Are you kidding me? She is going to weigh us in front of the whole team? Shit...My heart races, my palms start to sweat, I feel lightheaded. I think I am going to be sick...This can't be happening. I should have worked out more over the summer, I shouldn't have eaten so much...why did I do that...
"Wow Anne, what did you do all summer? EAT??" My coach announces...in front of everyone. In an instant I am transported back in time...shame, dread and guilt come rushing through me like a charging freight train. Every inch of me is in discomfort. Everyone is looking at me, whispering how fat I am, I just know it. Where can I run, how can I hide...please, just let me disappear.
I step off the scale, hold back the tears and exit the room. How could I have done this to myself? How could I have let this happen...again.? I wont eat, I will show her. I can be thin, just watch me. How fast can I lose 10 pounds?
Salads, diet cokes and double sessions in August. A recipe for disaster. I played hard, fought harder, felt miserable. Soccer wasn't even fun anymore. This had to stop.
Stress, anxiety, and obsession with food and exercise would continue to slam into me over and over again. 30 years later, I have finally decided to plant my feet on the ground and say NO MORE!
My feet firmly planted, and I am beginning to finally grow roots. Branches are beginning to reach out to others in need. I see women of all ages - from tweens to seniors who struggle with food, exercise and body image. Why? Who is it that we have to impress with what is in our grocery cart? How our butt looks in jeans? How far we can run? How much we weigh? I don't want to care anymore.
When we die, do we want our obituary to read?
She never ate anything bad for her
She was a perfect size 2
She was the fittest person I knew
And if that is the case, what is it that we want others to take away from our presence here?
Don't we all have more to offer than what is on the outside? What about things like honesty, integrity, determination, dedication, drive, teamwork, love, compassion, laughter...
I am growing my tree in a different direction. I don't care what it looks like, as long as it has lots of touch, durable branches, that spread out in different directions. It is healthy and strong. My tree appreciates the ground that supports it, the air that surrounds it, the rain and the sun that take turns nourishing it. It has learned the importance of a good foundation and has accepted that it may not look like any other tree in the forest. Actually, I think my tree rather likes that fact.