The Struggles Of Being The Child Who Was Overweight

The Struggles Of Being The Child Who Was Overweight

Growing up being the "fat" kid always had its challenges.
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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.
Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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4 Ways Clutter Is Negatively Affecting Your Health

Clutter affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

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If you're aware that your cluttered space is causing you stress and discomfort, it might be helpful to understand how and why clutter affects our health. When we clear our space we are more likely to feel at ease, relaxed, and tranquil. There is no better time to freshen your space than at the start of the new year when we are already setting new intentions and re-assessing goals and putting new ideas into motion.

1. Clutter produces dust and exacerbates allergies

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Have you ever gone through your closet or bookshelf, only to see the visible layers of dust and dirt that were hidden behind your items? Clutter gives dust and other environmental fibers a place to accumulate. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or tired and fatigued in your space, it might be time to de-clutter - your itchy eyes will thank you!

2. Lack of organization in your belongings leads to stress and anxiety

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I know I'm not the only one who has had the experience of needing an item before running out the door, only to realize it wasn't where you left it...and now you need to tear apart your entire room looking for it. Sound familiar? Having too much clutter leads to a disorganized space that provokes anxiety and stress and can have a strong, negative impact on your day to day life. Whoever came up with, "a place for everything and everything in its place" was definitely onto something.

3. Clutter puts your nervous system in overdrive

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Cluttered environments are taxing on the nervous system. The sensory overload prevents us from being able to relax and rest, and keeps us activated in our sympathetic nervous system, AKA "fight or flight". This means we're more likely to be on edge and hyper-aware than calm and relax when at home.

4. Living in a cluttered space impacts your mood and self-esteem

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Our brains thrive off of order and organization. When things are disordered and chaotic around us, it's natural to feel irritable and frustrated in response, lowering mood and reducing our self-esteem and self-worth. Rather than thinking about the things you want to get rid of when de-cluttering, focus on what things you want to keep and what you want to have in your immediate environment.

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