That girl


Ah, 18 year old me.
I remember her.
She was terrified of getting fat. And so, she would starve herself for days, eating only a plate of white rice with lemon juice when she got hungry. Or she’d take a baggie filled with slimfast powder to school and empty it into a fat free milk carton for lunch. She’d only order salads at restaurants because she didn’t want people to see her eating fattening foods.
But sometimes, when no one was watching, she’d stuff her face with junk food. She’d feel so disgusted with herself afterwards, so she’d eat a few pieces of chocolate flavored ex-lax and find herself on the toilet a few hours later crying, cramping and shitting until she was shitting out air.
That wasn’t enough to rid herself of the guilt for having indulged in a bag of cheetos, so she’d layer herself in sweatpants and sweatshirts and workout in her room until she was drenched in sweat and feeling as though she may pass out.
She would spend a lot of time in the mirror finding chunks of fat to grab and feel bad about. “I must lose this fat right here on my stomach! I look so gross!” She’d cry.
Even though she only weighed a 125 pounds and that skirt she was wearing was a size 5.
People would tell her that she was “so skinny” and she’d think they were crazy because LOOK AT HOW BIG MY THIGHS ARE. People would roll their eyes and say things like “you’re sick in the head!”
Little did they know how right there were about that.
Then she met a sexy dork at church who thought she was beautiful and wanted to marry her. He would try to feed her avocado sandwiches and when she would refuse because she was afraid of getting fat, he’d hold the sandwich up to her nose and say “who cares if you get fat, I’ll love you no matter how much you weigh… NOW TAKE A BITE OF THIS RIGHT NOW!”
As scared as she was to take a bite of that stupid sandwich, she loved him so much and believed him when he said that he would love her no matter how much she weighed and so she took a bite.
And my GOD, she loved the taste of real food in her mouth.
So she took another bite and another one and then another one.
A year later, she had gained 20 pounds and that man who promised to love her no matter how much she weighed still loved her and would tell her how beautiful she was every single day.
She would go on crazy diets to lose the weight every time she would gain the weight. She’d always lose it, in no time at all. But, without fail, she’d always gain it right back.
Even though that man loved her and would never make her feel bad about having put on a few pounds, she was still terrified of getting fat.
Then she had her first baby. She gained 50 pounds and her body went to shit.
And as ugly as she felt, there was that man, right there, rubbing her stretched out stomach softly while telling her how beautiful her belly was because it had carried his child.
17 years, three kids, 70 pounds, 4 cup sizes and one stretched out belly button later, that man STILL loves that girl and thinks she’s beautiful. She knows she’s blessed, so damn lucky. But, she can’t help but wonder if deep down inside, he regrets the day he begged her just TASTE THE DAMN SANDWICH because now he can’t have one without having to share half with her.

56 thoughts on “That girl

  1. teachbroeck

    Why can’t we ever just believe him. I gained 20 and my hubby could care less. I want to kill the voices in my head that say” He is only saying you look good because he knows you will cry” ” H e really DOES think you are fat and you should be ASHAMED!” IF I ever catch those pricks in my head…I tell yha

  2. Sarah

    I’m sure that nothing I say would make a difference. We alter our perceptions, only when we’re at our one personal breaking point.
    Thank your lucky stars, and hang on to that sandwich armed man, lest you be with someone who says “If you don’t lose weight, I’ll find someone who loves me enough to be thin and healthy.”
    That hurts more than any number on a scale.

  3. Becca

    Gosh, I know exactly how you feel. When I was at my skinniest I thought I was disgusting and was always dieting.. now that I gained some, man! Do I feel stupid when I look at old pictures.
    And teachbroeck took the rest right out of my mouth! :)

  4. Oh, The Joys

    Now why would you go and post a PERFECT POST on the last day of the month when it is too late for me to send in a nomination for you? Grrrrrr.
    Yvonne, This is a PERFECT POST!!!
    xo,
    OTJ

  5. Y

    Actually, I do not. Those were my mom’s old cabinets and they were MUCH better than the ones that are in this old house.
    MUCH better.

  6. Kait

    I once had a boyfriend tell me he would love me even when I got fat. Instead of seeing it as a compliment, I took it as he thought I was pre-destined to get fat.
    My husband says that he doesn’t care if I’ve gained 20 pounds since we got married two years ago. He also claims that he likes my preggo belly (I don’t believe him, how can he like something that I’m not even sure that I like?). I know in my head that he’s telling the truth but how do I get that into my heart? Oh well.

  7. Paula

    Y-
    I don’t usually comment, just lurk around. But today you made me think of a conversation I had with an ex-boyfriend many years ago. Many years after we broke up, we talked about him buying me many pretty teddies, gowns, etc. and how I never wanted to wear them (even though I probably weighed at least 30 lbs. less than I do now). I said I always felt so fat in them and he told me he never saw me that way, that he loved me and he loved how I looked in those outfits. When I think of all the (fun) time I missed with him, when I think of how I could have pleased him by wearing his gifts for him, I am sad. I am sad for that person I was.
    I joined WW for the third time in 3 years last May, and this time it clicked. I have lost 36 pounds and am keeping it off. I truly am doing it for myself this time, and I think that is the key, at least for me. I want to be around for my 9 yr old son for a long time. I want to enjoy this gift called LIFE. (I’m 51, BTW) I want to use my talents and gifts for good and I can do that best when I am healthy and feeling good about myself.
    Anyway, didn’t mean to ramble. I love your transparency, your honesty, your love of family. It is cathartic to write and examine yourself. Just don’t let it get you down, go to the next step where you take what you learn about yourself and go forward to something better.
    Take care. P

  8. Jessica

    I just love you. You always seem to mirror my feelings and thoughts…except you manage to express them in ways I can’t. Thanks for that post.

  9. Jessica

    I look at photos of myself in high school, and wonder just how I could have thought of myself as fat all those years, but I remember to this day how much I hated my body.
    Despite the stretch marks, the wrinkles and the cellulite, I feel like I’m far more at peace with my appearance than I was then, and I try to model a healthy body image so that my daughter never feels like I did. (My mom, bless her heart, was always, ALWAYS dieting, which influenced my perceptions heavily.)

  10. anonymous

    I relate so much to your posts about weight and such. I could be the girl in this post. When I think back on all of the damaging things that I did to my body in order to be thin (which is something that I could never acheive in my own mind), It saddens me. Anyways, the long and the short of it is, I hit a really hard bottom with the food. I got to this place where I was depressed and miserable and didn’t want to go to functions because of the size of my ass. I hit my knees and prayed for the first time in a long time for God’s help. I found the solution not long after that. I have been an abstinent member of FA (www.foodaddicts.org) for a little while now. Not only have I lost the weight, but my life has continued to get better and better. I don’t know if you are a food addict or not. I only know that I feel your pain when you write as if it were my own. I remember feeling the way you felt at 18 when I was 18 and I remember feeling the way you feel in some of your other posts as little as a year ago. I can now honestly say that I am in a normal sized body and I no longer feel that way. I don’t mean to be preachy and I don’t normally comment, but I was just so touched by your honesty that I thought I would share the solution that worked for me. Best of luck to you. Feel free to email me if you want more info.

  11. Hed

    You are so beautiful, both body and soul, and always the first person I read when I see who has updated, because of that!

  12. Katie

    Hey Y,
    Its so funny the I have had the courage to tell my best friend my deepest darkest secret- today, which is that I binge eat a lot. Today is also one of the worst days of my life. My husband had to take a pay cut. Which we were already having hard times, hence the binge eating. Although, I know that we have the same kind of love that you and your husband have, so we will find a way to be ok. I love reading your blog, and It was just what I needed to hear- so thanks.

  13. Heather

    This post is really gorgeous to me. I love it. Thank you for sharing with us all. And your husband is right. You are beautiful, no matter what.

  14. L.A. Daddy

    Well, having had the pleasure of meeting you face to face, I can see why the dork made such a good decision.
    You’re smart, beautiful, funny, and charming…
    What more do you want?! Don’t be greedy. Save some of that for the ugly people…

  15. Melissa

    Honest, funny, and so, so sweet. There’s nothing that can make a good love story better except sandwiches!
    I wish I could believe my husband when he says the same about my stretch-marked, wrinkly, saggy post-baby belly. I’m working on it (the belly AND the believing him part). :)

  16. Julianna

    My deal was to try to make it the WHOLE day with just eating the dinner my mom made. Then when I came to college and my meal plan didn’t work on teh weekends and I lived in the dorm and didn’t have any money? It was extra good because then? I could just not eat friday night through sunday afternoon. I was so excited with myself. I am terrified of the pregnancy stomach. I think ym husband will reach throught the phone and kill me if I ask him one more time if he will still love me.
    The urges never stopped for me, I just got better at pretending they did.

  17. Ctal

    wow….what rememberies. What IS that where we think we’re horrifically fat in our teens. I’m a solid 50 pounds more than I was then, but now, new and improved with NONE OF THE CRITICAL! whee! Which is a great thing, because some people eat to live, whereas I LIVE TO EAT. Luckily, i’m blessed with an ok metabolism, because given the way i indulge, i should be much bigger than the 155 i sport. Sure, there are stretchmarks on my butt now, and i have more thigh than I’d like, but I’m 40, so, the way i figure it, I’m not SUPPOSED to look 22 anymore.
    What sucks is to see my daughter starting to say the same things at 11 and not yet 70 pounds…all just from picking up on her peers saying and feeling it. It’s such a fine balance we have to roll with these girlies.
    I’m sorry you went through what you did to the extent you did, but I’m glad you overcame it, and I’m glad you found the amazing man you did. :)

  18. amanda Magee

    Oh the F*$%ing Ex Lax. I’d take one sheet of the lblue pills, at the height of the disease I’d take two. My freshman year of college I perfected the explosive shit heaves in a public restroom while flushing the toilet to mask the sound move. How I wish I could go back and tell that girl to knock it the hell off. Your post was so pognant. What a wonderful man! And what a strong woman to believe him, to take the bite, to take the leap of having kids and allowing your body to do what it needed to nurture them. I think with your attitude, your humor and your precious family you can get yourself, body and spirit, to a place that feels good. I for one would love to hear more about your journey. Thanks for so boldly giving a voice to a spoken about in hushed tones scenario all too common in our society. God help us mothers of girls.

  19. Lori

    Great post. You and your husband are lucky to have each other. Why can’t we women love our bodies and ourselves, no matter what we look like?

  20. demondoll

    Sexy, dorky PigHunter loves you no matter what, and will never stop. Because you are beautiful inside and out- thank goodness for PigHunter, because one of these he’ll make you see how great you are!

  21. chrissylas

    Y, this post is beautiful and so are you. I don’t struggle with weight issues but I do struggle with beauty issues and I can totally relate to this. My husband always tells me that I am beautiful and every time he does that I have a difficult time believing him (because? What if he is lying? What if he really regrets marrying me and is just trying to convince himself that he loves me?) Then I realize that above all, no matter how I feel about myself, I trust this man. I might not understand it but I can believe it because I trust him. You’re incredible and you always have the ability to make me really look at myself and my life in a way that I normally wouldn’t. Thank you for being such a beautiful person.

  22. Michelle S.

    Hi Y,
    I haven’t commented before…just a lurker…and I don’t have a lot to say about this post other than that I agree with all of the other comments…what I wanted to say was that I LOVE that every time I come to your blog I see all of these different pictures of your beautiful family along the top banner and I find myself looking at the pictures more and more…what I’ve really noticed is how your oldest son (is it Andrew?) is ALWAYS leaning in or has his arm around your daughter…ALL THE TIME…I mean, he is like the consummate big brother protector…and the candid shots with him looking at her with this happy loving joy in his eyes and her big big grins…oh, my heart just aches…joy unexpected indeed…what a wonderful capacity to love you have taught your children. You have a beautiful family…and YOU are a beautiful person!! (inside and out!)

  23. Rachael

    Beautiful post. Bravo!
    Mine tells me the same. And for 5 years now, I’ve hovered at around 160, 165, which is about thirty lbs over what I should be for my short-ass structure. He loves me every bit as much as he did then, but I just hate the way my body feels. The problem is with me.

  24. Brandi

    Oh, Y. Honest to God you get me every time. You should freelance as a writer for Hallmark. This is one of your most beautiful posts. You are just so real, so honest and so incredibly blessed.
    But, you don’t need me to tell you that.
    It sounds like you are peeling away the layers and getting to the “real” issues surrounding your weight-loss journey. You never know who might be reading today and see themselves in your words.
    You are beautiful. (where’s Christina Aguilera when you need her?)

  25. Gabby

    Y
    Thank you for being so honest and sharing that with us. I have been down the same road. Your writing inspires me personally and I believe others too. Keep up the good work!

  26. Cindy

    Hi Y -
    My friend turned me on to your blog a few months ago and I’m addicted! I love it! One questions – VERY important, it’s driving me crazy and I’ve tried reading your blog from the very beginning to find the answer…..why do you call your husband pig hunter and exactly what is pig hunter? Please tell me and save my job…I can’t sit and read your blog all day! :-)
    Whew….Thanks!

  27. Les~

    WoW!! You have such an awesome way with words and the way you express your feelings. By the time I got to the last word I was all “awwwwwwww, Y!” and had a huge lump in my throat!
    You are a very lucky lady!!
    Les~

  28. Amanda

    Thanks for this post. It really makes you think. I’m always wondering if my hubby ever thinks about the weight I’ve gained since we’ve been married. I wonder if it bothers him…but this just makes you realize that hey he just loves me for me. I truly enjoyed this, thanks Y =)

  29. Mamacita

    This, my dear, is genuine romantic love.
    I’m not going to let my husband or my son see this post because they both already think you’re the most beautiful woman they’ve ever seen in their lives, and if they saw this picture of you, I can’t imagine what they’d do, but I bet they’d be hard to live with.

  30. KimberlyDi

    I look back on my highschool pictures and wonder why I didn’t realize how cute & trim I really was? Such a total waste! I, today, struggle with the same doubts. I look at my husband and he has gained weight. The weight doesn’t define him. I still love him. Why can’t I believe that he feels the same way? I’m still sick in the head, I guess, about weight.

  31. Kelly

    I came over from Plain Jane Mom and just wanted to say that this was beautifully written. I can really feel the emotion. Thanks for writing it!

  32. C.

    Why do we have these feelings and thoughts? I just don’t understand anymore. I cried the day I looked back at my elementary school pictures and was aghast that I was not plump, or fat at all, but simply a growing girl. From such a young age (at least 2nd grade) I have always “known” I was fat and have not known life since without using attitude, clothing, and my own body to hide behind. I woke up and can now live with my body, but am so sad that I missed out on a “normal” sized childhood when I actually did have a “normal” body.
    Moral of the really long post – Yep, me too, and now I’m looking for the sandwich toting man because I finally will believe him.

  33. Bon

    wow. beautifully, heartbreakingly said.
    just found you tonight, through Plain Jane Mom…and reading the post was like looking back at myself at eighteen. it’s funny, in a sad way, how absolutely gorgeous the thirty-five year olds (b/c i did the math, and we’re, yep, exactly the same age…i think. haven’t used the math skills much since i WAS eighteen) we are would find the bodies of the eighteen year olds we were. and i wish i could go back and tell myself that. i wish i had known. even more, i wish i hadn’t cared.
    what a gift, to love yourself and be loved, for exactly who you are…and me for who i am. thanks for writing this. it’s made me realize how happy i am to be at this place in my life, stretch marks and all.

  34. Galestorm

    You are so lucky to have a Man that loves you so much, and a family that loves you just the same. You are richer then the Hiltons.

  35. Amanda

    Coming out of lurking to say, THANK YOU. Thank you for this post, thank you for your blog, thank you for feeling like I do…thank you for letting me know someone feels like I do. Why can’t we ever just accept it for what it is, and be happy we have it?

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