Tuesday, 9 February 2010

How did I get here?

How did I get to be so unhappy with by own body that I could barely stand to look in the mirror?

It's a fairly simple answer really. Heartbreak. And issues of self-loathing that stemmed from having my heart broken.

I've always felt like I've been on the large side. Always carried a few more pounds than I really should have. But I look back at photos of myself as a child and I was skinny! Really skinny! Then the teenage years started and a few pounds crept on that shouldn't have done. But even now, looking back, I looked healthy rather than fat. I wasn't a skinny minnie but I wasn't fat, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Then my first love (or so I thought at the time) dumped me four days before my A-Levels started. I was devastated. 18 and so hurt. But I survived. You always do, don't you?! Then off to University I went. And the real eating began. Takeaway curries, pizzas, chinese most nights. The food in University halls was so horrendous that we just ended up ordering in. And of course there was the booze. Oh, the booze! I lived the student life and enjoyed it far too much, taking every opportunity to eat, drink and be merry.

My second boyfriend broke my heart into pieces when he met someone else and ended it with me. Followed by him and her ringing me up at all hours of the night and calling me awful names down the phone. This was the time that I really started to dislike myself. And the comfort eating began in earnest. I developed an awful habit of going to the supermarket, buying as much junk food as I could eat and then going home and gorging myself. I would eat until my stomach hurt and I could do nothing but lie on my bed. Horrific but true.

Fast forward a few years to now (missing out a fairly major break up in the middle). Or May last year to be precise. I was with C. Love of my life. The man I thought I'd marry. We'd had our ups and downs over the 18 months that we'd been together and my binging habits were still ongoing. I went through phases where I wouldn't do it for months but then I'd have an argument with C and I'd be right back in the pits of junk food hell. It didn't help that I knew he hated my weight. He'd make the odd comment here or there. Occasionally, in the middle of an argument, he'd call me fat or make some other snide remark. A few months into our relationship I was on his computer and I found a log of an old msn conversation he'd had with a friend, a couple of weeks after he'd met me. In it he said I 'wasn't the best looking girl'.

It cut like a knife.

I look back now and that was the moment I really started to hate the way I looked. But, me being me, instead of doing something about it, I sunk lower into my binging hell and pretended I hadn't seen it. But you can't pretend you've not seen something like that. Those words lodged into my brain and ate away at me. They made me think I wasn't good enough for him. They made me think that he was right. That I was fat and unattractive. Why on earth would he fancy me! And because those words ate away and eroded all my confidence, I destroyed our relationship.

I constantly questioned him as to how much he fancied me and whether or not I looked fat in this skirt or that dress. I stopped trusting him (with some good reasons it has to be said, but that's a story for another time) and became obsessed with the fact that he would leave me.

Guess what?

He did.


So here I am. Eight months after the last break up and finally doing something about the weight that I've hated for so long. The feelings of self loathing after the break up were so strong that I managed to put on almost two stone. 28 pounds of pure self hatred. It's funny though, in the last few weeks I've suddenly found myself happier than I've been in years. I don't hate myself now. I see who I am and I'm learning to love her.

And you know what? He was a fool to let me go.

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