Monday, October 18, 2010

Confession time...

Earlier tonight, I was talking to my housemate, D, about being fat as a teenager. She told me about how she chose baked beans and chips every day when she had school dinners. Then I pulled out a photo of me at my uni graduation in 2005. She looked at it, looked at me, and went "That's never you!!" (She's Scottish) was.

Following on from this, when I went to post Kat's brownies last week, the lady at the post office looked at me, looked at my passport photo - taken when I was 19 - and said "Gosh, you're much prettier in real life!"

Way back in 1995, I looked like this:
No, I wasn't 20 years behind the times. I was eleven, had just started high school, and was attending a friend's birthday party, which had a 70s theme. Can you believe my mother let me go out in public dressed like that at the age of 11? Yeah, me neither...

But then puberty hit, and it was all downhill from there. I played hockey twice a week and did tap and jazz ballet, which helped somewhat. Then I got to the point where I couldn't play mixed hockey any more. And the girls' team were total bitches. So I quit the year I turned 16. Then in year 12, my dancing school moved from having three concerts at the end of the year to having two concerts. And one of those coincided with school speech night. So my dance teacher told me that there was no point in me coming to classes, as she'd have to put me in a corner where it wouldn't matter if I was missing for one of the two shows. So I quit that too.

By the end of year 12, I was the upper end of a size 16. And then I started university. Limited contact hours (twelve hours a week - gotta love an Arts degree!), lots of greasy food with cheap prices, and no enforced PE classes = BADNESS. By my brother's 18th in 2003, I was a size 18 and looked like this:
And, rather frighteningly, I thought I looked good that night. Jeebus...

The following year was my Honours year. Honours meant 6 contact hours a week in semester 1, a six week trip to the US mid-year, and several months spent sitting on my arse in the library not wanting to leave one of the two good microfilm machines, and existing on Pringles and Strawberries & Cream candy and bottles of Mountain Dew. During my trip to the US, I looked like this:

Shortly thereafter, I had to stop wearing that necklace because it was strangling me...

By the following year, I was working full time. At a company with a subsidised cafeteria... So in addition to movie nights with Nessa (we calculated recently, and worked out that we were each eating about 4000 calories every time we had a movie night... :S), I was basically eating a bag of hot chips for lunch every day, because they were only $2. And I was drinking 600mL of Coke to keep me awake during the day because I was so bored... In May 2005, I graduated, and looked like this:
It was another nine months before I reached my absolute fattest, during which I hid from all cameras. It reached the point where I couldn't see my own feet, and where I couldn't walk the three blocks from the tram to home without stopping for a rest.

So what changed? Well, my job was made permanent (I was temping), but I was ineligible to apply for it, because they could only hire from within the company. So I was told that my job was being given to a man who was retiring six months later, and that I would no longer be needed. My parents were overseas, and my brother was out for the night, so my usual batshit crazy screaming session had no target. Filled with anger and frustration, I decided that the best thing to do would be to climb on the exercise bike in the back porch. Half an hour later, I was exhausted, but felt a little better. So when I came home the following night feeling much the same, I got back on the bike.

Gradually, the weight started to come off, and people began to comment on how much weight I'd lost. It took less than a year of me using that exercise bike three times a week for it to completely die - it had no teeth left on the cogs. So I went out and spent the most money I'd ever spent on a single thing in my life - $700 on a combination rowing machine/recumbent bike. Between using that three times a week and an hour and a half of ballet, I was slowly starting to reach the point where I didn't have to go to fat people shops.

As I said last week, in 2008 I (somehow...) completed the Inca Trail. And then I moved to Canberra where, for the first time, I was brave enough to join a gym. Gradually, I was able to brave classes, starting with Combat, then Pump, and finally Step (although I still hate it with a fiery passion). I started buying low-fat options, and cut out soft drink, cordial, and TimTams (sigh).

I'm still not entirely happy with myself. But looking back at the photos, I've come rather a long way...
2006. Sorry for including you in the horror, Nessa...

January 2010

Late February 2010. Oh, and incidentally? I'm wearing the necklace I had to stop wearing because it was choking me...
K xx


  1. Sweet Jesus! How did I not notice that??? Oh and thanks for cutting me out of the photo at Cam's 21st, although anyone else reading can probably tell from my arm flab that I wasn't in much better condition myself back in the day.

    I'm proud of you for coming so far. Sometimes I miss our movie nights, but the last time I tried to eat 1/6th of the amount of food we would consume I got a sugar headache.

    And thankyou for your timely post, because I've been eating way too much lately and it's beginning to show. Time to start exercising, I think... if only I could go to a gym without completing a medical first...

    ~* Ness

  2. How we don't have diabetes from all the sugar we used to eat is completely beyond me... xx


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