To know where I'm going, I have to understand where I've been. I've struggled with my body image for the majority of my life. I was very skinny until I hit puberty. I began to get pudgier and, unfortunately, I was an extremely early bloomer. I was teased pretty relentlessly by a lot of the kids in my class because of the size of my breasts. I got in the habit of wearing big baggy t-shirts to hide them, and I became a bit of a tomboy with a tough attitude. Middle school brought new people, but didn't lessen the teasing. Once a guy I barely knew copped a feel and told me he "just wanted to see if they were real." I was in the 7th grade. Sadly, things and comments like that weren't uncommon. In high school, things got better. I joined the tennis team, started working out, and I moved past that awkward stage between little girl and woman.
I felt really good about myself for a short period of time. Around the time the above pictures were taken, two things happened. The first was that I had a sports physical for tennis. The doctor had a horrible bedside manner. He never spoke directly to me, and towards the end of the exam he took out a recorder and spoke his notes. The only thing that I remember was that he said, "Patient is considerably obese." I was 16 years old, 5'8" and 160 lbs. I was devastated. I had worked so hard to get where I was, and that comment completely tore me down.
I lived through two years of hell, but, after I graduated from high school, I was finally able to break free from that jerk and begin repairing my life. I had no idea how truly difficult that was going to be.
34 year old mother of two from Eastern Kentucky. I am determined to lose weight so I can live healthier and be a better parent and role model for my girls.