Posted by: Ms. Crackers | November 28, 2008

{ fat }

Here’s a post about why I am fat.

Not a lot of people like to talk about why they are fat.  Some people make excuses, some people blame others, some people just ignore it and pretend like it’s not an issue.  I personally choose to be matter-of-fact about it.  I am not grossly, morbidly obese – I am can run and walk up stairs without getting out of breath, I can move freely and buy clothing from a regular store, but I am definitely, unquestionably fat.  I am not the size I should be.  It’s as simple as that.

I remember when I started getting fat.  It was right around puberty, actually.  In grade 3, I was happy and healthy and I had just moved to my new school.  I made a lot of friends.  Chris O. said I was the prettiest girl he had ever seen.  I won 3rd prize in the public speaking competition for a speech about my cat, one I had done earlier that year at my old school.  There was one girl I didn’t like, but other than that, it was all good (turns out in about 7 years when she came back to our school, I didn’t like her then, either).

Anyway, so I was in 3rd grade and my teacher was speaking to my parents about putting me in a split 4/5 class for the next year.  I guess I was advanced or something and she thought it would challenge me.  All of my friends were going into the regular class, but I have always been one for novelty and I said “why not!”.  Well, except for the time that I thought my parents were offering me a “grass bed” and I turned it down, only to find out they meant a beautiful, shiny gold bed that went to my sister.  Bastards.

So I went into this grade 4/5 class, and my teacher was a jerk.  A big, big jerk who was very mean to me.  I’m not even sure why, maybe his method of teaching didn’t jive with my intellectual process.  He made people RUN every day, like 1km or so, and there was a sign on the door that said ‘running for success’.  Running was more important than work, it seemed, at times.  My grades (normally in the top 5% of a class) dropped to the point that I nearly failed Grade 4.  He hated me.  I had no friends.  All my friends were in the other class with a teacher they loved.  I used to go to that class whenever I could, just to get away from my horrible teacher.  I got fatter and fatter – a combination of being depressed and going through puberty.  I never did the running, out of spite for the teacher.  I stopped doing my work, out of spite for the teacher.

I remember being in tears at parent teacher meetings.  I remember my dad doing my homework so I wouldn’t fail.  I remember, at the age of 9 or 10, not even caring about anything.  I remember being depressed before I was even a teenager.  I had a crush on a guy that my friend was “dating”.  That’s also pretty hard when you’re 9 or 10.  I remember that friend getting her period first, out of everyone I know.  But, anyway, these are all asides.

So, I was no longer the pretty girl from Grade 3.  I was sullen and sad and I was getting fatter.  I wasn’t ever really told what happens with your body at puberty – I actually remember thinking I had somehow gotten pregnant.  I continued to grow and gain weight up until I was about 13, when I got my first summer job.

I ended up working night shift at a bakery with a crazy old Dutch man with posters of half-naked women on the wall.  I listened to ABBA and Neil Diamond every. single. night.  I remember sitting down at 7am, at the end of my 8-hour-straight shift, with a 2L bottle of diet coke and a loaf of raisin bread.  I would eat that, maybe some marzipan fruit, and wait for my dad to pick me up.  I went home, slept, and went back to work.  That was my summer.  I maybe lost about 20 pounds.

Nothing really changed until I was in Grade 10,  I lost and gained and lost and gained without much thought.  That summer, I remember stepping on the scale and being just over 200 pounds.  I remember crying and crying.  200 pounds is heavy, but I am 5’11” and I do carry weight fairly well.  200 pounds looks different on a 5’5″ person. I starved myself, I binge ate, and I took cup after cup of Epsom salts diluted in water, as they are an exceptionally effective laxative.  I lost another 30 pounds or so.  I started drinking with friends in Grade 10, getting into pot, the usual high school stuff.

Grade 11 was fairly uneventful.  Looking back, I was obviously still a depressed person – I wore my hair long and straggly, I drank a fair amount, I wore bulky and unattractive clothing.  Halfway through the year, a new kid came to school and my best friend and I were on that like white on rice. This guy and I started dating, and I remember not eating in front of him for weeks.  The girl he had chosen ME over was small – like 5’2″, delicate looking.  He was certainly not delicate and I was smaller than him, but I felt awkward and bulky and large.  I was uncomfortable.  I fell for him hard, and I didn’t know how to handle that.  He broke it off with me like a coward and a jerk.

I spent the next year at school getting progressively more depressed.  I got promiscuous.  I got into heavier drinking and drug use.  I started smoking.  I was miserable.  I spoke a lot with my old youth counselor and her husband, our music teacher.  They were wonderful people and probably stopped me from killing myself, to be frank.  As a side note, I think I want to invite them (and TurtleTurtle’s parents) to my wedding.  They meant a lot to me and brought me to where I am today – alive and in one piece.  I know it.

Moving on, this depression lasted into university.  I didn’t eat a lot, but I kept on drinking and occasionally smoking.  My weight pretty much stayed the same – fat, but not obese.  I dabbled in pin-up modeling.  I got some tattoos and a lot of piercings.  I dyed my hair crazy colours. I would run into that guy who broke my heart and it would send me into a tailspin.  I was finally coming to terms with my body and somewhere between the last year of high school and my first year of university, I began wearing clothing that was much more flattering for my figure.  I started going to the gym for an hour, an hour and a half at a time, 5 days a week.

I met Mr. Crackers at the end of that first year.  I had a great job with fresh fruit perks daily.  I was on my feet 8-10 hours a day.  It was the best I ever felt, health wise.  I lived with 5 girls who made my life a living hell.  Mr. Crackers moved away to school, we spoke on the phone for hours at a time.  I worked, went to school, and basically slept and went on the computer.  I can’t say exactly what I weighed, but I felt good and flexible and light.

Mr. Crackers moved back, we went to Ireland, and after that trip is when I started to notice that I was getting fat again.  I made a lot of excuses for myself, and next thing I knew, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been.  That was a sad realization at the beginning of summer this year.  I dieted HARDCORE for a month and a half.  I lost about 40 pounds or so.  Seriously.  I lost my job shortly after, and I stopped caring again.  I stopped taking care of myself.  I don’t know how much of that weight I’ve gained back, but I feel gross and out of shape.

That’s where I am today.  Notice, people, that I barely mentioned food at all – food, I believe, is a side-effect of fatness, not the underlying issue.  I have never eaten excessively – I binge eat, I eat rich, fatty foods, but never have I had a consistently unhealthy diet.

I’m trying hard to be in a new place now – I realize that I have an ongoing (and I believe hereditary) battle with depression (possible even mania) and I am adamant that I will do whatever possible to fight it without medicine.  It’s going to be a long battle, simply because it is not as simple as changing eating habits (and I know quite a bit about food and nutrition, so that’s not an excuse).  In fact, I am not entirely sure of the root for this problem – sometimes I think it’s boredom, sometimes I think I eat to soothe.  Having a background in psychology does cause you to overthink a lot of things, but it’s also a blessing in the sense that you will look at everything to find the best possible answer.

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Responses

  1. An insightful and powerful story…good luck finding your answers, I know you will!


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