(continued from “My Story“)
Although I’ve been classified as over-weight even from a very early age, I don’t remember being all that phased about it. The only person who seemed to have an issue was my mom’s sister Natalie (my not so favourite aunt and I’ll tell you why in a bit), but looking back now, I know she was genuinely concerned about my puppy fat, as my grandmother referred to it, as a problem on concern, and guess what, she was right. By the early age of six I was wearing a dress size suitable for a child twice my age and that’s when Natalie could no longer bite her tongue and took matters into her own hands.
Now comes the part why Natalie was not my favourite aunt …. firstly, Natalie banned all treats from the house and ordered my mother not to encourage the matter. The only time I was allowed a treat was on a Friday, after school, and it was nothing more than a single biscuit. Secondly, Natalie took it upon herself to drive to and from our house to dish and feed me my meals. She dished out controlled portion-sizes and every meal included vegetables. I never had issues with meat or potatoes, but refused to eat vegetables even when they were being forced down my throat (quiet strange considering I was a vegetarian up until my demise of my Catholic father). Nevertheless, Natalie stood her ground, through numerous tantrums and tears and left no room for negotiation. If I spat out my vegetables, she simply covered my plate with cellophane, put the food in the refrigerator and sent me to bed hungry. In the morning she would have returned and was the first face I saw at the breakfast table, serving up last-nights spat up dinner. I would once again perform with a round of tears and I would beg and plead my mother to intervene, but she was on strict instructions herself and was eventually forced out of my sight during meal times. With enough persistence and perseverance, Nat’s plan started to work. Eventually I learnt it was better to force the veggies down the night they were actually cooked as apposed to the alternative. I know this sounds very cruel and I can honestly say my goal for many years was to head-butt Natalie, but there is something to be said about tough love. Today I can’t imagine my life without vegetables. I should really be thanking her.
My weight was pretty steady after my boot-camp training with Natalie. I was still chubby, but I was getting in a lot of exercise at school, so the problem was more manageable. The year following that, I attended boarding school, so my food was once again being monitored by someone else, coupled with the fact we had to partake in sport, seemed to be the key factor with getting my weight under control. Most of the female teenagers I know, develop their weight issues in high school, but once again, I don’t remember being all that phased about it. The older I got; I seemed to be getting more exercise in. If I wasn’t busy with sports practice, I was walking home from school or out on the weekends with my friends. It was only when I left school that my problem really got out of control.