“This is the one thing that I kept from my very heavy days,” Ricki said showing Maria the overalls. “I made these, I cut them off and I put the little lace on it. You could fit more than two of me in there.
“And look at the back,” Ricki continued. “I swear I filled these out. These were not loose on me.”
Now, Ricki’s 140 pounds lighter, stepping onto the red carpet as a slim and trim size 2.
Ricki feels one of the reasons she gained so much weight was because she was sexually abused around the age of six.
“I haven’t been quiet about the fact that I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and I think it contributed,” she said. “Who knows for sure but I have done many years in therapy and kind of worked on all my issues. Why was I a fat kid? Why did I let myself go to that extreme?”
“Did you find out in therapy that this had gone on or were you already aware?” Maria asked.
“Oh no, I knew, I knew but it wasn’t something I talked about. I didn’t talk about it for 15 or 20 years . . . just because I wanted to kind of bury things,” Ricki said.
In fact, Ricki didn’t start addressing her abuse until she was in her early 20s.
“I don’t blame my parents,” she said. “I don’t think anything could have been done. I think the times were very different back then,” she said. “But I do in some ways think it made me who I am today.”
“Did they know at the time what was going on?” Maria asked.
“They didn’t know until I finally told. It went on for a while and I didn’t want to tell,” Ricki said. “It is such a weird thing. I don’t want to be the poster child for this at all, but it is a very weird thing for child when they are violated in that way. They trust that person and they are made to feel special, it is a whole kind of head trip. And then you don’t say it, you feel guilty because you don’t say and it keeps going on. It is just like a cycle and so I think once I did say something that person was never around me again but it was also never discussed again.”
Ricki said she never confronted her abuser, and she has not seen the person since she said something.
“I read somewhere that you didn’t want to feel attractive because of it,” Maria asked.
“I think that’s why,” Ricki said. “I think girls that are victimized in that way can become extremely promiscuous and use their bodies to get attention. I was the opposite. I think food became a comfort for me. It was my kind of security blanket . . . It is interesting that now at this time in my life I am ready to kind of be at my best and feel my best and look my best . . . It took 39 years.”