It’s really weird for me to meet new people. I feel like I am not really interested in making new friends because I don’t want to explain things anymore. Every time I meet a new person, I feel like I need to explain what happened to my hand. I go through the story and it’s almost on queue every single time that I can feel myself going back to the time when it happened. There are so many emotions that happen and I can feel myself starting to shake because I don’t always know what emotion will come out. I always wonder when the next time some one will tell me that it could have been worse or that it doesn’t look bad. I wonder if i’ll snap the next time or just break down into tears. It’s pretty sad always feeling like I need to seek approval if my burn was bad enough or deep enough or scarred enough. I don’t know why I feel like I need people I don’t really know to validate my experience or understand my pain. I still think about when I was a chef, I still think about everything I went through in that industry. It still bothers me that I’m not working with food professionally anymore, and that’s another thing, I feel the need to explain to people that I just meet that I was a chef. Sometimes, I dont feel like any of my experiences were ever real. I feel like there isn’t a way for me to have succeeded at everything I did, or all the things I had experienced. Only thing these people I have met are words. They don’t see me in action. They didn’t see me breaking down trying to heal from my burn. They don’t know that I wake up in the middle of my sleep with a big lump in my throat. What they see is the girl who laughs a lot, who loves hard. It’s interesting what going further than skin deep, or stories, or someone that explains all their experiences can do. I do feel like I am lucky though, I get to smile every day because my heart is full of love. I get to enjoy being in a fmaily with two people that I love very much. I feel like that is enough, I have my close friends I have my family and the new people that come around that I feel the need to explain my past to don’t really matter.
200 lbs, It was seven months after my injury and I had gained thirty pounds. I was round, things didn’t fit and I didn’t feel like me. Who is this woman that I am staring at in the mirror who can’t fit into anything, and who eats anything and everything in sight. I didnt know her, and it made me feel worse because I couldn’t hide it or blame it on anyone or anything but me. This was who I had become, who I let myself become. There was one person brave enough to confront this new person I had become, my boyfriend. He loved me enough to call out my excuses and my overeating and pretending that it was ok that I would finish a giant batch of nachos. I couldn’t see it. I saw it, but I didn’t see it. We went to celebrate Halloween and I dressed as a cockroach in a costume I had made myself. I wore a unitard, I wasn’t afraid of wearing said unitard until I looked at the pictures that from that night the next day, I was so embarassed and grossed out and in shock.
All I could see was my belly. I already had some crazy scar on my hand and now I was a giant blob also. I needed something different, I needed to change my ways because what I was doing wasn’t working. I started researching different ways to eat and how I could lose weight. I looked up Keto and Whole30, Keto I could eat cheese… do you know much cheese I can consume in one sittin.. ha, that wasn’t going to work. So, I researched more of Whole30 and the challenge seemed acheivable. I told myself that I was going to do a 5k the weekend before I started my Whole30, I was 200 pounds and out of shape, but this was my start. I finished my 5k at 44:20 which was so exciting.
I started Whole30 and the food… was something I wasn’t used to, but I did it and after a week I was used to every meal not having cheese or bread. Week two came, I wanted a cocktail, week three came and I could fit into clothes better, week four was coming to an end and I went down a pant size. The weigh in came, I was 183 pounds. I couldn’t believe it, the pickiness, the strength to say no to drinking or giving into convenince. I did it, and I kept doing it, I made dairy, gluten free foods for thanksgiving and for christmas. I kept it going and I lost 30 pounds. There have been a lot of times throughout my life where I let food be in control. I had an eating disorder for most of it, binge eating was how I would get through my days. Here I am after finishing my second Whole30 and I am 40 pounds down, I am wearing size 8 pants and can consecutively run three miles. This woman that stuggled through her first 5k in November could now run 3 miles. Everyday has become a success, every day has been a challenge but I am so proud of the person and woman I have become when it comes to food.
There is a lot to deal with when you are dealing with trauma, you feel out of control for certain things, but this, I took control of because I refused to let myself go further down into a rabbit hole of self hatred. If you feel like life is impossible, weight is impossible, please reach out.