Settle in, this is a long one.
Disclaimer: I can’t speak for anyone but me so my apologies if I come off that way. I am a young, white woman living in America so I’m not sure if this is relevant to everyone who reads this, but maybe? There is also some language ahead, but please stick with me because I eventually come back around to sewing, I promise!
I never had a serious weight problem. I was a healthy child and mostly a healthy adult. I did gain about 35 pounds after college, but most people don’t really consider that overweight, and if I show them pictures, I look almost exactly the same as I did now. Luckily, kind of, I’m a pear shape, so I can hide all of my weight in my hips.
One of the few swimsuit pictures I have of myself (from 3 years ago) because I don’t normally take off my cover/dress.
I’m sharing this because even though I looked adorable as any child does and like any normal person as an adult, I still have scores of problems with my weight. I tried to go on a diet when I was 6. I told my dad I needed stomach surgery when I was 9 or 10. (My poor dad.) I rarely dated in high school because I didn’t think I was skinny enough for anyone to even consider dating. My mother is very much overweight (though incredibly gorgeous - I get my looks from her) and yet I heard for many years that “no one would love [her] because [she’s] fat.”
This is an absurd statement and I refuse to address how ridiculous it is, but hearing that and internalizing that for years, among other equally ridiculous statements, while I was growing up did not help my love life or really, my life and body image in general.
Me after college.
And after college when I gained those 35 pounds? I tried losing it by going to the gym every day while restricting myself to just 1000-1500 calories/day. I did not lose weight. But after about a year or two of crazy dieting ideas and lots of exercise, I did get food poisoning and I lost 20 pounds in 2 days.
I was so excited because I looked
amazing skinny. Plus, everyone wanted to know my secret because I looked good thin. After explaining about the food poisoning and how I wanted to wait before resuming dieting and exercising so I could recover and be healthy, no one could understand why.
No, this isn’t a healthy way to live. But worse than that: I know I’m not the only one who experiences this because I have talked about this with other women. Lots of them.