shoutout to everyone with social anxiety or really bad/low self esteem who gets themselves up and goes to school everyday, or musters up the courage to leave the house, y'all are the real mvp and i love you
I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I think it’s time! This is my story. It’s also my first official progress picture. Yeah, I got this far without taking intentional progress pictures. WUT? I’ve never shown myself in this kind of outfit, but I’m feeling good. Y’know!? I’m feeling good! I wanted to wear something that would really show my shape and how it changes. I’ll use this outfit for however long it fits!
Background: My weight problems were mostly a function of suppressing intrusive thoughts and panic. Both of my parents are alcoholics and my siblings and I were emotionally abused and physically intimidated often. Physical abuse occurred occasionally. I grew up without heat, hot water, a bed, or a winter coat. I ate for comfort and I ate to feel numb. Eating until I physically felt nauseated and needed to vomit was frequent.
The turning point: I left home. I was about to set the horizon into the college life, but the night before my orientation my parents refused to drop me off. So, I called my friend! We threw my stuff in the trunk and we went I ghosted. I started school. I loved the campus. I had a bed and my dorm room was warm. That was a good start I’d say!
During my first semester, I was diagnosed with both obstructive sleep apnea and prediabetes. I felt miserable 24/7. I was 312 lbs, at only 5’3”. It hurt to move and it was hard to breathe. I knew I needed to change my lifestyle, but I still struggled immensely with panic attacks and comfort eating despite my new environment. So, I started getting therapy. NEVER be embarrassed to get therapy.
I was living by myself where no one could abuse me. I was an adult now and got to decide where I wanted to be, and when. I was truly making my own decisions for the first time. It was time to heal. So, I started retraining my tastebuds, dialing down the portion sizes, and decided every time I had the urge to compulsively eat that I’d go outside and walk until the feeling went away.
Little-by-little, it formed into habits. I’d leap forward and then step back, but I crawled along; always determined. In the first four months, I lost 45 lbs. The first year? 110 lbs. Trust me, I wasn’t flawless. I’m still not. Who the Heck is? But, I saw I could struggle and succeed at the same time. I’m here almost nine years later into this wild ride to tell you, you’ll never fail if you keep working. Struggle isn’t failure.
Today: I have absolutely no issues with OSA, blood sugar, or GERD anymore. Of course, I still have anxiety, but I feel like I own all the tools to reign it in the majority of the time. No one’s perfect, and no one needs to be! I eat real food in reasonable quantities, I don’t have food rules (except allergies), I don’t diet, I always have fun when I eat and exercise, and I want to be strong. My pursuit is physical and mental health and physical and mental strength. I want energy, I want power. I have some loose skin on the bottom of my stomach, my inner thighs, and mostly my arms. I’m really starting to become OK with that. This isn’t about media images. This is about taking the invasive voice in my head, locking it in a room, and telling it to “Shut. The. Fuck. Up. “
Life is time, and for however long life is I have the time for me. The crux of my story is I’m saying no to abuse. No, to the abuse during my childhood. No, to abusing myself.
I thought that it was a normal thing to have nightmares almost every night and I once told someone that I have constant nightmares and they were like “what??? that’s not normal I rarely have them” and it confused the hell out of me because it didn’t occur to me that the average and normal/healthy person has a nightmare like once every 2 months or something. i think that was the moment i Realized