When I am reading a really compelling novel, which is one of my favorite methods of relaxation, I find myself actually having to put my hand over the rest of the page, forcing myself not to jump ahead! I so desperately want to get to the good stuff that I leap ahead only to find that I have missed the best part of the reading high-the rising action! The drama, the suspense, the light-headedness because you have been holding your breath for the last paragraph! Jumping to the climax of any story will satisfy you only for a brief moment, but then you feel the void of the missing sentences and you find yourself forced to go back to read those overlooked words. However, this time it’s not as thrilling! Like opening the corner of the wrapping paper as you peek at the presents under your parents bed the night before Christmas, only to find that the early glance isn’t quite as blissful as a long-awaited Christmas morning reveal!
To really feel like you know the characters, their struggles, the setting, the whole premise to the story, you need to read the whole book from beginning to end. This is how I will tell my story-starting from the beginning, up to the present day, and hopefully, together, we will find out how this thing ends! No jumping ahead. To know me now and to know how I ended up here, we must go back.
My story begins like so many others you have heard, not too many twists in the plot, pretty straightforward stuff. I was overweight as a child, a product of divorced parents, loneliness, and insecurity. I was wearing a womans size 14 in the fifth grade, 18 in the eighth, and a 28 the day I graduated high school. I weighed 300 lbs! I never had a boyfriend, I fit into the role of super funny party girl because I could never be totally smokin’ hot girl-a role only to be played by girls less than half my size! And when I say party girl I mean “PAR-TAY” girl! I was into everything you could think of drugs, alcohol-everything but being healthy and positive! I was extremely talented at hiding my pain under a heavy mask of wit, sarcasm, and being the first to bag on myself before others had the chance-a chance they would always end up taking, I seem to recall. I was never short on friends and had a pretty great social life aside from attending dances and parties alone or always to meet up with friends-no dates…ever. Homecoming…went with a good friend; prom…went with a friend and had my picture taken with my brother-ugh! (My first kiss was during spin-the-bottle in the eighth grade so it doesn’t count!)
You would think that all this misery would lead up to me changing the way I ate and would get me up off the couch, right? Wrong! I didn’t want to draw attention to myself at all by eating any different then my friends did. To have a salad when everyone is eating pizza just seems to not fit! I cared so much of what people thought about me that I hid most of my horrible habits! I would have a couple of pieces of pizza to fit in but then go home starving and eat the kitchen! One time after being out all night at a party I went through a drive-through twice. Twice. Had a large combo meal with extra sides and a shake. Twice! I had a very addicting personality…addiction to food seemed to just round out the list of vices quite nicely.
College. Overweight and still a big ol’ drunk! But now at least some of the lowest-of-the-low guys I ran with seemed to see me with their beer goggles so that was interesting…nothing like a few very awkward one-night-stands to make you feel more insecure than ever!!
The story gets good right about a year after I graduated with my BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I moved back home and found myself expecting my first child shortly after. A girl who has a child but has never had a boyfriend is a sad thing indeed! I always screamed at myself silently that my son-to-be would have a dad if I would lose the weight! Being the funny girl with the pretty face doesn’t help raise a secure male child…fathers do. But fathers of children are for visually pleasing members of my gender…these are the loving words I spoke to myself over and over and over again. Nice, right?
My son was born and a light went off…actually that is not what happened exactly. It was more like a bomb was dropped on me and there was no alternative but to start down the long road to weight-loss. My dad pressed the button in the war room that totally destroyed my way of life. He had my son Anthony and myself over for a BBQ. It was summertime and I was in three layers of black “hiding” clothes that made up my usual wardrobe and Anthony was just starting to walk. Anthony was out by himself in the yard sitting next to his little wagon and I was stuffed into a little plastic lawn chair eating my third plate of ribs when my father comes outside and says to me, or rather yells to me, “Hey! I thought you were going to try to lose some weight? Why don’t you get up out of that chair, if you can, and go play with your son!” Mortified, I unstuck my rear from the chair, started walking up the hill in the backyard towards my son and it hit me…I’m 23 years old, dressed like a grandma in the summertime, crying in part because I’m embarrassed but also because I was realizing that I had only walked about twenty yards and I was out of breath! How can I even be expected to play with this cute little boy when I can’t even walk over to him and pick him up without needing to eat more ribs and take a nap?! I was devastated! My dad said he would help me in the finance department if I needed to join a gym or start some sort of program.
The next day I walked into my local Jenny Craig armed with my fathers credit card and started losing weight over the next year and a half…140 lbs!
Then came the knee surgery…then the sedentary job… the hectic life that left little time for myself…the excuses…the depression…and ultimately the return of 100 of those pounds!!
And here I am, wedged in my little plastic chair of regret and self-pity and on my third plate of shoulda-woulda-coulda-ribs!!
So this is my blog; RE-losing the 100 lbs. Why blog about it? I need accountability, it worked before. I need to get outside and move, it worked before. I’m getting back to the things that worked the first time and doing those things harder and stronger to make this stick. The difference this time is that there will be no stopping point-no end to the journey. This is something that once started has to continue or those pounds will not stay in the “weight lost and found”…they will find me again! And that ain’t happening, folks