Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Fat Is Fab"... No Good? It Was Worth A Try.

I want to be thin. Is that so much to ask for? I was once thin and I want to be again but clearly, I was not meant to be. I've many times said that my body would serve me well if I were an Eskimo. I'm excellent at storing fat for the long winters. Apparently, it's winter all the time where I live.

At my thinnest, my diet consisted of seltzer and salad and I was working out at a gym two hours a day, every day. I was also single and didn't have anyone or anything to worry about except myself. Then I met the man who was to be my husband and instead of working out, we were eating out, instead of step class, we took a cooking class, instead of working on me, I started working on we.

I don't blame him - much. It's not his fault I'd rather go to the movies with him than run to the gym. Of course, he could have made going to his gym a priority thus forcing me to do the same but apparently he was waiting for me to do it... boy was that ever a sign of things to come.
Here we are now, nearly 14 years married, fat and comfortable. I wish that sounded better.

Then in late Spring of this year I had a wake-up call. No, not a medical wake-up call - though it might have helped since my doctor has a habit of telling me to lose weight for my health in the same breath as telling me all my blood tests are perfect. I mean, give me something to work with. No my wake-up call came in the form of my new Mac.

Let me side step for a moment to tell you that I am a planner extraordinaire. I live by the motto that "proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance". The calendar, day planner, and to do list are my life lines. Ask me what I'm doing on any day in the next 12 months, I can tell you, in fact, I could probably tell you beyond that. Some would say it's a sickness, but I say there is nothing wrong with it. So with my Mac hooked up I was ready to enter a new realm of organization... I was going to go paperless. I cleared a few hours and downloaded every chore, errand, appointment, event, and possible plan as far into the future as I could stomach. And that's when it hit me... 2010 was littered with photo events.

You know the ones where your photo is taken by who knows how many people and for weeks on end you are untagging your name from Facebook albums. There it was staring back at me from my new 20" flat screen monitor; the events where my photo would be taken from countless unflattering angles and all in less than a year - my husband's 45th birthday (no plans yet, but he wants to take a trip), my daughter's 1st Holy Communion, my youngest sister's bridal shower, and of course, her wedding, my 25th high school reunion, and my 15th wedding anniversary (plans for a cruise are in the works). I started to panic. I mean real panic-attack. After lying down and focusing on my happy place (deserted beach just watching the waves roll in) in an attempt to get my breathing under control, I sat back down at the computer to makes some plans.

First thing to go, no more school committees. All those type A's fighting for the spotlight and a chance to be self-congratulatory made me ill anyway. They had sucked me dry of my time and energy and creativity for years without so much as a thank you. So I was putting my foot down. No more school committees. Wow! That freed up my calendar quite a bit. No excuse not to go to the gym.

Second thing, sign-up for a gym trainer so I'm forced to go to the gym. So, in I walked and asked to set up a meeting with a trainer. It was no surprise that they asked me if I wanted to sign up for the gym first - it's not as if they had seen me in the last 5 months. When I said I was already a member, there was visible surprise on the receptionist's face... please, I can't be the only one who pays their monthly dues but doesn't go. I met with two trainers in two days to create programs for my arms and my abs. I promised each that I'd handle the cardio on my own. With exercise program in hand, I was ready to start. But what about my diet?

Well there is only so much I am willing to do. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't gamble, I don't shop (the way I used to), I've got nothing but eating. I love Pepsi, I love bread, I love cheese; I could sustain myself on those three alone. I was willing to cut back but not cut out. So I started buying those little cans of Pepsi. I said no more rolls, just whole wheat slices, pita, flat breads. And I tried the fat free cheese - I said I tried, so get off my back! I now buy part skim cheeses. I uped my salad intake, downsized desserts to almost nothing. I've done a great deal to my diet. So why is nothing happening?!

I'm not consistent. I have good days and bad. I want so badly for exercise and eating right to become a habit, but it's just not happening. Sometimes I'm so depressed about it, I just want to sit in front of the TV the entire day while my daughter is at school... not eating, just sitting. Sometimes, I work out and I lose steam and can't get through it so I quit. I've called the trainers to cancel more times than I've gone. And all those photo events are getting closer and closer.

I have no excuses. Well, maybe just one... fear of failure. It's been a long time since I was thin, maybe this is who I am and the idea of that scares me. But instead of scaring me into doing something, it's scaring me into hiding in my house, avoiding mirrors, wearing oversized clothes.

I have a daughter - a beautiful, smart, well adjusted, trim and petite daughter - who I can't keep these fears from much longer. She's already noticed the way I won't let her take a picture of me when we're on vacation or how uncomfortable I can get around my extended family (I have 4 sisters all tall and thin - yet another future post). I don't ever want her to look at herself in the mirror and feel the way that I do about myself when I look in the mirror. I "used to be" is all I've got to hang my hat on these days. It's a sad reality (and one, at this moment, that is making me upset).

I've got to end here. I hear my daughter coming up the stairs and I don't want her to see me crying.


  1. Bonnie, I too am going through the same issue of 'remember when i was thin?' *sigh*
    I'm also trying to balance the idea of not being happy with my appearance and teaching allison that she *should* be happy with her appearance no matter what. it's a horrible double edged sword!

    I look at my mom and see my 'destiny'
    And you know what? it ain't so bad.

    i see myself as 'soft and huggable' not 'hard and buff'.

    my husband loves me. my kids love me and you know what... that ain't so bad.

    and i bet... if you took a survey at your house, you'd find the same verdict.

    btw - i love ya, too!

  2. Oh Christ, I hadn't thought that I might turn out looking like my mother! This is worse than I thought!

    I laugh to stop from crying ;-).
    I love you too, Am! I'm so glad we reconnected after all these years.
    I'm going to go stare at the ocean for a few days; hopefully I'll come back refreshed and not just sandy.