So, Girl Scout cookies are in. That’s always a special fifteen pounds a year for me. It’s okay to have eleven Thin Mints in less than ten minutes while you watch The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, right? I mean, I eat an apple for lunch everyday and I “ran” on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 4.5 miles an hour. I burned so many calories so it’s just like evening out my calorie intake…
I’m the queen of coming up with excuses to avoid the gym. Oh god! Tickle in the back of my throat? Nope, can’t go. I’m definitely going to die. Have to stay home and cook a big pot of spaghetti with meatballs with some Texas Toast and then lay on the couch watching Downton Abbey until I fall asleep. Meatballs cure sore throats. Fuck Mucinex. But, hey, I use whole wheat pasta and the organic pasta sauce. Less sodium.
I worked out a lot more when I was single and had high stress in my life. In college, my boyfriend went to jail for four months for breaking his house arrest to go get high and play poker at a bar. So naturally I thought, well he’s a winner. Let me stick around for this gem. I have to get skinny so when he gets home I’m really hot! You know, because the convicted felons are the ones you want to impress. It worked. I ran four miles every day for four months and lost about thirty pounds.
When I was living in Austin, right after I made the decision to move back to Florida, I had a panic attack a day and worried incessantly about the transition from being a semi-independent mess to living with my parents again until I got on my feet. I self-medicated by being active. I started running every day around Town Lake and lost eighteen pounds in two months.
Now that I’m tied down to my current location because of my job, graduate school and a loving boyfriend with no criminal history, I have no reason to go to the gym. If only that were true. There is motivation in my face all the time to get fit, i.e., the idea of fitting into a wedding dress and looking beautiful on my wedding day, fitting back into the $100 bathing suit I bought last summer, being heart healthy because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. It all overwhelms me and then I just sort of shut down and being lazy seems way more fun than sweating.
Sometimes I’ll stand under the shower head and imagine that the water raining down on me will slough away all the fat and I’ll step out of the shower looking exactly like Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Only, what I really see when I step onto the shag carpet in front of the mirror is everything but. I spend a lot of time standing in front of the mirror picking apart all of the imperfections. I’ve convinced myself that they depreciate my value.
It doesn’t matter how long I stand in front of the mirror in disgust over what I’ve turned into over the last year though. It does not matter that I’m not getting any younger and I can always buy a bigger bathing suit. I’m fully aware of my problems. I work out but I still don’t push myself any harder than my normal 3-4 days a week for an hour run/walk/jog at the gym. Sugar is a serious issue for me. The Publix Bakery is my vice. Lately, I’ve been forcing myself to go to the Publix that’s in the same shopping center as my gym if I have to get something for dinner or I forgot to get laundry detergent. Nine times out of ten, I know that I’ll run into the girl who was just on the treadmill next to me running like a graceful gazelle at 6 mph on 15 incline. Buying her grapes and tofu and quinoa salad. She already saw me heaving and sweating to death after a 2 mile jog on an even incline I won’t be caught dead looking at Key Lime Pie and Brownie Bites.
Every time I go to the doctor he says, really nonchalantly, without looking me in the eye, “Well you know there’s the new law that says we are supposed to remind you every six months that you need to lose weight.” Only, I go to the doctor once a month and he tells me every time I go. And he knows he tells me every time but he sees that the scale has gone up two pounds each visit so he’s really hoping if he pushes the issue I’ll get it. He recently diagnosed me with abnormally high-cholesterol. He prescribed Pravastatin which I’m supposed to take every night before I go to bed. He said as he wrote the script, “this could really be controlled with diet and exercise.” And I shook my head with acknowledgement and understanding but I’m really thinking Okay, well I need to go to pick up some steak for dinner anyway. I guess I can stop off at the pharmacy and pay the $7 copay.
I’ve joined Weight Watchers a handful of times and only stick to it for a few weeks before canceling my membership. I went on Atkins in high school and lost about 40 pounds but the second I ate a piece of cake at a friend’s graduation party I instantaneously gained it all back. I’ve been on the all fruit and veggie diet, the shake diet, I’ve had bouts with anorexia since I started comparing myself to Malibu Barbie in the second grade. I wake up some mornings with determination. I’m not going to eat today. I will not eat today. Then someone will bring Dunkin Donuts in for the staff meeting and then it’s, Tomorrow, Tomorrow I’ll be anorexic. I won’t lie, there have been several occasions in my life where I have thrown up everything I put in my body for a week or two but then I give up because I’m exhausted and I feel disgusting and Hi, it’s not working. I’m still fat.
All jokes aside, these are the struggles big girls face. Yeah I’ll laugh it off. I’m very self-aware and I’m the first person to joke about my weight. I have this need to point out my flaws because I know that other people are taking a mental note. Especially my family. I read Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore when I was in college and I may be misquoting but she says “I could always tell that I’d gained the weight back because people stopped telling me that I looked great.” That line has always stuck with me because it’s such a truism.
I know what works for my body but it’s not easy getting to a point where I won’t give up. I am a quitter. I do not follow through on things. I just wonder what it’s going to take to get me to wake up and really fight to get a healthy weight. I don’t know. I really don’t. I know that I’m going to go to the gym for an hour today when it should probably be two and I’ll run/walk/jog at 4.5 mph, sweat a little and then go home and try really hard to not even look at the Tagalongs in my freezer.