In middle school and high school I was even more active. I played basketball, lifted weights, and threw the shot put. No more sneaking or stealing food. My grandma made great balanced meals and I ate reasonable amounts. But I was still chubby. At my most active, I was a size 14. I was healthy and naturally curvy. There was no shortage of interested boys. But I still felt so much shame about my body.
College was when it got out of control. The only exercise I had was dancing at clubs once a week. Late night Taco Bell runs, dorm life with snacking at all hours, and three meals a day of all-you-can-eat-buffets in the campus cafeteria added up. Choosing my own food didn't work out so well. I put on 35 pounds.
I was a size 20 when Tree Guy and I got married. That was a size or so out of my comfort zone, but I didn't try to lose weight because I'd heard about the failure rates of diets. And I was afraid to fail. As long as I kept telling myself, I'm fat because I haven't tried to lose weight, I could operate under the illusion that someday, when I wanted to, I could get my weight under control.
My early adult years brought autoimmunity. Autoimmunity often means steroids. And steroids almost always mean extra weight. I've been on high doses of steroids for months at a time three times in my life. Each time I gained 35-45 pounds (along with acne, mood swings, the sweats, and the random chin hair). Prednisone sucks(!), but sometimes it's all that works to bring an autoimmune flare under control. My doctors told me not to worry--that steroid weight just naturally comes off after you're off the drug.
In my experience, it comes off (mostly) in a few years (with effort). With all the side effects of steroids (did I mention "moon face"?), doctors have to lie to get you to take them! At least the rest of the side effects go away. For the most part. (I heart you, Tweezers!)
I've lost about half of my most recent (ahem!, 2006) steroid weight gain with a combination of Weight Watchers and nutrient malabsorption from Crohn's disease. I've still got 25 pounds to lose just to get back to Comfortably Fat. I am in solid Uncomfortably Fat territory right now.