So I was having a completely random conversation with my mother today and she was getting nostalgic for baby me (lol, don't ask... you know how mom's can be!) and she said something that caught my attention and really floored me. She said,
"You know, I remember you in your crib... so sweet and adorable... and how you would always cry at night unless you had a bottle with you, even if you weren't hungry. You just wanted it with you!"
To her, it was a soft, wonderful memory.... but to me.... someone who's suffered from obesity nearly her whole life and had (still sometimes has!!) an issue with getting up, literally, in the middle of the night and having to shove random things in her mouth for no apparent reason (I call it my midnight zombie walk)............. to me it was a horrifying realization: This has literally been going on my whole life.
Is it because they always gave into me and gave it to me when I wanted it? Did I starve to death in a past life? What the heck....??
Sorry... I just had to share this and get it off my chest.
How about you guys.... can you pinpoint the period in your lives, exactly, when it turned from normal eating and wanting to abnormal?
02-07-2011, 09:24 AM
Well, I wouldn't worry too much about the bottle thing - my daughter still nurses overnight, and I don't think at 12 months she has any food issues - and she always wants it with her (in this case, being me and my breasts, not a bottle, but anyways!).
I think I can pinpoint it around 7 or 8 years old...maybe a bit earlier...when food became part of my security moreso than normal (I think naturally food is comforting, and it's not unhealthy for it to be that way - just when it becomes the only comfort or else the most important comfort). But it became an escape for me, and the major part of my escape fantasies...I would imagine I was a runaway and squirrel away a lot of food and then eat it all in one sitting, hidden away from anyone who might be able to see me.
I was just looking through primary school photos and I could see the progression - grade 1 & 2, fairly normal looking, and then in grade 3, my face looked more pudgy....by grade 4, I was chunky. After that, it just got worse. I don't know exactly when it started, but I'm pretty sure I know why. I'm hoping that working through it in my head will be enough for me to be able to stop the cycle.
Just a question about your midnight zombie walk - are you actually sleepwalking or are you awake? I think I've heard of that before - have you talked to your doctor about it if you're sleepwalking?
02-07-2011, 09:46 AM
Babies have an oral phase. They are wired to have it to seek the breast. And sometimes that translates to bottles, fingers, pacifiers... whatever it is the parent allows the baby.
I remember my mother was horrified I "let" my kid suck her thumb and I told her to get over it. Her thumb was better than a pacifier because she could get it herself when needed. She sucked her thumb to sleep if she didn't nurse to sleep and as I expected... she outgrew it just like she outgrew the need to nurse.
I don't think you having a bottle thing as a baby is anything more than that -- the baby oral stage.
I do know when my eating may have changed. It was one day in 5th grade and I was eating toast and all of a sudden I felt weird. Shortly after I started to gain weight, bud breasts, was teased for being chubby but then my height kicked it and it kind of evened out. Then later in my 20th year I was making holiday cookies and I had this weird dejavu feeling. And bam I started to gain weight like crazy again... but I was already as tall as I was to be so there was no chance of "evening out" then.
Both those ages are hormonal surge ages -- adolescence and second adolescence. So I get the noticing of the "whoosh" thing. I imagine when I hit menopause I might notice it the same.
However, the second time, I was starting the path that eventually led to my PCOS dx, and my other endocrine issues. Those all contribute to my weight problem.
02-07-2011, 10:58 AM
I remember being very young and always wanting to eat- I grew up in a pretty bad environment because my parents had problems since I was a baby- so I think I turned to food and being full for comfort. I can't pinpoint an exact time but it was definitely by the time I was 8 that food was more of a comfort than anything else. :(
02-07-2011, 11:47 AM
Yes! I remember exactly when my eating turned into binging and abnormal eating ~ what an interesting topic.
I was 20ish and I had just taken a break from college and moved back home because I was partying way too much. I moved in with a boyfriend who was heavy into drugs and I got caught up in the scene. We were always broke, and again partying way too much, and I started eating because I was really stressed and food became my legal drug. I remember binging on so much junk food and sneaking crap whenever I could. That was about 11 years ago, and I'm just now starting to really deal with the emotional eating that has stuck with me since then.
02-07-2011, 12:27 PM
from 4th grade on my pictures get bigger and bigger, when i was in 3rd my mom got pregnant with my sister and was pretty sick through the whole thing, and she worked night shift, and my dad worked afternoons, so i was alone from the time i got out of school until i went to bed most of the times, so i had to fed myself, resulted in a lot of prepackaged meals, and i remember eating a whole pack of those dolly madison brownies..what 3rd grader downs a pack of brownies...and then not being allowed to go out and play since i wasn't allowed out unless my mom knew where i was and i tried to let her sleep .. i really don't remember being fat before that, although i remember kids calling me fat, but i honestly don't think i was, i always just wore sweat outfits..hey it was the 80's and probably looked bigger in the baggy things..idk..
02-07-2011, 04:42 PM
My zombie walk isn't actual sleepwalking that I know of.... it's kinda like I wake up and have an insane urge to get something to eat! Like... I just HAVE to have something... usually something that's in the fridge at that time that I know of. It's just weird how its like instantly in my head when I wake up..... like I was dreaming about it and just had to have it. Or, I'll get up to go the bathroom and pass the kitchen (unfortunately I have to pass my kitchen to get to my bathroom!! ugh) and see something and by time I return to my dark bedroom that food item is blaring in my head until I eat it. I've gotten SOMEWHAT better about it... sometimes I'll just have a bite or two, not the entire thing and I'll be okay to go to sleep. But not always. :(
I know that food really became a problem for me around 7 or 8 as well, because (of course) problems at home. An alcoholic mother, a violent father, blah blah blah.... moving around between homes.... etc. But still.... what my mother said really just kind of shocked me into thinking "Just how long has this been going on?!?"
Thanks for responding guys.... I find it interesting that so many of us really started developing our real problems with food around that same age... 8 ish.
02-07-2011, 04:55 PM
The difference between my kindergarten and first grade pictures make it clear. I had just a little chub in K, but the first grade photo shows I was actually getting fat and it was a fast downhill slope from there. I remember having to weigh in 3rd grade for a math project and I was 117. Then in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, I gained about 40 pounds each. I went into Junior high wearing size 24 jeans and high school in 26's.
I remember my dad once saying that anything he ate, I wanted as well, and just as much of it. I wish someone would have said no. Also, I had a hard home life and that's when emotional eating and binging came in to play at a very young age. I was doomed. Luckily, it's never too late to change.
02-07-2011, 06:05 PM
About 1 year ago I went to my mother's house with my dogs. The dogs ran in and were all over my mother wanting some loving attention. And my mother immediately was like "All right! I have treats for you!" and immediately gave them treats. I remember thinking that they weren't asking for treats, they wanted attention. And immediately afterward it was like an epiphany. No wonder I'm fat, my mother has affection and food linked together in her mind! (BTW, she is an always has been normal sized).
Now at some point I have to stop blaming mommy for my choices my whole life, but I can definitely see where food and affection got linked in my mind...
02-07-2011, 06:32 PM
In my mothers womb :lol: really!
I've been overweight my whole life. I will turn 50 this year and I want to make the rest of my life a lighter healthier one:D
02-07-2011, 11:28 PM
My first sentence was "More ham." I can't remember a time when eating wasn't my favorite leisure activity.
I'm adopted and my parents were fairly normal eaters when I grew up. Maybe it's genetic?
02-08-2011, 12:58 AM
This is a great topic. Especially considering the other night while laying in bed I was all of a sudden remembering all these child hood memories that pertained to food.
I grew up in a very abusive, dysfunctional home. Food has and always was my best friend. I think the most profound memory I have is being about 5 or 6 years old laying on my grandmother's bed after a bath. She would rub cocoa butter on me and go "Ohhh no, you poor little thing with all those stretch marks. You should come to live with me" and I never understood what those marks were. I thought they were normal.
Being fat, unhealthy, and "not like everyone else" has always been my reality.
02-08-2011, 03:34 AM
I was slightly light at birth, in an era when babies were supposed to be 'bonnie'.
I was the first born, so mother was terrified I'd dwindle and die, so she fed me up.
When my baby brother was born 18 months later, I'm told I was fine with him until they gave him a bottle, then I cried because I thought it was mine. That sense of being replaced by a better model has persisted for 53 years; also the sense of absence of food = loss of love.
We were all given food as a treat, as a consolation, as a celebration.
It was entirely kindly meant but hasn't half screwed me up! Working on it, though.
02-08-2011, 08:27 AM
In 4th grade, to be exact. 4th grade was when I went on my first "diet" (Atkins had become popular, and I was a 118lb 4th grader so my parents were concerned. I did it with my mom). It lasted only two weeks, though, and then I got frustrated cause I couldn't eat carbs. I've always been taller than most girls, even when I was a kid, and I started getting pudgy in 3rd grade. Food didn't become a problem, however, until the next year when I got depressed (it runs in my family). Soon became this vicious cycle of getting teased for being fat, eating, gaining weight, and still being teased. I used food to cope with emotional/social problems when I was 9, and I've struggled with it since then. Before 3rd grade, I was "normal," if not kind of skinny. No one in my family is "big" and I ate pretty healthily growing up...it's when I started sneaking food at 9, and inevitably getting my car and a job when I was 16 that led to the weight gain.
02-08-2011, 09:27 AM
I don't know exactly what happened... but I know it happened in 2nd grade.
Before then, I was a cute little kid, normal size (actually.. I was in beauty pageants event haha)... but over 2nd and 3rd grade, it was like I ate a balloon and it has been downhill since (until now).
Growing up in the south, I was constantly plied with vegetables....that had been soaked in butter. Or sweet tea. or rich deserts my grandmother would bake.
It reminds me of the lines to an Indigo Girls song, "Trouble came around here... Here in the South we fix something to eat." Everything in my family (a very traditional Southern family) revolves around food. Someone is born- you take them food. Someone dies- you take them food. Someone is having a tough time- take them food. Every celebration was with food.
Couple that with typical childhood and adolescent insecurities and I was growing bigger every day. I played volleyball year round in high school and trained incessantly. Even then I was overweight.
Now, at 27 and after a year of really working hard to lose weight, I'm the smallest I've been since early high school.
I can't remember NOT being overweight.
02-08-2011, 10:30 AM
I didn't start getting heavy till I left home. Our whole family ate healthy, rode bikes, lifted weights and were always in sports. Weird, but after us kids grew up and left, we ALL got heavy! Another weird thing, we all recently lost a bunch of weight. My dad lost 70 pounds, my oldest brother around 100, my mom about 30 and my middle brother just started running again and watching what he eats and lost 25 pounds in a couple months.
02-08-2011, 11:14 AM
I am entirely convinced one of the reasons I became as heavy as I did was my mother. I like Rosinate was born wildly small - I was fed constantly to make up the shortfall. After that from the age of around 4 I was oerweight, nagged constantly for it by my mother and then made to feel inadequate for it my whole life. The only yimes I have ever had what could be construed as a positive relationship with my mother has been at my thinnest. Now I weigh a lot less than I have done in years, but haven't spoken to my parents in over a year. I do not need their judgementalism or opinion on my weight loss. I will be 44 this year and although I feel I have found my secret to weight loss, old feelings run deep!
02-08-2011, 11:40 AM
my whole childhood i was around a healthy weight. sometimes on the heavier end, but i was never teased for it. i did always feel like i was hungry, and seemed to eat the same and same amounts of food as my sister. she was always told she was over weight from K/first grade and up. it seemed like i felt her pain sometimes.
i still don't know why i was slightly lighter. maybe a slight change in activity level. i'll never know. i do know i didn't really understand how she felt. i understand a bit better now. this last yr i was around the size/weight she was in high school, which was very difficult for her.
my exact moment was when i was around 7. i remember thinking that i WANTED a homemade chocolate cookie, but i wasn't hungry. i just wanted it.
i think i was just trying to comfort myself. there was a tough family environment at the time. thankfully i quickly moved out. although with my grandparents, the fairly strict controll over what we could or couldn't eat still messes with me today. i still say, since we were rarely allowed to have real cheese(i hate velveeta or american slices) and fruit except apples. i can't get enough of either.
i'm determined to teach my kids they can have everything, especially very healthy choices/foods/produce. and some foods aren't good for us so we don't have them very often- soda,chips,etc. they are in elem. school so there's alot of emphasis on what they CAN have. so many different produce options at the store for example. they are really excited about growing our own garden with foods they love.
02-08-2011, 01:33 PM
I started having a weight problem when I lost a baby. I was in my early 20's and gained 20-30 pounds I could not get off. It sort of turned into more over the next few pregnancies. I hovered around 190-200 for a long time.
The next big "burst" came after my divorce. I gained 80 pounds in less than a year. I was distressed.
I never had any issues as a kid other than eating a lot of junk my parents gave me but I wasn't fat.
02-08-2011, 07:34 PM
I have a picture of myself at about 1 year old, and my older sister (who was about 7 at the time) was holding me, and i was such a chub i was bigger around than her! My mom had had a child die before me, and she spoiled me senseless (NOT blaming her, I'm a grown up, i control what goes in my face now!) but i grew out of that fat baby stage and was thinnish til about puberty, put some on. A bit heavy in high school. Then when I moved out on my own, at about 19 or so, all the limits were off! I didn't go crazy with booze or boys LOL just ice cream and McDonalds!!!
02-08-2011, 08:30 PM
Right when I started public school and got incessantly teased, so about 8 years old. The weird thing is, I wasn't even that fat! I had a round face and was slightly chubby, but not horribly so. I also developed earlier than other girls my age (I have been the same bra size and height since I was 12). I am trying to work against 13 years of habit.
02-08-2011, 10:35 PM
I'm trying to think back to when it started for me. I was fairly small in the early grades of Elementary School. In the 2nd grade I had a belly, just remembering from home videos. I think it started in the 2nd grade. When I got to the end of Middle School, I went on a diet and lost down to a size 12/14. I got pregnant in 9th grade, and started to gain weight continually since then.
I had a bout of major depression towards the last year of college. I made the poor choice of moving in with my son's father. My son's father was not ready at all and was on another plane than I was. He left me after a little over two months. I fell into a deep depression and gained to my highest weight. I think I was in the 280s. I lost the weight down and it's been a roller coaster every since.
I'm at 249 now and trying to get to 135 or 140...somewhere around there.
02-09-2011, 10:25 AM
Fourth or fifth grade is when I start to look a little chubby in pictures. Definitely by sixth grade. I blame puberty... and since I now know I have PCOS, that's probably why that time of life made me add the pounds.
Interestingly, I wasn't THAT big even through high school. Definitely heavy, but certainly not as obese as I see some kids at my daughter's school. We just didn't have kids that big when I was growing up. Looking back at my senior prom picture, I'm definitely heavier than most girls in my class, but I'd love to be that small and shapely again.
I was diagnosed "hypo-glycemic" in high school... which is 80s-speak for insulin resistant. Focused on protein every few hours, low-fat, whole grains, no sugar. We joined the health food co-op; it was the only place we could get brown rice and whole wheat pasta. And I ballooned up even so. By college I was over 200 pounds.
I dieted off and on over the years. Low-fat. Pritikin. Protein Power. Low-fat vegetarian (the year I turned into a raging *itch!).
Diagnosed with PCOS when we tried to get pregnant in my late 20s and found I couldn't easily conceive. Took us until I was 37 to finally have a baby. By that time I was 280 lbs.
Each time I tried to lose, I was able to drop 20-30 pounds fairly easily, then it stopped. Didn't "plateau" or "slow down". Weight loss stopped. So I'd give up, and gain it back.
Last year I was dx as pre-diabetic. No real surprise, but with the use of a blood monitor I was able to immediately see the results of eating carbs on my blood glucose. Talk about feedback!
So I cut out most sugars and starches, and began monitoring my calories again. Dropped 50 pounds. And have been hovering here at 255-260 since last September. /sigh
But this time I'm not really seeing it as a diet. I know that if I go back to my higher-starch way of eating, my BG will skyrocket again. I do NOT want diabetes. It may be inevitable, but I'm going to fight it every step of the way!
So it goes pretty far back. And I'll be fighting the rest of my life. There are days when I don't really expect to get down to a normal weight. But anything under 200 lbs would take SO much pressure off my knees, ankles, heart, blood.
I WILL walk and bike and hike and canoe. I can do some even now. I WILL do more. Even if I end up with diabetes, I will control it as best I can, with food and exercise and eventually with medication.
It's no longer a race for me. It's not a diet. This is my life, with this wonderful, frustrating, broken, amazing body and its tendinitis, insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, and moods.
02-09-2011, 11:41 AM
Wow, hearing these stories is so tough, it seems like there are so many parental mistakes that can lead to children having weight problems. I'm in the midst of my own parental struggle, I have six kids, one is underweight and another is slightly overweight, and I *need* to offer one child more food and one less, but how to do this without causing problems? I'm actually going to post for advice on this on another thread so as not to hijack this one. :)
Anyway, I don't know when my eating problems started. I've had the desire to overeat for as long as I can remember, but for the most part in my house meals were only allowed at certain times of the day so I never had much chance of becoming overweight unless I snuck food (which I did, occasionally.) I know for sure that my bad self image started around 3rd grade - that's the first time I can remember trying to "diet" and it makes me so angry, because my mom was always telling me I was overweight and I look back on pictures and I was tiny!!! But my mom had problems with self-image, too, so I really can't blame her.
I believe that for some people food is an addictive substance just like alcohol and cigarettes. I've been reading up a lot on addiction lately, and there are people who can consume as much alcohol and cigarettes (and I'd say processed foods) as they want and never become addicted. There are others, however, who become chemically dependent (addicted) on these substances once they pass a certain threshold of use. I learned yesterday that sugar affects the brain in the same way heroin does... so it would make sense to me that for some people, food becomes not just an emotional addiction, but a PHYSICAL addiction. I think I'm in that category. When I eat refined foods or sugar, I can't seem to stop! If I stay away from it altogether, however, I don't have nearly the same problem with overeating.
Okay, so that was a long answer to your question. :)