Monday, October 20, 2008

Have You Ever Seen a Fat Anorexic?

Here is the post that I've been dreading to write for a while. Why have I been dreading to write it? Because it's about a subject that a lot of people don't want to face much less proclaim to the world. I'll make a very long story short. I'm fat. There you go.

What's strange to me is not the fact that I'm fat. What's odd is that I used to be anorexic/bulimic years ago. Have you ever heard of a fat anorexic? Well, now you have because here I am.

Let's go back in time a bit. My mother grew up in a household where weight was discussed like the weather. Her adopted mother who we called "Aunt Jessie" always had sweet stuff laying around the house and would have the audacity to tell Momma that she was fat when she was a little girl. Don't get me wrong...Aunt Jessie was a very good woman and really took care of Momma and me, for that matter. She just had a hang-up about weight and would tell the world what she weighed when no one could care less. I remember one time going to an ice cream shop with her and her telling the morbidly obese guy behind the counter that he "must eat a lot of ice cream around here to look like that". She said that right to his face. I could have died it was so embarrassing and I felt so bad for the guy. She could be vicious about weight, that's for sure.

Momma told me a story about when she was little Aunt Jessie used to make clothes for her and one day made striped pants. The stripes were vertical except for the stripes across the butt in the back. They were horizontal and really made my Mom embarrassed because she felt it made her behind look larger that it actually was. I remember one time Aunt Jessie telling me that my butt was a shelf because it was so big you could set a pie on it.

Did I tell you that Aunt Jessie weighed 113 pounds? She would spin in her grave if I didn't mention that. Also note that she was about 5 foot 4 inches tall. So, she was pretty petite anyway whereas Momma is about 5 foot 10 inches and even if she starved herself could never be called "petite".

When I was a little girl I remember all of the diets Momma went on. The cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, Fiber Trim, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to emulate her and so I would go on all of the diets with her. I remember when she was very active physically and would work out all of the time and took so many diet pills and supplements her hand could hardly hold all of the pills she swallowed in the morning. I remember being seven years old and crunching ice cubes all day for days because I didn't want to gain weight. I ate ice cubes and nothing else until I got so hungry I ate the house down.

As a teenager eating the house down wasn't very good because I really noticed my weight then. Eating the house down also made me feel guilty that I had eaten so much and so I started purging the food I ate. I don't remember doing it for the first time. I don't remember how I even had the idea to do it. I just know that it was something that I did for years. I would go through periods of starvation only to follow it up with binging and purging. I was never happy while doing it because I thought I looked like an obese monster when looking into the mirror. I was always on the quest to lose that "last five pounds". It was never ending.

While eating dinner with my parents, I would take some of my food and hide it in my napkin and throw it away when they weren't looking. They never had a clue until that fated day Momma walked in the bathroom while I was about to step into the bathtub. She said that she saw my back and was horrified when seeing all of the bones sticking out. She said she knew then that I had a problem.

The next day after eating dinner, I excused myself to the bathroom as I always did to purge and Momma stopped me asking where I was going. I told her that I needed to use the bathroom and she went off asking what I planned to do in there. Of course I lied saying that I just needed to go to the bathroom and she asked if I was going to throw up. I told her of course not while starting to cry and then the drama really started that night. There was a lot of screaming and crying and the last words to me was that she was taking me to a counselor. I told her that there was no way that I would go and stomped out of the room. I was 16 at the time.

A few Saturdays later Momma asked if I wanted to go shopping and I said, "Sure". Before I knew it we were downtown in front of a brick office building. It was a psychologist's office and I was completely pissed off. I told her that I wouldn't talk at all and we walked inside. At the end of the hour I was talking.

I went for a year.

Thinking back to that time in my life, I still can't believe that the sexual abuse Momma had just found out about when I was 16 was never mentioned to the counselor. She always told the psychologist that I had issues with my biological father not having anything to do with me and that I was angry because of it. She never talked about her issues with weight either.

Starvation, binging and purging was a great way for me to feel in control of my life because believe me, I felt I had no control over anything and never did. Sexual abuse started when I was two years old and continued throughout the years and by different people. Sure, I was very upset about my biological father not wanting anything to do with me. I still have issues with rejection as an adult. I just wish that the psychologist would have talked with me about everything. I wish Momma had told him everything. Maybe I would be better off now.

Here are a few pictures of when I was in high school in the tenth grade. Please note the terrible short haircut. That is an entire story to itself. Well, I'll go ahead and tell it. When I was little (under five years old), I would always go to bed with bubble gum in my mouth. A lot of mornings my hair would be in knots with sticky gum that my Mom went nuts over. She would use butter, oil, etc to try and get the gum out. At night she would check my mouth for gum and I would hide it in my mouth saying I didn't have any. The next morning more gum was in my hair. Momma got really angry and said that if I go to bed with gum in my mouth one more time she was going to cut my hair and I would never be allowed to have long hair as long as I lived in her house. The next morning I woke up with gum in my hair and she chopped it off. Momma always had very short hair (above her ears) and she made me have short hair until I moved out. I was never allowed to grow it again while living with her.

At least she was consistent, I guess, but it really burns me up still just thinking about it. Needless to say my hair is longer as an adult.

Anyway, here are some pics.

Bad pictures to say the least. I am the one with the dark, short hair. Can you believe the outfits we wore back in the 80's? OMG...

This was taken on "Career Day". My friends and I decided that we would have a construction company and dressed the part. I am the short-haired with a sharp as hell chin jutting out (always hated my chin) sitting on the end.

This picture was taken after high school and after I had "graduated" from the psychologist. My hair was finally starting to grow out (I had moved out from my parents) but I still had braces. My friend Elaine had done my hair and makeup that night. We were so makes me giggle to see that picture. I had dinner with her the other night. It was wonderful to see her again after so long.

I'm sure that you all have seen the following pictures.They are my favorite ones:

The following pictures you can see that I'm gaining weight. My face gets SOOOO fat. It really shows the weight.

OK, this is what I looked like more recently. It is so embarrassing to show all of these photos:

This is me and my husband.


I look like a tub of lard sitting on that couch in my husband's studio. I am sitting beside my very sweet mother-in-law and friends of my husband who visited from Amsterdam.

Since these pictures I've gained about ten more pounds. I am now at a whopping 230 pounds (standing at 5 foot 8 inches). Last year I had gotten all the way to 250 which is the most I've ever weighed in my life. I lost 40 pounds while stopping smoking, but over time I've gained a little back.

So, how does an anorexic/bulimic become fat? It happens over time and it happens when you don't look at yourself. What I mean about not looking at yourself is that I literally don't look at myself. When needing to wear makeup, I focus only on what makeup I'm putting on. If it's eye makeup, I look at my eye, not my entire face and so on.

I learned to stop starving/binging/purging with my psychologist years ago, but I never learned how to effectively lose weight without obsessing about it. I've always been afraid that if I really start trying to lose weight I'll become obsessed and start purging again. I don't want to start that cycle ever.

Last year when losing 40 pounds I completely changed the way I ate and it worked. What I need to do now is start exercising. That is one thing I don't do and have a job where I sit the entire day (and sometimes evening) behind a computer not moving. I've done that for years and it really doesn't help.

If you haven't noticed, I've made two goals for myself and posted it on my blog. One goal is easy...lose 10 pounds. The other goal is the overall goal of losing 70 pounds. Hopefully it will help. We shall see.

If you've actually read all of this, thank you for listening. I'm glad I didn't create another blog for weight loss because really....this problem is part of who I am and is something that bothers me A LOT.

I feel so very ugly and seeing myself in the pictures today really makes me feel out of control. I was shocked by the last pictures because guess what? I have never really looked at them.

I feel really bad right now even talking about it. I'm going to take a break from all this writing.

Take care, everyone.

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