My story is nothing tragic or heart-wrenching, but it’s what I’ve got.
I suppose I’ve almost always been overweight. As a child it never bothered me too much, but I had my days. Like the time my mother set up a “mini-olympics” for my brother and my cousins and me at our cottage one year, and I excused myself to the washroom so I could bawl my eyes out at the fact that I came in last in everything. Or the time my mom and I were watching some celebrity gossip show that was talking about how all these girls were so thin and light and wonderful, and I dragged my mom to the bathroom downstairs, stepped on the scale, and started crying because I was a good 5 to 15 years younger than all the girls on TV, and a good 10 to 20 pounds heavier than them.
It wasn’t until I started to get a bit older, probably mid-way through grade six, that I started to realize that all my friends were much, much smaller than I was. My self-esteem took a fairly harsh hit, but I knew that I had the ability to change it if I wanted to. And I knew enough about EDs to stay away from them.
So I started educating myself about healthy weight-loss. In the sixth grade. I would go on to the Oprah website or the Dr. Phil website and find as much as I could. I was looking for a magic trick that could make me skinny and normal, but all I ever really found, if you broke it down enough, was to eat right and exercise - something I didn’t have much experience with. My parents never really put restrictions on what I was putting into my body, or how much of it was going in, and the most exercise I got was jump rope club on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and community club basketball twice a week. Obviously that wasn’t enough to counteract my eating habits.
I never really had an honest conversation with my parents about wanting to lose weight. I knew that they knew I wanted to, but they never really took action to help me, so I figured I could do it without them.
But I was really young. I hardly knew anything about nutrition. I didn’t understand the concept of calories in vs. calories out. I didn’t know what I could do for exercise without my parents taking me for walks/bike rides etc., and I wanted to lose weight without their help. Long story short, I got nowhere.
Of course I’ve thinned out a bit naturally with growing taller and hitting puberty and whatnot, but I’m still very uncomfortable in my own skin, which is not how I want to be spending my teenage years. I finally had that honest conversation with my mom about wanting to lose weight just this year, and I’m sure she told my dad, but they still seem to show very little interest in wanting to help me. But I’m older, and I know a lot more now. I know that this is going to be a difficult journey, and I’ll restart as many times as I need to in order for this to truly become my lifestyle.
I am Carly and I’m ready to start living the way I want. I’m ready to become myself.
July 4th, 2011