Growing up I was a typical beanpole tomboy. I could eat anything I wanted, which may have spurted me up, but never out. I was so thin that my hipbones jutted out, my collarbone showed, and my ribs were covered, but not by much. I never tried to be skinny, I just was. I had a super charged metabolism and so did my mama. From about the age of 5 up until about 15 I was tall, as in I was 'that' girl. You know, the one taller than the boys.
Now I'm 5'10" and for a while, due to compression from all the accidents & injuries, I was down to 5'8". I kid you not, seriously I lost two whole inches of height. Thanks to chiropractic, massage therapy, and doing a lot of physical therapy, I am back to my full natural height. So yeah, I'm still taller than a lot of men out there, but I'm okay with that.
Back to the skinny girl/fat girl thing, I went through all my pregnancies and each and every time I snapped right back to a trim figure and went home in regular clothes that I wore pre-pregnancy. No dieting, no working out, nada. Just gave birth. The lowest I remember being in regards to weight at this height was a very unhealthy 118 lbs., which came about due to severe stress and not any form of trying to lose it. My first husband sat me down on my 22nd birthday to hand me a present and then proceeded to tell me he wasn't happy being married to me, was in love with someone else, and wanted a divorce. Surprise!
Hitting my 30's didn't change my metabolism or body type either. I barely noticed my 30th, and didn't spend one minute in denial or angst over it either. I just am not one of those women who freak out about aging. Psshh, I earned every grey hair, every crease & wrinkle baby, they're mine, I am not theirs, and I'm okay. Fuggetaboutit! Not to say I don't dye my hair, I do. I have since I was 18. For fun, to try new things. Yes, in part, it is now to cover the greys, but I wouldn't lose it if I were to be unable to dye and have to go natural tomorrow.
What changed my life, and size, was a freak accident involving a horse. My husband bought me a gorgeous palomino filly for my engagement present. So, right after we married in June I began working with her on ground work and manners. She had none. One day in late August after I had finished with her, I walked her out to the pasture, went to put her through the gate, and the other horses crowded her. She panicked. Into me. Repeatedly. Against a 5-bar steel gate. Until the gate, myself, and the filly crashed to the concrete pad just behind us.
There I was, lying on a cold slab of concrete, on top of a twisted and mangled gate, the filly and all her 750 lbs. mostly on top of me. Then she began thrashing around to get off. What I was once she finally made it to her feet is more than I care to completely recall, nor do I have sufficient words to describe it, but I can tell you this, it was bad y'all. I was one big, hot mess of pain. All I can remember thinking is how incredibly awful I felt, and that nothing up to that point had ever hurt me so much. I had to crawl down to the barn, over crushed gravel, and passing out a few times along the way. Once there, I grabbed the bucket sitting under the phone on the wall and I threw it, over and over again, until finally it knocked the phone down. I was praying the entire time it wouldn't break into pieces when it landed.
Luckily for me, it didn't break. It actually landed on me. I dialed my husband's cell and when he answered, I think for quite a while, all he heard was me sobbing hysterically. Finally he was able to get the gist of my garbled, sob filled story, and he told me he was on his way home. I passed out at least one more time. He got there, and by then I was sitting up, and when he pulled into the barnyard I stood up on my own. We got to the hospital and I was to find out I had torn muscles, pulled muscles, bruised bones, deep tissue hematomas, and a mild concussion, etc.
It hurt to breathe, move, and I don't think I did much of the latter for days and days afterward. I did my best on the pain pills and muscle relaxers to still be up and get my girls off to the bus, to make supper in the evenings, but those mornings & afternoons in between, well, I was in a medicated fog, mostly on the sofa, praying the pain would go away and leave me in peace. Over the next 8 months, even though I was actually eating less than before the accident, I gained weight, and a lot of it. I went from a healthy size 7 to a size 16. I hated how I looked, how I felt, and how it made me so unhappy.
Over these past 12 years since that accident there have been others. I have been hit by a semi-truck, a car, and have fallen down the stairs, on slick ice, and the one I can't recall, fallen from the ATV this past June. I have now sustained 5 concussions, numerous muscle tears, pulls, strains, sprains, vertebral compression, nerve damage, broken and bruised bones, and have put on an extra 115 lbs. of fat. Being that broken and hurting doesn't easily allow one to keep active in the gym. I've been in & out of physical therapy so many times, and for the record, I do my exercises every single day.
When I can't do them all, I do what I can. Sneezing can put my back out. Being hugged does it to. It all depends on the day and the mood my body is in. I have tried so many diets, and am on my 3rd gym. I have found one that I feel comfortable in, that I feel is working for me. No judgement, just help and guidance when I ask for it.
I cry when I'm alone and no one can see or hear me. I cry because I do truly feel like that skinny girl I was my entire life, one who is trapped in a fat suit and no one can get her out. There are times I look in the mirror and am shocked at my body. I hate photos being taken of me, and I realized the other day, I have very little photographic memories of myself with my children, and now with my granddaughter Sora. I want to change that. I want to be able to be okay being in photos with them. Make memories of now for the future. But mostly I want the zipper to go down, step out of this thing, and be me again.
Me at age 5 with my Mama
Age 17 & about to graduate high school, size 5
Age 23, size 5
Age 31, equestrian college, size 7
Age 40, size 18