Fear 12. My Weight

Oh man, if there was ever a fear that people could relate too, I feel like this is it.

This is such a multidimensional fear for me.

This fear has been built over time on so many layers of self hatred, bad relationships, insensitive comments, and friends who turned out not to be friends after all.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been bigger. Not the smallest girl around, not always the biggest, but definitely on that end of the scale.

Now, I know my parents love me, but my dad can be a little less than sensitive when it comes to interpersonal interactions. He woke me up for years by yelling, “Wake up pork chop!”. Not exactly flattering. It did nothing for my adolescent mindset to say the least. I know he loves me, but he still has the tendency to say insensitive things to me and my sisters. Which is honestly a little weird. He loves my mom who is a bigger girl herself and anytime we talk about dieting or losing weight he says, “No, you don’t need to do that.” Or “Don’t worry about it.” There are a lot of things that just haven’t ever really added up when it comes to our family and the things we say to each other. It makes my mind spin around in turmoil when I try to figure out what they really mean. Do I need to lose weight? Stay where I am? Why call me names like “pork chop” if there really isn’t anything wrong with me?

As far as bad relationships go, they have no excuse like my dad does. There just wasn’t enough love, or there was never any love in the first place. I don’t know or pretend to know as far as that goes. But I do know that those comments, that.. pain, it’s still with me. My self esteem has taken dramatic hits throughout the years. I’ve dated a lot of bad guys before Bobby. My very first boyfriend started a vicious cycle for me. He used to hit me, pinch me, he isolated me from my friends, and he never let me forget that no one else would want me because I was too big to be attractive. Looking back on it, I couldn’t have been that bad, or he wouldn’t have been there with me since he always mentioned he could do so much better, and he only dated “pretty”, “thin” girls. Neither of which could be applied to me (that was mentioned about a million times throughout the 8ish month relationship). And from there it didn’t get much better for a long time. After that I dated a not-so-attractive man who was very sweet, but neither of us was very happy so we ended things. He was a lot more attractive to one of his other female friends than he was to me, which became very clear at my senior prom where he danced once with me and the rest of the night with her. That was the end of that.  After that I dated a younger guy right before I went to college. That wasn’t what I wanted either. He left me while he was at church camp before I got the chance to break things off with him, something along the lines of how God didn’t approve of our relationship and he needed to take a step back and take a break. At the time, I felt relief. I am glad now that things didn’t progress any further there, but I wonder what would have happened if we had stayed together just a little while longer. The week after we broke up I reconnected with someone I had known in elementary school before I moved. We ended up being together and dating for almost 18 months, a little over a year. It was one of the worst things to ever happen to me. I gained almost 50 pounds during the relationship, leading to A LOT of comments about my weight and lack of trying, but again, the abuse made trying really difficult. I was isolated from any friends he didn’t select for me, thankfully, my college roommate was one of the preselected friends (they had gone to high school together, and she is now one of my best friends). We had a long distance relationship and when we were together we didn’t do anything active. We laid around and watched movies or television. Ate fast food. He was another man who made sure that I never forgot that he could do much better than me. Someone more beautiful, thinner, someone who wore a lot of makeup and dressed sexy rather than for comfort. Someone who was as into sex as he was (he used sex as a manipulative tool, if you don’t have sex with me you don’t love me, etc.), someone who wanted the same things out of life, one of which was that he needed to be the primary money maker (what a joke…), he needed to be in control of all things, his woman included, and he wanted someone who was willing to admit that he was most definitely smarter than any average or above average female could be, myself included. Now I know at this point people who are still reading this are probably just asking themselves, why is this fear all about weight while she’s just rambling on about bad relationships? Well, let me explain that to everyone, me weight made me so self conscious, so mad at myself and my body, made me feel so unattractive it led to a string of terrible relationships that just broke me down further and added weight onto my already overweight frame. Which then turned into a cycle of gaining weight, feeling terrible, gaining more weight.. and round and round it went.

By the end of college, going into my 5th year (yes, I took five years to complete a four year degree), I had gained more than 100 pounds. I went from 167 when I graduated high school to almost 275. I am only 5’4. That was needless to say, a LARGE amount of weight on such a small frame. I was wearing jeans the same size as my 5’7 mom who wasn’t nearly as heavy as I was (maybe 225). By the end of my 4th year, I knew something needed to change. I started to diet and try to workout. That year in August, my sister got engaged. I didn’t want to be the “fat” one in the wedding photos since I was her maid-of-honor, so I was taking things very seriously. I lost 40 or so pounds by my birthday in August, and then my sister got engaged. I didn’t want to be “fat” in the wedding photos, so I stuck with it. I lost another 40 pounds by the wedding and my graduation. And guess what, I was still fat in the pictures. I was still 50 or more pounds heavier than her and my younger sister. It should have motivated me, but it didn’t. I lost all motivation. I had to rely on Bobby, who had then been in my life for about 7 months, maybe a year, to keep me on track. That summer after graduation, we ran together any chance we got. The pounds didn’t come off like I thought they would, but they slowly crept down. I lost another 10 pounds or so before I started a part-time job while I waited to see about a job in my career field. I lost another 5 or so pounds from being on my feet all the time. I still didn’t feel healthy. I still didn’t feel thin. I still didn’t feel happy.

I am now down over 100 pounds. I have lost almost 110. Why is this a fear when clearly I can lose the weight if it ever came back? Because I’ve lost all this weight and I still am not happy. I worry I won’t ever be happy. My weight feels like a constant controlling factor in my life. My happiness. Bobby tells me I am beautiful. I weigh less than I did in high school, but I have the curves that come with being a woman. I just don’t see it. I don’t believe him. I worry I never will. I am always going to be afraid of swimsuit seasons, vacations on the beach, being naked with him, mirrors. Being a fat disappointment. Insecure. Fat. Most of all Fat. Bigger than I want to be. Bigger than doctors tell me I should be. I am in shape. I run, I workout, I ride bikes, I do a lot of physical activities. I have a lot of muscle mass. I am still considered obese on the weight charts. I’ve worked and worked and worked. I’ve seen my scale stop going down for months on end as I sit on a plateau. All while being called Fat. My doctors tell me to adopt a healthier diet, a healthier lifestyle. Lose weight.

They don’t ever acknowledge what I have already done. Which makes it feel just.. inadequate. I am scared I will always feel this way. Scared I will drive people away because  I am so constantly worried about my weight. My appearance.

I am just scared of the scale. That number determines how my day will be. If I am going to eat a big dinner, if I can have more than a piece of fruit for breakfast, if I will be able to control my sugar with a fruit or a lite string cheese that afternoon.

Isn’t there more to life than numbers? Will I ever be okay? Will I always be afraid?

This fear holds me in a death grip. My relationships are affected. My family is affected. I don’t keep unhealthy food options at my home, I don’t have snacks, I have protein bars and shakes, and fruit. I don’t even buy regular cheese… I am scared to ever have children because I don’t know if I could ever get back to where I am now, let alone where I would like to be. I feel like it’s a giant weight that I will carry forever.

And there it is. My 12th fear. My weight. One of the scariest demons I carry around with me.

 

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

It never really hit me just how big Bobby’s family was until we started to get really serious. You know, the whole, meeting everyone, talking about marriage, etc.

I have now discovered that with the mom and stepdad, mom’s family, stepdad’s family, father and stepmom, father’s family, stepmom’s family, half- and step-siblings and their families, the cousins, the aunt’s, uncle’s.. There is literally something happening all the time.

Just this week I got a call about a baby shower, for a half-sister and her husband. We also just went to a family breakfast for his dad’s family, we were invited to a half-sibling’s getaway a few weekends ago, they do a big family reunion for his father’s family every year or two..

I love to go to and throw parties, especially when there are a lot of people involved, but his family makes me exceptionally nervous. I haven’t met a lot of them, due to them being so spread out across the state and country, then there is the fact that until very recently they weren’t sure I was in this for the long haul. Add in that he works out of town/state for 3-4 weeks a month with just a few days off every now and again and it makes things difficult.

I am nervous they won’t like me when they do get around to meeting me just due to the fact that it’s taken so long to meet them. Bobby isn’t exactly super social in the first place and it’s hard for me to convince him we need to socialize with his family when he is in town because he likes to be at home.

I don’t entirely blame him for that. I am almost always busy. Running around during the week for work or fun, then on weekends, especially when he is home, I pack it all in. I go outside and do activities, go rock climbing, or spend time with my own family. He is a total homebody and I respect that he likes to be at the house, but I admit, it gets hard for me to be nice about his lack of social want sometimes.

Bobby and I have been together for almost 4 years (4 in December.. ish) and we are just now getting around to introductions to his extended family. I have had to have some really long talks to him, especially lately, when social events come up with his extended family. I don’t think he realizes that his lack of social want makes me feel poorly about myself.

I feel like he has kept me in the dark, I know it probably wasn’t intentional but, that’s how I feel. Like I am an embarrassment to him and he doesn’t want to show me off or even introduce me to anyone because of that.

Now, for some background on why I feel like this… Before he dated me, he always dated very thin, very lovely girls. I am neither of those things. I have accepted that I probably won’t ever be. But I am getting healthier every day and I think I am getting to be better with age as far as my looks go.

The girl he was dating not too long before me went to the big family reunion with him. They only dated for a total of 3 or 4 months. We’ve been together that many years and I still haven’t met half the people she has, let alone gone to one of the reunions. Granted he hasn’t gone to any either but.. when you look at it that way it makes sense to feel like an embarrassment right? Am I crazy?

I feel like sometimes I can come across as needy for wanting to know his family, his whole family. But I also don’t think we should be talking about marriage this seriously if he isn’t ever planning to introduce me!

Don’t get me wrong, the amount of people to meet and try to keep up with is intimidating to say the least, but I would still like the chance to take that on.

That being said though, I think I will also have to come to terms with the fact that, with that many people, there will ALWAYS be something going on. Baby showers, weddings, birthdays, births, graduations, celebrations.. Am I ready for that?

Am I ready for the commitment that comes with having a family this big? Am I ready for him to not be present at all of the events? Can I go on my own? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? What if he hasn’t introduced me because he thinks they won’t like me? Or because he’s embarrassed? What if I never meet them?

Have I lost my mind? What have I gotten myself into?

 

My Party Planning Adventures

I don’t normally write more than one blog in a day, but I am bored at work with nothing to do and I feel the need to go into some detail about the many aspects of my life that make me who I am. Parties and party planning definitely come into play as far as my life goes.

The first party I remember planning was mine and my sister’s 16th birthday party. I made the invitations myself, had food and drinks set up, and a theme for the whole party. I planned activities and then planned back-up activities since the night of the party it was actually pouring down rain and not at all the atmosphere for a luau themed party. We ended up going out into the mud and the rain and playing volleyball anyways, and it was one of the best parts of the night, outside of the virgin luau themed drinks such as margaritas and daiquiris and the fresh fruit kabobs! We ended the night with a stupid teenage themed movie and a few stolen kisses (on my part at least!). All-in-all, not too bad for my first party!

I threw a bunch of parties after that, our 18th birthday party, our graduation party, and then I started to move on to bigger parties. Parties that weren’t for me and had the potential to be all messed up if not done well. Parties where people who weren’t just my friends and family were going to attend and could potentially see all the flaws in my hard work and plans.

I started my big parties with my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party. I planned and bought a cake, not a regular sheet cake, but a round cake with layers! I had to watch Youtube videos to figure out how to cut it.. but it went off perfectly! We had a buffet style dinner and all of the grandkids served. We had almost 100 people show up and the party went off without a hitch. We even managed to surprise my grandma! Total win as far as I was concerned!

After that I really stepped up my game, I moved on from the anniversary party to my dad’s 50th birthday party! I invited all of his old high school friends he hadn’t seen in as long as I have been alive and can remember. I even got his best man from my mom and dad’s wedding to attend! We did another buffet style, but it was a serve yourself style. I added another cost to this party by renting a venue and getting decorations, but it was so worth it! We had cupcakes, food, music and friends and family. Not to mention presents! He had a good time and I was really pleased with how it turned out.

This wasn’t exactly a “party” and I didn’t plan it all on my own, but when my sister got married, my mom, sisters and I planned the whole wedding and reception. We made the decorations, the food, and we had it all set up and the wedding was absolutely beautiful. It went off without a hitch and we were all pleased with how things went.

I also planned mine and my sister’s 22nd birthday party, which is where she got engaged. We did a small party with just a few friends and did it totally old school style by going to a big pizza buffet and arcade complete with miniature golf, go-carts, and bowling. It was a really good time, even if  I got super jealous! At the time though, I was not in a serious relationship and her and Casey, her husband, have been together since high school. Almost 10 years now. She definitely deserved to get engaged and I was happy to have been there and been a part of it!

After they got engaged, I planned the bachelor/bachelorette party. There was a rule that there be no strippers on either side, and since we all share the same friends group, they just wanted a together party. All of the friends and wedding party members went back to the giant arcade where they got engaged and we partied for a bit, then we went bowling where we may or may not have had a lot of drinks.. Pre-gaming! Then everyone went back to her and Casey’s house and drank some more while we all played beer pong, and watched stupid/scary movies until four or five in the morning. It was a fabulous time! Definitely high on my list of favorite parties.

For the record, I know these parties are not in any sort of order, but I am just remembering them as they come to me..

I just recently, this weekend, threw my dad a Father’s Day party. We did a big cookout with the whole family and some friends. They shot skeet out in the field, we went fishing, I bought water guns, which he then used to spray the dogs rather than to have the giant water gun fight I had anticipated, but he smiled and laughed the whole time! So that was a win for me! There was dessert, and everyone brought something to eat that contributed to the whole feast in general. Things went really well until the ex-best friend showed up. Not my favorite thing!

I am now planning my first party in my new house! I am making plans for a (hopefully) epic 4th of July party. Food, fireworks, friends, family, and of course, showing off my new house. We are planning to have burger and hot dogs, chips, fruit, cupcakes, s’mores, and who knows what else. I am hoping it will be a great party and a lot of fun.

Parties are such a big part of my life, I love to thrown them, plan them, and just have a good time at and with them. I feel like parties and presents are two of the things that I excel at. I love to give presents as well and I try to put a lot of thought into what I give people.

But that’s a post for another time! Until next time!

 

 

I am a FunSucker

I was going to write this post last week, but looking back on it, I am so glad I didn’t. I was angry with my boyfriend and now that I have had a chance to calm down and look at things, I can write this and keep it in perspective. In theory at least.

He went out and decided to enjoy himself. Which is not a problem. He works out of state or at least out of town, and that’s never been a problem. I try to be the girlfriend who doesn’t get jealous or upset over stupid things but occasionally I still miss that mark.

He went out to the bowling alley, which wasn’t a problem at all, he had some beers and had a pretty good time with his friends and the guys he works with. I don’t have a problem with that at all. I actually really like it when he goes out with the guys. He gets to go out and have some fun and I get to read a book or clean the house rather than being glued to my phone.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind sitting next to my phone. Not at all. Hearing from him makes my entire day. He really is just the light in my world.

That doesn’t keep me from being frustrated with him when he does stupid things though. And last week was a stupid thing. Getting drunk at the bowling alley wasn’t a big deal. He’s a big boy and he can take care of himself, but he had promised to call me after they left there because it was time for me to get in bed and go to sleep so I could get up and go to work in the morning, he needed to get some sleep too, but again, he’s a big boy and I am not his mama.

If he had just told me to go to bed and not to worry about it, then it wouldn’t have been a big deal. He was headed out to the bar with his friends. I just wanted a phone call. That’s our thing, when he is away at work, we call each other every night and say goodnight and I love you. Helps me sleep and then if he is still out and about I just have him text me when he makes it back to his hotel room and it’s not a big deal.

Well, he said he would call me, but he didn’t. He went straight to the bar with the boys and that was fine. We were texting and he kept saying he would call me in a few minutes, then he didn’t.

He ended up not texting me back for awhile and I started to get really frustrated. I finally, an hour and a half after he had gotten to the bar, just sent him a text and went to bed on my own without a phone call.

He ended up getting entirely too drunk that evening and not getting back to his room until they had all closed the bar down together somewhere around two in the morning. I ended up not answering his text messages or phone calls, because he did finally try to call me when he got back to his room. I was, needless to say at that point, not very interested in a phone call.

Now, I am over it now, but at the time, it was irritating. Not that he went and got really drunk with his friends. There is so much trust between us, mostly due to the ups and downs we’ve been through (another post in and of itself), that I don’t worry about other women or girls when he is out and about. I was disappointed in the fact that he had said he would call, and then didn’t. Repeatedly.

I am over it now, and so is he. We’ve moved on from it. But I felt like a total funsucker at the time. He thought I was upset that he had gone and gotten drunk. Which was not even the issue. We’ve talked about things now and we’re okay.

The love and respect we have for each other grows every time we have any sort of an argument or and issue that we end up needing to talk about or talk through. Funsucker or not, we’re doing good now and despite a fantastic hangover that managed to make him sick for several days, he’s just fine.

Until the next time I get to suck the fun from his evenings out, I will be happy I don’t have to play that role very often!

 

Fear 11. My Attitude

I have always been a very strong attitudinal person. I love hard. I get angry and when I am angry there is no question. Everyone knows because I wear everything I feel on my sleeves. I am an incredibly emotional person and that comes across in my attitude on the daily.

A lot of people ask why in the world I am afraid of my attitude. It’s strong. It’s easy to red. But it’s also inconvenient if I want to just be alone or hide the way I am feeling. I can’t be indifferent. And that sucks.

On top of that, I can come off as abrasive. I tend to take a humorous side of things that shouldn’t be humorous. And that is not what I want to do at all. When I take a humorous view of things people tend to not take me seriously as well. Which can cause problems. I am in a profession where I need to be taken seriously. My age is already a factor that adds to that, and now my attitude does too.

I feel like I have to try a lot harder to get people to take me seriously. I enjoy my job and my life and some people see that as being immature.

My attitude permeates my entire existence. I have tried to control it and I have gotten better throughout the years but I have a LONG way to go.

How do you tell yourself to stop feeling everything so intensely? Better yet, how to stop reacting to how you feel? All of that is so much a part of me. I know it seems like it’s probably a sill fear, but what if I never get it under control? What kind of effects would that have on me later in life?

What kind of mother would I be if I couldn’t keep my emotions and attitude in check? What if I took everything as an attack on me and my character and I got angry? People questioning my parenting, my child telling me they didn’t like me? My response is my attitude and what if it was bad?

I don’t want to be a terrible person forever. Someone who feels too deeply and reacts to all of those feelings so intensely.

So until then, I will continue to try to overcome this fear and work on controlling it.

Bria

Fear 10. My Teeth

Now that it has slipped into June without me bothering to notice, I realize I still have 15 fears to cover after this one and not much time to do it since my birthday is coming up in just a couple of months!

Now we’re going to get into my 10th fear. My teeth. I know this seems silly and probably makes me sound slightly ridiculous, but my teeth are VERY important to me. Teeth in general are important to me. And no, I am not a dentist. I just want my teeth to look good.

My parents spent a lot of money on my teeth to make them beautiful. There wasn’t actually anything wrong with my teeth in the first place, but my top jaw was a little smaller than my bottom jaw and it was causing my teeth to line up unevenly and inflame my jaw. They expanded my upper jaw and then pulled all my teeth back together. I think the only thing I really got out of the whole deal was a good idea about dental hygiene and a slight lisp from my jaw being broken but I try to take good care of my teeth just the same.

While I had my braces it was constantly preached at me to keep them clean and take good care of them otherwise the food and drinks I chose to devour would get behind the braces and rot my teeth. They even showed me photographs of other patients who hadn’t taken good care of their teeth while they had braces on them and they really had rotted underneath the metal! Can you imagine getting fillings on ALL of your teeth!? And on the front no less!

I dated a guy for a little while who had awful teeth… and I know it makes me sound like a terrible person to mention how much they bothered me but I had/have taken such good care of mine and he just.. hadn’t. He had even had braces and it just hadn’t stuck that teeth maintenance was so important to dental health. He had killed one of his front teeth and it was turning black and the rest of his teeth were yellow and covered in tartar and buildup. It was so gross.

I don’t really mind if they’re not perfectly straight. Unless you have dentures your teeth are going to have something wrong and that’s normal and natural, but discolored and you know.. turning BLACK! That was just A LOT for me. We didn’t break up over his teeth, he actually broke up with me, but I was relieved that I didn’t have to kiss someone who didn’t take care of their mouth anymore..

Now I can imagine by now anyone that’s still reading this is probably thinking I am crazy and that this doesn’t sound like a fear at all, but I am almost obsessed with my teeth. I brush at least twice a day, floss, and use whitening strips so that they stay beautiful. I don’t want anyone to ever look at my smile and think, O.M.G. what was she thinking showing her teeth when they look like that!? I am very self conscious about my teeth.

I don’t consider teeth to be a deal breaker for me or my relationships, but I do think that a proper understanding of dental hygiene is important. I don’t judge people based on their teeth. I know some people can’t help it. Some people don’t have access to dental care, sometimes I know it’s a medication or illness related thing, or if someone plays sports or gets into a car accident and their teeth die, there’s nothing anyone can do about things like that. But as far as my teeth are concerned.. I want as close to perfection as possible with my own natural teeth.

I want white, straight, beautiful teeth. Teeth that look polished and make me look professional when I smile. Obsession or fear? I don’t really know, but I do know the thought of not having a good smile or pretty teeth causes me anxiety and that to me makes the think that not having good teeth is a fear.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to keep your teeth as clean as you’re physically able!