Food was a close, personal friend of mine for a very, very long time. My mom worked two jobs in my young adolescence and I was left home alone a lot. She did the best she could at the time and while I was angry at her for much of my life until sobriety, I recognize that she had her own problems to deal with but it took a long time to get there. I blamed her, resented her, ate at her and drank at her for many years.
At the ripe old age of 8 is when I first remember eating an entire bag of Moore’s bbq potato chips in ONE SITTING! My dinners most nights were of the frozen variety with a withered piece of meat, a frozen veggie, instant potatoes, and a “tasty” brownie or some other type of dessert. Doesn’t that sound delectable? Oh and one of my VERY best friends was LITTLE DEBBIE! Yessss!!!
This picture is from 5th grade (and DO NOT MAKE FUN OF THE MULLET). By this time in my life, I was binge eating and spending most of my time with food. I spent a lot of time alone and wasn’t allowed to play outside when my mom wasn’t home, which was a lot! I grew up in the same house until I was 12 and then we moved to a new house in a new city where I knew no one!!! I was scared and I was angry. It was at this age that I found my real love for alcohol (but that’s for another blog). Needless to say, HOT MESS didn’t begin to cover my new look. See next picture and enjoy the laugh. But seriously…look how sad I really look!
This picture is from 6th or 7th grade but my dependence on food was incredible and my weight had started to really go up. I was partying a LOT, running away from home, smoking pot like crazy which, of course, made me hungry and really just did not care about anything, including my ME!
My grandmother was an extraordinary woman who I loved so much but she put a lot of pride and energy into looks. As my weight climbed she did that typical southern grandmother ritual: have some more food but you need to watch what you’re eating. You’re getting heavy. Thus began the beginning of a soon to be MORE unhealthy me. In 7th grade, I lost weight quickly by allowing myself: Wait for it….
1 snickers bar and a Dr. Pepper each day. BOOM – I was instantly skinny!
This is my 9th-grade picture. I’m probably the healthiest in my youth, in this picture. I was smoking about a pack or pack and half of cigarettes a day here but my eating had gotten better. I had changed schools and made some of the best friends I would have in school and they loved me right where I was and I didn’t put as much focus on my body here (at least not that I remember). BUT, move forward into high school and it all goes downhill. Read on.
The featured picture that you see is me in 11th-grade. By this point in my life, I’ve had a life-changing event that wasn’t for the good and I really began to act out. I was working full-time hours, drinking nightly, going to school (another new school where I knew no one and didn’t want to know anyone) and I was hardly eating at all. I went from being a binge eater to getting healthier to borderline anorexic. I was “skinny” and refused to eat more than 9 grams of fat per day. This was during the “fat free” craze and I bought right into that concept of fat being bad. But I hated my reflection in the mirror. I could NOT GET SKINNY ENOUGH!
I stayed that way through graduating high school and then 6 months later got pregnant with my daughter. During my pregnancy, the binging started all over and thus began the adult cycle of yo-yo dieting that I’ll discuss in my next blog.
Thanks for reading and until next time!
To see more about my daily life you can find me on Instagram @Leigh_ann_page