I'm Sharon, 26 year old mother of 2
I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall and weigh 231 lbs
My BMI is 33
I am obese
It's been 7 days since I joined Slimming World, on referral by my Health Visitor, and I'm just back from my first weigh in. 2 lbs lighter. It's a fraction of what I had hopped for walking out of my first meeting last week, but it's a baby step in the right direction.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to food. Food is so entwined with my emotions that even thinking about it gives me serious anxiety. I have struggled with body confidence and self image for as long as I can remember. I have always over compensated with hair and heals and make-up, so most acquaintances would probably describe me as quite confident, but this is far from true.
I feel like a fraud and that I'm letting down the curvy team because I've always represented plus size girls. I've always put my 'I don't give a shit what you think' hat on and put myself out there. I've modelled, done TV work, even got to the final of Simply Be's model search a few years back.
But that was all a way for me to validate myself. If people thought I looked good the way I was maybe I could start to agree.
But my level of body dis-morphia goes much deeper than that. I was first diagnosed with Bulimia at 14 (I think It was so bloody long ago), and have been trying to control it ever since. There was no Eating Disorder services for children in Ireland at the time so I went to an adult councilor, who was great, but not exactly equipped to deal with a hormonal teenage girl. It helped, but it definitely didn't fix things. Not at day has gone by in the last 13 years when I haven't thought about starving myself or making myself sick. I have managed some days but not others.
Pregnancy was the worst. I lost my only sense of control. The feeling of involuntarily getting sick fucked with my head, added to an already huge body getting even bigger and all the crazy pregnancy hormones, there were days I made myself sick. But again, could not find the services for crazy women who carried bulimia through pregnancy, nor could I bring myself to admit it to anyone. I was a typical case of PND waiting to happen. I took the antidepressants, I told myself I was better, I had another baby. And that cycle is starting all over again.
I've lost weight before, with Weight Watchers. -30 lbs before I got married. -52 lbs after Fionn was born. But as soon as I take my head out of the game, it piles back on again. I sabotage myself. I tell myself I don't deserve it. I'll never by happy with my body, so why bother. I plan and cook and eat and exercise well all day, then eat an entire box of chocolates on my way to bed. It's disgusting, and I hate myself even more for doing it. I'm happy for, but also jealous of people who do well, dieting and working out. I feel I'm too far gone for that to ever be me.
But something's got to give.
So that brings me to where I am now. I'm talking about it. To you, to anyone, maybe to no one, but it's getting it off my chest. I'm starting this journey for my own health, but for my families as well. One of my biggest fears growing up was that I'd pass my eating disorder on to my children. Like it was hair or eye colour. But it's not. It's all in my head, and if I'm going to be the best mother I can be I need to deal with that shit now. I want my sons to grow up happy and confident, and never having to battle the negative thoughts I deal with every day.
I don't have any answers yet. I'm not even sure I know where to even start, but I'm going to try. I'm setting goals, building a support network and blogging. I don't even care if anyone reads it, but by putting it out there in writing, I'm accountable to more than just me. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to be confident in my body. I want to be fit, and healthy and happy.
My goal for next week in to be down another 2 lbs.
My goal for the 12 week referral period, that will bring us to Christmas is to be down 21 lbs
I don't know what my long term goal is, but I'll come to that later.
I have no advice to share, I'm not in a position to right now, but hopefully by this time next year I might.