This episode begins a new track to my Luther Vandross’ish weight loss/gain/loss journey. While I find this difficult to write about, I believe it to be necessary for me and possibly helpful to you. And as long as I’m writing this column, I’m going to be honest with you.
As I said in a previous essay, it ain’t always pretty.
In case I never really made this clear, my initial and eternal purpose in losing weight was to be able to attract a mate. I had been losing weight for the sole purpose of one day getting laid (legally) as much as I want and without embarrassment. My idea of what I should look like comes from the constant images of “beauty” in the media, and so much of my self-exploration had involved my changing my idea of what beauty is.
I say this because part of my issue with being The Fat Girl is that I would yearn after men who were part of the “beautiful people” crowd, without ever giving a thought as to character. As an adolescent, I began to cut my teeth on romance novels, gleaning a vision of some sort of superdude who was both visually stunning and rife with character. I am headstrong, you see, and I always envisioned – no, longed for – a romantically tempestuous relationship, because that was what Harlequin said was exciting and everlasting.
Harlequin lied to me.
It wasn’t until I met Michael that I realized that what I thought I wanted and what I needed were two different things.
He is a gentle soul, forgiving of my faults and foibles, and I find that I want to be gentle alongside him. Our relationship is quiet, soft, and comfortable, and I love him for giving that to me.
So here I am, three weeks away from giving birth to a baby girl, and weighing in around 370 – almost what I was when I began this journey 3 1/2 years ago.
A friend of mine expressed disappointment in me for not staying on plan throughout my pregnancy and, rightly or wrongly (I really don’t know) accused me of preferring pizza and potatoes to being thin (or at least as thin as one can be when one is baking a baby).
I had the impression that she felt some emotional road block was at work, and perhaps she is right. I told you about The Captain so that you would understand that I no longer have that motivation. I floundered (and still do) without that driving force.
Instead of reacting to her words with anger and hurt, which I would have in a previous life, I only sat back and thought about what’s changed in my life since I had that stone-cold resolve and commitment to the low carbohydrate way of life.
- I have been obsessing about my weight since I was five years old. I have viewed it as my defining characteristic, my identity, my friend and my enemy. My whole life has been about being fat. Now it’s not.
- The entire two years it took me to lose almost 150 pounds, I can’t really say I was happy. True, I was enjoying my accomplishment, but the accomplishment wasn’t really getting me where I wanted to be emotionally – happy with my life. The last few weeks before I met The Captain were hell. I barely ate and slept even less. The weeks and months following that as I lost 20 more pounds weren’t much better. I obsessed over every single fluctuation of the scale; it was all I thought about. Now I don’t.
- The minute I realized that I would probably have to permanently give up vinegar and tomato products to crack the 232 mark, I was unwilling/unable to give up one more thing in my diet. I was still obsessing, and I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the rest of my life (which was beginning to shape up nicely once I decided I was okay with being single forever) because of this one issue. I’ll deal with this later.
- And really, if I was okay with being single, what was the point of staying on plan anyway if I was going to be so miserable and obsessing my life away over it? Now I’m not, and I don’t.
- Then I met my husband, got married, got laid, got pregnant right away, and suddenly, I woke up one day to realize I was happy – consistently. And not much of it had anything to do with my weight.
- My obsession had everything to do with fear, and I am done with that.
I have not told my friend my conclusions because I’m not really sure it matters anymore what anybody else thinks. I’m happy, and I refuse to obsess over my weight anymore. I have no reason to; I have no timetables, no deadlines, no fear of being fat.
On the other hand, maybe that’s a bad thing.