Day 38 pre-op
10 days pre vlcd.
Dinner last night:
Lamb Cutlets marinated in lemon juice and pepper, with Steam-fried Rice.
I was listening to an audiobook this morning – “Diary of a Fat Girl” – and in one of the chapters she was talking about her bath towel wrapping around her and how she had a huge bath sheet that was like a security blanket to her because it could wrap all the way around her, and it wasn’t like other towels where she had to hold both sides together, just to be able to almost wrap it around herself; and it occurred to me that this is yet another part of the conditioning that has happened throughout my life…
When I was quite young, a tradition began between my eldest (and at that time closest) brother and I.
For my birthdays, he gave me a towel – a huge towel, an enormous towel, a bath sheet in fact – and they were towels that I grew into…
There are a few other events that I recall from my childhood which have influenced my relationship with food and weight – but that was one that I hadn’t even connected until now!
The others are:
My step-father putting me up on top of the fridge when I was very small – still in single digits – and poking at the soft bits below my knee cap, and jeering about how fat my knees were, and how I’d never be able to get down, with such fat knees.
The truth is, that I was actually a normal healthy scrawny kid and I couldn’t get down because I was so damn little!
My Mother watched on and did not intervene.
Next – I was sent to Boarding School when I reached high-school age.
Food was strictly regimented at Boarding School and you were only allowed to eat at certain prescribed times.
If your Family was kind enough to send you ‘care-packages’ that contained food, then you could have snacks hidden in your room that you could have through the day while you were at school without anyone being any the wiser, or you could sneak them out at night after lights out to enjoy while hidden under the blankets so you didn’t get caught.
Neither of my Parents ever sent care-packages, but every now and then someone would share with me something that they had been sent, and I felt so special and cared for that they would share this significant resource with me.
When I went home for a term break from school during that first year, my step-mother told me at dinner one night that I was a ‘greedy pig’.
At school I had become so used to having to eat meals quickly in the limited time we had, that I had become adept at eating-at-speed as we had to get the main meal and any desserts or fruit into our bodies – as well as clear the dining tables – in under half an hour.
I had forgotten I was home and didn’t need to do that there, so I was ridiculed for how I ate.
On my return to Boarding School, my Father ‘encouraged’ me that if I could lose 5-10kg by the time I next came home, he would give me $100 to spend how ever I wanted.
I look back on my school photos and yes I can see it now – I was a healthy pubescent kid – I certainly wasn’t fat.
However, back at that point in time I wanted my Dad to be proud of me.
I didn’t care about the money – I could get money off him whenever I wanted just by asking.
So on my return to school I said “no” to any foods that my friends offered me outside of the dining room meals.
For breakfast I would have a teaspoon of Vegemite mixed up in hot water.
I ate more fruit, and definitely no desserts.
At night I would do exercises in my bed, and then – so that I wouldn’t lie awake listening to my room mates having their sneaky picnics – I would put Vicks mentholated Vaporub into the corners of my eyes so that the fumes would waft into my eyes, making them close tightly, and soon – with my mind distracted by the stinging – I would fall asleep and not hear any of the other girls and their picnic fun.
I also still have issues with my eyes being gunky, which I’m pretty convinced can be attributed to that time…
When I went back home for the Christmas break at the end of the school year – my father didn’t even notice all the hard work I had put in.
And as for the woman who had been my step-mother since I was four – she had left while I was away at School, and no one had even thought to tell me.
I wonder if child-me thought that it wasn’t worth staying around because of the ‘greedy-pig’.
I know she didn’t much like children…
Coincidentally – or not (!!) – that was also the holiday that I met a ‘wonderful man’ who thought I was gorgeous and sexy and amazing and alllll the things.
He was eight years older than me. I was 13, he was 21.
I gave my virginity to him.
I also gave him the rest of my childhood, my self respect and my will.
Over the next decades I had a variety of relationships – with men and women – and there was always a point when my relationship would falter or crumble, and I would look after myself for a change and would lose weight and get healthy, and then (only then) someone would magically find me attractive and desirable.
The inverse was true too…
If I gained weight, I wasn’t worthy – I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t sexually attractive.
I was unwanted and not good enough, I was unloveable – no one wants to be ‘with’ the fat girl!
And that’s one of the main concerns I have about not being the fat girl any more.
That I will no longer be invisible to everyone.
Except for those that I want to see me – and then … maybe they won’t even notice…