My earliest memory of wanting to leave my small town was middle school. The feeling probably began earlier than that, but Jr High is when I remember it becoming a day to day goal. Spread my wings, see the big city, go somewhere that my unique personality would be appreciated. All of the cliche “I’m too big for this small town” reasons.
I left. Graduated high school early and moved away for college. I stayed away for ten years. Then, another cliche event happened-I moved back after a difficult divorce. Cue the Julia Roberts movie now. In the last years of my marriage I actually had tossed the idea of moving back around. It seemed like a good idea. Maturity and life lessons had made me realize the advantages of a small town. But the stars were aligned differently and the blessing of a divorce came, so I packed up and moved ‘home’ to plant my roots.
I’ve been back in my hometown now for almost nine years. Almost equal to the time I was gone. I’ve remarried, built a house on my family’s land, and we are raising our six year old daughter. Our daughter goes to the same primary school I went to with some of the same teachers. We attend the same church my grandmother attended when she was alive. My daddy was born and raised in this small town also. There is a comfortable familiarity that is soothing and at the same time the reasons I wanted to leave sometimes rear their ugly head too.
But, then this happens. My six year old breaks her wrist and is going to have surgery Tuesday. We have had such an outpouring of support and prayer from the community that can only come from this small town. A high school classmate of mine who no longer lives here has a son who is battling a rare form of childhood cancer. This small town is supporting her with fundraiser help, donations, etc even though she lives two hours away. But, she’s one of ours. Her roots are still in this ground of this small town too. That’s when I realized there is no place I’d rather be to raise my small family than here in this small town.
It’s no secret I have weight issues. Body image issues. Well, yes, issues in general. For the first time in a really long time, I really believed I had found a healthy place with my weight . Healthy in terms or my way of thinking about it most importantly. Turns out, I became somewhat complacent in my journey, and apparently when you struggle with the F* word, being complacent cannot be afforded.
After a year long weight loss, monitored by a physician, I really was in a good place. Physically and mentally. But, around Christmas, when all of those treats start rolling in to the office I started thinking like a skinny girl and not like a chronic F* one. I am not shaming the thin. I also know there are plenty of thin girls who work HARD at staying that way. I’m referring to the genetically, weird universe joke, thin women/girls who really do eat what they want and amazingly remain thin. And by “eat whatever they want” I am referring to the fact that they may just eat. Period. Or they may eat the Christmas treats, not in excess, but enjoy them like all of the other “normal” people, not like the chronic F* ones. Yeah, so I thought somehow my 50lb weight loss put me in that category. As if the cosmos had shifted and I had never been the 8 year old at Weight Watchers, never been the chronic F* person. I thought I had a handle on it. I still felt the same and mentally I felt great because for once I was being realistic about food and not restrictive.
For the past year I’ve only weighed at the doctors office. Just a pact I made with myself, that in order to overcome being obsessive about my weight it was best this way. Call me crazy, okay you don’t have to, I know I am, but I decided to weigh after the New Year. No, not because of some stupid resolution. There is no resolution when you are me. There is just life. I’ve learned that lesson over and over. The scale reflected my biggest fear. Weight gain! What? The thin girl I thought I was can eat within reason and not gain but a few pounds, not 15lbs!! That’s when the news flash hit me like the ton of bricks this emotional baggage is. I AM NOT the thin girl. I never will be. Complacency has no place with the F* word.
Now, I am trying to hold on so I mentally don’t tailspin out. Mentally tailspinning will only cause me to gain more weight believe it or not. I’ve got to take over my thoughts again and get back control of this. I have got to resist letting the scars that haven’t completely healed begin to ooze once more with toxic thinking. I realize now it takes more than a year for me to overcome whatever psycholocal issues I suffer from concerning my weight and body image. I realize that half my battle is in my head, not on the plate. I realize I am not and will never be the thin girl and maybe I’ll be okay with that one day. But, right now I’m working on gaining my control back.
**I am not and never would body shame anyone-even if they are the thin girl or the chronic F* girl like myself. These are just the thoughts on my head**