My First Time…

Do you remember your first time?…I do.

And I have your attention now, don’t I?! (Don’t worry Mom…this isn’t what you think.)

No, I’m not talking about the first time you kissed someone. Not the first time you were put in time out either.  Not the first time you ate the deliciousness that is duck (yes, randomly I remember the time – 1994 – and place – Garabaldi Square – that I first had that scrumptious bird). Not talking about the first time you skipped class or the first time you drove a car.  Not the first time you fought with your parents, or your first break-up.

Some of you may not have had your first time yet…and that’s quite ok. In fact – I envy you for it.

Confused yet?  Well…I’ll explain.

Do you remember the first time you were made aware that you were different from everyone else? More specifically, if you’ve ever had a struggle with your weight, the very first time that you were made painfully aware that you are fat…that you didn’t look like the popular girls…the moment that started the awful cycle of self-consciousness that you would spend the majority of your life trying to break away from.

I remember the exact moment.

I wasn’t a large child…as far as elementary school is concerned, I don’t recall being overweight.  I guess I could let you be the judge…

Yay! This post has visual aids!

Me - Age 6ish

5th or 6th Grade

I was active when I was younger…gymnastics, chasing my younger sister around, spending every minute of my summer vacation running up and down the beach…I definitely was of average stature.  And then came 7th grade…not only are you at your most awkward and unfortunate stage of life in 7th grade…but the Jr. High “caste” system starts to rear its ugly head.  I was nerdy and in the band…not only that, but I had the most ungodly buck teeth east of the Mississippi…so, I already had a few strikes against me. I wasn’t bullied….and I don’t even know that anyone (to my face anyway) made fun of my weight or noticed that I was rocking the XL Duck Head shorts with the thick cuff vs. the small ones.  But I remember THE moment…the moment when I became uncomfortable with my size.

Me - circa 7th grade.

It was 1994…McClintock Jr. High School in Charlotte…I was in Mrs. Baldwin’s science class…I’ve got no earthly idea what we were talking about, or why it was even important…but whatever the discussion was, our weight was somehow important.  We went around the room…everyone saying their weight out loud. I was close to the end…everyone had said their number: 92, 89, 95, etc…and then it was my turn.  I don’t even remember what my number was…all I remember is that my weight had 3 digits…and everyone else’s was 2. For all I know, it could have been 100 with the person before me weighing 99 pounds…but it didn’t matter. My weight was 3 digits…I was too young for 3 digits…I was such an outsider…what other 7th grader has a 3-digit weight?

From that very moment forward, every time I looked in the mirror, my very first thought was that I was repulsive and abnormal. I had labeled myself as the fat girl. And that same negative, internal dialogue has continued for 17 years since that day in Mrs. Baldwin’s class.  I had convinced myself that when I walk in a room that people couldn’t possibly be talking about anything other than the size of my ass or the wiggle in my arms. I hated (and to a degree still hate) what I allowed myself to become. I felt like I disappointed my parents because they had a fat daughter. All of this because of triple digits…

At my heaviest...

Embarrassment over 3 stupid numbers has done life-long damage that I am desperate to undo. Not only is this a journey to change my physical appearance…but it’s a trek to finally learning to love myself.  As my own worst critic…I don’t know what part is harder.

And as far as the ‘3 digits’ is concerned…I know I’m a member of that club forever (not a huge fan of the 92-pound skeleton look)…but I refuse to be a member of the 200 club for much longer.  Down another 2.6 this week…15 pounds total. Seems like such slow motion. I feel like I’ve been blabbing to you for months on end!

There have been moments of weakness…moments that I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere. YOU have kept me going…Your encouragement, your openness about similar struggles…Your notion that I am inspiring you is the biggest complement I have ever received.

15 Pounds Lighter!!

I am doing all of this for me…but I am enjoying every step of this voyage with you.  I can never thank you enough for cheering me along.  Love to you all. ~ HH

“It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine.”  – Byron Katie

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5 thoughts on “My First Time…

  1. Hannah,
    There is only ONE THING wrong with your posts! We want more of them. You are without a doubt, as has been said before, a born writer. Who would have thought that a blog about weight loss would have us waiting for the next word. Of course that is because you make it about so much more. For years I have turned my head each time I came near a mirror. After a while I didn’t even think about it. It was like … well …. breathing. Take a picture of me ?? No thanks. Like you I am on my journey back to who I truly am. Thank you for your inspiration and for sharing your journey.

  2. Hannah, you are doing fantastic! Do not be discouraged if it does not feel like it is going fast enough. Trust me, if you stay on your plan it will happen and at some point it’s going to start happening fast. Just seems to work that way whether it’s a diet, a conditioning program, learning a language or whatever. Just keep your goal in your sights and keep energizing yourself with all the support you are getting! You know that we love you unconditionally. But at the same time, we are always hoping for you to have the happiest, healthiest, most rewarding life possible. I’m convinced you are now moving in a direction to assure that will happen! Keep up the great work!

  3. Hannah–WOW!!!!! You look gorgeous! I am here with Grandmother and she agrees that you look healthy and happy! So proud of you!
    Love, Jinnette

  4. Hannah,
    With your words and moments in your life, you have also taken me back to your younger years….I still love you as I did then and only wish I could have known the struggles you were facing at such a young age. BUT, you are still young and I am still here celebrating ALL of your successes..and YOU do look beautiful! I’m very proud of the the way you have involved everyone in your adventure and leading all of us to self-checking how we all look at ourselves in the mirror. Let’s take a walk soon. Love, MOM

  5. Hannah-
    1. You look gorgeous
    2. You are doing an amazing job. You have so much to be proud of 🙂
    3. Whatever Teacher made students say their weight out loud should be fired. I cant imagine what I would have done. I would have been running out of that class room to find the nearest cookie possible 😉
    4. You have always been beautiful, Seriously I remember in highschool always thinking how beautiful you were inside and out, I wanted to be like you 🙂

    I love you Hannah. You’re doing great.

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