Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why I am the way I am....

Serious Blog Post Warning!

For the most part, I have been pretty athletic in my life.  I started playing softball when I was around 10.  I played volleyball, but never played for the school team. (Because the coach hated me.  No seriously. She did.)  And I know that when I say this, you will say "What? You geek. That's not athletic!" But I was on the color guard, aka flagline, in marching band.  You may think that it's not athletic, but it really is!

Then in college, I was in Air Force ROTC. (I wanted to be a fighter pilot.) And let me tell you, they don't let you be out of shape.  Really.  Although, according to them, I was overweight.  Yeah... I was a size 8 or 10 at the time, but I was overweight. *sigh*  I also was on the crew (aka rowing) team/club.

But then came the first point in my life that I was truly overweight - when I was in an unhappy marriage.  Yeah.. I know.  It was stupid to get married at age 21.  Some people can do it! I wasn't one of them.  And he was a *BLEEP*.  :D  Then, after the divorce, miracle of miracles!  I lost the weight.  I started watching what I was eating and going to the gym.  It was great!  When I lived in Arizona, I stayed in shape by going to the gym and watching the food intake.  I got involved with Krav Maga (Israeli Self-defense/fighting technique).  Now that was addictive!  I practically lived there. 

But then......  grad school.  Dun dun DUN!!! At first it was okay.  Really, it was.  And then......  the grad student that was my prof's kicking bag was kicked out of grad school by said professor.  And guess who got the crap end of the stick? Oh you guessed it!  ME!  Keep in mind that I can handle hard work.  The work didn't bother me.  Getting abused by my professor did.  It was seriously like an abusive relationship, but instead of being able to say "Kiss my @$$ buddy, there's the door!", I had to take it.  My choices were 1) To give up everything I had worked for since I was 12 years old, but be happy. Or 2) Grit my teeth and push through it all, but be miserable and possibly lose myself in the process.  I chose to stay and get my degree. And I have to be honest.  There are days that I don't know if it was worth it. 

That experience changed me and not in a good way.  Every day, I had questioned whether I was going to get yelled at, never knowing what was going to set him off.  And I'm not talking just yelling. I'm talking the inch away from my face where spit actually hit me, threatening kind of yelling.  Not to mention that there were times I thought I was going to have to physically defend myself.  Then there was the verbal abuse.  Even other professors were shocked at what he would say to me.  (He didn't care if he had an audience or not. After all, what could happen to him?)  It was at a point where if we had one-on-one meetings, I would tape record the conversations just in case something happened, I would have proof.

And that was when I stopped working out and started eating.  I think why I became overweight and why I still remain overweight boils down to a few factors. 1) Being unhappy.  I used to cry all of the time.  It was a miserable place to be in my life, and I still feel traces of it now. 2) Lack of confidence.  I allowed him to destroy any confidence I had in myself.  To the point where I still have trouble speaking up about my professional opinion. 3)  Being overweight gives me a great excuse to not put myself out there and to stay in my comfort zone.  And 4) And probably the most important: He took away any control I had in my life.  That is a very, very scary thing for me.

The problem is, I'm still not over it.  I know I went through all of that for years before I could get out, and that I should realize that it is going to take me a while to work through those issues.  But the fact of the matter is, I have to.  If I want to get control back in my life, I have to work through these issues, grab the reins, and guide myself back on track.

So that's a shortened (Did I really say it was short? HA!) version of why I got to the place that I am.  Now... I just have to confront my demons and push forward.

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