Getting A Little Serious Today
Every once in a while I tend to get on my soap box so to speak. Today's post is partly because of two things. One all the commercials I saw yesterday and then the yahoo posts about the Victoria's Secret Fashion show this week. The second is an article I read about a month ago about people trying to ban someone from YouTube because she’s too thin and encourages unhealthy eating habits. While I have nothing against Victoria's Secrets, I even shop there sometimes, or magazines I do think shows such as those as well as all the Photoshopping the media does today is the problem not the everyday person.
Okay, before anyone tells me I am crazy, please let me explain what I mean. Thanks to the media everyday both women and men see pictures of what beauty and perfection is supposed to look like. When we check out at the grocery store we see pictures of women and men with perfect bodies. I don't know about other people, but I know how these pictures always make me feel. It doesn't matter that I know they've all been altered. They still make me feel like I should slip on a potato sack and not eat for a few months. Perhaps it's not that way for others, but for someone struggles with body image issues it's hard.
And while not the only reason I struggled with an eating disorder for years, I am sure the media didn't help. Today, most people who know me don't know I've struggled with my weight since I was a kid and still do.
As a child I was extremely over weight. (See the pictures below) I am not sure when it started to happen. When I look back pictures of myself I see a rather average sized first grader but then I look at pictures from the fourth grade (around age ten) and I see the extra pounds mounting. In fact in the fourth grade (age 10) I went on my first diet, the Slimfast diet. If you don’t know that one it is when you have shake in the morning and at lunch and then a normal dinner. Lets just say that even before this the kids at school made fun of me all the time because off my weight and being on this diet did not help.
Like you may have guessed this diet did not work and by the time I was in the 6th grade (ages 11-12) I weighed a staggering 160 pounds. That might not sound like a lot to some people, but keep in mind I am short even now I am only 5 feet tall so you can picture how tall I was at age 12. Now you may say I am wrong in doing so, but at least in my case, I blame my weight gain on my family. While my mother was very slim and careful about what she ate she didn’t care what I consumed. If I wanted an ice cream sandwich for breakfast that was what I ate, if I wanted 5 slices of pizza that was fine too.
While in 6th grade I tried my next diet weight watchers. Unfortunately with no help or guidance from my family this too failed for me.
By the time I hit end of the 7th grade, I weighed 180 pounds, lacked self-confidence, the kids were always teasing me and I was desperate to get rid of the extra weight. Around this time Nutri-system became very popular. Although it was expensive my mom agreed to sign me up. More determined than ever I stuck with this diet and guess what the weight started to come off.
Great, you might be thinking right? Well, yes and no. I dieted all through 8th grade sticking to the plan and then something happened that summer before I started high school. I don’t know what exactly but I went in the opposite direction as before. I started eating less and less and exercising more and more. By the time I started 9th grade, I was down to about 90 pounds. People stopped making fun of me. They kept telling me how great I looked. I didn’t see it though. I kept restricting and that December I was hospitalized for the first time at 60 pounds.
Before the end of that school year I would be hospitalized two more times, before I stabilized at a weight of 100 pounds which I managed to maintain until I got pregnant with my first daughter. Like most pregnant women, I gained weight and had to work hard to get it off. For the most part I'm still about 8 pounds heavier than before my 2nd pregnancy.
To this day I still get obsessed the numbers on the scale and how many calories I put in my body and perhaps I always will. Actually, as I write this I am on a diet hoping to drop a 5 to 10.
So why did I tell you all this? Well, mainly because I would love to see people accept themselves (something I've never been able to do) and not worry that they don't look like whatever gorgeous model is on the cover of Cosmo or walking the Victoria's Secret runway. I'd also love if the media would stop trying to tell everyone what we should look like. Will that ever happen? I doubt it, but that doesn't mean we have to buy into either.
Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have any thoughts or comments please leave me.