Monday, August 31, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday, I got ready for church and ran out the door late. Unfortunately, the chapel was jam-packed and I spent several fruitless minutes searching for a seat until my sweet niece G (otherwise known as Baby Girl) came and took my hand and pulled me to where her family was sitting.

The only problem was we had to transverse most of the chapel to reach said seating. Which forced us to walk in front many in the congregation. Which made me horribly, gut-wrenchingly aware of just how unflattering I must look lumbering in heels across the room. Three-hundred pound woman doth not equal a charming picture. Even if she spent half an hour primping in front of the mirror.

Oy vey! The eating disorder mind is rampant with self-hatred once again.

Yes, so I spent most of Sunday feeling the "ugly" syndrome.

Then up I awake on Monday morning feeling not so much better and I get dressed, go to work and try to start a bleh Monday with a smile on my face.

It is the start of fall semester and since I work at a university this affects me. I'm taking classes myself and I have students that work for me. Well, one of my students has returned after a summer internship and I go down the hall to speak to him and walk in and he stops and . . . gives me the once over! Like looks me up and down. Which in fatland never ever happens to a woman. Ever. At least it never happens in my fatland. And what I realized is it has been four months since he has seen me and maybe I am looking better, you know? Like maybe some of these changes are showing up in my body and face.

Except then I go look at the stats on the side of this page and I realize, my weight went down a few pounds this summer but I'm pretty much exactly where I was four months ago. So, what is that all about?

Then I realize, I do have a new wardrobe--at least clothes that fit me--and though my weight hasn't changed drastically the last several months, I did get a lot of very positive comments about my looks for a couple of months there. Most of which I attribute to dressing for my size rather than wearing clothes that were too big for me.

So, between that tiny moment this morning, then my new shirt, and getting my hair done on Saturday, I was feeling rather fetching today. Isn't that funny? All a matter of perception and the change of just a few short hours.

Nice. Now if I could just feel good about myself like this ALL day. Every day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Changing My Perspective

After my moaning and groaning about my weight and why oh why me, I came across this post from a young mother who was burned last year in a terrible accident. For the first time in a year, she has shared a photo of herself on her blog.

A courageous and noble act from one who could spend the rest of her life saying "if only" and who is trying hard to move into a healthier perspective of her purpose in life after her own aching sadness.

I commend her and others like her who remind me to not give up hope. And who also remind me to be grateful each and every day for a strong, healthy body with eyes that see clearly, a heart that beats continuously and two hands that can care and love and tender kindness to those around me. Meaty thighs and round tummy included.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

True Confessions: Will This Ever Go Away?

I've felt for several weeks now that I am at a crossroads in my life. A place of choice where the road is forked and I can make the decision to walk into the darkness one way . . . or the other. And because this decision feels so big, so monumental, so very, very LARGE, I have done the only rational, sane, sensible thing available to me.

I haven't made a decision.

I've sputtered and puttered and cried and cajoled myself to make daily better choices, in fact to make the right choice and choose a better future for myself. And then I've done nothing. If I choose the way I think I should go, the way I really want to go, the way that holds the most promise, it is going to be very, very hard. And I don't seem to do hard things very well.

I'm scared. I feel alone. I wish I was better.

Most of my life has been spent wishing for a different life. Wishing for a different body usually. I've felt that life dished up a big, fat serving of unfairness and I've been wading in it all of my life.

Do you sense the overpowering self-pity here? I didn't come equipped with "let-it-roll-off-your-back" attitude that might be a life preserver to me right now. I tend to let life's injustices and petty issues sour and curdle in my gut until they affect my outlook, my focus and my beliefs. And the biggest one, the one I always hang my hat on, the one I return to over and over and over again is: my fat body.

I never had it easy in that department (I know, strike up a thousand tiny violins for the woe-is-me party that is coming down the pike like a freight train). I never had a "thin" life. Never had the ease of a lithe, supple body as a child, never had the glory of a tight, lovely body as a teenager, never had the attraction of a gorgeous, womanly body as an adult. My reality has been filled with meaty thighs, a too-generous tummy, and a full double chin. And I have always struggled with that reality.

I've hated myself and wished thousands upon thousands of times for a different reality. A chance to wake up from this very bad dream. An opportunity to live out the life I was meant to live in a beautiful body that is my rightful inheritance.

It hasn't come. And I've spent my life wishing away the life I have.

It is painful for me to be in my thirties, unmarried, unhappy with my work, and still struggling with an overweight body. If I could snap my fingers and change my reality, I would have a lithe, beautiful body, a strong work ethic, a sunny, effervescent personality, and a gem of a husband with a few darling children as accompaniment. I would always be organized and my house would be clean. I would have a PhD in counseling and be an established author. I would spend my days caring for my family, decorating my home, seeing clients in my private home office, gardening in my lush outdoor backyard, and writing compelling, bestselling books that would make me independently wealthy. I would even have time for some radio work and television appearances.

Oh, and let's not forget that in all times and in all places I would look amazing and beautiful and strikingly gorgeous (I'm sorry but now it seems that my alternate reality has dipped into a Harlequin romance-esque type of universe). Oh, and I would cook tempting, delightful, wholesome meals for anyone who stepped a foot over my threshold. And be beautiful while doing it.

Yes, wouldn't that be nice.

But for all of my wishing, my moaning and wailing and gnashing of teeth, I am still just me: chubby, too-thoughtful, easily depressed, tree hugger, messy, bad-at-motivation-and-discipline, struggles with commitment, not-living-up-to-my-potential, totally imperfect me.

If I'm going to get anywhere in my life, I think I've got to learn how to embrace and love this version of me. Or I'm going to make myself sick and miserable by wishing my life away.

Yes, sick and miserable. It sounds like a charming way to do life, doesn't it?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where Have You Been?

I've been away. Not geographically but nutritionally. I've been away in a little land called Binge and Repeat. It is a land I've grown familiar and comfortable in over the past twenty years of my life. It is a place that while miserable and dark and cold brings me some measure of relief and comfort albeit of the nutritionally unsound kind.

I did so well--remarkably well--for SIX WHOLE MONTHS on my allergy-free diet. Six entire months in my life where food was not my addiction and my solace. And then it all came banging back as I delved into a world of treats and drinks and drive thrus and fast food. I reverted so quickly to all of my bad habits, poor patterns and secret eating. All of it came back from late night splurges to mid-day descents into a world where I rarely cook and most of my food comes hot and ready through a drive thru window.

What the bingeing did for me was ratchet up the guilt level in my life and ratchet down the deprivation level. In some ways, I think it was good for me.

(I know, can you believe it? Here I am putting a positive spin on it.) I think it was good for me because I'm going to have to deal with this whole thing sooner or later. I can't assume that one day I would just start eating perfectly and then BOOM after that it would be easy peasy.

No, we wouldn't want this part of my life to ever go easily, because then I might not have any idea where to hang my self-pity. Gotta keep that oh-so-helpful part of my life alive and kicking.

So, the cold hard facts about where I've been? Mostly at fast food joints, often at a convenience store, too little over the stove baking or cooking something delicious and nutritious. I've gained about fifteen pounds and my clothes are getting tight.

And now that I know where I've been, the next question is: where am I going?


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