for the human yo-yo!
Up, down, up, down, up, down, even around a few times. I’ve tried all the tricks. Around the Corner, Hop the Fence, Roller Coaster, Double or Nothing, Elevator, Brain Twister. [I actually Googled these and picked them out of a list of 47 yo-yo tricks, because I personally identified with these names.]
You get the picture. I’ve tried everything to lose weight. But let me tell you where this roller coaster began. [I can’t believe I’m doing this. But maybe it’s where this blog is finally taking me. I started it to be honest with myself – finally – about my weight, and other things, (I just haven’t got to the other things, yet!) that have kept me, as if, wrapped in barbed wire, all these years.]
At the age of 16 I was pregnant. I can yet close my eyes and see everything in panoramic precision. It was May 30 and we were at the park in Evanston having a Memorial Day picnic. We had all the usuals — hot dogs, potato salad, chips, chocolate cake, Kool-Ade. A thought crossed my mind and I was immediately disgusted, but the more I thought about it, I was actually intrigued! I went into the bathroom at the park, stuck my fingers down my throat and threw up for the first time. Wow. I ate all that food, and then just got rid of it, just like that. I continued barfing the whole pregnancy, and I weighed 109 post-partum.
Long story short, I did this for the next 25 years or so.
Note: Even though I started throwing up for one reason, I continued for many other reasons. Bulimia is a complicated, debilitating, shameful, controlling, all-consuming condition.
Another picture that comes to mind is when I was first married. I weighed 123. 123 for Pete’s sake! I looked great! But my husband the troll I was married to told me I needed to lose weight. He told me a lot of other things I needed to do to ‘make him happy.’ He said I walked like a duck. He actually walked about 10 feet in front of me when we were in public. Did I embarrass him or something? Obviously I did. I constantly [every single day] got the message loud and clear that I was nothing. I was worthless. I was below him. So I did everything I could think of to make him happy. I kept a spotless home, I fixed good meals, and I did things that appalled me, to satisfy him. I changed my hair color to make him like me. And I threw up every single day. Often 3 or 4 times a day! But I never was ‘good enough’ for him. He had nine [count them! 9!] affairs with women who, evidently, were good enough.
When I was pregnant with Mikelle [new husband] I knew I needed to get help and went into a 6-week treatment program for bulimia [I remember the first time I’d heard that word. I was sitting in this very house watching Oprah. Until that moment I had no idea anyone else in the world did what I did.] It was the first time I let myself hope I might be able to change.
Throughout my life I have also been anorexic, running up to 6 miles a day, and eating only yogurt and water. I’ve used Fen Fen, many brands of diet pills, laxatives, and starvation. For what? I’ve been a size 4. I’ve been as size 16! I’ve ruined my teeth, my intestinal track, lost hair, lost muscle, lost self respect, and oh, so very much more. At very dark times I’ve tried to figure out why. Some of the reasons that come to mind are perceived abandonment, incest, molestation, assault, rape, and those 14 years in a marriage that hurt me so much emotionally, psychologically.
My weight has been about protection, about self-loathing, about hiding, about not feeling deserving. #@Heck@#. About not feeling anything! I still have moments when I don’t believe I deserve to be healthy, so I sabotage.
Right now? Today? I’m more ME than I’ve ever been. [Granted I’ve lost a whole chunk of life trying to be anything BUT me] I’m at a place when my health [not my weight] is important. I just lost my Mother and I saw how hard it was for her to function in her unhealthy body. I don’t want to be like that. I want to still be able to walk and use that bathroom without help and get up stairs and get the mail, and go on vacation without a wheel chair and without a walker. I LIKE eating healthy. I want to exercise. I want to be strong. I want to feel young. Heck! I still want to swim out to the buoy at Bear Lake with all my kids and grandkids at age 75! So for the last fifteen years or so, I’ve tried to lose weight the right way. [Yes, I still have uncontrollable binges, but I don’t purge! – thus the weight!] I’m still wrapped in barbed wire. Oh yes I am. I’m still damaged and messed up. I still cry myself to sleep and at unexpected moments when I can’t control the hurt. But I’m finally at a place where I can look at myself in the mirror [most days] and accept me.
So. Where did all of this come from? A dear friend asked me what my biggest weight challenge was. But my weight has always been about other things. [Thus the humongous post.]
Wholeness today involves more than my weight. It involves my emotional well-being, my psyche, my relationship with God, my mental acuity, my quest for self-acceptance, my desire to serve another person each day, and yes, my need to [still] feel loved.