My whole life I felt like the fat kid. Was I REALLY fat? Looking at pictures from back then now ... the answer is NO. But I was always tall for my age and developed early. Bras by 3rd/4th grade ... 5'8" and size 10 shoes by 5th. Taller than all the boys until about high school. It is also true that I was much larger than my little sister. Really, she's my half-sister ... and to this day she probably weighs about 109 soakin' wet.
So essentially, I grew up feeling larger and more awkward than everyone around me. Even in high school, when I was captain of my dance team, practicing 2-3 hours a day 6 days a week and competing on the 7th -- when I practically disappeared when I turned sideways -- I felt fat.
So what am I left with? It's all in my head. If I really look back, it all stems from self esteem issues. There are a laundry list of reasons for them:
- My mom and dad divorced when I was about 3.
- I didn't see him again until I was 18 and looked him up because I heard I had 3 half sisters in Vegas.
- I never really felt I belonged anywhere. Technically, I was an only child, surrounded by a swirling cloud of half- and step-siblings. I was the only redhead, and the inevitable "child of the mailman" and "redheaded stepchild" jokes followed
- My mom had me young, and we have a complicated relationship. She had (and still has) extremely high expectations. If you had a B, it should be an A ... all A's, it should've been A+'s. I love her to death and she is probably my best friend, but I have never felt I could please her, no matter how hard I tried.
- I married young. BIG mistake. Major anger issues and abusiveness. Divorced.
- I married the 2nd time to a man who was his opposite. Kind and gentle ... sensitive. At least I thought. He started screwing around on me about the time I was hugely fat, delivering our first daughter. Divorced.
- Lived in sin with another man for about 3 1/2 years. He and his two sons seemed to fit perfectly with my daughter and I. We were blissfully happy, got engaged 3 years in ... and then, "POOF!" He left me for someone he met on the internet just as I quit my job to go back to school, was facing melanoma and had gained some weight.
Seeing a trend here? I started out early with a gaping hole that I desperately wanted someone or something to fill. And, unfortunately, each traumatic event made the hole bigger and added more weight to my shoulders and my hips. Nothing like a good, old self-fulfilling cycle, eh?
Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder exactly how I ended up here. Other than my weight, I am a successful and engaging person in every way: wildly successful career, two BEAUTIFUL kids and a very loving, patient and handsome husband (it only took me 3 tries, but it was worth it!). I just wonder where it all went wrong ... and more importantly, exactly what it will take for me to get my life back where I want it. I'm looking at this surgery as a first step -- a TOOL to getting my life on track. I know the rest will be a long, hard journey.