As a little girl, I never felt beautiful. As a matter of fact, I played more with cars than dolls. I remember one Christmas my mother buying me a barbie doll and within hours of opening up the gift I ruined her. Girly things just weren't my thing. I think it had something to do with the fact I started gaining weight at an early age. I came into this world with more energy than an ever ready bunny you could say and sometimes that was too much for people to handle.
It didn't take long for me to start feeling that who I was, wasn't acceptable and so I turned to the only thing I knew that would never reject me which is food. Food was my friend. I learned how to steel, hide and keep from getting caught at all costs. After all, food didn't talk back, it comforted me and it brought me a lot of happiness. I remember a time when I stole a $20 dollar bill from a safe my mother had kept money in, hoping she would blame my father if she found it missing. I walked down to the local ampm store and bought up $20 of .25 cent candy bars. The teller asked me what I was buying them for and I told him I was having a party, the only problem I failed to tell him I was having a party with myself and I wasn't planning on inviting anyone to it. I was hoping that if I got myself sick on candy that maybe I would out grow my strong desire for it and never want to eat it again.
All through high school I felt different, struggled with school and at one point wanted to drop out, I ran away from home and even considered suicide. I figured if I was out of the picture, my family would be happier. I come from a family, that is very accomplished, popular and talented, and then there was me, the one just barely making the grades to stay in school and all my best friends were boys.
I grew up at a summer adventure camp that my family ran and one summer my parents even considered having me go to a "Fat Camp." I would lose some weight due to the activities we did at camp during the summer and then when I would return home, gain it all back so this began the rollercoaster of my battle with the bulge. I was the only in my family that never went to any prom.
I would try just about anything I could get my hands on to lose the weight and would be successful or a period of time and then there would come a time I just lost the motivation and slide back to the old habits.
To those who knew me during my teenage years, they didn't suspect I was suffering as much as I was internally, however I couldn't figure out why I felt so different than everyone else around me. I struggled with relationships with people, I often felt misunderstood and that in order for me to get anything I wanted, I had to manipulate people.
I'm not able to remember a time when I didn't think about food, my weight and what it would take for me to be accepted by others.
As a result of the internal struggle I had, I attracted men into my life that didn't treat me well. After all, they were a mirror of how I felt about myself. Of course I didn't realize it at that time, I was just grasping at anyone that would give me attention even if that attention hurt me often. Men not wanting anyone to know we were together and hiding our relationship, to men who loved talking to me but said they weren't attracted to me, to men who told me that if a women gained weight after getting married to them that would give them reason to file for divorce. During my dating years, I tried to mold myself into what they wanted and in turn lost all perspective on what was important to me.
After years of failed relationships and an incredible amount of rejection, a man finds me that isn't fazed one bit with me being overweight. He chased me, wanted to date me and made sure he was always available for me to call when I needed a listening ear. After a year and a half of pursuing me and me telling him repetitively I was not interested, I gave in. Figuring this was the best I was going to get at 29 years old. He had asked me to marry him on several occasions even though we hadn't even dated. Still to this day, I am not able to explain how we went from not dating, to engaged and then married 2 1/2 months later. Within a week of getting married, the abuse began. In the state of mind that I was towards him, we were like water and oil. It was a long 7 1/2 year marriage, which included 3 miscarriages our first year to multiple attempts to meet with fertility doctors and numerous abusive outburst which resulted in me gaining weight and hitting my highest weight at 266 lbs.
In February 2009, a dear friend of mine and I were walking early in the morning at the mall as we would do regularly. She mentioned to me she had just eaten four cookies and she needed a detox. I immediately thought, "Four cookies and you need a detox? It's more like 2 bags of cookies and then I might think about a detox." Remember food was my friend. I was a binge eater and I love my large quantities of sugary things. She then asked if I would go with her to a 12 step conference happening that weekend in Vegas. I gave her the excuse that I had to work and she said, "You're the boss. Call it off." I didn't think much of it til we were walking the next morning, This time she turned to me and said, "So, are you going with me?" In that split second, I made a decision to be spontaneous, call off work and make the 5 hour drive to Vegas as a way of supporting her.
It wasn't til we got down there, walked in the room where I realized the significance of that one decision I made that day would have on my life. We arrived an hour late and we were signing in when my attention was drawn to the front of the room where a women was telling MY STORY. She was sharing with the audience that when she was a teenager, when she was babysitting, she cared more about the food in the house than the kids she was tending. THAT WAS ME. I had never had anyone ever say that out loud, let alone think anyone else thought like that.
It was in that moment my entire life changed. My ears were glued to ever word people were saying, Story after story after story of people who had lost a huge amount of weight and KEPT IT OFF. I had been able to lose weight in my past however I couldn't keep it off. This was different and I caught myself looking around the room and thinking to myself, 'who are these crazy people and what is this program they are doing?' All I knew was they had been able to do something that I had never been able to do up to that point. It didn't take long for me to turn to my friend who I came with and tell her that I had no clue what all this was about but I wanted to get started. I remember her turning to me as though to pacify my excitement and saying, '"Oh Becky, you'll know when you're ready." I was ready right then and I knew enough about myself to know that I need to strike when the iron is HOT and I was RED HOT READY at that moment. As a matter of fact by the end of the night, I had found myself a sponsor. Of course it had to be the one lady in the room that had lost over 200 lbs because I knew I needed the best. She was kind enough to take me on but only after she reminded me that this program wasn't about will powering it through, it was about learning how to love and accept myself. 'What does that mean?' is what I thought to myself. Up to this point in my life, I am not sure I really understood how that was possible to love myself thin so then began my beautiful journey of self discovery, love and acceptance and leaning into relying on the power of God to prevail.