Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Another Notch

I think perhaps I’ve stumbled upon something important.

Over the last week or so I’ve spiraled pretty far out of control. In a series of events that would make Mr. Freud waggle his finger at me and say (in German of course) “I told you so,” the emotional trauma of the last few days has triggered a pretty significant regression on my part. Though I’m no psychotherapist, even I recognize that I’ve exhibited some fairly infantile behavior and, despite all my tough talk about personal accountability, in this instance I’m pretty dead set on blaming everything that’s wrong with me entirely on my mother. :)

That said, however, despite having lost at least one battle in the war this week, I’m feeling more and more tonight as though it hasn’t all been for naught. Let me explain. Normally, in these situations, my major weight loss stumbles tend to come in sets of two. First, I fall off the wagon as a result of the obstacle du jour — that is to say, the actual real or perceived wound that I feel the need to treat with a box of Krispy Kremes. Then, as if the first trip down mega calorie lane wasn’t enough, I then beat myself up for having strayed from the skinny path in the first place only to, ironically, seek out solace in food, yet again.

I know. I know.
Not too bright.

But this time has been a little different.

First off, I’m the first to admit that the wound was a bit deeper this time, and thus the fall was a bit longer, but… and here’s the important bit… I only fell once. There was none of the usual post-postmortem kicking of my own ass to contend with. Rather, I seem to have recognized something important this time:

Just as weight loss, in general, is a process, so too is recovering from the personal calamities that seem to so easily deflate even the most successful weight loss endeavors. It’s not as simple as falling off the horse and just getting back on. Rather, it’s about reaching the bottom of whatever hole you’ve fallen into (recognizing that some holes are much deeper than others, of course) and then climbing your way back up… one agonizing step at a time. Not only is it not fair to expect a one step recovery of yourself, but it’s totally unrealistic too. Sure, we’ve all heard the cliches about getting right back in the saddle after having fallen off, but anyone who’s ever been thrown from a horse knows that the reality of such a thing is much different. Recovery of any kind is a process… and this is no exception.

So here I am, climbing my way back.

I’m not “back” yet, but that’s ok. The important thing is that I’ve fallen as far as I intend to and now I’ve begun the climb out of this particular hole.

Baby steps, right?

All of that said, I’m happy to report that over the last few days I’ve managed to spend more time out of bed than I have in. With each day, I’ve gotten better at saying no to food that I don’t need to be eating. And tonight, I even went for a walk. Not a super calorie burning power walk of days past… but a walk nonetheless.

After dinner my husband and I took the dogs for a walk around our neighborhood. It was warm, but not hot. There was a light breeze and the dogs, for whom summer walks are just a little too close to cruel and unusual punishment, seemed so happy to be out in the world. We managed to get in about a mile and a half at a pace that was leisurely enough to allow conversation, but brisk enough to put a little sweat on my brow.

Afterwards, despite my normal aversion to everything exercise related, I felt, if not great, than at least very, very good. I felt a bit stronger, a bit more empowered and a bit further out of the hole.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. :)

Oh. And one more thing…

In the 8 months since I started it, this blog has turned into something different than what I first imagined it would be.

At that time, I thought of it only as a place for me to chronicle my weight loss journey. And it has been that. But it’s been something more too.

When I first started, I never imagined sharing the kind of personal details about myself that I have. The notion that I’d one day write about my life and my family here just never occurred to me. Similarly, I truly never expected anyone to read what I wrote, especially not with any regularity. And I certainly never imagined that those who did would end up meaning so much to me.

In short, I never dreamt that I’d paint these walls with the kind of broad brush strokes that I have.

Needless to say, it’s been a pleasant surprise. But more than that, it’s been an absolutely necessary one. I can’t imagine what I would have done this summer without this spot and without all the people who choose to spend a little time sitting here with me. Whatever failures I’ve racked up in the last few months, I know they’d be so much worse without the support and guidance afforded to me by this blog and the little community that I’ve managed to become a part of.

I have to say, “thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough. But it’s all I’ve got.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Everybody’s A Critic

I work in the public schools as a school librarian. On most days, I think it’s the most awesome job in the world because a lot of what I do involves talking to kids about books and about how great reading is, without there ever being the monkey of an assignment or a test on anyone’s back. It really is great and, in a lot of ways, terribly rewarding.

Anyway, in my library I keep a “suggestion box” where kids can write down the titles of books or magazines that they would like to see in the library and, a few times a year, I go through the box, pull out the suggestions and make purchases based on what they want. Yesterday was one of those days, so I opened up the old wooden box, pulled out the 200 or so slips of paper and started going through them. There were lots of great suggestions in there. Several kids wanted Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney, while others asked for Jeremy Fink and Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass — both of which I will definitely buy for the library.

But then I came across a suggestion that I wasn’t expecting.

There, tucked within the large stack of awkwardly folded slips of paper, containing the literary wishlist of over 900 middle schoolers, was one that simply said: “lose weight.”

Hmmm.

Here’s the thing: I don’t think I have to go on and on here about what it’s like to be a fat child and adolescent or how the scars inflicted upon you as kid, when other kids call you cruel names or refuse to include you because you’re fat, never, ever really heal. I have a feeling that most of the people reading these words have a pretty good idea what that’s like. And it’s funny, you know, no matter how old and hard and crusty we all get, there’s still a part of us that will *always* be the fat kid on the playground wishing they had a friend. So… it’s really no wonder that, even as adults, when someone stabs at our chubby hearts with a comment about being fat, no matter how many sarcastic comebacks we have at the ready, it still hurts us. And I am the first to admit that there was a time when finding a slip of paper in my suggestion box reminding me that I need to lose weight would have devastated me. I seriously would have fallen into a depression, followed by a lengthy period of self-loathing until finally I’d have sought the solace and counsel of my good friends at Burger King.

But yesterday was different.

As I held the paper in my hand, my eyes didn’t well up with tears. My hands didn’t shake. My stomach didn’t turn. And I didn’t suddenly crave a whopper with cheese. Instead, I found myself smiling and thinking “listen, kid… I’m working on it.” Then I tossed the paper dagger in the trash.

Later, at dinner, I told my husband about the incident as I nibbled on a spinach salad and my half of the quiche we’d decided to split for dinner last night at Ruby Tuesday. As he listened, I could tell that he was silently gauging the situation, readying himself to go into damage control mode should I break down right there in the restaurant. But in the end, he just smiled and said he was proud of me for not losing sight of all the weight I’ve already lost and for not letting a snide comment undo the all the good that’s come from changing the way I live.

And you know what? I’m proud of me too.

January 31, 2008 Posted by | losing weight, motivation | , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments