Chubby, but no longer the tallest, feeling less like a freak, still chasing boys but overall not too miserable about my body image. This was me in 7th grade until one day on the bus. Typical Florida day, hot, windows down (we had no AC on the buses back then) it was a crowded, rowdy, loud bus full of kids. I remember it so clearly. It was one of those moments in life when everything slowed around me and all the noise became a low mumbled humming. I felt like a magnifying glass zoomed in on me and the surrounding activity blurred. At that moment one thing became clear to me - "Big Fat White Albino".
A boy on the bus stood up and held up a piece of notebook paper. On that paper was a hand drawn picture of a round, very round, person and written above the round person were the words "Heidi is a Big Fat White Albino". Not only did he hold up this paper he shouted out the words as he held it up. Laughter burst out. I said nothing. We were coming to a stop, thankfully it was my stop, and I got off the bus and went home in a daze. My guess is, this boy and the kids on the bus probably don't even remember this moment, this pivotal moment in my life.
That night I spoke with my mom about my weight. I don't remember if it was the first time we spoke about it or not. It probably went something like this. "Mom, I want to lose weight." There was no discussion about the bus or what happened. I knew my mom would be thrilled because she is very weight conscious and always has been. She was very willing to help me. So from that day forward I started militantly watching what I ate. I went to school with a 1/2 a sandwich and an apple in a brown paper bag. Stopped afterschool snacking. No more desserts.
What were the results? I lost weight. Lots of it. I lost weight but gained a low self esteem. My self-worth became tied to my weight. I lost weight but gained decades of struggle physically, emotionally, relationally and with my health. This was the catapult that quickly thrust me into a lifestyle of eating, or not eating, to control my life. “Big, Fat, White, Albino” was, for me, the beginning of a sick cycle that those of us who suffer from or have suffered from eating disorders know all too well.
Photo Credit: JasonPinaster, Pixabay
I'm Heidi & I am so happy you are here...
If this is your first time visiting this page and reading my story first let me say thank you for reading! This is a story with layers and layers of history and details that have lived in my brain and heart but only now are being shared "out loud" . I truly believe I am free now, keeping in mind having an eating disorder is really something that never fully goes away, it is something that is with me to this day but I am free because it no longer controls me.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder or suspect you are, please get help! There is no shame and stigma's are being broken!
Wife, mother, psychology major, writer, dreamer, God chaser, book revolutionist, passionate about people and society past, present and future...
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