I've had a few inboxes from people asking me what my story is and it occurred to me that I haven't introduced myself on this page before! So here goes.
The crux of it is July 2010, I was advised that I was 243kg. As stupid as it sounds, this news came as a shock as the weight had simply crept up on me. I had no idea I was that heavy. I had lap band surgery in November 2010. In September 2011, I was 165.9kg. In March 2012, I had to have my band replaced due to the fact that it had slipped. I also needed to get my port restitched as it had flipped. Between 2012 and October 2017, I have hovered anywhere between 190kg and 200kg. I haven't had much interest in losing weight and sometimes I'd think 'I can give this a shot' but then later on realized my heart wasn't in it. I had a majority of my fill taken out of my band in 2015 (this is not by any means a failed band story. My band has not failed me nor have I failed my band - my band saved my life).
The 30th of October 2017 came around and on this particular day, I woke up thinking 'f**k it - it's time to give this weight loss thing one last push'. I had seen a menu online hat I liked the sound of a few days before so I started it. I then proceeded to empty out the pantry of all the bad things that were in it (my best friend's children were delighted!) and I filled it with healthy foods. I ended up with a MASSIVE headache and when I did some more research into what 'diet' I was following, I realised I had quit sugar! I was a crazy 'sugar is bad lady!'. It was too late to go back so I kept on going and I haven't looked back. I am now a clean eater and I can't praise it enough. In January 2018, I was advised that my port has flipped (again - this is what they use to put fluid in the band) and that if I want to use my lap band, I will require surgery. For the moment, I am happy plodding along without it's help but it's not to say that in the future I won't get it fixed as I probably will but for the moment, I am happy. I feel amazing and there is no turning back now.
I've struggled with my weight my whole life. I think my first memory of being big was when I was in around about Grade 4. We were doing a production and we had to have skirts made for us. One of the Mums had volunteered to make the skirts and my waist was the biggest of all. It didn’t really seem to bother me then.
I remember looking at School photos and always being the biggest. Once again, it still didn’t get to me. I had a best friend and throughout Primary School, she and I were attached at the hip. Like many other young girls, I was interested in boys. There was one in particular who I used to hassle on a regular basis to give me his list of preferences if he were to go out with anyone. I was number 3 on the list. This always used to make me smile especially considering there were around 12 girls in my class. I don't recall feeling down about my weight when I was in primary school. It didn't seem to be a huge issue. It was what it was and we learnt to accept everyone as people came in all shapes and sizes.
It was when I got to secondary school that I noticed the difference. I started to get bullied every day. The classic ‘hey, hey, hey – it’s fat Albert’ and ‘I feel the earth move under my feet’ would be chanted as I walked past people. This would happen more than once a day. I’d often have people make jokes about me breaking chairs or eating all the food that we’d made during home economics. I’d get stuff from the Canteen and as I walked back, I’d often be looked at by the other students – being scrutinized for what I’d purchased. I was called chubby, fat, beefy, fatty, rolls, whale, pig, fat pig – anything you could think of. I went to a different High School the following year.
Hoping things would pick up, it wasn’t long before the same sort of things started happening. I started to get picked on again. Fatty boom ba was one of their favourites. I found it hard to make friends at this new School so I’d often lie about things to try and buy their friendship. My lies and promises obviously soon became apparent that they were just that and I made the situation worse for myself. I just wanted to be liked. I recall someone flushing my gym stuff down the toilet. I never found out who it was. I was never good at gym. I always got picked last if it was for team work. I dreaded gym class. I always used to pretend that I had my period so that I didn’t have to do it. It didn't take me long to work out that male teachers would never argue!
I remember one time when we had a drama excursion, this girl locked me off the bus saying that I would pop the tyres if I were to hop on. The WHOLE drama class were laughing, thinking it was so funny that she wouldn’t let me on. I didn’t know where the Teacher was. I loved drama – it was one of my favorite subjects that I also did well in. I went to the office to phone my Mum. She came down from memory to discuss what had happened. I am not ever sure what happened to that girl. I’ve searched for her on Facebook and I blocked her – I don’t imagine that she’d add me. A lot of her friends are on Facebook many of whom I have blocked as well. I don't want to ever have to wee their faces again.
Although these memories are old, they are painful. It’s funny to see that a lot of the people who used to pick on me for my weight are now struggling with theirs as well. It was nice to see one of the prettiest and fittest girls in School add me on Facebook the other day. I couldn’t recognize her because of the weight she had stacked on. I’d never say anything of course but, I wonder if they ever stopped to think of me and what they put me through? I doubt it.
As an adult, I've had my fair share of being picked on. It used to be daily - on the train, on the bus, walking home. Even out the front of my own house have I been called 'monster house' (referring to the character named Constance on the movie by the same name). I do admit that it is hurtful and although I have so many come backs for people who pick on me and I am able to brush their insults off, it doesn't stop the fact they have actually had the nerve to say something to me nor does it excuse their attitude feeling as though they had the right to judge me for my size.
Because I am the size I am, I spend most of my time going out of my way to make others comfortable. Why should my weight interfere with other people enjoying their day? I guess that’s not really the right attitude to have although it’s really the only one I know. Because I’ve been kicked to the ground so many times, that’s where I feel I belong. And although I don’t feel fat until I am trying on a new pair of pants or a new skirt that doesn’t fit or when i am looking in the mirror, it doesn’t mean that I’m not.
I feel gorgeous. I feel happy. I feel generous, loving and kind. I feel like I have so much to offer the world and I am full of potential. I am clever, caring and likable. I am funny, pretty and witty. I have drive, I show initiative and am good at problem solving. I am a good friend, I inspire others, I am compassionate, I am loved and I'm empathetic. But, I'm also FAT. Why should this make me any less of a person in the eyes of society?
Although I've learnt to accept myself for who I am over the last few years and my attitude now goes along the lines of 'if you don't like the look of how fat I am, don't look!', I know that others struggle with self acceptance and have a very low opinion of themselves. It is hard work learning to love yourself when you're constantly made to feel as though you're not worthy but it can be done.
I hope that through sharing my story with others, I am able to empower those who don't feel as though they can do it. I hope to inspire through my determination, teach people by sharing my stuff ups and I also hope to grow as a person. I'm proud of who I am, I am proud of where I'm going and I am absolutely banking on myself NEVER to give up until I've reached my goal.
Having weight loss surgery does not mean you've taken the easy way out, that you never have to work at losing weight again nor does it mean that you're not going to crave bad things. It's merely a tool. My band does not drag my butt down to the gym, it doesn't choose salad over pizza for me and it doesn't stop me from making bad choices. Having weight loss surgery is one of the hardest decisions a lot of people have to make. I've recently been made to feel like less of a person for having had it done! It's not something I'm ashamed of, it's not something that I'd change if I could nor is it something I could have lived without. My band literally saved my life. I have no doubt I would not be here if I hadn't have had it.
Feel free to follow me on Facebook - www.facebook.com/movingforwardlookingforward and my Instagram page @movingforwardlookingforward
I hope you enjoy following my journey as much as I enjoy sharing it with you xo