I am full of doubts. For years, I have been thinking about the pros and cons of opening this door into my private thoughts. I know I am putting myself out there to be judged but I also know that by sharing my life experiences, I am going to help both myself and others.
So, if am going to pour my heart out for this project, I need to start from the beginning – let’s get real!
I am and have always been obese, since my very early years. Now, I have no excuse for carrying more weight that what is considered healthy – I know first-hand that my genes and my habits are the main cause of my obesity. If you ask me “why and how did you allow yourself to get so fat?”, my answer would be “I don’t know”.
How did you get so big?
If I’m being honest, I’d say I used to overeat most of the time, I never exercised (actually hated to sweat) and I used to binge eat in secret whenever I couldn’t handle my emotions. Add alcohol, partying and carelessness to this mix and the result is “me at my highest weight”.
Ask me how much I weighed and I wouldn’t be able to tell you because I never weighed myself. But, you can see a very scared, defeated and sad person. On the outside, I was the epitome of happy and positive. I was enjoying my college years in Iowa, I had a job, a very active social life and really good friends. What I didn’t have, though, was love for myself. As my body fat percent kept growing, my soul kept disintegrating.
Depression and Self-esteem issues
I was 21 years old when I realized I was broken. Navigating through small town life, heavy winters, college studies and being far away from my family – it seemed I didn’t have a care in the world. Except, I very much did. I knew I was lost and it was then that I decided to transfer universities and go back home to live with my family again.
Was that the end of my obesity? It wasn’t. Was that the end of my reckless behavior? It was a start. Did my self-esteem grow? Not at all.
When I moved back “home” to Puerto Rico, I felt defeated, but the warmth and love of my family helped me to slowly but surely build myself back up. I quickly got into the gist of things, powered up my college career, went to study abroad in Spain, finished my Bachelor’s degree, volunteered as an English teacher in Poland for a Summer and started my first professional job. It all happened very quickly and I still hated myself.
My weight made me feel less than the rest, it made me believe I was not good enough, it pushed me to try and excel in other parts of my life because in my eyes and in everyone’s eyes, I would be a “yes, but…” person.
Yes, she’s great… but she’s fat
For me, being fat meant that not one of my relationships was real. That no one could love me for me. That no one could think of me in a positive way. I honestly felt that people were just playing with me at all times, that I was a joke. I tried to strip myself away from my personality to make people like me.
This is when I turned into the girl that never said no. The girl who justified every wrongdoing anyone did against her, because heck, she should deserve it. Countless times I heard things along the lines of how pretty I would be if only I would lose weight or well, no one is going to love you if you stay that big. And, I believed them. It didn’t matter if I was successful at many other things, I was always going to be defined as “the fat girl”.
Transformation: In progress.
My 20’s were amazing and hard at the same time. Ten years later, I would love to end this post with a perfect happy ending. But this is real talk and life is far from perfect.
Today, I am still fat even though I have been on a weight loss journey for almost 2 years. Great things have happened to me, I am happily married to my best friend and the love of my life. Also, I’ve experienced the greatest pain – losing my father, my first love.
I am no longer careless, I exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. But, I still struggle with self-esteem issues, binge eating disorder and my most recent friend, anxiety. I have lost 100 pounds, gained 20 back, lost 10 again and continue to battle with my weight every day of my life.
I am a “work in progress”. I am human and this is just part of living.
Thanks for reading,
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