I've had an account here for 6 years...
Since 2004, when I first started to gain weight. I've come and gone from it over that time and have only gotten fatter. I'm sort of at my wits' end and I think I need some kind of support from others. I don't really know what I'm doing, clearly, and never have.
My story, as briefly as I can get it: April 2004, I started to gain weight on antidepressants I desperately needed at the time. I was 18 years old, 5'2" and was around 120 lbs. give or take 5 lbs. all through high school, but like every teenage girl, I always thought I was too fat then and wanted to be 110 or less. Only now do I realize how lucky I was to have been at a healthy weight.
Over that summer, I gained about 30 lbs. I was 145-150 by the end of August, and an appalling 176 lbs. by December, when I turned 19. I still remember my mom exclaiming, "176 pounds?! What have you DONE?" when she went to the doctor with me and I was weighed. I felt absolutely terrible and like everything was my fault, but my GP who had been prescribing the antidepressants had never said much about it, other than 'eat more fruit! Bananas! Eat bananas and oranges. You're probably eating more because you're happy now.' Which wasn't so--I was still miserable a lot of the time and had been on at least 5 different antidepressants that year.
I started college in August 2005 at around 180 lbs. and spent the next four years bouncing up 10-20 lbs. and down again, but never going below 185. I graduated in December 2009 and have been around 200 lbs. over this past year.
I turn 25 on December 18th and I'm now around 209 lbs., still 5'2" and still unhappy. I've been on stable medication for years now and have seen all manner of specialists about my issues. In two weeks I'm actually going to see a Chinese herbalist who helped my sister out with her skin and fatigue issues. I'm seriously not sure what to do. In January 2009, I came back here for New Year's resolution-fulfilling, having bought an AirClimber and diligently used it, tracked my food intake and weight for over a month. I started at 191 lbs. and in February I gave up because I was still at 191 lbs. despite some dipping below that weight.
My weight has given me knee problems--I've had my kneecap fall out of alignment painfully and they crunch when I try to do squats--and no doubt contributes to the oppressive fatigue I feel most of the time. I'm always sore, I sleep a lot and whenever I do attempt to exercise as part of a daily routine, I give up after 2-4 weeks out of fatigue and frustration because NOTHING I DO MAKES AN IMPACT.
I'm thinking about ceasing to eat gluten/wheat to see if that would keep me away from everything I find delicious, but I'm certain that I'll fail again. My mom eats all kinds of crap and doesn't really like fruit but she's always been around 125 lbs. her whole life. My dad is about 270 lbs. at 6'1 and actually got a bunch of fat removed surgically from his abdomen about 3 months before I began gaining weight myself. He claims exercise and dieting 'don't work' for him, but has chided me about my weight since I was a skinny teenager. I've got a lot of issues with him, but that's the one that's important here.
My younger sister who just turned 23 is probably the best influence I have. She's 5'4, 130 lbs., comfortable in her skin and eats well. She's cut out a ton of foods because of allergen problems and cooks a lot with vegetables and stuff. However, because we still live with our parents, their influence on my diet is heavy in my life and we've got a full pantry of all manner of crap that I shouldn't be eating. My sister and I are moving to Portland, Oregon (we currently live in the Midwest, which I hate), in February and I'm hoping that living on our own on a shoestring budget in a very pedestrian-oriented/friendly town (where I live, there's basically no public transport and if you don't drive, you're screwed. There's not a lot of pedestrian-friendly areas and most are downtown and I live in the suburbs) will force me to walk, eat less, cook more and lose all this weight. I'd love to be 140 lbs. again, but my eventual goal that I've failed to meet for nearly 7 years is 125 lbs. I'm scared that I'll never reach it, or that when I do, I'll be so stretched-out and deformed and ill that it won't matter. I've got tons of stretch marks from gaining so much so fast and I actually went to a plastic surgeon earlier this year (a desperate liposuction consult, but I elected against it because I need to save money for the move) who told me I'd need both a tummy tuck and brachioplasty to make my stomach and arms look normal.
So. All that said... I guess I just wanted any advice or well-wishes anyone would have. Thank you for reading this if you managed to get this far! Apologies that it's exceedingly self-absorbed and self-pitying. I'll respond to all commentary and probably do some reading of other people's stories (I've actually never gone on the forums here--I think I just felt ashamed and like everyone else would actually be succeeding at their goals and I didn't want to be confronted with it in my own private failure).