There, I said it. It is shameful. But I know I’m not alone. Apparently it is nearly impossible to lose a large amount of weight and keep it off. I believe that is because we are such a short-term-solution focused nation. In other words, I blame the cult of the diet.
When I was 20, I was in a relationship that was taking me nowhere and I was very unhappy. I don’t know if I never knew my highest weight or if I erased that information from my memory. But I was a size 22/24 so I can deduce that I was about 300 pounds.
One day, I decided I would lose the weight and I also decided to dump the boyfriend. This is how I tend to make decisions- snap!
I dieted and walked my weight away. It was very unhealthy. I worked at a store with a group of other overweight women and we were very bad influences on each other. I subsisted on coffee and tea and one small meal a day for at least a year. I also drank a lot of alcohol. Needless to say, I don’t remember it very clearly. I lost a lot of weight.
Then I joined a gym. This was the first time I had gotten on a scale. It said 209 pounds. I could not believe it. All that and I STILL weighed over 200 pounds. I was a size 14. Having never known my highest weight, I did not know how many pounds I had lost, but there it was: not enough. So I added furiously exercising to my routine. And I quit drinking. And I joined a kick-boxing gym and started circuit training. I got down to a size 10, the smallest I have ever been. I weighed 165. Finally. I was out of the “overweight” range on the charts. I was normal.
At some point, I lost interest in dieting and started eating a lot more. That helped me exercise more. At some point I started drinking. Heavily. I was working in a bar now. I was meeting a lot of men. I was getting hit on. It was so strange and awesome. I lost interest in exercise soon after that.
I gained a little weight back and I didn’t really care. I felt pretty good.
I’m not sure what it was, but something emotional happened. Something devastating. Probably involving some boy. I do remember, very clearly, buying a bag of Kettle Cooked Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips. A large bag, not a snack-size one. I remember going home, laying down on the couch in the dark in front of the tv and eating the entire bag. Have you ever eaten a whole bag of potato chips? You don’t enjoy it. It is disgusting.
When I finished the whole bag, I felt ill. I was tempted to go throw-up and undo this horrible thing. But I did not. I layed on the couch and watched TV in the dark. I continued to do this for some time daily.
I guess “Emotional Eater” is the term for this.
But I did not gain ALL the weight back. I was kind of poor so I walked everywhere and couldn’t afford mass quantities of food. By the time I was 29 I was around 240 pounds, I would guess.
Then, I moved. I got a REAL job at a DESK. I had graduated from school. I bought a car. I didn’t walk any more I had a lot more money. By the time I was 31, I was 287 pounds. My highest known weight.
That was one year ago this month, January 2009.