{a midstream update on “ch-ch-ch-changing”} part 2 of “I Hate Being Fat”

Sometime in May I admitted to myself and “the world”  in a post that I hated being fat.

It’s now late June and I want you to know that I’ve been busy.  More importantly, I faced something about myself that I don’t like, I can even admit that I hate about myself, my weight.  I wrote about it, which was cathartic just in itself, and it was a kick in the pants for Tom and for me to do something! 

There’s something about our culture that has your average person (I am including myself here) convinced that we can’t do anything about our appearance.  And if you’re not already thin, or already beautiful, or already in shape, stay out of the fitness clubs.

I had myself so talked into a pathetic corner of apathy, that I thought I shouldn’t even be seen on the streets exercising because I was such a joke.

I had my head so full of excuses that I felt hopeless, and worthless, and hated the sight of myself.

I’m here to tell you that I started exercising!  I read a book and stopped eating wheat.  I no longer have acid reflux.  I have lost (since March) thirteen pounds. More importantly I decided that I want to be around when my grandchildren get here. (No, this is not an announcement.)

I get out there and walk or walk/jog with my Couch Potato to 5K phone app cheering me along.  I do it five or six times a week, and have now going into my third week.  More than anything I decided that it was possible to change.

Do you believe you can change things about yourself?  There comes a point in “middle age” when we must either give in and give up OR do something.  I don’t think very many people believe they can change.  The stories of successful exercise or weigh loss or even giving up something like alchohol are too dramatic, too flashy, too much turn-your-life-upside-down unbelievable.

But this is a story mid stream — to tell you that if you want to you can change anything!

In March of this year I was the heaviest I have ever been — I was 179 pounds fat.  I felt horrible.  In May I decided perhaps I could do something about it.  I’m 166 pounds now and I won’t tell you my goal because I don’t want to jinx myself.  I am changing habits.  Changing lifestyle.  Changing the way I look at myself.  I am changing my future — likely extending my life, certainly I have more energy and optimism and hope for the future.  There is a power that comes from doing.

But I just want you to know that if you decide to, you can do anything.  What I have learned (at least about myself) is that it is a lot like being an alcoholic, in this way…

All I need to think about is today.  

All I know that I can change is today.  

Will I choose to go and walk/jog in 90 degree heat today, because this is what I decided to do? Yes, I will.  Yes I did.

What will you choose?  What will you decide to change today?

I Hate Being Fat

So I’m trying something new.  Picking a subject at random that I seem to obsess about or fixate on, something that grips my imagination in compulsive and ugly ways, (Yes, I’m starting with one of my secret obsessions) I’ll write honestly without self editing or controlling “the message” to see what comes out.  No answers. No over spiritualizing.  Just the real, gritty, sometimes awkward me. I’m trying to push myself in my style to loosen up a little. Have you noticed that I take myself a bit too seriously? Perhaps I can learn to have a little fun?  This my first excursion into a different kind of real. It’s supposed to be casual.  We’ll see. It may be my last.
It’s not fun yet.

It’s true. I hate being fat.

No, I don’t glory in my magnitude and mass.  I don’t recognize myself and constantly avoid mirrors, but that is not why I don’t recognize myself. In my mind’s eye I have remained twenty, even thirty years old –  a skinny sometimes cute girl. (Okay the truth is that I was never skinny exactly, but  this is my dreamy memory, so I’ve perhaps fudged a little.)

was a healthy 5’6” and 130 lbs most of my life. That has been true since I was fifteen years old — until about a decade ago. I am now 45. That old adage about gaining five pounds a year after forty if you’re sedentary, the thing they try to scare you with when you’re young, it is true!  Yes, I am now whining profusely but it’s absolutely so unfair to find out now that it is true.

I was warned.  I didn’t believe.

I never worked out and I could eat and drink anything I wanted. I just didn’t over indulge with food because I figured that if I did, then I would never be able lose it.  You see, my mamma has been a food binger all my life — yo-yo diets, juicing, fasting, starving, giving up entire food groups, … You name it she has tried it.  And lost her body’s weight more than once. And gained it too.

I have never believed it was possible to actually maintain a healthy weight. So the key was to never get fat.  Yeah you see where this is going.

You were either thin or fat. And I had no respect for fat people. I know, I’m horrible.

Now I’m that fat person.

And I think about being fat all the time – with a sense of loathing, dread and failure — and it brings with it a “wanna slit my wrists” depth of misery, because dieting never worked for my mother.  Driving around town I watch people out walking the dog, or running, and wonder is my butt bigger or smaller than hers?

I cannot take “selfies” any more for fear of the dreaded double or triple chins, which I  honestly forget are there, (remember I’m 20 and skinny in my mind’s eye?)  Most of the time.  Until I take another picture and then POW, the fact that I’m fat is right there in front of me. Delete.

I’m fat. I’m. just. b.i.g. Overweight. I am a portly, tubby, middle-aged, large, woman of girth. I actually had a fitness person at the Y tell me I am obese.  Bitch.  That’s supposed to motivate?  I never went back. (To be fair, I signed up for a fitness assessment.  I guess I really didn’t want the truth. Or I just despaired of changing it is more like it.)

I’m as big as I was after I popped out each of my three kids. (I lost all the baby weight each time, except ten pounds. And at that time, blowing up from my 135 pounds to 170 lbs, I thought I was huuuuuuge.  And I was.  And I am. Sigh.

I am fat.

I hate being fat because it makes me hate clothes and I used to love everything about clothes.  The outfits, the not too matchy matching, the edgy pushing of style that you just can’t do when you’re fat, without looking like an idiot.  Or perhaps you can but I refuse to try.  Now I dress in full-camouflage-mode, dress to hide, to cover up, to disguise the tummy, and the ass and the white, pasty legs.  I don’t even like wearing sandals when I’m fat, because my feet are too much like two little sausages. Yuck, it’s just gross.

My face is round.  Nothing looks good on me. Everything is buttoned up and covered up.  Now I look for sweaters and scarves to hide my bulbous boobs that used to be a quite average sized 36B, normal and cute.

When you are fat you have to worry about bras.  You think about eating in groups and you never snack (the verb) in front of other people, at least I don’t because I don’t like people to see me eat.  I’m sure they are thinking “She should stop.”

When you are fat you worry and fret about seasons changing because a) you don’t have clothes that fit. And b) you don’t want to buy new clothes.  Oh my gosh, I have become my mother.

When you’re fat you have no style.  You can never be cool, even with cool glasses.  Even with cool hair.  You have no respect.  People look down on fat people.

Now, perhaps we have come to the truth, I am fat phobic.  I think being fat is gross and now I am that person who clearly lacks self-control or they wouldn’t be that large.

But actually, this fat person evolved over time.  This fat person came to life from sitting too much, from a lazy lifestyle. Lack of energy from being fat, only contributes to lack of action!  Fat people don’t go to the gym!  We have nothing to wear (to cover up the fat.) Do you know how many times I have told myself I cannot go for a walk because I don’t have any comfortable tennis shoes? Ackh. Hundreds, at least.  And people might be analyzing the width of my ass.

And I know, believe, even fear that being fat is a terrible example — to my kids, to other people, this temple I’ve been given is being frittered away because I am too lazy, too fearful, too disgusted  with myself to do something, anything about it.  And I imagine to myself s o m e d a y, when I am thin again…. I will…

what?  Be cool, how dumb is that?

I know this is entirely my fault.  I think about it every day, dozens of time a day, hundreds even, that I know how to change this.  I know how to lose the weight.

I must not want to change, no matter how much I hate being fat.

What keeps you from changing something about yourself when you really, really want to?