All of me

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My disability

on November 9, 2012

I have a disability. Medically – it’s called being morbidly obese. When people are polite, they say I’m bigger or larger. Frankly, I’m fat. That’s really hard for me to say because I don’t feel fat. I don’t suffer from any ailments that most obese people do – I don’t have bad knees, diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol. I can walk long distances, ski, and bend over and touch my toes. I was born on the above-average size of things. Not huge – not even as big as my son is now when I was the same age.  I have battled being bigger my whole life – and I have battled bullying because of it. Children are mean. In Elementary school I got called names like Big Momma and Yokozuna (he was a sumo wrestler in the WWF back in the day). I did not have a good relationship with food.  I was spoiled with rich treats from my grandma and auntie growing up and so developed a correlation between chocolate/sugary treats with love. And because I was adopted, my parents had no idea how to handle my size because they are tiny. They tried their hardest to help me, although the methods were not helpful. I remember them making faces at me if I decided to have another helping of something and biting comments.

I went on my first diet when I was 14. I went on three diets when I was 14. I was on Atkins, Weight Watchers and I did the Cabbage Soup Diet all that year ( probably within six months of each other). And back then – stylish plus size stores were just starting to come out, so all throughout high school I was forced to wear granny clothes. At least by high school I had a small collection of items from Addition-Elle and could still wear some main-stream fashions in the highest size they carried.

I have always distributed my weight well, so it never really bothered me. I felt normal enough. Until I met my biological mother and grandmother for the first time. It was amazing to meet two women I connected with so easily. And it was a marvelous thing to finally see myself in someone else. But, like me, they were overweight. They, too, were morbidly obese. I cried on the way home. I felt like my life was hopeless. I would never be skinny. I felt like my fate was sealed to be theirs.

Two years later, around the time I got engaged, I started Herbal Magic – yet another weight loss plan. But it was working! I managed to lose 40 pounds by my wedding day. I also managed to get very sick (no one knows why, but I honestly believe it was the herbs). Even at my lowest weight, I was still 200 hundred pounds.

When I got sick I gained it all back. So I started another diet – Jenny Craig. And I lost twenty pounds – but I stopped and gained it all back again. And like everyone else…a little bit more.

There was period where I was starting to accept who I was. It didn’t bother me to go shopping for clothes anymore – I always told myself that it didn’t matter the size – as long as it looked good on you. And then Ryan and I needed to go to the Fertility Clinic and the fear crept up again. Of course they gave me the age-old adage of having better success if I could lose weight. But they also said there was a good chance I was insulin resistant and also put me on Metformin to help. Insulin resistance is when your body makes insulin, but instead of that sugar being used as energy to our muscles, it’s automatically turned to fat; so then the muscles send another message to the brain asking for more … see where this can become a problem? I started Metformin and I was able to easily lose 20 pounds. However, I needed to do IVF and gained 15 of those pounds right back. But at least it was a start and I knew it wasn’t all my fault.

I’m about to be very honest. And I imagine there will be a lot of people talking about this in whispers behind my back. But here it is: When I got pregnant – at my nine week appointment, I weight 283 pounds. I felt like crying. By the time my son was delivered I was over 300 pounds.  The picture of meeting my biological family came back to the front of my mind. Fear and anxiety washed over me as I saw myself walking down the exact same path.

I could say that I’m trying my best and I”m just bigger but that would be a lie. I wish people could handle food as they do another other substance. I’m sure I’m an addict. I have such an unhealthy relationship with food it’s not even funny. I binge eat when I’m all by myself. I’ve eaten a big container of Nutella one day. I can eat half a cake in one evening. I’ve eaten multiple litres of ice cream before. But you’d never know it. Because when I’m with people I eat like a bird. I’m a closet eater. And I’ve been doing it since I was able to stay home by myself.

I’m scared because this is not something I want to teach my son (among my million other faults). So I’m trying for him. I’m also trying because I don’t want the fate of my bio fam. Two generations have or are going for surgery because of their obesity. And while I’m glad it will help them where they want to be in life, and in no way do I think it’s a cop-out (far from it – I think it takes a great deal of courage to admit some of the things you have to admit to go through with it), it’s not something I want to have to do. It’s not something I want my family to witness of me. And it’s not a struggle or journey I want my son to have to go on.

Lately, however, it seems like it may have to be a necessity for me. Because right now I weigh 267 pounds. And I don’t see my rainbow. I don’t even see a way to my rainbow.


4 responses to “My disability

  1. Heather M says:

    Hugs, I love your posts… I have dealt with my weight all my life too… I feel it’s def an addiction, but you need food to survive.. Therefore it’s always staring you in the face :(. Some people just don’t understand and never will…

  2. Carrie Gross says:

    you and me my dear cousin in law are so much the same it scares me! I too need to work on these issues although I’m CONSIDERABLY over the 285 mark! I remember 285, I think it was around 9th grade. I would like to propose that when I get to Canada, we work on these issues together! Are you willing?

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