Some say that there is a skinny person inside of every fat person. For those of us who have struggled with childhood obesity, I’m sure there are times when you are severely haunted by your inner fat kid who just can not seem to grow up, pack their bags, get a job, and find someone else to nag. How in the hell do these two survive in the same body? You know, sometimes my inner fat kid starts a fight with my inner vixen and sadly, she sometimes wins.
As a child, I didn’t start to gain weight until maybe around the 5th grade. I was very active and so were my friends. We played football in the streets after school, we rode our bikes everyday, and climbed trees in order to steal fruit off of our neighbor’s pear tree. Food was good, but it was no big deal back in the day. I don’t look back on my childhood and think, “OMG, I was using food to deal with stress.” I ate because I was hungry, stopped because I was full, and could care less about saturated fat. I was a kid and kids only get colds and don’t develop diabetes, right? Well, little did I know. We all have to grow up someday and folks, that’s when the poop hits the fan.
Childhood for me was like an awesome acid trip. I was high on life, silly jokes, video games, and my mother’s fried chicken. Puberty was a wake-up call. Reluctantly, I had to say goodbye to all things pretty, pink, and glittery and enter the dark world of reality. At this point, you realize that training bras are so-yesterday, boys are trouble, and Santa may have to get another job just to make ends meet. Growing up is like being kidnapped and then dumped into the middle of a dessert without a map or GPS. It’s scary, but you have to find a way to survive. While some people were discovering crack to deal with the end of civilization, I discovered binge eating. I was addicted to feeding that inner child because that is where my happiness lived for so long or at least until I learned how to man-handle my reality. I fed and protected that inner child with food until I realized that reality may not be so bad. Hey, I did well in school, had a hot boyfriend, earned scholarships for college, and I was given the opportunity to explore places beyond the negative environment I was exposed to as a child. My inner child and I were rockin’ reality until a bigger reality hit. Obesity.
Goodbye fat kid, hello skinny bitch. Lets call her by her stripper name, Pooky-Pungo (First pet’s name, First street name). Pooky-Pungo and I met around the time of puberty. Reality television, magazines plastered with pictures of beautiful women, and music videos made me realize that I was unhappy with my body at that time. I was fat. No, I was slowly killing myself and life was beginning to suck big time. I was a 14 year-old shopping in the same clothing and department stores as my mother. I would find myself peaking over at the junior section while pretending that I was not shopping in the plus-size section for myself. I imagined myself fitting into a nice form-fitting pair of Levis with a cute little plaid top all tied up in the middle. In my daydreams, Pooky-Pungo was hot and curvy, but she was also smart, kind, athletic, and down-to-earth. She was my motivation to lose weight, but my inner fat kid would grab her by the hair, beat her to the grown, and force her to eat a dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts washed down with a glass of strawberry milk. Yep, these two have been battling it out for quite sometime, but there is always a part of me that feels sorry for that fat kid and I don’t want to say goodbye to her. We’ve had some great times together, but Pooky-Pungo and I were made for each other. I just have to teach Pooky-Pungo how to fight back until the fat kid and I can come to some sort of understanding.