Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My Weight, My Life: Part 1 (1985 - 1992)

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." ~ Thomas Jefferson

This story is long.....and quite personal, but I'm willing to share it.

In 1985 I was only 10yrs old. I had just started 6th grade at Greenbriar Public School in Bramalea, Ontario (Population +120 thousand...at the time). I was a hyper kid, I talked a lot (and still do) and made friends easily. I was never a skinny kid and tended to be on the plump side, but at this point in my life weight hadn't yet been a big problem. During grade 6, 7 and 8 my popularity grew. I wasn't the coolest or most athletic kid in school, but I could hold my own.

The one thing that I really had going for me was that I had quite a few older friends (2-4 yrs older....but is a lifetime at that age). These older friends were very popular at high school. One of them was the captain of the football team, another was a star of the basketball team and D.J'd all the recreation center dances which was one of the most popular events of the time. These guys were also good friends and they let me tag along a lot, hang out behind the D.J booth etc....which helped with my popularity.

Towards the end of grade 8 everything seemed to be going great. After a few years of playing football I played Right Tackle on a AAA football team called the 'Bramlea Bulldogs' in which I was the top defensive player. I was the head organizer for our graduation dance because of my connections. It was the summer holidays and High School was just around the corner. I was sooooo excited. Especially since because of my older friends I didn't have to worry about being initiated or being picked on like everyone else.......life couldn't be better.

Then we moved.

My dad had started a new job in Aurora, Ontario about a 1hr drive away. They had been considering a move North for sometime. We moved to Bradford, Ontario (Population 5,500 at the time)....which was considered the boonies to people from Bramalea. The move occurred just shortly before high school started and I only managed to meet 2 people close to my own age before I started. Unfortunately they were just starting grade 7 & 8 which meant I didn't know anyone on my first day.

Grade 9 was a terrible year for me. Bradford High was a very clicky school. Because Bradford was small a lot of the students were bused in from surrounding areas. Most of the students had known each other for many years before attending High School. I spent the majority of grade 9 and part of grade 10 alone. I had very few friends, I went home for lunch and didn't participate in any after school activities.

Up until this point in my life I went through periods where I was chunky, followed by small growth spurts that would distribute my weight more evenly. Just before grade nine I was starting to get chunky again, which was exasperated greatly by the move.

This was the beginning of my struggle with weight. I turned to food to comfort myself. I became an emotional eater and packed on weight fast. By the middle of grade 9 I was over 150 lbs at just over 5' tall and my self esteem was extremely low.

Things improved during the mid-point of the next year. I became friends with someone that was in a few of my classes from the year before and he slowly started to introduce me to his group of friends. Towards the end of grade 10 I was part of this group of friends, but my problems weren't over yet. My eating habits hadn't changed. I gained even more weight even though I was slowly growing. Sometimes I wondered if the guys really like me or if they just kept me around to be the butt end of all their jokes. I can't remember when, but at some point my nickname became 'Piggy' based on the character from 'Lord Of The Flies'. I don't think they really realized just how much their teasing hurt. The one good thing about hanging out with this group was they were very active and participated in almost every sport related activity during lunch and after school.

Through the remaining years of High School I became very close with this group of friends. I became more physically active and grew to my current height 5' 10" by the end of grade 12.....but I was still quite squishy at around 205 lbs.

The summer of 1992 was an important time for me. I was excepted into Georgian College for 'Law & Security' which was my stepping stone on the road to becoming a police officer.....something that I had always dreamed about. Motivated by this dream I started to eat healthier and took up running to prepare myself for the timed 1.5 mile runs that I would be doing the next year.

The story continues in Part 2........But before I end this part I want to say something important to my parents.....just in case they read this. Their decision to move was a good one. Bramalea was getting over populated and more dangerous by the day. Its unfortunate how my first years of high school turned out....But they helped be become the person I am today. I hold no resentment towards them or the outcome of my life.




Blogger Twice the Man said...

I can relate to much of your story, having been in a less then supportive marriage for 2 years.

7:59 p.m.  

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