The Hardest Thousand Words I’ve Ever Written

This is very difficult for me to write. It’s a complete departure from what I usually write, and it’s supporting the real me more than ever, so please be kind and bear with me as I write these 1000 really hard words.

A little over a year ago I was on tour in Dallas working with The Marvel Experience. It was also my mom and her twin’s 70th birthday, so there was a big party, but then again, when you have a party with my family, it’s never a small matter. My mom has three sisters, and they all came with their children and grandchildren, which numbered approximately 18 people, and then there was my family, which numbered 25 people. So there were about 50 aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, and cousins ​​running through my cousins’ house. It was great fun and your typical loud Italian party with real dancing on the tables. However, there was one thing that bothered me, I was always the “fat” cousin, and I hated it more than anything. It always got into my head and affected my experiences. When I saw a picture of myself at that party a few days later, I was mortified, and finally picked up the phone and called for help.

I started a nutritional program that consisted of two shakes a day with a “knife and fork” meal. There were four days a month that you did a “cleaning”. When my ridiculously large box arrived at the Holiday Inn in Dallas, I had to use the bellman’s cart to get it to my room. I opened that box, took everything out of it, sat on the floor and looked at it, repeating to myself “just breathe” over and over again.

But to understand this post you should go back a few years, like many years. I have always struggled with my weight since I was a child. My first memory of my weight was when I was about six years old and an aunt told me: “If you keep eating like this you will be as big as a house.” When my mom wasn’t home, she would eat me on the sly and binge on Oreo cookie sandwiches (4 Oreos between 2 pieces of white bread). This used to be a favorite snack for my two sisters and me when my mom wasn’t home. We would have to climb on the cabinet to get to the top of the refrigerator and grab the cookies my mom hid from us. What my sisters never knew was that I would come back and eat a couple more “sandwiches” while they were outside playing.

Then there was my first husband. When I was married to him, he and his family always found it amusing to joke about how much I ate or the size of my nose to the point that I became an excellent mugger when he was at work and I would have the syrup of ipecac and go out. in a hurry. to the bathroom. By the time he got home, dinner would be ready and waiting for him on the table, and he wouldn’t have a clue. There were all the comments about when I was going to lose my children’s baby weight, who were thirteen months apart, and the comments about how much food was on my plate, which made me keep a constant supply of syrup of ipecac on hand.

Then there was my second, albeit brief, marriage. This marriage was also not good for my self-esteem and at one point I had a little skin tag under my one eye, kind of tiny. My loving ex-husband told me, you know you’d be beautiful if you didn’t have that on your face. Of course, I quickly grabbed the baby scissors and cut them right there in the bathroom. By this time, I had put down my syrup of ipecac, but the comments were the same. “You know my ex-wife was a size 4” or “You know my last girlfriend could run 15 miles every day.” Fortunately, that marriage only lasted nine months, but the damage had already been done.

Now I have a husband who thinks I’m beautiful even when I feel like I’m the fattest, ugliest girl out there. I have two sons who think I’m beautiful, and it seems I’ve managed to not pass on my poor body image to them, for which I’m grateful. He is understanding and kind when I tell him that I want to try this new diet every few months. So I wasn’t afraid to tell him that I wanted to start this new show, and he was supportive as always.

This program works, it is flexible and tolerant. It comes with a support system of people who have similar stories to mine and, above all, are non-judgmental. I feel amazing when I commit 100%, and I even feel great when I only give what I have on that particular day, which might only be 25%. I’ve lost over 25″ and I know I’ve lost pounds, but I recently threw off my scale, so there’s no telling how many. But it’s not the inches or the pounds, although they’re a plus, it’s how I feel about myself when I’m on the program. I feel good about what’s going on in my body and my body responds.

Those scars are still there, and I try every day to heal them, but it’s by far the hardest thing for me personally. I can be nice to a complete stranger, but I often have a hard time being nice to myself. I keep telling myself every day, I’m kind, I’m beautiful, I’m a good person, and people love me. I refuse to give up on myself.

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