Through my association with the wonderful people here I am blessed to get to know so many people, some of them inspire me way more than I could ever inspire them. Amber (not her real name, for privacy reasons) is one of those people. She is a beautiful,bright and shining star. She fills me with so much hope! In the course of our conversations she was kind enough to agree to let me try and tell her story, so here goes.
I think that many of my weight issues stem from depression, not thinking I was very pretty and having extremely low self esteem. When I was in middle school, I was skinny. I think I weighed about 110 LBS in 8TH grade. I loved to swim, so my dad called me Shamu. I took that to mean I was fat, as did my brother and his friends. Dad meant I was a better swimmer than a fish. It was a bad thing that stuck with me for a long time. Everyone called me Shamu. It was devastating to me and made me cry, a lot. I started staying inside. I didn’t want to be seen, because I was so fat in my head. I started to become an emotional eater. My dad saw this and told me I need to exercise. My dad would ride his bike and I had to run beside him, 3-4 miles. I didn’t have a choice, I had to do it. He also set me up an exercise regimen that I had to do. After I entered high school and had a boyfriend I experienced sex. We stayed together for 3 years. I cheated on him a lot, I think because I didn’t feel good about myself. It was a way to get positive attention from guys. When my boyfriend broke up with me, I was devastated and went crazy. I was obsessed, I don’t know why, maybe because 3 years is a long time when you are so young. I got in a lot of fights, it was pretty common. I started having issues with my family and gaining weight. If I was not fighting at school, I was at home eating waiting by the phone hoping my now ex-boyfriend would call. I would do anything to be with him, I let him use me, and continued gaining weight.
When I started high school I weighed 120 LBS, when I graduated I was at 180 -200 LBS, most of which was gained junior and senior year. I quit marching band, and everything went downhill. I feel like I was not a good person. My senior year I went to another ex-boyfriend’s house with a friend, he also was a family friend, I was raped and my friend was beaten. I felt so nasty, unworthy of love and good things. Child molestation issues came back to haunt me. As a child when I was being molested I ate for comfort. I got depressed, and ate more. My dad was so angry with me, calling me fat, my brother and his friends still called me Shamu, even in front of my friends. No matter where I went there was hurt and pain, degradation and shame. There were times that I wanted to die, I thought about suicide. I was getting so out of control I was sent to live with my biological father, I blame him for me being molested. My anger level grew and grew. I started leaving school and not returning. I hated it there, so they sent me away again, to Maryland. So different than my home in south Florida.
While there I ate even worse, I would go and buy Nutty Buddy’s, a big box, and eat it all in one sitting. I also went to Taco Bell and would order 2 big taco bell grandes and eat them both. I gorged myself. I was sent back home to Florida as my father could not control me. He thought about having me committed. We had physical fights. By the time I got back to Florida I was at about 250 LBS. I got into another fight, but as I was then 18 years old I went to jail for 7 months. I lost weight while I was there, they served me nasty frozen boiled eggs, frozen milk, there were horror stories everywhere about what was in the food so I wouldn’t eat it. I was lucky, my parents sent money every week so I could buy food at the commissary. When I was released from jail I was down to 180 LBS, I felt good, but I was on house arrest with nothing to do, and gained all the weight back and then some. I never stopped gaining weight. I said many times I was trying, but after a day or 2 I would quit, it was too hard. I worked hard, but by the time I met my husband I had quit my job. The new manager and I did not get along, at all, so I thought it would be best if I left. This made my depression issues worse, because I had really enjoyed my job. I gained even more weight, up to 350 LBS now. I tried to get another job, nothing was working out, I was so heavy I couldn’t move fast or stand for long periods of time. My bosses always wanted me to hurry hurry hurry. They were cutting my hours because I was not as efficient as they liked, so the gas to go back and forth was cutting my profit from working, so I quit that job too.
I realized that an inability to move fast is unacceptable, but instead of motivating me it made me more depressed, and I continued to turn to food for comfort, by this time I weighted more than 460 LBS.
I am done living like this. I can barely walk. I have a hard time keeping up with housework, it’s hard for me to cook as I can’t stand for extended periods. My mom and dad want me to help out my grandmother, so I started going to her house, forcing myself to move until I can’t stand it any longer. I started losing weight, and got down to 390 LBS. I feel better, I can move a little easier, I do not want to lay in bed killing myself. I want a life, I want children, and I want it with my husband.
This is where I am at now, I’m tired of depression hindering me and who I am, and who I want to be. I am tired of carrying the scars of rape and molestation from my past, I do not want to be held hostage by pain anymore, I want to be better. I am going to keep trying, my faith in God is what helps me the most, and being good to people around me makes me feel better, even if they are mean to me, which happens a lot.I realize many people don’t like obese people, or are somehow scared of them. I am doing this for me, I will not be a victim help hostage any longer. I will accomplish my mini goal. I am not making a big goal, because I will get there when I get there, and I like my small goals, like the next dress size down. I went from a size 38 to a 26/28, my next goal is to be a 24/26 in the next couple weeks. I think this is how I got to my starting point, and how I became ready to let it go. Thank you.