Once Upon a Fat Girl

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What I posted...

So...one of the authors of The Diet Survivor's Handbook commented on my last entry! How sweet is that? And she invited me to post something to her site. Here's what I sent:

Hello, my name is Shaunta.

I'm a wife, and a mother of a baby, a preteen and a teenager. Yeah. It's fun. Really, it is.

I'm a writer, just finished with my first novel. An ex-journalist who just can't put down the pen.

I'm a friend, a lover, my family's historian. I love photography and gardening and playing my guitar. I have eight siblings, two sets of parents, my ex-husband is one of my best friends.

And I weigh 300 pounds.

With all the things I have going on in my life--really good things--why is it that the last one is the one that defines me?

Why is it that I want to wear a sign sandwich-style that says "Yeah, but I used to weigh 323!"

I don't weigh 300 pounds because of my genes. Out of a very large family, only I am morbidly obese. I don't weigh 300 pounds because of a hormonal imbalance, or a 'female problem' or my thyroid. I've had it all checked. Twice.

I weigh 300 pounds because I stopped dieting on May 1, 2006. I have no doubt that had I continued to diet, I would weigh a solid 350 by the end of the year. I weighed 323 pounds because I started dieting when I was eight, and it took me the next 25 years to get there.

I binged my way through a fairly promising atheltic career. This is a secret that I've never told anyone before--I stopped swimming after my senior year so that I could eat. The four hours a day of exercise kept me in shape, in spite of the three or four candy bars I'd eat on my way home every night.

I binged through a lonely and traumatic childhood. Through a rough first marriage. Through three pregnancies. Through meeting the man of my dreams and becoming his wife. I binged through a quarter decade of living--starting in the third grade.

I stopped on May 1, because the number 323 scared me. And luckily for me, I came across a book about natural eating. It made sense--and I tried it. The first two weeks were pure hell. I started a blog--because I write. It's what I do. I need my blog to keep me sane through this. It gave me a place, everyday for two weeks, to talk about how scared the "not full/not hungry" feeling made me.

I started moving--not to lose weight, but because it feels good. Because deciding that I want to compete in a triathlon made me feel like an athlete again.

And 23 pounds came off. I know, I know...that's not the point. And really, it isn't. The point is that I'm not obsessed. I'm not making myself sick. I feel good. For the first time in a long time, I feel good. The anxiety that goes along with binging is gone.

Now, 23 pounds isn't much when you have 170 to lose in all. But for me, they are the most beautiful pounds ever. They tell me, every one of them, that I don't have to make myself sick anymore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for more than a week now. I'm another one, much like you, but older. I've been doing normal eating (non-diet, intuitive eating) since February. I'm not losing weight, but I'm not gaining it either. I'm a member of the other Diet Survivor's group, the one on Yahoo groups. Like you, I needed to write about my journey, but I'm not a blogger.

Thanks for letting me post a message to you.


9:47 AM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

I think you've hit it here: I have long thought I'd never have reached the astonishing weight of 368 had I never started on that first diet as a child.

I actually did "diet" a year ago ~ it was a hospital-based intervention to save my life because I'd reached a point of being nearly incapacitated by my weight.

But what I'm doing now is eating healthfully and exercising and it works. Good for you. Delight in your success because I think you've found the answer.


10:54 AM  
Blogger chrissie said...

brilliantly written

11:05 AM  
Blogger Project Mudflap Girl said...

That's a great post.

A favorite fitness instructor always used to say, "listen to your body, it will tell you exactly what it needs". Good words to live by.

11:11 AM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

had to come back and read this again because it touched me so the first time. i don't know why i've allowed my weight to define me when my life is so full of so many good things. it's crazy, but i've used my weight to discount successes for years. done with that. hope you are too.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Amazon Alanna said...

mShaunta, you continue to inspire me. You touch me verytime.

Did you know that 23 pounds out of 170 is 13.5%? Not bad. Actually, pretty damn good.

You mentioned tri training...how is that going? I've got some training plans up my sleeve, too.

4:46 PM  
Blogger drstaceyny said...

You're such a good writer and really able to capture the struggle.

I'm so impressed that she wrote you!

7:56 AM  

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