Tag Archives: mother

That “Little Voice”

9 Dec

I cannot remember exactly when that little voice in the back of my head sprang to life and started talking to me, but I do know it has been a dominate force in my life for years and that it developed sometime long ago when I was a pre-teen. The little voice is that terrible narrator in your head telling you rotten statements that are not true. My little voice has always said things like:

you are not good enough
they do not like/love you
you are ugly, stupid, and fat.
you will never become anything.
you will never be important.
you, ultimately, do not matter.

Looking back on my childhood (because is that not where most of our little voices develop those strong vocal chords), I see a connection between my little voice and my mother. My mother has suffered from OCD, anorexia, and serve anxiety for years. The anorexia started when she was a teenager; the other two developed more and more as she became an adult.

I first started noticing my mother’s problems with herself when I was eleven. She would stare at herself for ten to thirty minutes multiples time a day in the mirror in my bedroom. My closet doors were mirrors. I loved dancing in front of them pretending I was Baby Spice, but my mother used them to pick herself apart.

How much older than your father do I look?
I am getting chunky.
Wow, I look haggard.
I am ugly.

She would ask me questions that, as a young girl, I thought were weird. My mom has always been beautiful. Even if she was not my mom, I would think that. She confused me. Why did she not see what I saw?

Hearing my mother’s negative self-talk made me start to look at myself more critically. Where the kids at school right? I was tall, pale, and overweight. I did not really focus on this anymore. I was no longer being teased. I had friends now. I was happy. Or was it all a lie? My mom’s self-hate was contagious. The voice was probably born sometime around here when I was between eleven and twelve.

When my mom would stop eating, I wanted to lose weight her. I wanted boys at school to look at me the way grown men looked at her. When I was between thirteen and fifteen, my mother and I went through an ugly time together. We spent a lot of time eating lettuce and drinking Slim Fast. We were unhappy and constantly telling each other just how shitty we found ourselves to be.

I also picked up on her perfectionist qualities. Anything below an A in school (with the exception of math) was disgusting. I was not going to hold myself to the slacker standards of my peers. I struggled some nights between all my honors/AP classes and extra-curricular activities. I wanted to be fresh and creative to teachers regardless of how long I had to spend on the assignment.

The thing about the voice is: I never was able to make myself happy. No grade was good enough. No compliment was true. No report card filled me with pride. No matter what I did. I was not enough. I always had to be better….but I never actually thought I was better.

Same as my mother, I hit a point when nothing mattered anymore. I graduated and decided to not go to college. I worked for a fast food place instead. I consigned myself to eating and working for barely over minimum wage. I hated myself and wanted to torture myself because I thought living that way was what I deserved.

For almost three years, I have been working on accepting myself. I came out of a major depression and have slowly started to work on things, like that little voice.

Having a child of my own has been a big part of why I want to fix my real flaw. It will not matter if i’m fat, skinny, average, beautiful, or ugly. What will affect my son is how I feel about myself and what I do with my life. I do not want to teach him insecurities and self-hate.

As I approach the end of my first full semester of community college, I am proud. I do not have straight As and, for once, I am alright with that. I worked hard for a steady 3.5, but I did not let the pressure of school, my family, and the little voice get to me. Yes, I had days that I felt like a moron. There were also days I told myself to drop all of my classes because I would never be able to obtain a degree. However, I was able to ignore those thoughts. I was able to push through and, for the first time in maybe…ever, I feel proud of myself. Long ago, I let the voice dominate me. Now I know that even though I will never be perfect, I can still be the most amazing me. (and it may sound cheesy but it’s a big step for me!)

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Who Am I?

7 Nov

I am Heather.

I used to not have a lot to say about myself. I lived for fast food places and secret candy stashes. I hated myself and hid from most of the world. I spent the majority of my time being embarrassed and feeling sorry for myself. I was a sad individual.
Then, everything changed for me. I discovered that I was worth something. I wanted to be an amazing mother, wife, and person. I wanted to live life, not live for my next meal.

What made me change? A few things actually. No one wakes up overnight and says, “Hey, being obese sucks.” Every overweight person knows that being overweight is terrible on a person physically, aesthetically, mentally, and emotionally.

My messed up relationship with food started when I was ten. I had put on some weight and every little brat at school noticed. This somehow led to me sneaking sleeves of Ritz crackers into my room when my mom was not looking. I would eat the whole sleeve and the bad feelings were temporarily quelled. I put on quite a few pounds rapidly. Then, to make an increasingly bad situation worse. puberty hit. I was an emotional and physical wreck. I was taunted by others, insecure, and bleeding all over the place. I felt as if I was living in the Dark Ages.
What does any fat thirteen year old girl do the summer before high school? That is right, I starved myself. I had a stationary bike in my bedroom and spent all day on that bike. I pedaled away almost forty pounds. A steady diet of slim fast for breakfast and lunch and a chicken salad at dinner helped me be skinny enough for high school.
However, my food problems were far from fixed.I thought I was better. I had defeated the headaches, the cravings, and, best of all, the fat. When I was sixteen, I got my first job. I worked for a fast food place for almost three years. By the time I left that job, I was almost two-hundred and twenty pounds and I had fully developed my binge eating disorder.
For the first couple “adult” years of my life, I was trapped in a cycle of starving and bingeing. I would eat well over 4,000 calories for one to three weeks and then I would feel disgusting and try to starve myself for one to three weeks. I ended up, by the time I found out I was pregnant, skyrocketing to two-hundred and fifty pounds.
I gained about twenty to thirty pounds throughout my pregnancy. When I started this lifestyle change, I was between 275-280 pounds. I was miserable. I had some minor health problems. I was pre-diabetic.
Even for  a women that stands tall-ish at five-foot-nine, I could no longer “carry my weight well”. I was wearing a triple XL shirt size and my size 24 jeans were too tight. But, initially, I did not lose weight for myself.
My first goal was to get back down to two-twenty five. I just wanted to be able to keep up with my newborn son. I wanted to be a mother, not a sedentary eating machine.

That journey started February (mid-to-late) of 2010, and I am happy to say that I have never seen a number past 225 on the scale. I have had my ups and my downs. I have learned (mainly the hard way) about so much about fitness and nutrition. I want to pay it forward. No one is stuck being a McFatty. This is not the story of a quick-fix diet. This is the story of a life, renewed.