The last week or two, my mind has been going through some seriously strange thoughts. Strange for me, that is.
For the past 2 or 3 years, my mind has been on weight loss. Actually thats a lie – for the past 12 or 13 years, my mind has been on weight loss. I’ve been made to feel ashamed of myself for such a long time. And Im fucking sick of it.
I can think of several books I enjoy, with the women talking about what huge, fat lazy slobs they are. Thing is, they have the same dimentions as I have. The talk about nobody wanting them, being socially undesirable, made to look like idiots even though they are not. Thing is, to be honest, I know I am not socially undesirable – if I was, I wouldn’t have my large group of friends. I know I am not sexually undesirable – if I was, I wouldn’t be living with a man who fell in love with me as an akward, 250 pound 16 year old. So why continue to feel this insane amount of guilt?
Pause. Back up. Let’s start with some history, and work our way forward.
When I was 20, I embarked on a journey to finally lose the weight. The above mentioned 250 had gone down, thanks to walking everywhere, marching band, and an unfortunite addiction to cigarettes. I was 210. I started in August, going to Curves and counting my calories. I got all the way down to 185, felt great about myself, couldn’t wait to show my boyfriend (who was at the time overseas – he’s a Navy man). After December I kind of left off – I couldnt afford the workouts, and I didnt have much time between work and classes.
I moved to Virginia when I was 21 to live with my boyfriend. I tried dieting haphazardly once or twice, finally deciding to vute the bullet at 220. I started in August, again, worked out from home and counted my calories. This lasted a bit longer, until my birthday in April. I got all the way down to 168 – still feeling like a huge, fat slob, but at least I was in control. After that, my work started getting stressful. I re-started my college education. I got my drivers licence and a car. And slowly, the weight has shot up.
So let’s look at the facts, shall we? At 22, I am well on my way to a good career in the legal profession. I have a 3.76 GPA. I have a man I’ve been with for 6.5 years (who, I might add, is thin) I pay my own bills, I hold a job. I have a group of friends and a loving family that I wouldnt change for the world. Why is it then, that I feel like I am a failure because my “lifestyle change” didn’t work?
Another case in point – my two closest friends, L and J (No real names used without permission =P). L and J are, in my mind, two fucking beautiful women, no questions asked. I don’t see either of them as overweight – in fact, I think they look pretty much perfect. Yet I have heard both of them tell me that they are going on a diet, that they need to lose weight. It can piss me off, actually. I want to take these beautiful creatures and say “You don’t have to do anything, can’t you see what a slob I am?”
In fact, L and I had a discussion on this, not too long ago. I told her about my New Years Resolution, to try to be healthy instead of trying to lose weight, to stop saying “when I’m thin” and do what I want to do now. (Hence the excitement of my last post, buying that jacket… I’ll post a picture eventually). I spoke about my eating habits, and what a fat, huge pig I was. One of my deepest secrets – I hate eating in front of people. And you know what L said to me? “Alix, a lot of people eat like that. A lot of people feel like you do. It’s normal.”
The last few days I have read several fat acceptance blogs. I didn’t even know they exist – fat people who are happy? Fat people who will exercise for fun and not obsess over food? What unenlightened souls! Thing is, Im reading these (so far, Shapely Prose is my favorite) and Im finding myself agreeing with them, laughing at what is said. I’ve never doubted that the “diet industry” was a horrible thing, prone to failure, which is why its so damn successful. Diet pills, meal plans – I see commercials come on and roll my eyes. But in my mind, MY plan was different because I made it, I was counting calories and in complete control. And as long as that could remain the main focus in my life, I could do it. Once I got busy with things, with life, I couldn’t keep it up.
Im keeping the things that I enjoy. I’ll continue going to the gym with M and her husband, because M and her husband are my friends, I enjoy working out, and I enjoy working out with them. I will continue to make my own lunches, portion them out, and freeze them, because I like to cook and it’s cheaper than fast food. I’ll continue to drink water, because I like water. I’ll keep buying wheat bread and 2% milk and healthy products because I like them. But I won’t refuse when my boyfriend offers to order me pizza and then get jealous when he gets some himself. I won’t count calories or obsess over what I eat. Doing that, I think, made it even worse.
This article really made me think. Like, really. Never, in all my blogging and reading and obsessing, did I think about anything like this. And I like to think of myself as educated.
It’s hard to take in. It’s hard to say “Well, Im going to reprogram myself now, yay!” But… this is kind of what I was thinking. I think. I dont even know if I was thinking anything this year, when I made my resolution, except that I was tired of making myself feel like shit because I had not reached the magical 140. Maybe I never will. Most likely, I never will.
Does that make me a failure? I think not
So I bought a leather jacket yesterday.
Exciting, yes? I thought so. You see, the only coat I own is my oversized high school marching band jacket. It’s eight years old, has several holes in the lining, and even when it’s cleaned it looks dingy and old. But I wore it, because what did I care about fashion? Until now of course, because it’s so dingy and old.. so instead I wear stained hoodies with ripped pockets. Quite an improvement, don’t you think?
I went to the movies with the boyfriend the other night (For the record, The Bucket List is a very good movie). In the spirit of my resolution, to be more accepting of myself, I wore nice, non-stained, non-stretched-out clothing and positively froze. The boyfriend looked at me and said we would go coat-shopping the next day.
My purchase? Well, this is ant-climactic since you already know the ending. I bought a leather jacket. Reaches my knees, black, button-up, super soft and sexy as hell. It’s the kind of jacket that I always thought “Well damn, as soon as I lose 80 pounds Im going to buy one!” It was kind of surprising to me that I found one I liked – I was imagining buying a fabric – or maybe faux-fur – monstrosity that wouldn’t look all that great but would do the job well and was comfy. Im glad I didn’t