If you’re still with me after the last two days, first of all let me thank you for reading. Today I’m going to fill in the gaps. I’ll try for the big picture.
My weight and eating has always been closely linked to my emotions. I never quite realized that I was an emotional eater but I guess I was and am. For a long time I also just didn’t really know what was actually healthy and what wasn’t. My parents never stressed nutrition, only how much I ate. How much I ate was not only stressed but highly stressful. I felt like I had to justify everything. I don’t really know when this started but it’s one of those things that just always seemed to be present.
I started ballet at an extremely young age and lived for it. Most of my memories from childhood are ballet related. It’s where I gained my love for all things glamorous, backstage and dressing rooms, make up, performing, and costumes. That’s never gone away. It was also what kept me healthier when my eating habits started to go awry.
I don’t know the cause of it but I started hiding food and candy at a very young age. I actually hid a lot of things but food was the worst of it. I don’t know why I bothered, I was always caught. I still have a tendency to hide food, though, so something is clearly not yet resolved.
I know that trouble for me started before the move but things escalated when my family moved across the country from Portland, Maine to Seattle, Washington. It was the first time I really became aware of myself as different than others or even became aware of race in general. It’s strange because my best friend in Maine wasn’t white but it never occurred to me to think anything of it. Now I was at a school where I was one of five white kids and was daily confronted with the fact that I was different. When people know you as “White Girl” and you’re seven years old, it kind of gives you a complex.
My mother tells me that this is when I started gaining weight but I don’t really remember it. I was too caught up in being the odd girl out. When we moved to an affluent (read: white) district a while later I was noticeably chubbier. It didn’t get too bad, though, because I started a more advanced ballet training program and was training several hours a week.
By the time I got to middle school I was fat and had a pretty serious reputation for being a slut. Word had gotten around about one of the incidents I mentioned on Tuesday and I didn’t really care. I was that really awkward girl during middle school and kept gaining weight. I did stints of trying to exercise and run but they never lasted. It was really bad. No one noticed how depressed I was. Home was a nightmare. This whole cycle continued until I left for college.
I went to a conservative Christian liberal arts university (good lord that’s a long description) and found that I was able to thrive for the first time. That didn’t last long, though, anxiety started to get to me and I was put on medication that F*cked.Me.Up.Bad. Bad.
I literally went crazy for a few weeks. This is why I will never let anyone put me on that sort of medication ever again. Ever again. I was fine once my body adjusted but I couldn’t catch up at school. So, I went home and gained more weight. That fall I went back to school again and had the best few years ever. I lived with friends, went out and did silly things (Skanky Tuesday), made food runs in the middle of the night (and didn’t gain weight!), and had a ball. I was still battling my anxiety and depression but I was winning.
There came a point where I actually felt completely at ease with myself, happy, and excited about the world. I was loving my music program and the songs I was learning. Music and living a moment as a character was so therapeutic… I can’t even describe it. Musical Theatre has nothing on this! I get giddy still just thinking about it.
That period lasted until the beginning of yesterday’s post.
I realize that the majority of this isn’t directly about my weight but, for me, weight has always been so deeply tied in to my circumstances and emotions. When things were bad I ate poorly. It wasn’t that I binged (much) but I would choose bad foods. A lot of the time it was really disgusting concoctions that for some reason seemed like a good idea.
My food history would probably make for a really good psychological study; maybe some day I’ll let someone do just that. Now, though, I have a much more healthy relationship with food. I’ve been told several times that I am much more normal than I have any right to be (because of the preceding) but I think it’s a good example of the fact that really f*cked up people do have hope. I’m not that girl anymore.
Tomorrow I’ll tell about what happened after the accident, my transition back into society, and how Healthy Me began. Enough of this depressing stuff, let’s get back to the present!