Sunday, April 27, 2008

The weight ... part 1

I decided it would be good to share my story, as it pertains to my struggles with weight. Of course, it's a rather lengthy and detailed saga, and I suspect it may take awhile. So ... this may well be "part one".

When I was six years old, I was the cutest little girl ... really. Long blond hair, slim, big smile. My 1st grade picture and the ones taken before that showed a slim and trim little girl.

My 2nd grade picture showed a different child. Markedly overweight, short hair, definite double chin, still a smile, but not the same at all. Rather than going into the reasons behind the big change, I will just say that it (the excess weight) has been a part of my life since I was seven years old.

I remember, as a child, sitting at the table and absolutely stuffing my face with food. I remember feeling "numb" and just eating and eating until things faded away. Not a good memory, but there it is.

In 6th grade, we had to all get weighed. In front of the class. One person (my male teacher) weighed the kids, and called out the weight to someone else, who wrote it down. I still remember my weight. 168. More than any other child in the room. Mortifying.

High school was torture. By the 11th grade, I had found my little niche and my days were at least tolerable. But it was still bad.

I felt powerless to lose weight. Really and truly powerless. Food meant far too much to me; it was comfort and friendship and happiness and peace. It made life better; bad days were not so bad when I could eat until I was full. Although looking back, I don't remember being full ... I never felt full.

At the beginning of my second year in college (Fall 1980) I had an "encounter" with one of my teachers. He was actually the Dean of the School of Music, and to this day I consider him my "second dad". Anyway, he called me into his office and talked to me about my weight. He wanted to help me and he told me about Atkins. I'll always be thankful to him for that. No one had ever talked to me like that, like I mattered and was valuable and was worth the trouble...

At that point, I weighed 248 pounds. I started eating low carb, based on what he told me I could and could not eat. I remember eating meat, veggies, salad with blue cheese dressing, and pork rinds -- no potatoes, no bread, no sweets, and no fruit. I didn't read a book or anything ... just ate what I was told to eat. I definitely considered it "a diet" and thought of it as a temporary part of my life.

I was very successful at losing weight that fall. By Christmas I had lost about 45 pounds. I felt great and felt like I looked so much better. But then Christmas came, and I remember deciding I would go off my "diet" for the holidays.

To be continued...


Vikki said...

It's amazing how much of me I see in your story. Except my mom tried to help me. She tried to help herself too. But by h/s graduation I was weighing in over 300. Yep a big girl! I didn't discover Atkins until 2004

Patty said...

Why does that not surprise me? :-) We share so much and have so many parallels. I'm always amused and interested to find out what all we share in common, girl!

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