Eleni Nolin's Story
I was always bullied as a child, preteen, teen, and then young adult. For the first 15 years of my life, it was my nose. As I am Greek, my nose is a tad bigger than the “average Joe’s” (aka everyone at school).
I got called bird, mount everst, people even went as far as “tweeting” as they walked by hoping to get a response out of my “beak”. On top of my nose, I was always bigger. Up until I was about 14, I was taller than everyone in my class, and of course I was wider as well. My parents have owned a Greek restaurant my whole life so it was easy for me to just walk by the fry bowl in the back and shove my face. Of course fries were minimal compared to what I usually ate – pizza, pasta, cake, etc.
When I was 16, my parents sent me to boarding school due to some bullying issues going on at my public high school. By this time, I had already switched schools 3 times so I wasn’t really surprised that the high school didn’t work out. At boarding school, my “meal plan” consisted of perogies, Kraft dinner, ichiban noodles (made with margarine), and lucky charms. I went from 175 pounds to 230 pounds in just 6 months.
I remember going dress shopping for my friend’s wedding and not fitting in an XXL dress. My breasts had grown to a DD (not a sexy DD) and my knees and ankles had rolls. I hated myself. I started starving, binging and purging, and crying myself to sleep almost every night because I could hardly make it up my 7 stairs without huffing and puffing. That was my summer of 2010. September came around and I met someone very special. A girl from the local high school sent me a message on Facebook acknowledging that I was a good singer and asking me to sing with her at the school talent show. As she was a year older than me, I was intimidated, thinking it was a prank just to make me do something stupid. We met, and became good friends. Her boyfriend at the time always accompanied her on our coffee dates and they always spoke of this Jeremiah fellow who is her boyfriends best friend. They spoke so highly of him that I HAD to meet him. I met him the end of September. I didn’t know at the time that he would turn my life around. He was attractive. He was very very attractive. AKA: he was WAY out of my league. He was 6 feet tall, built, yet slender (basically my dream man).
His good looks intimated me. I had never been close to such an attractive individual and I never knew what to say to him, so I joked. Lots. I have a feeling it was my sense of humor that pulled him in, because it sure wasn’t my looks! January rolled around, and we started to go for coffee alone and talk and spend time with each other. One night he came over to watch a movie and he I remember he couldn’t even fit his long arm all the way around me… But yet he loved me.
The end of January, I enrolled in a 12 week bootcamp class. I dropped 30 pounds and I was ready for more. I was determined that by that same time, the next year, I was going to be a “normal size”. Sure enough, that same time the next year, I reached 180 pounds. I was happy with myself. Jere was happy for me too. I thought… One night we were cuddling (with his arm ALMOST all the way around me) and he said this: (and I quote)
“Len you’re beautiful. I loved you when you were huge, and I still love you now. But I think you would be drop dead gorgeous if you were like… Well, lets say like 140 pounds.”
That cut me deep. Here I was just starting to gain confidence, then BAM. He says that. I was so hurt it made me cry so hard. Then I noticed myself cutting down my portion sizes and cleaning up my diet.
October of 2012 rolls around and I am 155 pounds. I never told him how much his comment he made half a year before that hurt my feelings but I have never seen myself work so hard to be a certain weight before.
I have my goal set to 148 by February 1st. I have added weight training and daily cardio to my weigh loss journey since October, and I am seeing results like never before. Jere’s arm now fits all the way around me, he picks me up and twirls me around, he can actually pick me up with one arm! I am not the same person I was, and I will never be that person ever again, thanks to my Jem, the love of my life.
From Nikki: I am completely overwhelmed by honesty that people have shared with me and I can only say to Eleni, THANK YOU- FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, that you shared your story with us. These are the stories that need to get out there as we all struggle and it’s nice to know we are not alone. If you have Instagram you can follow her at @alyena_koko