I’m short. I always have been. I’m 4′ 11.5″ tall and I’ve grown a grand total of an inch and a half since I was twelve years old. Now I’m thirty years old. (Holy crap, I’m THIRTY.) I never even hit the five foot mark. But hey, I’m tall for my height.
I started to pack on weight around age ten. And kept gaining. By junior high I was wearing a size 14. By high school I was wearing size 16. The older I got the more weight I gained. I didn’t have what you’d call a social life, my self-esteem was in the negative values. Being relentlessly tormented by my “peers” for thirteen years of school—unprovoked—doesn’t really make for a healthy mental state. And being told to suck it up and get over it because it can’t possibly be that bad by your ever-so-supportive family only makes it that much better. It took a lot of years to figure it out, but I finally did realize eventually that I was depressed and had been for most of my life. Not to mention all of the anxiety issues. But that’s a whole other essay for another time.
I wouldn’t say that food was my comfort. I’m not a stress eater. I’m pretty much the opposite, really. When I’m upset or incredibly stressed, I generally have to remind myself or force myself to eat because the thought of food usually makes me want to retch. But I’ve always been very sedentary, had a complete lack of energy, and never had a very healthy diet with the food I did eat.
By the time I was in my early twenties I was practically spilling out of my size sixteen pants, but too deep in denial to buy a bigger size. When I was on the hunt for a formal black dress for a wedding, I was devastated to end up in a size 18/20 TENT. One that had to have over a foot of fabric hacked off the bottom because I’m so bloody short. It wasn’t long after that I finally relented and bought myself ONE pair of size 18 jeans. The cotton dress pants I wore to work had more give to them, I’d drag that out as long as I could.
My highest weight I saw on the scale was 185 pounds. I wouldn’t doubt I actually topped out higher than that, but I just didn’t step on the scale to actually see it. Some may think that’s not really THAT BAD. (While others will say Holy Christ that’s HUGE!) For my height? It is. I was very…round. And it was not healthy. Undoubtedly one of the main causes of how I ended up with high blood pressure by age 27, and it certainly didn’t help my mental health problems either.
Once my job really started to turn toward the road to Toxic Shit City, and I started getting sicker by the day, I started dropping weight. At first, without even realizing it. I don’t remember how much I’d lost by the time I started getting treatment for my depression and anxiety. That was March of 2007. And once I started taking medications, I really started to drop weight.
By November of 2007, when I met Bob, I was hovering somewhere in the 150’s. By Christmas, I was in the 140’s.
February 2008 rolled around and The Toxic Shit Hole fired me over my mental health problems (that they didn’t believe I had) and by the time my nephew’s birthday party came in April, I was in the 130’s. I had to buy new pants three different times. I was now wearing a size 10. Hell—I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I was pretty much swimming in all my clothes at this point. And that formal black
tent dress? FELL OFF ME.
My total weight loss hit 55 pounds—due to stress, antidepressants, and a complete lack of appetite.
Not exactly the healthiest way to lose weight. But I lost it.
Over the past two years now my weight has fluctuated with changes in medications and appetite and I have gained and lost and gained and mostly maintained right around the 140-145 mark. So I guess net loss is about 40-45 pounds. And I’m okay with that.
I’m still a little on the chubby side, but most of my clothes hide it pretty well. I have squish and jiggle. I have bat-wings and heavy thighs. I’d be happy to lose another 10-20 pounds. But I’ll probably have to actually WORK for that. And if I never lose anymore weight? I’ll be okay with that too.
And hell—Bob loves me as I am, so I don’t have to worry about that.
I used to keep my mouth tightly clamped when it came to the numbers regarding my weight. I was mortified by them. Now…I realize it’s just another part of who I am. I’m not proud of how much I used to weigh, but I’m not ashamed of it either. It certainly wasn’t healthy. But finally acknowledging my mental health problems made me realize there was a lot more to it than numbers. Having depression is not an excuse for being overweight. But it’s an explanation. At least in part. And I certainly don’t think everyone who is overweight is depressed either. I just know that for me, it has been a huge contributing factor.
That’s why this is MY story.