Age 14– I stopped Diet Center after I had lost 50 pounds in six months and I stopped menstruating. I was 130 pounds, just 10 pounds short of my goal weight. I had new clothes and I knew that I was thin, but it didn’t seem real to me. My life didn’t magically get better when I was finally skinny. Boyfriends didn’t suddenly materialize. I wasn’t graceful or elegant or poised. I also wasn’t mature or a better person. I was still a socially awkward, shy young girl.
Ages 15- 16– my weight slowly climbed. I ate what I wanted. I was going to the Y almost every day (at my mother’s constant insistence). I weight trained, rode the stationary bike and did aerobics. My mother monitored my meals, but I still found a way to get the junk food that I craved.
Ages 16-17- In order to help me snag a date for prom, my mother put me on another diet. I had regained 35 pounds. I felt fat, but I was still wearing “regular” clothes. I was wearing these cute size 9 Rampage dresses, but my mother was obsessed with getting me to 110 pounds. That was her magic number. I didn’t snag a date for the prom. I went with four friends. We had an okay time. I did like my dress, but I never made my goal weight.
Ages 18-20- I moved 40 minutes away to attend Boston College. For the first time I was completely in charge of what I ate. I ate whatever I wanted. If I only wanted nachos for dinner or a bag of Doritos that’s what I ate. If I wanted a hot fudge sundae for breakfast or a dozen cookies that’s what I ate. It was during this time that I was diagnosed with OCD. I was also suffering from depression although I didn’t realize it until years later. I quickly gained weight and at my graduation I weighed about 300lbs. I lived in fear of my mother finding out my number. My parents had made me go to Jenny Craig and other diet programs but nothing worked basically because I would be excited for about a week or two and then I would feel deprived and start eating junk food again.
Ages 20-33-I manged to maintain my weight of 300 lbs although I desperately wanted to be thinner, desperately wanted to break through the 300 lb barrier. I ate lots of candy and fast food. For almost a year I ate Burger King for dinner. I did discover a non hatred of exercise. I joined a gym and tried almost every exercise class. I wasn’t able to go nonstop through every aerobics class, but I was able to keep moving. That only lasted for a summer. I also managed to earn two Master’s degrees, one in education and one in creative writing and weather two years of teaching sixth grade. It wasn’t until I moved to Pennsylvania as part of my third Master’s program that I truly discovered just how powerful my body was.