After reading the book Real Love Post Childhood Stress Disorder by Dr. Greg Baer and learning the Real Love principles I decided to share a very private part of my life. Sometimes my PCSD comes out in the form of trying to figure out what people think of me. That behavior is disappearing as I am learning to be loved, but I thought I might share what I remember before it’s gone. It seems love is reshaping my perspective of the past and healing the pain of it all.
My parents were intelligent successful people and they engrained in me that being overweight was disease. They were well intentioned but they were killing my spirit. I was overweight from the age of 8. -I will never forget the day I walked into the doctor’s office, he was my Mom’s cousin. I had on a little dress that was plaid with a white color. I remember always going to different doctors at different places. I will never forget how humiliating it was to have the doctor gather up my dress and have me hold it in my arms. I was in the very center of the room.I was taught all my life to keep your legs together and your dress over your knees. I was horrified. I looked for the windows but they were high up about 5 feet off the wall. I felt helpless to get out. Mom was standing there as the doctor walked around pointing at my legs and body. He divulged how I already had cellulite at 8 and how being overweight would ruin my life. He talked about diseases and death at 55. I couldn’t compute all of that and I just remember thinking. My parents to not like how I look. Something is wrong with me and my parents are trying to change it. I won’t live long if they don’t help me change it. I was scared to cry or act out because Dad spanked us if we cried or whined. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of years of humiliation about my weight. Mom was given a diet that she put me on that lasted all of about 2 weeks before she gave up. I knew I was supposed to eat a certain way to lose weight and I couldn’t figure out if my parents liked me again or if they didn’t care about my dying at age 55. I felt helpless. I heard so many conversations about my weight from family members that I felt like I’d never belong in this group of people.
Age 10- I was taken to a “specialist” about 70 miles away. It was a rickety old house with peeling paint. The waiting room was full of all sizes of people. I remember thinking this it weird. Some of these folks are so skinny their bones are sticking out. There were no test. I was weighed in at 130 pounds and measured and given some injections and a prescription. I asked what the injection was and was told that it was just vitamins. The medicine I was put on made me race like the wind. It kept me jittery and awake for long into the night. I went to a “drug” seminar at school and there on display were the pills I had been taking for 2 years! They were on the board and labeled speed or amphetamines. The diet that the doctor prescribed lasted about 3 weeks and mom gave up cooking special for me and for the family. But continued to keep me on the drug. That doctor was a member of my family and was later arrested for dispensing drugs and his license was revoked.
Age 13. I did survive elementary school with all the jokes about being overweight and humiliation of family hiding food and talking openly about how much I eat and how big I was. My parents took me to yet another doctor. This one was a bariatric specialist who did tons of test on me. He discovered after I had a 9 hour glucose test that I had “hypoglycemia” I exhibited no symptoms and he put me on a diet much like Atkins. This lasted about 3 weeks and once again Mom didn’t help with the meals. It was “too much for her” I had sat in a room of a dozen adults discussing my weight. I was the only child there and the doctor diagnosed me with all of the adults and my mom followed his orders a whole 3 weeks.
Age 18. I learned how devastating being anorexic and bulimic were. It was the natural solution to me. I had tried everything else. From Jan to May I lost 100 pounds, my hair and my period. I ran 8 miles a night and climbed the stairs of my 4 story dorm 20 times a night. I learned to barely eat anything and throw it up. It was heaven to finally be acceptable to my parents and family and friends. I had a 23 inch waist. A child’s measurements. Years I had spent overachieving and getting good grades and succeeding now were crowned with a body that matched my ability or so I thought. For the first time boys were asking me out in college. In my heart I knew they only did because my body had changed. They hadn’t asked me out before then. They didn’t know my heart or dreams about life. They didn’t care because I had the measurements that made them look twice when they never looked once before.
Nature had a way of playing the dirtiest trick on me possible. As soon as my body started shutting down from starvation I had to began eating to survive. I was 21 years old and had the waist of a 5 year old. I gained all the weight back and more. I married as a skinny girl, but I was huge by the end of the 2nd year. Of all things I married to a man who was addicted to porn and felt like a failure. I would never have the body those women had. On my own I tried Weight Watchers, First Place and Tops. Nothing worked or worked for long. I did phentermine and exercise and only lost a minimal amount of weight. Then I found out I could have a gastric bypass. It was a miracle answer. My surgery went every well, I felt ripped apart and wondered what I had done to my body. Yet recovery was great. I followed orders to T even during an unplanned pregnancy. I lost 100 pounds and was on cloud nine. The weight stayed off a few years until the ulcer that developed at my surgical site became too painful to ignore. The doctor said a reversal was the only way to fix the ulcer and I gained every pound back.
I have tried every conceivable weight loss program over the years and except for starvation I have never been able to lose more than a few pounds. I’ve been tested for everything and this year found that I have something genetic going on. The Christian community offers a range of judgments from condemnation to tolerance. I’ve heard many times God will help you as if I didn’t pray or care or try. I have to just let that stand there and know in my heart I am God’s beautiful loved and cherished daughter. There were times I was sure I kept the weight on to prove I was lovable at any size. Other times I just emotionally ate to feel something better than rejection.
Then……. unconditional love kicked in… I learned someone could love me and hold me. I found out I could love others and adopt little lambs to love. I learned that I am not a mistake and that God has plans for my life bigger than my imagination Eph 3:20. I knew I didn’t have to work or look a certain way for God’s love and also knew if that same love flowed through others, I wouldn’t have to work for their love either. I learned that I can love someone who can’t love or see me. Unconditional love is the glue of the universe and flows from us to others.
What’s cool is now I am taking care of my body. I made changes to eat healthy and to do my best with that first. I have a love hate relationship with exercise equipment but I have learned to dance and also love to swim. The exercise part is yet to come fully but still growing in that area. I love the body God allowed me to be born in. My life is a miracle. My growth is a process and not complete yet. There’s much to learn and failure is a powerful teacher…. but I can say …… distance your fears from your faith and let faith rule…trust the love you have NOW and live in the moments where you feel that love… . you will be invincible. I Corinthians 13:13 For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love. I look to HIM for everything.
Love has changed me forever. I am a miracle in process. If you want to learn more about the love that is transforming my life send me an email. I will answer.