From a very young age, the thought that telling anyone how much I weighed was an absolute no-no was ingrained into me. When I was about 12 or so I joined WW for the zillionth time. By that point in my life, my mom’s arthritic knees and total social anxiety kept her mostly home-bound except for when she would venture out to the car to take me somewhere. So, I was going to the WW meetings by myself. I was always the only child there, or at least the only child there alone. At the time, I had gotten the impression that the crotchety old lady receptionist at the church where I used to go to meetings back then had something against me (I was likely just paranoid). I came to the conclusion that it was because I was a young kid who weighed close to (or possibly already) 300 lbs and that it somehow disgusted her. My mom would put little post-it notes over my weekly weights so no one else would see. Before that, in 5th grade, we were assigned to create an autobiography. One of the first pages is a worksheet that asks basic information, name, height, weight… For that category, I wrote “I do not want to say how much I weigh.”
Once in high school my grandparents and I made a plan that I would start going to their house and working out in their home gym every week. The first time I showed up there to use their equipment I was really looking forward to it and came prepared and ready to get in a good workout. I went down to the exercise room in their basement and got on the treadmill. It asked my age and I entered it. Then… it asked the dreaded question… Weight? I wasn’t sure if it kept record of user information or not… so I lied. At the time I probably weighed around 320 lbs or so, but I think I typed 250 into the treadmill. I began walking on the treadmill for a few minutes and thought it was going well… until the treadmill suddenly shut off completely. I was mortified. I wondered if it was because I had lied about my weight. I got back on and tried again… and the same thing happened. Finally, I got on it and entered my actual weight and the thing shut down again. I decided it was because I was way too fat for it. I prayed that it wasn’t broken and then… and this is pathetic… I jogged in place for a long time so that they would think I was down there working out. I have no idea why I didn’t use any of the other machines. Maybe I was afraid I would break them too.
In high school when I started getting IDs, I always lied about my weight on them by about 100 lbs. Once at WW, Anne, my leader at that time, had a little contest-type thing where she asked which one of us was the biggest liar in the room (who had lied about their weight the most on their ID). I was too embarrassed to join in. Like I said before, I was the only kid there. There was one lady who had lied by 60 or 70 lbs and she won because I was ashamed to say that I had lied by 100 or more pounds.
I have never mentioned in this blog how much my heaviest weight was… or how much I weigh now. I am not afraid to post it all over the internet in forums and on youtube and everywhere else, but I am terrified to put it here. Afraid of what people will think to know that at one time I weighed 465 lbs. Not just random people… but my friends and family. I don’t want to be afraid or ashamed anymore. I want to share my story with the world in hopes that I can help someone else. My Weight Watchers leader, Kim, asked me this week if I will tell my story to the group at the Open House shindig this Saturday. I thought about it during the meeting and decided that I have been talking so much about getting over my fears and living my life to the fullest… that I will do it. Not exactly sure yet what I am going to say, but I know I can do it.