Hi! My name is Paulien, I am a 20 year old social work student from the Netherlands. My weight loss journey has been a long and tedious one, and unfortunately I’m still not where I want to be, and I believe it was my childhood mental abuse that caused weight gain.

From when I was around 8 years old I started gaining a lot of weight. Before that I had always been a regular kid. I didn’t know why I was gaining weight in the beginning because I was just a kid. I used to tale┬áchips to my room and eat them when I was alone. Eating chips became a real addiction. I loved, and still do, almost every flavor and couldn’t get enough of them.

As I got older I realized what I was doing to myself but I still couldn’t stop. My father had always been a very overpowering and mentally abusive parent. It was this abuse that caused weight gain. When I got older and hit puberty it got even worse. We bumped heads a lot because I didn’t take the abuse without a fight. He would tell me I was ugly and fat and nobody would ever be able to put up with me. I kept strong against the abuse but it sucked all the energy out of me and I was in a really bad place mentally.

This caused me to have emotional binges and gain even more weight. I was around 75 kilos at 13 years old. I felt horrible about it but I wasn’t in a mental state of mind to do anything about it. I was very depressed and after I confided in my mom I was having suicidal thoughts she decided it had been enough and we were going to leave. This helped me a lot mentally. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My parents got divorced and we got a new house and a new start.

After I graduated 2 years later I moved out. When I lived alone I had no control and ate everything I loved. My weight hit a terrifying high of 105 kilos. I finally got the slap in the face I needed. This needed to stop! I signed up for a gym with a friend and changed the way I ate. From lots of pasta and dishes with a lot of sauce to mainly vegetables and lean meat. I lost the first 25 kilos in a year and a half. After that I had a small dark patch again and I gained 7 kilos back. I am now 87 kilos.

Right now I’m doing great again. I go to the gym 3 times a week and watch my eating pattern. I’m hoping to lose the last 12 kilos in the next year and after that I’ll see what I look like and if I want to lose more.

For everyone out there that is overweight and doesn’t know where to start I’d like to say you’re not going to lose the weight if you’re not going to be real with yourself. You know what you’re eating. If it helps, write it down with the amount of calories behind it. Just be honest with yourself. If you don’t really want to change your way of living, you’re not going to lose the weight. I know that everyone can do it, even you!

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