Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I found some old clothing of mine today, mostly from middle school and early high school. I put some of them on.

All the skirts, but the size 14, fit. These weren't junior's clothing, they were all from the misses' sections. I was wearing a size 16 skirt/jean when I was 13. I'm wearing a size 16 skirt/jean now, if these sizes are still relevant, at almost 21 years old. A shirt I remember wearing in the summer a lot when I was 12 is a bit big on me right now. Short, but loose. I found a wonderful top I haven't been able to wear for years. Again, it came out of the women's section and not the junior's section.

My prom dress fits me better now than it did when I was 17, at my heaviest. It was tight, super unflattering (and made of a horrifying material that made it worse), and barely zipped. I got it on, zipped up without a single problem, and it's loose on the top.

Looking through all of this reminded me of BEING 13 or 14, starting high school. I hated the way I looked, not because I actually hated it, but because I was told that I should. My mother constantly called me fat, sloppy, telling me I needed to go on a diet. I remember one day, the summer before high school started, she handed me a slip of paper. The writing was in Portuguese and in that cursive slant only my aunt could have written.  My mother told me this was a diet one of my cousins had tried and it had worked for her. That she had lost 30lbs!  It consisted of a single meal plan for one day that I would do every single day until I lost my desired weight, along with some exercise recommendations.

I remember exactly what the menu looked like. I remember exactly what was in it. How could I forget? I remember feeling absolutely horrified. Here I was, nearly 200lbs at age almost 14, and my mother was showing me a diet. Another reminder that I was fat and I wasn't supposed to be alright with that. I was already dealing with a heavily out of control bi-polar disorder and panic disorder. And now my mother was reminding me I was fat. Another reason to dislike myself. I remember not giving a crap what I weighed as long as I got my emotions under control.

My temper was crazy. I yelled and hit people and broke things all the time at the drop of a hat. I was constantly going through mood swings. Up down up down up. I was starting to have panic attacks CONSTANTLY with no trigger needed. All of a sudden, they would hit for no reason. Therapy had failed me, me being too private and secretive to allow it to works. Prescription drugs had made the situation ten times worse. So I was battling this completely alone. Completely.

I was such a miserable child.

And here was this slip of paper to remind me that I had another reason to be miserable. And here's whaty the menu consisted of:

Breakfast- 2 slices whole wheat toast, 1 cup of green tea
Snack- 1 apple, 1 cup of green tea
Lunch- 2oz sardines, 1 slice of whole wheat toast, 1 cup of green tea
Snack2- 2 apples, 1 cup of green tea
Dinner- 4oz sardines, 1 small salad (iceburg lettuce), 1 tomato (raw or boiled), 2 slices whole weat toast, 1 cup of green tea
Snack 3- 1 cup of green tea, 1 slice of toast

The exercise recommended? Three miles walking a day. That was the only part of this whole regimen I had no issues with, that and the emphasis on drinking green tea and water.

This was a starvation diet. My mother wanted me to go on a starvation diet. WHO, tell me, WHO can support themselves on that kind of diet, day in and day out, (without a preexisting medical condition that requires them to need a diet that restrictive) and do exercise and be HEALTHY? I can't think of anyone. My guesstimate is that this menu falls at somewhere between 700-1000 calories. A day. With three miles of walking daily. With little protein (yes, there's 6oz of fish, but none of the snacks or breakfast had protein.) And what seems like an overdose of carbs in comparison. It was insane!

And that cousin? She unfortunately gained back all of her weight, and then some (almost double). I felt so bad for her. She had tried so hard, doing what her mother insisted she do, and then have it succeed...but once she stopped her diet, went back to potato chips and fried potatoes and friend meats and meats covered in sauces made of oil (yes, we do that) and vinegar... There was no way.

I didn't even try the diet. I didn't even pretend to. I told my mother she was insane and this was going to do more harm than good. She couldn't undersyand. This was more than she ate in a day, after all! Then again...My mother's sickly. Very sickly. She'd do better to eat more. She'd heal. But she doesn't want to. But that misery is for another post, to be honest.

I'm in too much of a good mood to think about something that bleak.

I realized I'm not that miserable little girl anymore who used to lie in her room and cry because nothing made sense. I'm not the girl who couldn't control herself at all in any aspect of her life. The girl who couldn't go to school or leave the house, who could barely leave her room.

I'm 200lbs. About the same weight I was when I was 13 years old. The same size I was back then. But not the same person.

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