Wednesday, August 10, 2011
My name is Danielle Morgan, I’m 31 years old and this is my story.
I started gaining weight as a young child. It was during grade school, that I became noticeable larger than the other students. As my weight became a concern, I noticed that the other children began teasing me. Little did I know that this was just the start of a teasing that would continue into Jr. High, High school, and even into my adult life. The situation was similar at home. My older brother used my weight as ammunition in our childhood tiffs, and my father constantly reminded me that I was different from other girls my age. My father acted as though my weight was an embarrassment to him and his friends. The emotional abuse from my brother and father continued for many years. My mother was more understanding, but as my weight continued to be an issue she agreed with my father and placed me into the Weight Watchers program at the age of 13. As if Jr. High wasn’t a big enough change for a 13 year old, I tried my best to follow the program and I lost a little weight, but eventually I started finding ways to hide my over-eating habits from my parents and the program was no longer effective.
By the time I graduated high school in 1998, I felt like I was huge! I suppose it was all the constant pressure and teasing that students and my parents placed on me. In all reality, I was only about 30 pounds overweight on my graduation day. Looking back I shake my head in disgust, because with the support of friends and family I could have easily achieved a healthy weight.
As an adult I have sort of become accustomed to the hurtful things that kids and other adults say to me. Having others call me fat, disgusting, or gross just roll off my back nowadays. I’m even used to kids asking me when I am having a baby, when actually I am not even pregnant.
A few years back I confronted my father and put my foot down to the emotionally damaging things he would say about my weight. I explained to him how I felt my whole life because of the things he would say and I gave him an ultimatum to both support and accept me, or to leave my life. Thankfully he changed, and since our relationship has flourished.
Oddly, even with an emotionally damaging childhood I have accepted my body for what it is, know that I am beautiful, and portray more confidence than other’s in my predicament.
I’m not new to this, I know that I am over-weight, and I know that my eating habits are out of control. During the last 10 years I have tried losing weight by following the Weight Watchers Program, and the BCN-Get Fit Program. Unfortunately, these programs didn’t work for me long term. I lost a little weight, but eventually fell off the band-wagon and gained it all back, plus some!
Honestly, a few years back I considered having weight loss surgery, but I was confident that if I wanted it bad enough that I could lose the weight on my own. Obviously, that didn’t work for me or I wouldn’t be writing this letter!
Since May 2010, I have gained nearly 90 pounds. I attribute some of the weight gain to losing my job last year and having access to food pretty much 24/7. As I packed on the pounds the past year, everyday things started to become difficult. Taking laundry from upstairs to the basement leaves me out of breath, putting on shoes and socks takes nearly 20 minutes to put on and I have to prop my legs on my bed to accomplish it. Trying to remain active with my 2 children has also become a concern for me. How can I teach them to be active if I can’t ride a bike with them, or be on my feet very long before the swelling begins and I become extremely fatigued. All of these scenarios forced me to reflect on my weight and how it has severely affected the life that I want to live. No one should have to be 31 years old and weigh nearly 400 pounds. No one should have to live that way and starting now, I am going to do everything I can to change that for myself.