The Skinny Girl Wants Out!


woman weighing herself on a scale trying to lose weight

I have struggled with weight all my life—all 46 years. My first weight loss memories are of attending Weight Watchers with my mom when I was in 3rd grade—1981. I don’t think it lasted long, but it did last long enough for me to be excited to lose 3 lbs. and get $3. I remember going into PE to tell my teacher about my accomplishment. I also have early memories of attending Jazzercise—I think I was in 5th or even into 6th grade? Just me and a bunch of older women in the community room of the nearby church exercising those pounds off.

I also remember doctor visits—to the family doctor, pediatrician, and gynecologist—all telling me that it would be easier to lose weight now than when I was older. I remember trying the Cleveland Clinic diet which involved raw beets and raw tuna. Of course, I tried Slim Fast, too, and there was also a 1,200 calorie diet in there somewhere. My weight was an “issue” from very early on.  

Since college, I have weighed as much as 280 lbs. and as little as 195 lbs. I have tried prescription medication, a personal trainer, weight loss classes, and even having gastric bypass surgery. I have been to enough nutritionists to be able to teach them a thing or two. I am four years post-gastric bypass and although I lost 80 lbs., I have gained half of that back.

My current situation: I see a personal trainer two times a week and go to the gym at least one other time that week. My hope was that moving to California would be the magic pill I needed. Who wouldn’t be motivated to walk, bike, and, dare I say, “run,” while experiencing the amazing San Francisco Bay climate? Apparently, not me.  

About two months ago, my husband and I went to a local gym and signed up. It really needed to be a “rip off the band-aid” type approach for me. And, I am happy to say, it’s working.  The scales haven’t moved much, but the clothes do fit differently, and my attitude sure has improved. It took me 46 years to weigh what I do; I suppose I need to cut myself some slack in order to lose some of that.  

For the longest time, I thought, I am not an emotional eater. I just love food!  Well, guess what? Love is an emotion. I know that I will always struggle with food and exercise and self-love. As I begin to accept that, things will change, not because they must but because I want them to. My constant motivation is my children. I want them to have healthy lifestyles, but I also want them to see that people struggle, and mom is not perfect. 

Just like most women, I have “skinny clothes” and “clothes that fit me now,” and if I have the closet space, I will keep it that way. And fortunately, I have a husband who loves me no matter what. Cliché? Maybe, but he does. My battle with weight will be lifelong—it’s part of who I am. I have felt the embarrassment of not fitting into a ride at an amusement park and the triumph of not having to buy clothes in a plus sized store.  I have never felt discriminated against, though.

I think in part it’s because I know that I have control. I have not chosen to be overweight; it is just what I am. I know that there are both nature and nurture issues at work, and I will continue to do what I can to simply be healthy—whatever that might look like for me at any given time.

So maybe I should reconsider how I titled this piece. I think it’s more that The Healthy Girl Wants Out.


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Tracy is a Lead Instructor for Darkness to Light, a child sexual abuse prevention organization and serves as a College and Career Advisor for Students Rising Above. She grew up in northeast Ohio, and has lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Northern Virginia and has worked in the arts, in education, in non-profits and in ed tech. Her husband's job brought them to the Bay Area and there's no looking back! Tracy is mom to a 17-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son. Self-care includes pedicures, reading, cooking, crafting, and just being with her family. She also serves on the Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee for the Dublin School District and on the Advisory Council for the Transformative Leadership in Disruptive Times Certificate Program at Cal State East Bay.


  1. So much I can relate to in this. Thank you for your courage in writing and posting about this. You are not alone! ❤️


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