The Question That Started It All: Part 1
I remember when I first met my step-mom..I thought that she was really pretty. She came into my life when I was around 11. The delicate age of becoming a woman. Having been raised by a single father, the daily dose of estrogen, womanly view on the world, and female presence was welcomed.
I think that I was always jealous of her. I wanted to be thin, blonde, high cheek boned, with big boobs. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be adored by my father, like she was.
It was my Junior year of high school and I weighed 300lbs, give or take. I stopped looking at the scale around 280lbs. I wore boys shorts from Old Navy, size 42 and 44 waist. That summer I had to keep them unbuttoned while sitting down because I was gaining weight. I wore XXL shirts in all shades of blue, my hair pulled back, and sports bras were my thing.
The ironic thing is, that I didn’t give a rats ass about “those skinny girls.” It never really dawned on me that I needed to be anything other that what I was. Because frankly I thought I was happy. I thought people loved me for who I was.
I was sitting in the car in the garage and I was holding a survey that our Junior Year Speech teacher gave to us for our parents to fill out. It was the beginning of the year. I’m not really sure what the intention of the survey was, but it was a comprehensive questionnaire about us.
“do you find your child physically attractive?” scale 1-10
I thought it was an odd question and I was intrigued to see what my Dad would write. I always knew that he liked skinny girls, but I can imagine that he’d always think of me as very attractive, I was his daughter.
He signed the back of the envelope that the survey was put into, but I wanted to know. I needed to be affirmed. So I delicately opened the envelope, so that I could re-seal it without anyone noticing. I was nervous with anticipation. My hands flipped to the third page and there it was:
“do you find your child physically attractive?” (scale 1-10)
his response: 5
That was the beginning of the desire to lose weight. That was the instigation to sign up for aerobics. It was the beginning of being healthier. It was the beginning, of some of the most painful body image issues I would face as an adult.
Teen Week: Words That Heal is an annual blog series that occurs the last week of March, where bloggers use their sites speak out about their experiences with body image, sexuality, and self-esteem during their teen years. The series was started in 2011 after it came to my attention that there was an enormous population of teen readers out there looking for body-loving-inspiration, but much of the material floating around the blogosphere was aimed to adults.