fat now!
me at about 165 pounds (which was HUGE to me back then)
I wanted to get a really great dress to wear to my sister's wedding and, while out shopping with her one day she convinced me to try on a beautiful dress that I never would have even looked at because, of course, I would be too fat for it. But it fit. It fit and it looked great. Too bad I bought it months before her wedding.
me a couple of months before my sister's wedding in 2005.
By the time the wedding came the dress was too tight and couldn't be worn. It's still in my closet and someday I WILL fit into it again!
And then there are the other photos where I watch myself get bigger and bigger and bigger...
me 6 or 7 years ago - I thought this was the biggest I would allow myself to get.
I was wrong.
I got bigger (wedding #2)
And bigger (V's wedding...I'm in the blue)
And this is about where I am today
I'm an emotional eater and I've run with it for several years now but it stops here and now. I will NOT get any bigger than this.
I will get healthy and I will get fit.
I may never be as healthy and thin as I was then but I can live with that. I'm not in search of my old body.
I'm in search of my new one.