I love having this little space to write in. Even if no one ever read a word of it, I would still write. It’s my place to ponder, rant, purge, verbally regurgitate, and pontificate. It gives me a window into my own history, a walk down memory lane, a recall button for emotions and events.
So why have I been missing? It’s not because I haven’t had anything in my head. My head is its usual cauldron of mental pot luck, chock full of everything from heart squeezing poignant moments, to exquisite frames of amusement, to guilt inducing rage-fueled fantasies of throat punches. You know those people who are emotionally flat? Yeah, I’m the opposite of that.
But I couldn’t write. Not coherently, anyway. And while I’m usually ok with just rambling down whatever path my keyboard takes, this was a different kind of jumbled. I’ve really only been able to focus on one thing: me.
I had to burn some vacation days between Christmas and New Years, and since my husband was in Canada (THAT’S a whole ‘nother blog topic), I got bored. I was cruising YouTube, and I watched a video documentary called FatHead. I’m not sure how I learned about it, but knowing that it was done by a comedian (Tom Naughton), and that it was a response to Morgan Spurlock’s shamelessly inaccurate Supersize Me gave me two reasons to sit back and click PLAY. So I did. I wasn’t disappointed: it was funny, and it made Spurlock look like a fool. But there was more to it. It made sense. I watched it again. And a 3rd time, because I figured that I’m kind of dense at times and really wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.
You can click the link below if you want to watch it.
Then I cried. For something like 3 days, give or take. Because, you see, weight is an issue for me. I could go with the common “I struggle with my weight” cliché, but that is entirely inaccurate. I surrender to my addiction to food. The referee already counted to 10. TKO, weight wins.
I eat to manage stress, and to celebrate, and to soothe. I justify that as acceptable because, you know, abusing food isn’t a big deal. I don’t drown my troubles in alcohol, I don’t use drugs, I don’t shop til I drop. I eat. Nothing comforts me more than a chocolate bar….or queso and chips…..or cheesecake…..or onion rings…..or hot bread out of the oven, slathered in butter. I love to share my addiction, too. For those I love, there are always big feasts full of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, French silk pie, or Mexican extravaganzas. “I love you… I made you a lasagna.” I’ve actually spoken those words to my middle child.
Just to clarify: if you allow food to be your security blanket and your demonstration of affection, you get fat. A little at a time. My clothing sizes eek up ever so slowly. Then I “diet” by eating salads with low fat dressing and low fat yogurt and boneless, skinless, flavorless chicken breasts with a baked potato with fat free sour cream. And I lose 2 lbs. in a week, but I’m starving. Then something triggers me, and I find myself eating an entire bag of Doritos or a hamburger and fries and I panic. My loved ones tell me that it’s ok, because they don’t want to see me upset. My husband brings me a candy bar because I’ve done really well and it’s ok to take a break for a minute. One Heath bar isn’t going to ruin my life.
The 2 lbs. not only comes back, but it made a 1/2 lb. baby while it was gone and brings it back, too… and my next pair of jeans is one size larger. Probably only because they’re “cut differently”, or because I want them a “little looser” in case they shrink when I wash them.. Whatever makes me feel better. I stop buying clothes I like, and start buying clothes that hide. I see photos from a recent birthday party and can’t believe that’s me in that picture. Eating cake. I go back to that salad and low fat dressing, and the cycle continues.
So, anyway, after practically memorizing FatHead, I started doing some additional research. I read, and read, and read some more. I verified. Then I pulled up the recently taken Christmas pictures, and looked at myself. Really looked. Cried some more. Dusted my bruised little self esteem off and said “ENOUGH”. So, I’ve been on a bit of a mission to concentrate on myself and my dysfunctional food relationship. (I actually just sang that in my head, to the tune of “Me and My Shadow”, and it doesn’t work at all.)
It’s so intense, that I can’t really concentrate on anything else besides the necessities: family and work. So, that’s why I’ve been missing.
“How much weight have you lost?” I get this question regularly. Here is my answer.
I’ve lost this much fat.
I’ve lost this crate of grapefruit.
I’ve lost this pile of leaves.
I’ve lost an average Wheaton Terrier.
I’ve lost this big fish.
I’ve lost an entire 4 year old granddaughter. (That’s Allison…my real 4 year old granddaughter.)
And that’s not all.
I’ve lost the stigma of identifying myself as “fat”. I am not fat; I *have* fat, and I’m losing it. I’ve lost my confusion over how food works in my body. I’ve lost my shame in my shape. I’ve lost my urge to camouflage my size with oversize blouses and accessories. I’ve lost my fear of failing at this epic battle of Woman vs. Food.
I’ve lost the woman on the left, and I hope I never see her again. I’m still creating the woman on the right.