Thursday, May 19, 2011

Soul on a Soapbox

When I was between the ages of 12-17, I seriously thought about suicide.  It's a personal struggle that had me in it's grips for a long time.  It's a statement that I haven't told a lot of people in my life, including my parents.  The reason behind not sharing this is because I got through it by myself, so I didn't feel the need to involve them in something they couldn't fix or assist me with.  Thinking back now, I still remember the feelings that caused me to get in the state of mind; I thought that because I was fat, I didn't belong, and never would. 

The ages I referenced are a very difficult time in a person's life.  You are starting the discover yourself in new and different ways.  You are starting to be interested in the opposite, or for some, same sex.  Puberty is setting in, and the hormones are raging.  With this onset, one starts to, in my opinion, really pay attention to the peers around them.  Kids are mean, plain and simple.  Vicious and cruel are other words that could describe youth at these ages.  At that age, being an outsider looking in can be the lonliest place in the world, which can uncover feelings of inadequacy are that often accompanied with feelings of lonliness and unworthiness.  Words aren't just sticks and stones, they can hurt!

As many of you have probably read or heard about, bullying has been a national topic of conversation for some time now.  Every day, kids and adults are deciding if whether or not they can go on with their lives, due to whatever reasons or events they are facing.  It's an epidemic that needs a vaccine.  I was bullied all through Elementary and Middle School, by both students and teachers.  (It was a hot day, and I remember asking my 2nd grade teacher to turn up the air conditioner in our classroom, and she said something to me that I will never forget as long as I live:  "You're fat, that's why you're hot!")

Even though I was bullied, I always put on the brave face and got through it.  I kept telling myself that it will get better.  It did.  Here are just some words of advice from a person who has been in this situation, and got their way out:

1.  Tell your kids that you love them, every day, and actually put feeling behind it.  Don't just say it to say it, say it because you mean it.  Trust me, we know the difference.
2.  Teach your kids to be accepting of other races, genders, sexual orientations, or religions.  If you aren't as accepting, open yourself up to learn more.
3.  Teach your kids that no one is better than them.  Yes, they will not get along or be friends with every person they meet in their life.  However, every person deserves that same respect that you want for yourself.  This can also be for us adults too.
4.  If you or your child is different, it's okay.  Teach them that the differences in us all make the world a better place.  God doesn't make mistakes!
5.  Religion is an important part of life.  It helps each of us in our own way.  If you child comes to you with different ideas or interpretations, talk with them, don't dismiss them.

Let me just say, these feelings had absolutely NOTHING to do with my parents and their love for me.  They told me multiple times a day they loved me, and I never once doubted it.  Sometimes, however, it's not enough.  Thank God, it was for me.  I cannot imagine not being around for the things I have seen and experienced in my post-teen years.  I have great friends, and an amazing family, that builds me up on a daily basis.

I know this post had little to do with my weight loss journey, but I feel that in order to change a mindset, I need to be open and honest about how and why I became the person I am today. This will only help me in the long run ahead.

To learn more about anti-bullying in schools, please visit and

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I think I can, I think I can...

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."  I keep replaying this over in my head.  If the Little Engine could get over that hill, why can't I?

I have always had the mindset of "If I can't have it now, then I don't want it at all."  I have no patience what so ever.  My Mom and I have talked about this numerous times over the course of my life; when God was handing out the genes to me, the "no patience" gene came from my Mother.  We are so much alike, it's really not even funny.  I am definitely a Momma's boy, and I wear that badge proudly.  However, one thing about my Mom that I would change is that she tried to fix everything.  While talking with her last night about trying to lose weight again, she mentioned that she takes responsibility for my being fat.  I quickly told her that was not the case, and that she didn't force food down my throat.  My family, like every other family, was busy.  I had activities after school, as did my sister.  We had basketball, baseball, and softball games almost every night, all while getting homework finished, bathed, and put in bed so my Mom could catch up on grading papers and getting her lesson plans ready for the next day (in case you didn't catch it, my Mom was an 8th grade American History teacher for over 30 years.)  My Dad was working at night so he was rarely there to help my Mom with the nightly routine.

How I was raised definitely helped shape me into the person I am today, both good and bad.  As I have said before, in the South, everything revolves around food.  This fact, in my opinion, is a main reason why the South has such an abundance of fat people.  Historically, the Southern culture has been defined by the farming; the same family working the same farm through generations.  I don't consider myself a farmer in the slightest way, but my family has always had a backyard garden where we grew fruits and vegetables such as squash and tomatoes.  Even with our small garden, I know how much it took to work that small plot of land because I saw it on my parents faces.  Now, imagine several hundreds of acres where this same work is required.  You are going to want a big, hearty dinner when you are finished in order to get ready for the next day.  Today, we still eat the same food, but not everyone puts in the same work.

Losing weight is about changing a mindset, not just eating habits.  That is going to be my biggest struggle.  It's been in my head since birth, and honestly, it's in my genes.  While it may not be an easy thing to accomplish, I think I can, I think I can...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where do I start?

From as far back as I can remember, I have been fat.  It's just natural to me.  Growing up in a typical Southern family, everything revolves around food.  A wedding, there's food.  A funeral, there's food.  Church, there's food.  I think you get the picture that literally, everything involves food in some way, shape, or form. 

As a fat person, the older you get, the more in tune you become with yourself, and just how different you are from the rest of the population.  I get that the statistics say that more than half the country is obese.  However, when I go to the mall or out to a restaurant, I only see the "beautiful" people, as I'm sure many of you do as well.  Also, again, maybe it's a Southern thing, but why is fat "cute" when you are young (i.e. a plump little baby with pudgy cheeks), but the older you get, the more being fat becomes like a virus that no one wants to catch?

So, what happens after the fat?  Since this is my first blog, I don't know.  I haven't got there yet.  I am resigned to the fact that I will never be "thin".  It's okay, I own it.  I just want to be healthy.  So, here it goes...I went to a nutritionist yesterday, and I weigh 337.5 lbs.  I think this is the first time in my life that I will actually tell people what I weigh, and its a big step.  However, it's a step that needs to be taken.  She said that I need to set realistic goals for myself in order to start the process of losing weight in a healthy way.  This blog is one of those goals.

I can't change how I grew up, and how I got the way I am now.  I can only go forward.  In a perfect world, the road ahead would be flat and I would reach my goal the easiest way I could.  But, what would be the fun in that?

I'm not going to setup a schedule on when I should blog.  If the mood hits, I will write, because then, nothing is forced and I am letting out my real emotions. 

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