(this is a two-part post. The second part will appear tomorrow)
I used to be fat. I also used to be very lethargic and confused.
On one hand, I have always learned very quickly. This made me lazy. On the other hand, I didn't know how to point my mind at tasks. I didn't know how to learn...yet.
Well I remember the tears, the crying hours, head against the desperate, damp notebooks. In school I had grasped math quickly, even taught the slow students. But now, studying at home, faced with only a textbook, a pencil, and the paper, I was failing dismally.
Some days, the words and symbols would combine magically in my mind, blending together with my knowledge and spitting out my pencil-fingers with the ecstatic, powerful joy of dragonflame. Other days, I couldn't even write a single problem.
When I did think well, I left a dismal wreckage of scribbles, hasty answers, and dubious methods. I loathed double-checking. Answers were either brilliantly good or carelessly wrong.
The cryings continued for years. I didn't tell my parents. I felt ashamed and incapable of improvement. I became more lazy. Convinced of my inability, I stopped trying. I loathed myself for doing poorly. I despised myself for giving up. As the tears dribbled down, I banged my head against the table in desperation. I didn't know what else to do.
The story of being overweight is very similar. A visit to the nutritionist didn't help. A multitude of diets came and went. I learned the reality of operant condition before I knew the name -- I still have trouble eating pineapple. It reminds me of all the other weird foods I had to eat. It reminds me of the annoying calorie sheet I tried to live by.
It didn't work.
I feared the scale. I feared bathing. I feared the mirror most of all.
I knew for sure that I could never do anything worthwhile. I prayed to God and asked him to magically remove my fat in the night. I despised myself for praying that.
When I was entering my teens, I had no self-respect. I had no discipline. I was a wreck.