I have invisible curves. A story of a slender girl trying to be healthy
By Sara Gamachu
I have been skinny all my life. Bullies in 6th grade called me Boney Knobs. I actually hate the words skinny and short. My mom constantly worried about my weight for many years. From the time, I was born in Addis Ababa till we returned almost 3 years ago. The difference is I am happy with my size.
When I was married, I got mixed messages about food. I did not always get the food I was craving during my pregnancy. I was confused if I was entering a new stage of my abnormal eating. One food I enjoyed was eating Lunchables. These delicious small portions of foods were the best thing ever invented. Another meal that I enjoyed was the Smucker’s Peanut Butter and Jelly individual sandwiches, which I thought, were the best way to eat well and enjoy the taste of food. To my dismay, I was told that foods like these were childish and became outlawed from my diet. I was than eating foods that Alan considered normal.
During my pregnancy, I realized how scared I was that my weight could affect the child inside of me. I fell in love with Boost my companion in my battle with the bone. I was told to eat everything on my plate, which was difficult because most meals came in a large and my digestion just was not pleased with that. Taking food home to eat later became a problem because I did not always eat the food in time so why waste the money in doggy bagging it. Can you see the problem I was facing during what should have been the happiest days of my life?
Sometime after we arrived in Holeta, my weight played the yoyo game. When I left the States, I weighed like 115 pounds. It was a weird feeling since the last time I saw that on the scale I was about to have my son. I was told not to stress and eat normally. Within a few months, I was eating and feeling better. A new environment with different food. We ate plenty of organic fruit with various pastas. Plus the regular enjera and wat. I ate as much as I could and got used to things.
It was difficult at first when I craved the comfort food from the States. I discovered that there were equivalents here sold in the supermarkets. Occasionally I would get a container of Pringles in a big or mini size. I soon found out that Hot and Spicy was just that and then some. It made self-control a little better since I was not a spicy food kind of person. So I would stick with eat what you know rule.
Soon my waistline grew with the food I ate. Pasta dinner nights became my favorite. We discovered sliced cheese and other condiments that made my mouth water. I was eating pretty well. When we had traditional food, I kept the spicy ones at a distance. This is unusual because several foods had a kick to it. It is hard to explain that I did not eat it because my stomach would not settle afterwards.
After a while, my appetite grew used to things. I occasionally sample semi hot foods. Problem is sampling leads to eating more. My body let me know it did not agree with that theory. I would than not eat as much due or fear of the battle inside of me. Smaller portions became my new rule.
The fear of falling off the eating disorder wagon would cross my mind. So I change what I eat with the smaller portions. The problem was quantities did not match my portions. The lets not waste food became aware. So I had to choose the norm or my needs.
Even with looks of guilt, I stuck to my rule. It was hard because I knew my body. If it were something I really liked I would eat a lot. I tried to stay relaxed, which helps my digestion. Several times, I apologized for my lack of hunger. Yes, I was a picky eater.
These days I have a feeling my son will be like me slender with lots of energy. My current goal is to work on my muscles and my back. Yeah I had scoliosis that same year I dealt with bullying. Got two iron rods on my spine to keeping me company.