Seasonal Foods

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Every Pound Has a Story

Every Pound Has a Story

By nature, many of us are people watchers. We are curious about the structures of others, attracted to particular features, and our also wondrous nature, we're curious about how they developed such perfect breasts, a roundly butt, or a man's chest with a 6-pack poking out of his tight, white t-shirt. Do you look at a slim person and wonder, “Do they ever eat?” or do you look at a fat person and ask, “Do they ever stop eating?” We all do it. Even at my large size, I see someone bigger than me and think, “Wow, I'm thankful I'm not that big!” Karma can bite you though. As a teenager, several of us used to taunt a 500lb woman who lived in our neighborhood. We were cruel to her, humiliated her, and were downright nasty to her. At one point, one of the neighborhood boys even throw a pig's snout in her open car window. I think back to those moments and say to myself, “Wow, you were only pounds away from being her size!”

I wasn't ever a small, petite child. I was the fat one from the fat family. I remember by 4th grade, I was already wearing 16-18 in girl sizes and by 5th grade, we were shopping in the women's department for my clothes. After my parent's divorce, I packed on weight pretty quickly at the age of 13 and this continued for a few years. By high school, I was 190lbs and sometimes went up to 200lbs. I was taunted and teased by cruel people in the school, pushed down the stairs in attempts to see if an earthquake would occur or if I'd crack the floor like Rumplestiltskin did in the child's story. At the same time, I had my clique which I belonged to, my safety net who protected my feelings and kept me feeling okay about going to school.

Every pound of a fat person has a story. After I gave birth to my daughter in December 1994, I was now weighing 250lbs. I dropped some of this weight within the first two years of her life as I'd strap her on my back or in a stroller and we'd take walks, I watched what I ate, and I worked a lot. However, I discovered I had soon become the 'old lady at home' while my now ex-husband entertained himself in the presence of another woman, having an affair that everyone knew about but myself. This was the 2nd time he'd done this to me. I rebelled by eating. I comforted myself by eating. If I was sad, there were comfort foods which made me feel better, even if it were momentarily. This continued through the years I was with him. My self-esteem was the size of a shelled pea, I felt trapped, and continued to allow him to abuse me physically, mentally, and emotionally while I stayed in the house, eating, and grew the size of a small car. Before I knew it, I was tipping those scales to nearly 500lbs. Multiple affairs of his and his cruel treatment towards me, in addition to having PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), my weight was out of control.

Not every person sits at a table and eats until their stomaches bulge over their beltlines, not every person continues to shovel food in their mouths as they eat, some people have a reason for picking up that fork and eating. Unfortunately, some people don't know how to stop because it's their comfort. Think about the last time you were stressed, do you have a secret stash of chocolate somewhere? Obesity to some is the same as alcoholism to others. While one chooses to get drunk to soothe their pain, some fat people choose to eat to soothe theirs.

I hope to take you closer inside the minds of emotional eats throughout this blog, but as you await the next writing, think about this when you're people watching. Instead of judging the size of their plate, think about the size of their problems. We're not always the outside person you see. Inside, we can be hurting and medicating our problems in all the wrong ways.