Fat (almost) My Entire Life And Not Too Thilled About It. But I'm Winning By Losing Now. I Think...(I wrote this the other night as a kind of self-therapy. I hope it helps someone else, because writing it and rereading it DID help me.)
I didn't start out fat.
I started out as a 4 pound 6 ounce premie, and I was born with a severly enlarged thymus gland, one so big that I couldn't breathe unless vertical. The doctor who delivered me said I wouldn't last the night. But my parents begged him to do what he could, and I was kept vertical in an incubator on oxygen for the first two weeks, and they did what they could in those days to shrink that oversized gland by burning it with X--rays. It worked, but I've also had asthma from birth and many severe allergies (and I was extremely sick probably 25% of the time until I was about 12 or 13).
Now I was born in the deep south, and there used to be (and still is in some plaeces) a firmly-held idea that "a FAT baby is a HEALTHY baby." If that were true then by the time I was 2 should have been the healthiest baby on the planet.
I no longer remember how much I weighed in the first grade, but I was wearing clothes for a 3rd-grader. I was even so big that a larger desk had to be brought in for me, and ALL of the kids used to sing "Fatty, fatty two by four" at me every day at recess.
Then I grew.
Well, I was also always the heaviest kid in the grade school I attended, and for that matter I was also the tallest guy in every grade I was in until I was a senior in high school. That was a problem: one side of my family is extremely tall (great aunts over 6'9" tall for instance, and several male relatives over 7' tall). Well when I started the 7th grade, I was right at 6 feet tall, and my father (who was considerably shorter) said that he didn't want "another GD freak in the family" (my older brother was 6'5"). So they took me to our doctor who sent them to the nrearby univeristy hospital when an educated guess was made that I'd be between 6'9 and 7'4" when I was grown.
That did it for my father, and he finally found someone who thought he could do something about it. I have no idea really what was actually done (I only have fuzzy memories of another time I'd rather forget, and in those days they didn't tell a 12-year-old much about what was being done to him medically anyway.), but I stopped growing in the 8th grade at a little over 6'2".
Worse yet, I also had the very heavy bone structure of and musculature of a much bigger (taller, more giantish like most of my male relatives), and that added to my weight, too.
So in high school not only was I VERY fat, I was also even heavier than I looked. And I had no friends. OK, I had 2. One was a guy who was legally blind, and the other was as much of a shy introvert as I was. Coincidentally we were the only 3 who went to a first-rate college when we graduated, so maybe we were "friends by associateion" or some such.
Dating in high school was a joke - females would laugh at me and walk away. But I had 2 whole dates in 4 years. One was to a "sadie hawkins skatiing party" and she asked me because (as I overheard her say later) that she did it because she felt sorry for me. The other was worse. It was a trick so that I could be "caught" and ridiculed. Luckily I escaped and left, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.
College was uneventful, and in getting my BS and MS in physics I had only 2 fewer dates than I had in high school, i.e., 0. (So sex was out, too...) But at least I made a few friends, and that was an improvement. But by then I had (and still ahve) the worst body image on the planet.
In college, I had to take a swimning (phys ed) course, and I put it off as long as possible. Showering and changing were a nightmare for me. But not because anyone said anything - that stopped after high school, thank God. No it was because I was absolutely sure that everyonewas THINKING the nasty comments and taunts about my size. I even still heard the voices in my head sinhing "fatty, fatty, two by four" non-stop the entire time I was in every one of those clases - and especially when changing or showering.
Eventually I graduated with my degrees and joined the real world. That was not much of an improvement overall. I had been on one diet or another probably 99.9% of the time ever since I turned four. At 26 years old and 325 pounds, I swore off diets altogether and invented my own. Now this was either before the "Atkins Diet" book was published OR it was long before I heard of it.
In about 18 months I went from 325 pounds to 193 - and I looked good and felt good for the very first time in my entire life.
Along in there I met a girl who really seemed to like me, and after 18 months of dating we decided to get married. But this did not go as had imagined it would. She liked to cook (MASSIVE amounts) and since her mother did that to her dad, she insited that I eat EVERYTHING she cooked, too.
In a year, I gained back about 45 pounds that I had struggled so hard to lose. That was the status quo for about 4 years, but suddenly one day (different story altogether) she left and ended up divorcing me (in another state no less so that I didn't even know about it until after the fact).
I immediately went back on my diet and dropped from 245 to about 202, and I was happy.
Fast forward about 32 years.
NowI had been (re)married for 31 years. I was 63 and weighed more than I knew - I can blame it on a very sedentary job, long hours, or whatever, but the real cause was overeating. On May 25th 2011 I bought a set of high-capacity, commercial grade scales, took them home, and weighed.
I weighed 354 pounds and I went on a diet that very day, making changes to my eating and exercise habits, A week later I had lost 14 pounds, and by Thanksgiving, I was down to 278.0 and had lost 9" in the waist.
That's when the problems started again.
I had been doing most of the cooking since May, and my wife couldn't stand not having tons of cakes, cookies, pies, icecream, puddings, candy, etc., around 24x7. She resumed doing all the cooking, and 90% of the things she cooks are casseroles ba
So I'm still stying right at 278 +/- 5 and have been there now for 5 months.
I have a few friends supporting me and giving me positive strokes, but in my mind whenever I look at myself in a mirror, i see a monstrously fat guy who should be banned from beaches and pools.
A fat guy with a horrible self-image and who almost can't look at himself in a full-length mirror naked. I'm dieting more seriously now, and I hope I make it down to my goal of 190 some day, But right now that seems impossibly far away.
If only wishes worked, I'd wish that my parents had never tried to fatten me up, had never forced me to eat full, adult-size protions from the time I was 4, had never kept a fully-stocked candy jar in 4 or 5 rooms of the house., had ... well you get the idea. "IF ONLY..." But then as my favorite uncle used to say,"IF frogs had longer legs they wouldn't bump their butts on the ground every time they jump, too."
I think what I'm saying is that I got fat **initially** through no fault of my own, and it has been a living hell to be fat for 60 or so years since then, and over the years I've done little to do anything really positive about it..
BUT I'm working on it now, and I plan to for the rest of my life. I'm trying to hold on to a positive attitude, so please wish me luck.
I apologize that this is so long, but if I try to go back and edit down one more time, I'll probably chicken out and not send it.
Siegmund 61-65, M 6 Responses 2 Mar 26, 2012