This week my blog is going to be about being an overweight girl. This isn’t a topic that is easy for me to talk about; because it’s my biggest insecurity. But as I’m creating this blog to push myself out of my comfort zone, I am more than willing to try.
Being overweight is something that has dictated and controlled my life for as long as I can remember. It is something that has allowed people to get away with instantly judging me with one quick glance; it puts them off of wanting to take time to peel back the layers of my outer shell and find what’s been very carefully hidden and protected underneath.
No matter where I go in the world, I am always seen as a statistic. To the outside world I am not a person who might need help to get out of the hole I’ve dug myself into. I am given the most degradable labels just because of the way I look; as though people think pointing out something that I see looking back at me in the mirror everyday is going to motivate me to do something about it. The only thing the comment ever did was make me hate myself even more and want to bury my head in several bags of sweets because I didn’t know where else to turn to for comfort.
I’ve been in the overweight category of life since I started primary school in 2000. And while moving through the year groups being overweight never really bothered me because no one had anything negative to say about it. I did all kinds of sports related activities at school because I wouldn’t let myself say “I can’t do this”; as long as I gave the sport a try I knew that I could get through it without much complaining and my weight wouldn’t hold me back.
I honestly didn’t know just how cruel strangers could be about someone’s weight until I started high school. It wasn’t a problem to in year seven because I wasn’t the only overweight girl in my year. After gaining some weight during the summer holidays I started year eight not really concerned about the pounds I’d gained; all it took for me to see myself in a very dark light was several very creative comments from girls in the PE changing room.
Now that I think about it I suppose some of the girls weren’t very happy because I was secure with myself and didn’t really care about what people thought of me. Did that make them more insecure than I was at the time? Was that why they wanted to drag me down to their levels of insecurities?
As the comments from a particular group of girls turned into vicious bullying. Very quickly I went from being very confident in what I could do sports wise and being confident in myself as a person to someone who didn’t care anymore and because I didn’t feel like I could turn to my family for comfort. For several years, I ate for comfort until it was no longer for a source of comfort. It became a habit of eating just because I could, not because I was hungry.
I was forced into going to a weight management clinic by my Granddad, who was under the impression that it would give me the kickstart I needed. I can honestly say that going to a hospital for that kind of help does nothing when the doctor thinks that making me do a scrapbook was going to magically give me all the answers I needed. It didn’t help that the nurses gave me my weight in kilograms and because I didn’t know the difference between stones and kilograms; I managed to convince myself that my weight was fine and I would just keep eating.
I hated the entire idea from the moment I walked in and saw that my doctor was just as overweight as me. After he started talking all I could think about was him being hypocritical about how I was supposed to loose weight. I think its safe to say that I lost all interest in what was going on in the meeting.
I remember that one of the people who was supposed to help me was a nutritionist and in the three years that I was going to the hospital appointments I didn’t really understand why she was involved. I only actually met her twice and on both occasions she gave me no information about what I could do to change my diet. Apparently having a booklet about the eatwell plate was all I needed to change my diet.
I’m not saying that going to a weight management clinic doesn’t work for everyone because it probably could, but for me personally it didn’t work because I wasn’t ready to do anything about it and I didn’t want to change. But how could anyone expect me to be ready to change when they gave me three months to lose a set amount of weight without telling me how I could achieve that goal?
Three years of going to the hospital for a weigh in every three months did nothing but make my weight increase. I was eating far more than I should’ve been, hiding food in my bedroom, and eating more than one meal for breakfast if I went out for the day with friends. I would sneak out of college during free periods to buy packets of crisps and sausage rolls when I was supposed to be doing coursework in the library.
I had no motivation to change myself until the day I dropped out of college and my whole life changed because of one mistake. On the journey home I nearly lost my life in a road traffic accident; I broke most of the bones in my body, had four operations to repair the damage with metal and spent two and a half months in hospital.
During the first two weeks of only being able to move my arms, I managed to loose four stone; which is about 4.4lbs a day. Unfortunately, because I lost it so quickly and also being trapped in a wheelchair all day every day I put it all back on.
I can’t say what suddenly motivated me to loose weight because I honestly still don’t know: maybe it the shock being told how much I weighed in stone instead of kilograms, maybe it was me still being in shock from the accident, or maybe it was simply nearly dying in the crash that made something inside me click?
I don’t think I will ever be able to give anyone an answer; but in a strange way I am glad that my accident happened because even though I now have metal joints and I know that my life won’t ever be the same again, I know that I am a better person. I don’t see myself in a negative light anymore, I have more confidence now then I’ve ever had, and most importantly I don’t care about the negative comments anymore because it only gives me more motivation to show those immature and insecure people that I am not the person they saw me as.
As I finish this post I can’t take the smile off of my face, for the first time ever I am proud of myself and what I have managed to achieve in the last two years. It might not sound like much to you; but for the girl who has always been overweight and had nothing to be proud of it’s a huge deal. I still have a long way to go before I reach the size I know I want to be; but I am not going to let anyone get in the way of achieving my life goal and becoming the person that I know I can be.
Thank you for taking the time to read my update and I hope my story helps you to achieve your goals. If you’re in the same boat as me and want someone to talk to, leave a comment below and I’ll be there to give you advice.