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Saturday, October 05, 2013

I've been cognizant of my weight since about middle school-- I think it was the summer of my Fifth grade year when this neighborhood boy followed me to the mailbox (it was around the corner and up the street/like a big community mailbox-- since we lived in a trailer park) with another boy (the boy I had a crush on) and chanted "Stephanie has thunder thighs", I remember being mortified and crying. I wasn't overweight. I was one of the tallest girls in my class, athletic and perfectly healthy. I remember being so sad though-- that I wasn't pretty enough. Enter Middle School-- All the girls are going through puberty but not me, my face gets chubbier-- and I look, well, like a kid-- but at the time, I never felt pretty enough, good enough-- add in that people started making fun of me for living in a trailer-- and middle school couldn't have ended quickly enough. Once my TOM arrived (at the end of 8th grade, yup, later bloomer), everything changed-- I thinned out, body changed, (DUH) and I was moving on to High School. We moved from the trailer into a large house! My best friend was never over 100 pounds, she was Olive Oil (Popeye) skinny-- no curves, just slim. I was opposite, I was thin-- size 3-5 but had curves-- at the time, I couldn't understand why I wasn't skinny (although, I was!!) I used to walk everyday-- I used to play basketball 5 days a week-- but I got pretty obsessed with not being Enough-- pretty enough, cool enough, skinny enough. My freshman year of high school-- I limited my calorie intake a lot. I didn't eat breakfast, I barely ate lunch-- if I did, it was an apple juice and maybe a "light" coffee cake snack, which I'd give the other 3 cakes to the hot guy that would come around and pander for money for his cigarettes-- he'd sit and flirt and eat the cakes... I'd try to skip dinner if I could, but my parents were pretty stickler about sitting around the table for a family meal, so I'd push my food around my plate, eat the vegetables-- a few months into my Freshman year, my dad caught on that I wasn't eating like normal, I'm guessing he noticed my weight too. He actually made me sit at the table one night and eat a steak with him. I thought I was going to die! He knew something was up. Mom started making me drink Carnation Instant Breakfast before school and they were both on-top of me about having family dinners-- looking back, I know they caught me before it got way too bad-- I was battling body image issues and beginning on the eating disorder journey. Throughout High School, I maintained a 5-7 pants size, no issue, very active, never any formal exercise other than gym at school or walking or basketball with friends-- the coach wanted me to go out for the team, but I was too busy worried with "hanging with friends".

College-- I put on the Freshman 15 like many others-- too much drinking-- I battled my weight gains throughout my college career-- never over a size 10, but back and forth between a 6-10 isn't healthy for any metabolism. I continued to struggle with the good enough complex, all my peers came from families with money, I came from lower middle class (at best). I remember my parents doing their taxes so I could do the FAFSA for freshman year of college-- My dad made $18,000 that year (2001)... anyway, everyone at school "had" and I have always felt like a "had not", never good enough. I made some good friends though and was able to find my footing by sophomore year-- though my first semester of sophomore year was the most difficult, I survived. By the summer of sophomore year, I had gotten myself together-- I was in really great shape when I started back for my junior year-- I wasn't, but the weigh crept back on, a very dysfunctional relationship with a guy-- who wanted to keep me at home and do nothing but feed me-- no joke-- my mom even said he was trying to make me fat, so he could 'keep me'-- it was a really bad situation. By senior year, I had crept up to a size 10, was not happy and was pretty miserable. It took me the entire year to kick the bad relationship to the curb, and during that time, I got into walking and swimming and better eating (thanks to slimfast, too) and I shed the weight.

I think junior/senior year is when the emotional eating really began-- so "stuck" and the only comfort there was, was food and alcohol. I drank a lot throughout my teen and college years. There was little to do in the little town we grew up in and though my friends and I were always honor roll students, we drank. A LOT. It was our weekend ritual really. My parents were quite strict, but we would go to one of our other friends who were less strict and drink. There were 5 of us in the group-- and 4 of them had lenient parents...

This ramble has a purpose-- trying to locate where and when it all started. I've never felt good enough, and some of that began with my mom's issues-- of being embarrassed of having to live in a trailer for a while, of feeling the ignorance of others, that automatically assume if you reside in a trailer, you're trailer trash-- my parents were good, nurturing parents-- they were strict and held us accountable. They produced 3 decent members for society-- but none of us are without our flaws. My mom never felt good enough-- and that was cast over to me, the eldest-- she always cheered me on, but her feeling that others judged her, made me weary of the same-- add in the bullying over my clothes not being "cool enough" (I'll never forget the day I came home from 6th grade crying because the kids were making fun of my new shoes-- walk america tennis shoes-- and my dad went out and bought me a pair of Reeboks, even though I know to this day, we didn't have any money)

I'm going to free myself from the emotional eating, one way or another-- I will beat it. I will stop associating my worth by the number on the scale and just get healthy. I will be ENOUGH.

We all have a story-- a tale that tells how we were shaped, how we developed, how we became who we are-- The story is up to us after a certain point, though-- It's time for me to shed my chains-- to let go of never feeling "enough" and to embrace my strengths and move on.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I lived in a trailer (as a kid and as an adult).

    when we were teens, sis and I had 1 dress each, 1 pair of jeans, and shirts our mom made us. And my sister would bring me home food when she went on a date (we were too broke to afford much in the way of groceries)

    fortunately my geeky friends had no problem with any of it.

    all of those things from our past make us who we are today. Personally, I wouldn't change a thing

    YOU are enough! emoticon
    1543 days ago
    OMG, I am truly moved by all that you have shared here. Thank you so much for sharing these very personal experiences ... for being brave enough to not only reflect honestly about your life and the journey that you have been on, but to be brave enough to allow others (and some who have had similar experiences) to read them and to, perhaps, not feel so alone.

    I come from a background that I find difficult to put into words. Simply because I know that there are people who might read my words and misinterpret my own background as something less than what it truly was. Yet, here you have done a remarkable job of explaining a life that has had it's trials, maybe many emotional trials, and a life not filled to the overflowing with material wealth, but a life, still, full of richness. Those Reebok shoes ... (damn) .... the thought that went into them - the caring - the love ... well, the fact is, all that went into their purchase made you the richest girl in town.

    "Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love"

    Yep, remember always the love of those who matter most in your life ... and with the strength of all that you have been through and all that you have conquered, you will be ENOUGH! emoticon

    1543 days ago
  • STRINGI719
    It's so awesome to be able to look back and honestly reflect and identify some of our past issues that are holding us back. Now, don't waste anymore time on it. Live in the present, and make good choices today for your future!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1596 days ago
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