Every day it seems that the statistics for overweight/obese people in the US continue to climb. With the amounts of processed foods we consume and our nation's constant decline towards laziness and fast food, how are we surprised? Some people start to pack on the pounds once they have children. Some stay average until they reach middle age, when their metabolisms start to slow down. Then there are others who have had a weight problem all of their lives, like me.
As long as I can remember, I have always been bigger than most people around me. While in school, I never had any problems making friends, and for the most part I was readily accepted into groups; people genuinely seemed to like me for me, regardless of how I looked on the outside. But of course, not everyone felt that way, and to them I was simply the fat girl. I'll spare you the specifics, but you all know how cruel kids can be, and I had plenty of situations both in and out of school that left me feeling insignificant, unworthy, and just plain hurt.
Being optimistic at heart, as well as a true extrovert, I constantly found myself surrounded by people who cared about me, both friends and family. These people never made fun of me for being overweight, but there were always the constant "hints" and "reminders" that maybe I should only have one helping at dinner or that maybe I should skip dessert. And of course, "Hey Danielle, So-and-So just started on Weight Watchers and has lost 25 pounds so far! Isn't that great? Have you thought about doing that?" All of these things I didn't understand as a child, but they did start to hit home as I began to mature, once I truly began to realize that for most people, one helping really was enough and that while my friends and I might eat the same things, they stayed the same weight while I continued to expand...and not just in height.
It would be easy to blame everything on my genetics, as those honestly do play a big part when it comes to weight, however, that would not be the whole truth. Although being overweight and having incredibly slow metabolisms does run on my mom's side, and I can thank my dad's side for having an incredible sweet tooth...the reality is that it all came down to me; the bad choices I was making and the good choices I was usually avoiding.
From the time I started middle school up until the present day, I have wrestled with my weight...and the weight always seemed to win. I would go through bouts of losing some weight, feeling good about myself and being motivated to continue on, but then I would get a bad grade on a test in school, have a fight with my parents, or just succumb to those joyous womanly hormones...and the diet would fly right out the window. Of course, one could argue that it's OK to fall off the wagon as long as you just pick yourself up and get back on, but if that were as easy as it sounds, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this history to you today. The reality was that I would fall of that expletive wagon, and instead of putting on my big girl panties and jumping back on, I would feel guilty about failing not only myself, but all of the people around me, which only made me want to eat more. And of course, when you're feeling down and guilty, do you ever reach for carrot sticks? No, I think not. You reach for whatever tastes the best and makes you feel all warm and gooey inside...like chocolate! What is this sell-uh-ree stuff anyways???
At this point you are probably waiting for this story to come to a head and for me to reveal some insightful epiphany I had regarding my constant battle with weight, but unfortunately that's not the way it happened. No matter what I tried, my weight only continued to increase; sometimes dipping down for a while, but always coming back...and of course it always brought friends. I have realized that my body is basically a party for fat cells. They just can't get enough of me! "The more, the merrier!" is their slogan. After becoming incredibly frustrated more times than I care to count, I eventually did realize that my only truly viable option was to have surgery...but that's a story for another time. :)