A list of my life’s most significant events in relation to my weight

By Michelle Flores

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  1. When I looked my healthiest (read: thinnest), I was 16 years old. I was 180 pounds. I was swimming 2-5 hours a day. I ate nothing with a high cholesterol count because I was taking Accutane and I couldn’t let the side effects take away my chance at perfect skin. (Here’s the catch; my acne came back with a vengeance sophomore year of college.)
  2. In college, after gaining the freshman 15, I tried to lose weight again. A few months into this process, my father called me in a disorientated panic. My mother had to be hospitalized because of a brain tumor. She needed emergency surgery. I couldn’t see her until the next day because the last flight from Tallahassee left 20 minutes before he called me. When I finally made it to the hospital, she didn’t recognize me. I gained 20 more pounds, thereby making it over my 200 pound threshold.
  3. When I was in my first year at NYU, I maintained my weight at a solid 220. I walked 5-10 miles a day. I ate cafeteria meals twice a day. Regular dinners consisted of pickle back whiskey shots and dive bar DJs in Williamsburg.
  4. When my mother died, Fridays and Saturdays were a haze of post work shots, free beers, and midnight “Don’t tell me your name I don’t want to know you” hookups. I hovered around 230.
  5. A few months after meeting Louie, I realized I was pregnant. I was on birth control. I binged on anything that would quiet the sadness within me, quiet Nicky’s voice telling me this was a time to be happy. By the end of my third trimester, I was 290.
  6. We moved to Jacksonville. I’d lost most of my baby weight. Stress and a new work schedule turned me into the “Oops, I forgot to eat my lunch again” kinda person. I was 220. I got pregnant again (this time we planned it… sort of).
  7. Happy isn’t the right word to describe the second pregnancy. I was at peace. I was in control again. We wanted another baby. We made one. I had a small idea of how to handle pregnancy and those first few months of life. At first I only craved salad. Still, I continued to gain weight. Eventually I ballooned back up to 280.
  8. I lost all my baby weight within the first 6 weeks of having Violet. I gained it all back a few months after returning to work.
  9. Violet and I have the same kind of body. We are strong. We take up space.
  10. I don’t know how much I weigh anymore.

– Michelle Flores