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5.24.2009

The Weight of my World

Those of you who've known me a while understand I've struggled with my weight for... well probably since junior high.

I wasn't a fat kid, but I was not skinny by any stretch of the imagination. I "developed" early and always felt like the fat girl next to my still-prepubescent classmates. In high school I was not an athlete (big surprise) and even though I wasn't fat by any stretch, I was comparatively larger than other girls, which in my mind equaled fat.

After two years of college and marriage, I really packed on the weight and got to what I considered a horribly large two hundred pounds. A lay-off, having nothing to do but exercise and plan what I ate all day, and then a long sweaty commute all helped contribute to a fifty-pound weight loss and the "skinniest" I'd ever been. I even taught an aerobics class at church and felt really good about the way I looked.

And then my marriage hit the skids. My Dad got sick. I wasn't even thinking about food and maintained the loss, but once I moved to Dallas and felt free to do whatever I wanted, I ate whatever I wanted. I didn't exercise. Naturally I gained a ton of weight. Once I started inching toward two hundred again, I decided to do something about it, and promptly really did nothing.

So we passed two hundred, and then 210, and then we hit the dreaded 220 mark. I remember my Mom and Dad having discussions about his weight when he hit 220. I tried not to think about weighing as much as my Dad had. And honestly I didn't think about it a lot for a while there. I just figured I was going to be the Fat Friend, and that would be okay.

Only it's not, not really. At least not for me. I feel awful, physically and emotionally. I crack jokes and deflect it, but it does bother me. Every time I think "yup, this is it, I'm doing something about it" I have a really awful day and reach for the cookies or ice cream or fries or whatever it is that I know I don't need to eat but tastes so good it seems like it fills up something I'm missing. Of course then I try to button the jeans that fit just fine for a while and they don't anymore, and I feel ashamed and embarrassed. That ought to make me more determined but nope, it makes me just want to eat that much more. Like eating would deaden it somehow, or make it better.

Today I was reading a post by Jinny over on Two Phat Chicks about her frustration with not seeing the scale budge. Jen posted about a mutual friend of ours (we'll call her Caro because that's her online messageboard persona) who has lost 225 pounds over three years. 225 pounds. She's lost me at my heaviest. She's doing 5ks now and talking about loving the feeling of exercising so much she might be doing it too much.

What is it that's holding me back? What makes me skirt right around the real issue and reach for the cookie dough? That's the real reason I'm sitting here, navel-gazing about why my navel looks weird. (And suddenly realizing what an odd word "navel" is.)

I'm a plan sort of girl. I like having a plan, so here is my plan. I re-joined Weight Watchers. For the umpteenth time, but I guess they don't care. But instead of focusing right this second on how much weight I need to lose and getting bummed about eating salads and vinaigrette for all eternity, I am just going to track what I eat for the first week. That's it. Just track it. Every bite (no cheating and "forgetting" about things I was too embarrassed to write down.)

It's just me and you, Internet. No one has to see what I did, there is no one there to judge me or make fun of me or tell me how I'm going to die this slow, horrible death because I had cheese on my sandwich at lunch. So for the week I'm just going to tell you what I ate and how I felt, and I'm going to be more conscious of whether I'm really hungry or just eating out of depression or boredom or stress or whatever. We'll cross next week's bridge when we get there.