“Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older, too”
– Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
As long as I could remember, I’ve been overweight; it’s what has defined me for my entire life. The earliest I can remember being called fat was in the 4th grade. Being fat has affected my personal life, my daily routines, the clothes I could buy, limited my romantic interests, and kept me from doing things that might embarrass me, like taking my shirt off in public.
I was teased all through my school years about my weight, so much so that until last year I haven’t swam in a pool since middle school for fear of being teased. I even made up an allergy to chlorine to get out of swim class in high school. So instead I had to sit in the poolside bleachers and watch all the other kids swim. It ended up being more embarrassing to just sit and watch than swimming actually would have been. I have carried this lie with me ever since.
Despite this embarrassment, my weight wasn’t something I really cared about until after I graduated college in 2002. That year I hit my highest weight of about 375 pounds and decided to do something about it.
I struggled a lot with my weight primarily because of how food is my main outlet of stress relief. The worse of a day I have at work, the worse dinner I’ll have for myself. This is a terrible behavior I have and yet it continued for decades.