I was never obese enough to trigger health concerns, but I was always plump most of my childhood. My parents used food to make me happy. I use food to make others happy now.
When I entered junior high school I was fat. In high school and college I was still fat. Right up until a few year before I entered the Big Brother house in 2003 I was pretty much fat, having hit my peak at 192 pounds in 1999. My size never stopped me from entering contests or playing piano in a gospel band, or leading my senior class in high school as Class President. My confidence was never shattered because my body was thicker than someone else’s.
I guess I was just living in a state of pleasant plumpness.
Yesterday I got asked:
The first time I ever really did something towards weight loss I was 23 years old, and I’d ballooned up to those 192 pounds. I got there after discovering weed when I moved out of my parents’ home at 19. I smoked every day and ate whatever I wanted as late as I wanted, and I never worked out so of course I gained weight. The first year I smoked I got the munchies like an exorcism, and I was making good money so I ate extravagantly. Oink.
The second year into my marijuana discovery I slowed down everything a little bit, but got to my peak weight and hated it. I wasn’t necessarily ashamed of it, but I knew I couldn’t keep gaining weight at that rate. So I dragged my fat Korean ass to my doctor and asked to be put on a weight loss program. My career and love life, both, had hit a point where I had to give a little gas to make better things happen. It was an easy decision for me to start taking better care of my body. I know it isn’t for everyone.
I never had surgery or took any pills, and simply followed a 3-month program of healthy eating and exercise to “cleanse” my system. In those 3 months I nearly died a few times, dramatically of course, because I wasn’t accustomed to strict diet or real cardio. The first two weeks seemed like I was on a fast of lettuce and beans, but thankfully I didn’t have to work out very much while getting guidance from my doctor.
I drop two pounds the first month, and hated everybody from the girl jogging down the street to the guy eating a burger at lunch. I kept going because I knew how lame I’d look giving up a month in, and so when I dropped seven pounds the second month I was relieved I hadn’t given up on the program. I had given up all my hot and cheesy breakfasts and stuck to yogurt and fruit and dry toasts. Lunches were always salads with a healthy protein and sometimes soup. It was no more takeout dinners and instead steamed this and that with plenty of vegetables.
Month three turned out even better results and I was actually enjoying exercise for the first time in my fat life, and my doctor told me I could once again eat some junk every once in a while but in moderation. I continued with the healthy eating and working out. My boyfriend at the time, Jee, and I went on vacation to celebrate and I got called a “fat tub whale” in the pool by a little boy at our hotel. So much for all the progress I had made because that random kid crushed me with his one comment. A kid!
When I returned from fat tub whale vacation I started eating less and working out more. This resulted in my fainting a few times, once on the F train into Manhattan during morning rush hour with Whitney Houston blaring in my ears as I drifted in and out of consciousness. My fellow F-trainers had pulled my lifeless body out onto the platform at the next stop, and I was whisked off to the emergency room. To this day I can’t listen to back-to-back Whitney because it reminds me of that morning.
I realized in the hospital bed that day that I was developing an eating disorder trying to run on as little food as possible while I worked out twice a day. I was 108 pounds that day I fainted on the F train. It was my lowest weight as an adult, and it scared me.
After that incident but before I entered the Big Brother house years later, I was at healthier weights depending on what was going on in my life. I stress-ate in between boyfriends and break-ups. Somewhere in the 130s I remained for years, and when I went on Big Brother 4 I was in the 120s. I left the BB house $500,000 richer and nearly 20 pounds heavier. I stress-ate. I got made fun of, and still get made fun of for it.
If you put yourself on television, then you’re going to be made fun of.
Leaving the house I was tanned and brown and fuller everywhere from my face to ankles, but I didn’t care. I’d won, and I’d return home richer and more motivated to get a gym membership to work my fat ass off. It’s been like that since I left the BB house. I fluctuate the same ten pounds every year, except the year I was pregnant.
I poke fun at people’s weight gain on Big Brother and poke fun at people’s weight loss on Survivor. I’m not an expert on topics of weight, but I will tell you it can’t be easy for GinaMarie right now. If her stories of bulimia are true, then she is probably struggling under the cameras and microphones each day…just like she probably struggles in real life.