Since the holidays are over I decided to write about a problem that is really prevalent nowadays and is a personal problem as well. During the holidays, it’s no secret that we love to eat, that’s basically what Thanksgiving is, but what happens when you overeat?
As a child, I grew up eating everything I wanted. My mother didn’t have much growing up, so she found it hard to say no to me if I said I was hungry. This is how I grew up as an overweight child and why I was so miserable.
Growing up as an overweight child was very rough and came with many challenges that most people don’t understand. I didn’t choose to be “fat” nor did I want it, but it was the hand I was dealt and had to live with it.
As a child, you eat what you are given and when you come from a middle-class family that has only enough to pay the bills and buy food, sometimes those options aren’t the healthiest. It’s sad, but most “cheaper” food options are the unhealthy ones and that was what I was stuck with. So as the years went on and I continued to eat the unhealthy options, the pounds just piled on.
This was difficult for me because it made me the black sheep of my family. Both my sisters and my niece were all thin, so they were always able to get the nicer clothes because it came in their size, but never mine. They were able to share clothes because they were all relatively the same size where I couldn’t because I was so much bigger than they were. These feelings of being left out only fueled the fire of my eating and made matters worse.
Then you had the kids at school. When they say kids are cruel they are not lying. The majority of bullying I suffered through for years was because of my weight. When I was forced to run the mile in PE, the kids made fun of how long it took me to run it. When I was forced to participate in the games I was good at they laughed. And when I tried out for the girls’ basketball team they made jokes that I would shake the ground we played on.
These actions against me made me want to better myself and I tried. People didn’t see how hard I tried. They didn’t see the effort I put in only to be rewarded with failure time and time again. I grew up with a father and siblings who were all always thin and told me to try harder, but they didn’t understand that I already was. They didn't understand that it was a harder battle for me than it was for them.
I tried for years the dieting, the exercising but since people were “making” me do it, it never stuck. The weight wouldn’t come off because I wasn’t doing it for me. Diet and exercise are essential, yes, but if your mind isn’t in the game you aren’t going to see the results.
Growing up as an overweight child had a lot to do with the depression I suffer from today. It has had lasting effects into my early adulthood. My family tried to help but they didn’t understand. My weight spiraled out of control until one day I decided it was time to change. That day came later than I would have liked but it happened.
February of this past year, I started seeing a new doctor and he gave me the tools I needed to really begin to change. In February I started out at 212 lbs. at 19-years-old and as of the end of December, I am at 160 lbs. at 20 years old.Growing up as an overweight child is hard but if you are given the right tools and the right motivation you will have the strength you need to change your life.