Thursday, February 2, 2012


Ever since I returned from my last trip to Norway in 2011, I've been accumulating little snippets of writing on my netbook. They're slowly coalescing into what could theoretically be an autobiography, but I feel a little dorky thinking of it that way. There's obviously way, way more to this story and this is just the beginning.

At age 15, I sat in the RV that my parents made me and my brother come to every summer. It was our summer "home" and we ensured that it had all the amenities. My mother and I would pack up our desktop computers for every trip up there so that we could use the dial-up internet to play our favorite computer games.

I'm not sure that was how my parents expected me to spend my summers, planted in front of a computer playing Diablo II with my virtual boyfriend.

After one particularly long session of gaming, an all-nighter, I sat at the cheap plastic table in the room I shared with my brother ravenously consuming a bag of Tostitos scoops with a bowl of full fat sour cream salsa dip. I clearly recall dropping a chip onto my stomach, then looking at sitting on my stomach. That's when I realized it.
I was fat.

My belly had ballooned to proportions that I had up until this moment been ignoring.

I didn't know what to do about it. I was unhappy, one could even argue that I was clinically depressed. I continued to eat, and eat, and eat. I couldn't stop myself and I didn't know how to fix it.

The high school I attended wasn't actually in my town. My town was too small to build a high school of its own, so they shuttled us off to various different schools each morning. I chose to go to the one that had computer science classes and no uniform requirement. It was also in a town full of affluent white couples with their spoiled children.

I felt like an outcast. A very fat, very lonely, very sad outcast. Now that's not to say that people didn't talk to me, or associate with me. There were a few other misfits and I got along fine with them, but high school was awful.

After my realization that I was fat, I vaguely remember expressing concern to my pediatrician. She referred me to an endocrinologist. Over the course of my sophomore year, I had gone to the doctor and been diagnosed with insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  I was placed on birth control to regulate my infrequent menstruation and metformin to help with the insulin resistance.  I didn't mind the birth control, but the metformin was a different story. It left me with a perpetually upset G.I. system; I hated it.

I had health/gym class second period my junior year, and the first day of classes held a shock for me. We were going to have to step on a scale that also measured body fat percentage, in addition to our weight.  The teacher would make sure that no one but you saw the results, and I was already afraid to step on. I knew I was unhealthy, I knew that I was fat, but I didn't actually know how much I weighed, or how fat I actually was.

It was my turn.

I stepped on...

198 lbs

I waited for what seemed like an eternity to me....

48% body fat

At that moment, I resolved that I would do something. I would finally lose weight.

I started packing my school lunches. I remember measuring out each portion, counting out each chip. I don't remember it feeling restrictive. It was simply something that I had to do because I wasn't happy. Every other night I would hop on my parents beat-up old stair-stepper for 15 to 30 minutes. I had youth on my side and I easily dropped 30lbs before my senior year of high school ended.

I felt successful, but in truth, I didn't really understand the concept of permanent weight loss because it was not even a year and a half before I'd put 15 of the 30 lbs back on. My eating habits started to spiral out of control once more.