Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Big Girls Don’t Cry

I haven’t seen my mother in over 12 years.

I’ll be honest. Even if I wanted to outline all of the reasons for this here, I don’t think there’s enough space on my screen or characters on my keyboard to capture it all. Like all relationships, the one I share with my mother is complicated and messy. And, certainly, the fact that she lives nearly 3,000 miles away has played a role in our long separation. But the hard truth is that if we wanted to see each other, we would, and most of the reasons why we haven’t made that effort are personal, emotional and too painful for me to share publicly.

I will say this, however…

I left home when I was 16 years old. I left Washington State for my husband, college and North Carolina when I was 19 and I’ve been here for a little over 18 years now. In all of that time, she’s never been here to see me. She wasn’t there when I graduated from college. She wasn’t there when I got married. She wasn’t there when I earned my master’s degree. You name the event. She wasn’t there. For the first few years after moving here, I went home every year. I headed back during the summer and at Christmas… but then, over time, I stopped making the trek out there too. And before I knew it 12 years had past.

And then… about a month ago, she called and said that she’d bought a ticket and that she was coming to see me. In typical fashion, she didn’t ask if it was ok. She didn’t ask if it was a good time. She just said she’d bought a ticket and was coming.

So… for the last month I’ve been both looking forward to and dreading this “reunion.” Of course, there’s a part of me that has desperately wanted to see her, to show her my life, what I’ve built for myself and that I’m ok. But then there’s the other part that’s been equally afraid of all that could go wrong… and believe me, a lot could. So, for a month I’ve tried not to dwell on it. I’ve tried not to think about it at all.  I’ve tried not to worry. And, most of all, I’ve tried not to get my hopes up.

Anyway, she was supposed to arrive on Sunday evening, but the long and the short of it is that she never showed up. I’d gotten a call the night before about how excited she was, but then her arrival time came and went and she wasn’t on the plane.

One consequence of 911 is that now airlines will provide you with absolutely no information about their passenger lists, so I was left helplessly not knowing what had happened to my mother and no one at the airport was able/willing to tell me whether or not she’d ever even boarded a plane that day. It wasn’t until around 3am, and a million phone calls later that, I learned that she had decided not to come. She claimed that she’d attempted to but that flight delays and poor service on the part of the airlines made it seem like “too much trouble.” I guess it was “too much trouble” to call and let me know too.

So… that was Sunday night.  And since then, I’ve done little besides eat and cry. I’ve spent the last two days almost entirely in bed, getting up just to forage for food. I can’t recall everything I’ve eaten, but there was a point when I literally felt so full, I thought about purging — something I’ve never done before. In short, it’s been a miserable couple of days.

I guess the thing that bothers me the most about it all, is that this is the kind of thing she has pulled my entire life. In fact, since she called with the news that she was coming to visit, both my husband and I joked that she probably wouldn’t even show. And yet, when she didn’t, I was completely broadsided. And as a result, I’ve spiraled, again, into a dangerous pattern of overeating to feel better.

I’ve been eating and eating and eating, but I *don’t* feel better.
Rather, I feel worse.

And yet, I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop yet. Even now, as I type all of this out, I’m fighting the urge to scrap it and just head into the kitchen. I’m not hungry… but there’s a hole in me that needs filling.

And here’s the thing…

I don’t want to be the kind of person who fills those holes with food.
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life letting other people control me.
I don’t want to feel like it’s ok to blame her, or anyone else, for undoing what little I’ve been able to accomplish so far.

As I said in a recent post, I feel like I’m in a strange and unfamiliar place. I’ve attempted to lose weight before, but I’ve never lost as much as I have *this* time. I feel like I’m nowhere near the end of my “journey,” so if there is light at the end of this tunnel, I can’t see it yet. But, on the other hand, for the first time ever, I also feel like I’ve gone too far to turn back.

I don’t want to give up.

Tonight, my husband pulled me out of the bed and made me shower and put on some clean clothes. Then he took me for a drive to the beach with the top down. It was a nearly perfect night… much cooler than most summer nights here and to top it off, after a week filled with thunderstorms, tonight there was a cloudless, star filled sky. As we sat on the cool sand, watching the dark ocean come in, I commented on how beautiful the night was and how my mother was really missing out on something special. As if on cue, David said I was right, but that *I* was the thing she missing out on.

I want so much to believe him.
And I know I have to if I’m going to ever get back on track.

I think a lot of times, people who are overweight struggle with feeling as though they don’t deserve to be thin or healthy or even happy. Self-loathing so often goes along with the obesity package and, as a result, it’s sometimes hard to put ourselves first or to put what *we* need at the top of any list.  Even if doing so means changing or even saving our lives.  We simply don’t believe that we’re worth it.

But we are.  We so are.

And that’s the thing I’m trying to cling to tonight.  I’m trying to remind myself that I am worth treating well.  I am worth all the hard work that goes into losing weight.  My body deserves to be treated with respect.  I deserve to be thin.  I deserve to be healthy.   I deserve to be happy.

Even if my own mother doesn’t think so.

August 12, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Sweet Surprise…

You know… I woke up this morning feeling a bit down.

I was having one of those days where I was missing that feeling that I used to have when I chose not to worry about what I eat. I’m sure you’ve had those moments too; where you long for a few moments of just not caring… of not having to count the calories, worry about the carbs, worry about the fat, worry about the sodium, limit my portions and add it all up at the end of the day.

Sitting here this morning I thought… I miss living like a normal person. I miss just going to the fridge, grabbing what looks good and eating it, not because it fits into my daily calorie allotment, but because I want it. I miss being able to go out to lunch with friend(s) without spending the whole meal worrying about what I can eat and resenting myself and my friend(s) for all the things I can’t. I miss not spending every moment of every day worrying about how fat I am and how fat I will be if I eat this thing vs. that thing. I miss no longer being able to look at a banana and seeing just a banana. Now, instead, I see 100 calories… and then the questions begin. Can I eat that? Should I eat that? If I do eat that, what can’t I eat later?

It never ends.
And it’s exhausting.

On the other hand, there’s a lot of other things that I definitely *don’t* miss about the way I was before. I *don’t* miss having constant back pain. I *don’t* miss not being able to walk even a short distance without being out of breath. I *don’t* miss being tired all of the time. I *don’t* miss NOT being able to fit into a booth at a restaurant. I *don’t* miss trying on the biggest size at every clothing store I went into and NOT being able to fit into any of them. I *don’t* miss not being able to find shoes that fit because my feet were so swollen and puffy all the time. I *don’t* miss being gawked at on the street by strangers. I *don’t* miss refusing invitations because I was too embarrassed to meet new people. I *don’t* miss feeling like a failure all of the time. I *don’t* miss the look my husband would give me when he was trying not to show that my weight embarrassed him or made him sad. I *don’t* miss hating myself.

When you’re fat, these feelings too never end.
And that shit will kill you.

Sometimes, I just need reminding that even though this is hard, and even though I still have a long way to go, being the way I was before was a lot harder. And, yes, I might miss not having choosing not to care about my weight, but I would miss feeling better about myself even more.

But wait!  That’s not all!!

My day got even better a little later in the afternoon when a surprise package from Paola arrived at my door!

Just look at all the goodies I got!

!!!

A few weeks ago I asked Paola about the wholegrain Cracker Breads that she sometimes eats and posts

about over at the Food Confessional… little did I know that she would not only send me a whole box of these yummy (20 calorie!!) treats, but that she would also send me some Finn Crisps, some caramel rice cakes, some hot chocolate sachets, a lovely sweater (that no longer fits her because she’s getting so skinny!!) and another pair of beautiful, handmade earrings!!

Oh my stars!! Talk about generous and unexpected!! Of course, I had to open up each package and try each of the yummy treats she sent me from across the ocean… but luckily, because they’re so low in calories and good for me, I was able to indulge without going over my calorie allotment for the day.  Bonus!

So… all in all, I’d say it’s been a very good day.  :)

July 2, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Up and Onward

Well… tomorrow is weigh in day and I’m headed for a gain.

I know it.
I can feel it.

Not to mention the fact that I went over my calories just about every day this week and only worked out 3 times the whole week, (and even that, until this weekend anyway, was pretty half-hearted.)

But… the truth is, I’m already over it. It’s not that I *like* gaining weight, of course. But, tomorrow, no matter what the scale says, I’ve already moved beyond it. I still have a very big and busy week ahead, but I know that if I can just make it to Thursday, things will ease up a great deal. I also know that part of my problem this week was that I didn’t sufficiently plan for the exhaustion that would come from an increasingly busy schedule and the strain over several simultaneous and stressful projects. I mean… I *thought* I was planning for it. I looked ahead into the week to come, and I thought, ok… I’ll just do a, b and c. But that’s not planning. That’s just thinking. And when the week got tough, thinking about it just wasn’t enough.

This week, however, I’ve done some planning. Some *real* planning. I’ve already worked out my meals for the week and even spent much of the afternoon steaming and prepacking veggies for lunches and dinners. I stopped at my local food co-op on Saturday and bought all my fruits and veggies for the week, and they’ve been scrubbed and dried and made ready to grab when I need them. I’ve got everything worked out and I’m hoping that with the map already laid out ahead of me, I won’t be so apt to take a wrong turn during those moments when I simply find myself too tired to think about what I should do.

Truth is, I doubt the work out situation will be much better this week. With several evening work-related functions in the days to come, I don’t see myself coming home and working out after a 12 hour day. I’m just banking on the fact that this will be offset by a return to healthier eating and a reduction in caloric intake.

*fingers crossed*

No matter what happens though, I won’t beat myself up. This week has been hard, and there have been moments when I’ve felt pretty disgusted with and by myself. But, when I take a moment and look at my calendar, and all those sticker laden days, I can see that, on the whole, I’m not doing so bad.

I don’t want to continue eating like I did last week.
Nor do I want to go so long without exercising.

But even my worst day last week was far better than my best day a year ago.

I’ve made changes in who I am and in how I live.
I no longer look at food in the same ways I did a year ago.
I no longer treat my body the way I did.

My life has changed.
I have changed.

And one week of imperfection can’t change that.

So… to the scale I say: bring it on! Whatever number it gives me tomorrow, it won’t be the end of the world. Nor will it undo or change all that I’ve accomplished. *Next* Sunday all of this will all be just a memory and I’ll have an all new batch of neuroses to ramble on about! Now that’s something to look forward to! :)

February 17, 2008 Posted by | exercise, health, losing weight, motivation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments