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Mircette (Ethinyl Estradiol, Desogestrel)

Other names: Apri
My mother prepared me well for the role of fat person. Being overweight herself (as a child I thought my mother was the fattest person in the world), she knew well how my life would run.
She told me how people treated you: the jokes, the rejections, the cruelty. What Mother stressed was that it didn’t matter. It wasn’t what you looked like that counted, it was what you were inside.
“Develop your mind,” she told me. “That’s something they can never take away from you.”
I got the idea that all that mattered was whether you were happy or not. You only had one life and if you didn’t enjoy it, it was wasted. Why deprive yourself and be slim? Soon you’d be dead and it wouldn’t matter anyway. You could have enjoyed life, but you didn’t.
Other people just didn’t understand. Already, “they”
44 were on one side and I was on the other. And that was how I found the world to be. I never quite fit in. I was always scared, or awkward, or superior. But different; always different.
Mother was a good cook and set a good table. We had garden fresh vegetables, plenty of meat and several desserts at each meal every day. Chubby was healthy and eating was pleasing your folks. Cooking showed love.
Love wasn’t expressed otherwise. It was an embarrassing subject. No one touched or hugged. You knew they loved you. There was no need to get mushy about it.
If you had a headache or a cold, special foods were prepared. And if you had a fever or had to go to the doctor, nothing was too much trouble. They’d go to the store and get anything. Eating made you feel better.
On your birthday you got to dictate the family menu. Dining out was a super-special occasion. Holidays were times when the whole family gathered at our house and the food preparations went on for days. Even minor events turned out to be feasts.
The way the family felt about food made it seem natural to eat when I felt good and when I felt bad.
The foods I loved were potatoes, breads, beans and sweets — no salads, no vegetables. Other kids might lick the pan when their mom baked a cake; I licked the pan when Mother made creamed potatoes.
I made good grades in school and was an honor student. This won me approval at home and with my teachers. I soon found a kind of belonging by appeasing authority figures, and it became a way of life. This was easy because you didn’t have to obey all the rules. All you had to do was be “sweet” and give the appearance of doing as you were told. Being sneaky turned out to be one of my great natural talents. It also compensated for not fitting in with the kids. I told myself that I was above the rank and file, smarter. I wasn’t interested in silly, girly things like clothes, makeup and boys. Even school functions such as ballgames and carnivals were too childish for me. Things changed at home, though, once I got into high school. Not the cooking — all the great stuff was still piled high. But suddenly I was supposed to “care more about yourself than that.” Mother started picking at me constantly about what I ate and how much I ate. Boys weren’t going to have anything to do with me if I kept on.
So that became my goal in life: to get married and be the great American wife and mother. If being happy was what mattered, that was what it was going to take to make me happy.
I got married the day after I graduated from high school. My life was planned. My ideals were set. I believed in control. You had to control your life and make it exactly as you wanted it to be because it was the only one you had.
When I was growing up, my grandmother lived with us and I saw the conflicts and tensions brought about by that situation. I promised myself I would never let that happen to me and ruin my life. No parents, his or mine, would ever live with us.
Also, I would never work. I believed in the sanctity of the home. I had my role to live.
To obtain the things I wanted, no price was too high to pay. I knew only too well that I was not sexually attractive. But I was willing to make up for that in other ways. I waited on my new husband hand and foot. I pandered to his ego, gave in to him on every decision, large and small. He got my total respect and dedication.
In return I wanted protection — insulation from the world. My home was going to provide that.
I didn’t fit into my wife role any better than I had fit into school. I had nothing in common with other young wives. I stayed home and got bored and depressed. I ate.
No babies came. We were the only couple around with no children. I thought it was cruel. I hated being around anyone else; all they talked about was babies.
I gained weight slowly, eight or nine pounds each year. At first, because I didn’t have anything else to do, I put a lot of time and thought into special recipes. Supper became a grand occasion. Later it relieved tensions.
Being compliant caused problems. I handled the money and if my husband asked if we could afford to go somewhere or buy something, I couldn’t say no. I felt guilty, both because I knew I should be managing the money better and because most other young wives were working to help out, especially those with no children at home.
We got behind on some of our bills. We went into debt over our heads, unable to control our charge account buying. If we wanted something, we got it.
I could not stand to be a failure at managing money, so now I lied to my husband about paying the bills and neglected to mention dodging the bill collectors. My old ally, sneakiness, came to the rescue again.
There is only one thing wrong with that kind of dishonesty. Sometimes you don’t feel real. Someone can tell you he loves you, and you say to yourself, “Yes, you think that. But if you really knew me — how I am inside — you wouldn’t love me at all.”
So you come to understand that your whole life is built on a pretty shaky foundation. It’s scary at times. But you go on.
I became bitter. I was smarter than this. Things should turn out better. It wasn’t my fault that we didn’t have children. That was a dirty trick being played on me.
Some things I could control, though. If we didn’t have enough money, there were ways of stretching it a bit. If life wouldn’t give me a fair share, then I’d take it. There are ways of beating the system, of outsmarting “them.”
That was when the shoplifting began, and it was emotional dynamite right from the start. Like the rest of my life, the stealing soon became focused on food. It was almost as though someone else was doing it, not me. Not once did I consider myself a thief. I was just trying to cope.
Things weren’t right. The happiness was not coming. My husband insisted I get out of the house and get a job. Both for myself and to alleviate our financial situation. I did, and I hated him for it.
Fear was growing, and my body along with it as I ate more. What I had believed in turned out to mean nothing. So now I believed in nothing.
Then, life dealt me the crushing blow: it became necessary to move my husband’s mother into our home. I would not accept it. My stealing increased. I began having violent headaches, almost constantly. And I became a sneak eater. I nibbled while I cooked, then ate a large meal and finally I cleaned off all the plates and finished whatever was left in the serving bowls. After that, I tucked several slices of lunchmeat into the pocket of my robe and went into the bathroom.
My desk drawer at work always had three or four candy bars in it. I ate in the car. I ate in the middle of the night. At five feet in height, I weighed 232 pounds and was getting heavier. I couldn’t tie my shoelaces. My feet swelled and my legs ached; I had to buy ankle braces, and even then the veins in my feet looked as though they were about to burst.
At this point my mother, who was in her forties, had a heart attack. During the next six years, she had eight heart attacks and three strokes. That mind which she had said they could never take away from you was never quite the same.
Life had no point. I seemed to have no future to look forward to at all. I was sliding downhill with nothing to hold onto. Pain and death lay ahead. And the best of my life lay behind.
Then I saw the ad in the paper for Overeaters Anonymous. I cut out the address and time of the meeting and put it in a kitchen drawer and left it there for four months.
But the ad said help was available and that came back into my head. I still had doubts. A fat club was insulting. And I knew I wouldn’t mesh well with other people.
Also, if I tried and failed, which was the result I expected, I didn’t want other people to know. I knew they “shared” and all I could equate that with was my Baptist upbringing and the revival testimonials. To that, I had to say, “No way. Definitely not my style.”
Still, I went. There wasn’t any answer for me anywhere else.
They had me pegged. I knew I was home. I went on the program the next day at 220 pounds.
I would like to be able to say that once I found this program all my problems vanished and I have had perfect abstinence and life has been wonderful. But that has not been my experience.
I wanted the program and I knew it was right for me. But at times I’ve wanted it my way — and this is one program you don’t manipulate. You give it up or you don’t.
So my experience has been up and down. Always growing. Sometimes it’s easy; I’m like a kite in the breeze. Sometimes I take it back and resist. Then I bog down and sometimes I break abstinence. But I just go back on.
I would like to be perfect, but I’m not. And there’s room here for mistakes. I accept what I can and wrestle with the rest. It’s OK.
It has been a year now. I’ve lost 80 pounds. Ten inches off my bust and ten off my hips. Twelve off my waist. Instead of a 24% dress I wear a 13.
I am changing, and at times that scares me. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m still me —- and always will be. In fact, I am finding the real me for the first time in my life.
I’m less defensive; I don’t have to apologize for me. I’m working on me.
Never before did I have enough. Enough love, enough food, enough possessions. I always had to grab. I always felt desperate. Now I am beginning to relax, to feel satisfied.
And for the first time ever, I’m beginning to have a clean, honest feeling inside. I go to bed at night with nothing to hide.
I’m more apt to tell you how I really feel. And I’m less willing to go that extra mile just to make up for being less a person than you.
I’m aware of how sick I’ve been, of how far I have to go. But that’s OK. I know the way.
I wake up in the morning glad to be alive. Life is a good thing.
I have OA, and my life is never going to be the same because of it.
And I have reached my goal: not my desired weight (I still plan to lose 30 pounds), but the only goal that really matters, remember?
I’m happy.

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