Monday, March 18, 2013

For those few unwanted extra pounds

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
I have never been skinny, really, ever since puberty.  I spent several years in high school and college eating and purging because I thought I was fat.  Not only did I think I was fat, other people told me I was.  In high school, I was called names in the hallway regarding my weight.  It even went as far as for a Christmas gift exchange, in front of the whole class, I had to open my "gift" of Slim Fast. 

I was humiliated.  The teacher spoke up, but not for comfort, "Melissa, read the note that came with it."  Holding back tears, trembling, I read the note,"For those few unwanted extra pounds."  It was the Slim Fast slogan those days, always heard while watching TV.  I never thought I'd be repeating it in front of my class that day.
And go figure, I let myself enjoy some yummy Mexican food and lost 2 pounds.
At the time, I was 5'8" and weighed around 150-155.  The BMI doesn't even say a 5'8" woman is overweight until about 165.  And yet, as a healthy teenager, I started making myself throw up.  Because I was fat. 

I still struggle with these concepts.  I no longer excuse myself after dinner to puke, but mentally, weight is such a constant struggle.  Currently, I am not technically overweight, but in my mind I am.  I bounce back and forth all day between conversations in my head about being OK with how I look and being disgusted by how I look.  Literally, all day.  It's exhausting.

I don't want to pass this disease onto my daughters.  And yet, I know I already have.  How could I not?  They see me glancing in the mirror all day long, turning to the side to see how chubby my belly looks.  They hear me talking with my friends about losing weight and gaining weight.  Even when I lose weight, my behaviors look the same on the outside.  Always checking, sucking in my stomach, stepping on the scale with a sigh.

Sometimes, I don't even go hang out with some people because they are all skinnier than me, and I don't want to be the "fat" one. 

This month is about losing weight.  But I want to make it about more than that.  I want to lose these devastating, self-loathing thoughts and behaviors.  I'm hoping that getting honest with myself about them is going to open up new possibilities for how to let them go.


Shawna said...

Hurray for you, Melissa! Losing those counterproductive thoughts and behaviors is something everyone needs to work on, whatever form those thoughts and behaviors take. More power to you and all of us.

Melissa Baumgart said...

Thanks, Shawna! They haven't left yet, but Amy's new post gave me a good jump start!

mollia said...

Hallelujah Sister.

Melissa Baumgart said...

Thanks, Mollia! Sometimes it feels so good to just put it all out there. And be real. Glad you appreciated it.