My struggles with my weight began I think when my parents got divorced. I was going into the third grade, and my sister and me had to move from North Carolina to Nevada to be with my mom and her brand new, half her age husband. That is a whole other crazy story. And yes I have had tons of therapy around all of that chaos.
But I think that is when my body stuff began. I have a sister who has always been the opposite of me in body type. Where I was shorter, she was tall. Where I was thicker, she was really really thin. She had her own insecurities about being scrawny. We are never happy are we?
Any hoot, I remember being allowed to snack all the time and eat whatever I wanted, soda, junk food, fried foods (my mom was a true southerner with all the fixins). Oh and this was the late 70’s, so we were left alone a lot after school. We didn’t have all the play dates and scheduled sports games and all that. We just ran around the neighborhood like wildlings. It was very free back then.
One year I think I was 12 years old, my grandparents came to visit us, and I remember my grandmother fussing at me a lot to slow down while I ate. She seemed so concerned, and that was I think my first recognition that I was kinda chunky. But I didn’t really let it get to me too much at that age.
The next pivotal experience around my body was when we moved yet again, this time to California. I hated it. It was the LA area, and it was so different for me. It was then that I really began to be aware that I was bigger than other kids. Now I am not talking super sized, but I was getting overweight. I didn’t exercise at all, I ate whatever and whenever I wanted and it was beginning to catch up with me. Oh and let's not forget all the hormones at that age. Let's just say I was an early bloomer.
And for the first time, I was called “fat” by a kid in school. As a 13 year old kid, that hurt. Thankfully we didn’t live in Southern California for long, and when we moved I lost weight.
I gave up the sodas (switched to diet actually-I know, gross) and my hormones balanced out, and I shot up instead of out. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was no longer chubby. I was thin actually, but because I still had a sister who was really really thin and I had years of being chubby.
I didn’t know I was thin. My brain still saw the pudgy Caroline. I went on like that for years, thinking I was fat, obsessively exercising and worried all the time about how I looked. Sound familiar? What a waste of energy that was.
I had no support either. My mom who was doing her best to just cope with life was an alcoholic in yet another bad marriage. She had her own struggles with weight. In fact quite often I would be compared to my mom by well meaning asshats. And like I said, my sister had the opposite issues of being called skinny, bony and scrawny by the same well meaning jerkoffs. So here I am, all of 110 pounds wet, thinking I am fat. I laugh at the absurdity of it now, but it was not funny at the time.
I am now 47 years old. I have been married for 16 years, and we have two beautiful kids. My body had two vaginal births and both kids were breastfed. I have stretch marks and cellulite (I hate that word, don't you?). I do. I also have a second degree black belt that I earned with this body. I am pretty proud of that accomplishment.
I have gained some weight over the years. I am definitely not 110 pounds any more. But I really do love myself and my body so much more than I ever did when I was 110 pounds. Perhaps that comes with maturity and experience. It has taken me a while to get to the place of being okay with my looks. I do want to lose some weight though.
I would love to drop 30 pounds. But not from a place of self loathing; from a place of total self love. Losing the weight would be the ultimate act of self care and nurturing in my mind because it would mean caring about myself so much that I choose to move it often and eat foods that nourish and fuel my body.
My journey is far from over. I am not quite where I would like to be weight wise. But if I take one step at a time, I know I will get there. And I will get there using all the tools I use with my clients (the irony of that is not lost on me). And I will do it with so much freaking self love!!
Want to join me? They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think it takes a village to do most things. We need each other. We need the support. We need the tough love at times when we fall into the victim mode and act like a toddler kicking and screaming. Together we lift each other up. Together we can reach our goals. Together.
Caroline Nixon is
an intuitive healer and teacher who wrote two books about what she knows.