To Hell and Back: My Fitness Journey Pt. 1

Let’s start from the beginning…

Growing up I was always considered a “skinny” girl. It wasn’t until I hit puberty that my body began to form its natural curves. I can still recount the days that my family would joke about my “large butt.” JLO comparisons were the norm around the house. Even the boys at school would comment on my butt. Although their tone was never harassing in nature, they were borderline pervs. I will admit that it made me feel good on some emotional level, so I took it as a compliment at first. Still, I never got used to boys noticing me. It just made me uncomfortable.

At the time my best friends were really thin, frail even. One was tall and skinny and the other a bit shorter, but skinny nonetheless. I never truly believed I was overweight, but that never stopped me from comparing my curvy frame to their thin bodies.

It wasn’t until the summer before I began high school that my insecurities came out to play. Just before school started my best friend and I got into what seemed like the biggest fight ever. I clearly remember our heated debate via Yahoo Mail. Angry and insulting e-mails full of offensive remarks were exchanged. This was it, the first time I was called fat. Her words hit me like a train since not even I had associated myself with that word. I had obviously thought about it, but I made sure to keep it repressed in the deepest part of my mind.

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So there I was, staring at this e-mail in shock. I knew I had to reply but I felt so hurt by her two-bit comment that I just called her the same thing. I’m not sure if it had the same impact as it did for me, and I didn’t feel proud or like I had won anything. I just felt like a loser.

“Maritza look at me I’m a stick, on the other hand look at you.”

I took her cheap words so personally that I let them make me an outcast. I let the word fat control me, and even starve me. By the end of that Summer my mom had to buy me a whole new wardrobe because I had shed more than 20 pounds. I didn’t eat healthier or work out harder, I simply stopped eating. I became an expert at hiding my disorder, and I remember feeling a weird sense of pride because of it. It got to the point where it stopped hurting, and I was fine with that.

I went from a size three to a double zero in about 5 or 6 weeks. My little sister would be able to stick her hand under my rib cage. She would call it my “hole.” I had reached my goal in the most twisted way possible. I was finally as skinny as my “friends” but I still wasn’t happy. My “hole” was not just a physical void anymore. I was emotionally empty, and more insecure than I had ever been.

To be continued…

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