I am morbidly obese. At 5’2″, any excess weight is obvious. The shame, embarrassment and guilt I feel for being over 200 pounds is horrendous at times. When those feelings crop up (which they do quite often), I sometimes have trouble breathing. Not because of something physical. It is all mental. Sitting here, typing this, admitting I am over 200 pounds is causing a mild panic attack. Weight is not something I talk about. However, I am coming to realize it is a necessary evil if I am to truly move forward with making permanent, truly lasting changes.
When I was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps, I wore a 10/12 and weighed 136. By the following year, I was up to a 12/14. I have to say, the fat was in stealth mode for almost six years. I didn’t really notice when I went from a 10/12 to a 12/14. Next was the 14/16 and 16/18. The moment I honestly and truly acknowledged my weight was out of control and I am morbidly obese was when I was forced to buy 22W clothes. Talk about a slap upside the head . . . a real eye opener.
I was crushed. I swore I would never be a ‘fat person’ like my mom. Yet there I was . . . In a size 22W pushing heavily toward a 24W. At my heaviest, I was almost 240 pounds. Do you have any idea what that looks like on a short person? Let me tell you, it is NOT a pretty site!
I was angry and bitter. I was full of self-loathing and most definitely hatred. Who was this person looking back at me with the big fat face? I did not recognize the person I had become. This was the lowest of my low points.
Still, I did nothing to change. I wanted a quick fix. That Magic Little Pill. I waited and waited and waited. Sitting around waiting accomplished absolutely nothing. No one was going to hand me a pill and say, “Take this. By tomorrow morning, you will be a ‘normal’ size person.”
Anger. Bitterness. Resentment. Envy. Jealousy. Sorrow. Sadness. Embarrassment. Shame. The list is very long. It ends with self-pity. I did not realize I was wallowing in self-pity. At that point in my life, I was not ready to face reality. I was not ready to accept the fact I. Am. A. Morbidly. Obese. Person.
By wallowing in self-pity, I hurt my loved ones. I thought of no one except myself. I stopped going out in public. The only times I really left my house were when I had to go grocery shopping (which was rare as the hubby does this) or to work. I did not bother going to my children’s school functions very often and family get-togethers. I would use the excuse I had a migraine (whether I did or not, it did not matter). If I had no excuse, I would just go into full-on bitch mode. The hubby and kids went. I stayed home. On the rare occasion I did show up, jaws would drop. It was a given I would not show up.
Most of my 30s and early 40s are a blur. I do not remember much. That is my defense mechanism – block out what causes me pain. It is what happened when my father abandoned the family and it is what happened during my marriage to Mr Potato Head.
Here I am approximately 10 years later, still a morbidly obese person. I am not wearing a 22W anymore. Between 2009 – 2010, I did manage to get into an 18W. Somehow, I have maintained that size. I will admit, there have been times when I broke out my 20Ws or the 18Ws have been really snug (AKA a fat girl’s version of ‘skinny’ pants). Overall though, it has been steady at 18W.
Having carried this excess baggage around for so long, has had some not-so-nice repercussions. I now have major issues with my lower back. Once I am up and walking around to loosen up stiffened joints, I am good to go. I have plantar fasciitis. My feet really bother me until I am up and walking around – same as my back. I have the ‘fat person waddle’ as my youngest calls it.
I have said 2016 is the Year of My New Beginning. In order to make this a reality and not just pretty words on paper, I must make changes. The changes must come from within FIRST. I have to change my thought process and heal my emotional wounds before I will be able to achieve my goals.
This journey I have embarked upon truly is not an easy one. I feel talking about my pain, suffering, sorrow, happiness, joy and peace will help me in the process.