Hello, and welcome to my breakdown.
On the outside, I’ve been enjoying my long weekend.
I did a radio remote at a hot tub place which went fairly well until the owner’s dog suddenly turned into a raging tornado in my arms and I almost dropped her. She peed a little on the counter, and likely on me but I was wearing black so it’s okay, and there was little damage except to my pride. Later, some listeners told the owner they heard me on the radio extolling the virtues of a new spa and they came in and bought one. I’m hoping the spa sale made up for the dog piddle, but will we ever really know?
Then I came down to the cabin to join my hubs and my boys and extended fam. The weather wasn’t as dismal as planned so in addition to long baths and longer naps, I got to putter in the garden a bit which always feels good on the soul. The delphiniums are off to a staggeringly good start, but I’m not here to get you all stoked on the raging thrill-a-minute adventure that is perennial gardening.
I’m here to tell you that I feel like a fighter who’s been in a battle for almost 10 months and right now, I feel like I’m on the mat, bleeding, sweating and gasping for breath and scanning my corner for a white flag I can wave so I can heal and breathe. Sorry if the dramatic simile is too much for you, but I didn’t get this far in life by being beige.
In the past 3 months, I believe I’ve lost about 2.5 pounds. I know a lot of brilliantly positive, encouraging people who would say that’s a victory. Maintaining is a victory even. Here’s why I’m breaking down…
I have 90 pounds to go. I could lose 100 and still not be thin. Thin is not how this body was meant to be. I have 40-odd years of research behind this statement, so do me a solid and don’t argue with me.
Every day I wake up with new resolve and a lot of grit. I’ve been eating healthy for 10 months and that means almost zero sugar or white flour, nothing processed, no junk food and a lot of produce. It’s been 2 months since I started going to the gym and when I’m there, I work. 30 minutes on the treadmill around 3 miles per hour, 50-60 minutes on a weight-machine circuit where I lift as heavy as possible without my heart exploding out of my chest. 3 sets of 15 on all of it. I drink water with lemon juice all day. I get enough rest. According to my masseuse last week, my stress level in my body is nice and low. It reminds me of Louis CK: “Yeah, I run 5 miles a day to maintain this shit body.”
2.5 pounds in 3 MONTHS? After that kind of effort? And god love everybody who tells me muscle weighs more than fat. I love you, but I know. I’ve known it for years, probably since Oprah taught it to all of us. But if weight isn’t a good indicator, why do my pants feel the same? In other words, what’s the goddamn point in trying?
Intellectually, I know the answers. Is my health a million times better than 10 months ago? Uh, yeah. Last summer, before I started losing, I could go for a walk and be comfortable for 10 minutes. Then my back started to ache. Now I do 90 minutes in the gym 3 times a week and I could go longer if someone was willing to stuff my sweaty bra with cash.
There are many tiny victories. My ankles don’t swell up on airplanes (or at random) any more. I don’t need the seat belt extender on planes any more. Rather than a 4X-5X, most of my stuff is a 2X with the odd generously-sized 1X in there for a thrill. Most days, I don’t wake up loathing myself.
The thing is, I just want to be … normal. I am so bone-tired and nauseated being The Fat Girl. I don’t need to be The Hot Girl. I don’t yearn to wear skimpy clothes and shake my thang at a club. I have no delusions of having a hot, tight body. Dude, two humans have come out of me and my boobs are pretty content having a southern view. I just want to look ‘normal.’
When someone wants to hate on me, I want them to have to be more imaginative than calling me fat. Calling me fat is hacky. You sound like you’re in Grade 4. By the way, my Mom could totally beat up your Mom (she just got a tattoo), so go choke on it. BIKE RACKS. 3:00. BE THERE!
There’s part of me that thinks this is like having fertility issues, and I had those. Thanks, Clomid, for helping us out with that. It’s often said that once couples stop trying so hard, or in the case of fertility even look into adoption, BAM! They get pregnant. Is my focus so all-consuming on weight loss that it’s become part of the problem?
I’ll tell you what is a problem – letting the disappointment and maddening frustration steal joy from my life. And that’s what it’s doing right now. I’m uncertain how to proceed. Sounds like a psych top-up would be a good idea. Yes, I’ll keep eating well and going to the gym.
I’ll actually get rid of the scale instead of stealing away under the cover of darkness to check my weight, hoping nobody will notice, but knowing full well I’ll admit it to you. Talk about a dysfunctional comfort zone I have with that piece of shit.
Do I want to give up? Sometimes. There are times I want to scream, “Aww, FUCK IT,” and go drown my sorrows in a family-size bag of Wavy Lays. There are times I’ve wished for an addiction that I didn’t have to wear for all the world to see. Then I feel ashamed for thinking it.
I don’t know every person who is reading this and I fear that some will judge me as a whiner. But there’s a part of me that knows so many people understand these feelings that I thought writing this might be helpful, or at the very least, relatable. Though I don’t feel it right this second, I believe writing this has been or will be helpful to me as well.
Thank you so very much for letting me share this purging of emotions with you. My keyboard almost got wet with the tears, but my south-facing bosom took most of the hit.
P.S. It’s the day after I wrote this blog. I woke up, went to work, went to the gym and ate healthy. Then I noticed the tape measure on the bathroom counter. I measured my waist. Then I thought my eyesight was wonky. Then I measured again. Then I measured my hips. I checked the measurements I’d entered on My Fitness Pal. Um… in the 3 months where I’ve lost such little weight, I’ve lost 2″ off my waist and 4″ off my hips.
I shook my head and rolled my eyes. I wondered if I should delete my breakdown post. Then one of my social worker friends (I attract those weirdos in packs; it’s baffling) reminded me that the feelings I had were valid and valuable and hell, I couldn’t argue with that.
Sincerely I thank you for reading and for giving me a safe place to be the raw me. It means the world.