The first time I remember being aware of my body, especially my body as something different from my friends, was when I was in third grade. I was tall for my age, but at that point I'd also become heavier than most of my peers. This was the year that I went on/was put on a diet for the first time.
I was about 4' 11" and weighed 115 pounds. I think it was in the summer between 3rd and 4th grade that I lost 15 pounds.
Middle school was a tumultuous time when I was always, always, always hyper aware of what my body looked like compared to my classmates'. I was always bigger. I was always worried about my weight, though during that time I wasn't really fat – I was just big for my age. I had started my period at age 12, and had started wearing a bra before that. My body often felt like a burden or a liability. I got hit on by older guys who didn't realize how young I was.
My later high school years were when I became utterly determined to have the same kind of body that most of my friends had. Sophomore year I think I hit 150 or 160 (by then at my adult height of 5' 8"), and that was unacceptable. Over the course of the following year, I dropped down to my lowest weight of around 120, which I achieved by starving myself, exercising obsessively, and taking laxatives. One on hand, I thought I looked amazeballs, but on the other, I still thought I was a whale. I remember being in the bathtub and just being disgusted by my stomach.
To this day I have no idea how I managed to get through a day at school living like that! By the time I graduated high school, my weight evened out to around 140, thanks to a concerned friend who reported my shenanigans to my mom.
Once I transferred to a college away from home, I decided I was done with the starvation and the obsession with my weight. I started sophomore year at 150 pounds, starting eating whatever I wanted to, and finished college at 230.
The years following college was like a rollercoaster. The yo-yo dieting continued, and reached almost a frenzied pace. I'd lose maybe twenty-five pounds and then gain thirty back. I don't know how many times I joined and rejoined Weight Watchers. I tried joining a gym, I tried Overeaters Anonymous. Nothing stuck, and my weight just kept going up and up gradually.
Specific memories include having a boyfriend who told me that I was OK as I was but that I shouldn't gain any more weight (at point I was back up to 230); and about a year later, when I hit 250 and cried uncontrollably. (The boyfriend was long gone by then.)
Within a year of that, by the end of the decade, I was in the 270s.
This was the year that I was determined to fix things once and for all. When I weighed in at 310 pounds, I'd surely had enough and ended up dropping almost 60 pounds simply by exercising more and eating less and better. The rub was, it didn't stay off. I can't remember what happened that I stopped doing what I was doing, but I did, and that was that.
Five years later I found myself having gained all the weight back plus more – 40 pounds more. Once again, I set out determined to lose it permanently. It was then I started blogging about my journey for the first time. I did the C25K running program; I tracked the food I was eating. It was a good, healthy way to do it and I enjoyed it. Then, my stepfather passed away and I lost my momentum, my will. I was down just over 50 pounds, but once again, it didn't take all that long to gain it back.
I tried again. I lost 50 pounds.
The weight came back, plus 10. In July when I started a new job, I thought it would be a good idea to start a new regimen and lose some weight. I tried hard for a month but didn't see the results I'd hoped, got mad, and gave up. At the end of the year, I found out that I could get a gym membership through my health insurance for free, and went to sign up. I hadn't planned on it, but I ended up committing to a year's worth of personal training sessions as well. I thought I would at least go to the gym once a week to work with my trainer, and gradually work on the eating, and maybe find my way back.
It didn't take right away. I met with my trainer weekly in January and February, but then I got too busy and stopped going – for almost two months. I had sessions racking up, and I didn't want to waste the money I had invested. Not to mention, I hit my highest weight of 372. Finally, I started going to the gym again, and BAM! things started clicking. In May, I got a new trainer with whom I really connected, and I started focusing on my health and fitness in a different way. I still had a similar philosophy about how I wanted to get to a better physical place for myself – eat reasonably, exercise more, see a doctor and figure out what my overall health really is, etc. This time, though, instead of focus being on weight loss, focus is on the whole picture with weight loss being a happy result of the things I am doing to feel comfortable and able to do what I want to do.
So, here I am today, a couple months later and 21 pounds down. It is my biggest wish that my efforts this time really stick.
I have a good feeling that now is the time that I stop repeating history.