When people ask me why I got my thunderbolt tattoo, they usually laugh and think I’m kidding when I say because of my “thunder thighs”. However, there is so much more underlying meaning behind the black inked image on my wrist.
This love, hate relationship with food developed during my childhood years. An absolute roller coaster caused by being over weight at a young age and dealing with a combination of not knowing how to manage my food intake, pleasing my peers, and falling under the pressure of the perception of what “a perfect body” should look like…
I will never forget standing in font of my peers in the 5th grade when someone said, “Kristiana you are not 90 pounds, you lied on your basketball card.” I tried my hardest to defend myself, but he was completely correct. I DID LIE. I was ten years old at 160 pounds.
It wasn’t until I moved to California when my parents had decided I needed to change my diet. Not take everything out completely, but modified what I was consuming and having “snacks” or “junk food” moderately. Boy was that a trip. It was a difficult time for me because I was so prone to my ways of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But I appreciated that they pushed me because it taught me how to be mindful of what I am putting in my body.
Come the summer before 7th grade, I had lost weight after my first year in California. But that summer, that was when I drastically lost it all. I went from 145 to 112 in those short 3 months. I felt amazing and when I started school I actually felt acknowledged a lot more. I had my first boyfriend that year. (Sorry mom and dad) But a few short months into the school year, I got an intense skin breakout and it was due to me not eating enough food. I was so distraught! I said, but how, how is this possibly happening to me when I am finally feeling good about myself. Then there I was again, self conscious and trying to hide more about myself.
The skin breakout went away after long treatments and countless visits to the dermatologist. Finally 8th grade was a stable year, I was eating and my skin was fine.
Following that was high school, the “biggest 4 years” of your life. High school, I was active by playing sports and what not. I always tried to make sure I was teetering between 125-135. Senior year hit and I was 145. I was so upset and kept asking myself what is going on! How?! There I was again, where I was before 7th grade. So I dieted and went back to basics and cut out unnecessary food out of my daily intake. It was fall of 2009 and I knew I had prom coming up in the spring that I didn’t wanna “look bad” in a dress.
At the time I was running cross country, so I felt good getting in our miles everyday and improving on my times during each meet. However, in the area I live in fall means it is around 90-100 degrees in September. I had a meet around that time and I told myself I’m loosing weight so no carbs. Along with not eating, I failed to remind myself to hydrate. My whole family came to the meet so I was ecstatic to see everyone there to cheer us on. As I was running, I felt absolutely energized. So I thought… I thought I had hit the finish line and completed the race. Until, I woke up in the back of an ambulance, completely disoriented. I asked, “What is going on?! Did I finish in time?!” What a crazy question knowing I’m clearly in an ambulance right?! Like I said, completely disoriented. Apparently, in reality, I had fainted about 500 meters from the finish line. Absolutely collapsed and my dad had to run and take all the water from the sidelines to try use it to get me up. I had gotten hit with a heat stroke in combination with me being malnourished, didn’t make anything better. Of course in the hospital my parents asked me, “did I eat and hydrate.” When they knew the exact answer to that before I even had to open my mouth. My parents threatened to take me off of sports if that is the way I wanted to handle my body. Moving forward, I made sure to “eat correctly” the remainder for my senior year.
College, oh lovely college. Those I would say were the biggest 4 years of my life. Moving out to the dorms and being given the immediate freedom after high school; was amazing! I said to myself, “Omg, I can leave my room…without having to ask anyone?!” Haha typical thought process of a child who pretty much only had the location range of school, sports, and home. What did this mean, I also had access to all these amazing new food around and… alcohol. My first job was at the dining commons on campus, so I was surrounded my food for my 8 ours of work. I took pride in being able to make massive burritos for everyone or beautiful sandwiches. Not only did I make them all, but yes; I consumed everything. My weight fluctuated, my emotions all over the place, and a constant battle with myself.
Today, I am currently in a better place with food and my perception of myself. This year, I plan to work towards a happy median between you and I food. Let’s see where we end up. Stoked to enjoy this year with you, family, friends, festivities, and more.
Cheers to twenty nineteen Nomsters.