Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coming Clean - Part 1 (This is pretty boring but good for my soul.)

I think everyone who is overweight has their "weight gain story". Well, mine's not necessarily the truth. Well, most of it is but I leave out some important facts.

One of the treatment techniques used with alcohol and drug affected youth is for them to "come clean" to their parents. We actually have them make a time line poster showing the first time of their drug and alcohol use, how frequently, and how much. In the process, they come clean about all the lies they've told.

Once someone knows your whole truth, you don't have to lie so much or keep up the stories.

So, for all practical purposes, you are my parents.

I always blame my weight on quitting smoking and getting pregnant. Well, I gotta give that story up. I was fat first.

I grew up on chocolate pie, red beans, potato salad, chicken fried steak, and ketchup. Good Texas food. Most people in my extended family were either fighting weight or alcoholism. I called my grandma and grandpa "Hamburger and Hotdog" because Grandma was round and Pa was long and thin. Because Grandma and her sister Annie were ALWAYS on a diet, in addition to the chocolate pie, us grandkids grew up drinking Fresca and Tab when they first came out, using little tiny saccharin tablets to sweeten our iced tea, and counting Weight Watcher points with Aunt Annie back in the days when Weight Watchers made you peel your apples because the peel was too fattening.

(I'm the biggest of the family.)

I think I was "normal" then. Not too skinny, not too fat. But I know I LOVED food. All the emotionally healthy experiences in my childhood were surrounding food. Family reunions, weekends at Grandma's, wonderful times at Aunt Sissy's with my cousins Doak and Timi (and ham salad sandwiches and homemade chocolate milkshakes). My family used food to celebrate, to play, and to deal with crises. When my dad died, my Aunt Billie Jean walked with me to a little restaurant for a piece of pie while my mom was still talking to the Sheriff.

But I don't remember much about food in the lonely, scary times in my childhood. In the bad years of my mom's alcoholism, I remember rotten vegetables in the refrigerator, being forced to drink apple cider vinegar because mom swore it was apple juice, a group of coworkers coming over for a potluck that mom forgot she scheduled and us having no clean dishes to eat off of (we borrowed dishes from the neighbor rather than washing the ones we had), and eating a whole piece of bread before noticing on the last bite that there was blue mold all over it.

Hmmm, writing that, even I can see the pattern.
Security = food.
Scary times = no food.
Fun = food.
Loneliness = no food.

And I'm all for security and fun....

The first time I went on Weight Watchers was BEFORE I met Charlie (so I can't blame it on him - that's another story). I started Weight Watchers when I weighed 150 and had gotten down to 118 by the time of my wedding. But that didn't last long........

Stay tuned for Part 2, or My Big Secret From Charlie and How It Affected My Weight.


  1. Go Jenn go! I'm on a mission, too. We can be each other's support group! Minor

  2. I think you are going to find coming clean about your childhood and background is even more healing than coming clean about your weight. It surfaced on the way to and from a campground that you felt shame about your upbringing. Jenn, we all come from different places and they don't define us. You are amazing in so many ways. We all know it and want to be shined on by your glow.