Time for a Change

Sure, we’ve all seen them, those pesky before and after photos of people who used to be fat and now are skinny.  Then you see a familiar face, the ugly duckling so to speak in high school who no one gave a second thought to because she was chubby.  Now she’s gorgeous, married, and did I mention skinny?  Not just your usual thinnish person either, no, she had to go all out and get ripped.  Then you look at yourself in the mirror, only minorly approving yourself for being the same weight as you were back then, but still, you’re chubby too.

Then comes the guilt when seeing the empty M&M’s and Cheetos wrappers on your desk, the dishes by your reading chair.  Suddenly you start blaming everyone else for your failure to be thin.  Your parents for not properly teaching you portion sizes because they themselves were obese, for not teaching you that exercise is the best thing you can do for your body, for not stopping you when you went for seconds or dessert night after night.  Then you blame your genetics – Mom and Dad were fat, which means I must have inherited it from them.  You blame your college for having you sit all day in classes, your work for never letting you get one of those walking desks, your friends for always being okay with letting you eat the last bite and not giving you a lesson in proper eating.  IT”S EVERYONE ELSE’S FAULT!!!  You scream it in your head, loud enough to drown out the other voices that might meekly offer any opposition.

Then, one day, the silence hits you, that voice yelling at you is somehow, inexplicably quelled for just a few moments, and that little whisper comes through, “It’s your fault, not theirs.”  It realizes it finally has some sort of power and begins to whisper more: “You are the one who decides what goes in your mouth, and you are the one who controls your limbs; they want to move, they crave to move, but you just sit there…eating.”

At my adult height of 5 feet 9 inches, I have been everywhere from 154 to 217.  In my warped childhood brain I believed that a growing waistline was the key to success and part of being a grown up.  I ate to gain, and gain I did.  By the time I hit 8th grade I hit my heaviest.  I struggled with my weight ever since I got to high school.  I joined softball, lost a few pounds, dappled in anorexia – which really was not my cup of tea, and never set an exercise routine that would help me cope with my weight.

When I got to college, I went vegetarian, became anemic, but was down to 168 – the lowest I had ever been.  Then I found the joy of ice cream, still not working out; my body plumped right back up.  I then had an emotionally abusive boyfriend who constantly told me when I started to lose weight that I was too skinny and I was unattractive.  As the first boyfriend I ever had, I wanted to keep him – bad decision.  So I stayed fat.  All through college.  Then I left school and started working a job where I was outside all the time on my feet for eight or more hours a week.  I dropped 3 pant sizes in two months – no change in eating.  I started going to the gym after work, and suddenly I was down to 154.

But what happened?  I’m now back up to the 170’s and struggling – going so far as to write ANA on my wrist – still not my cup of tea, don’t worry.  All I can see are people who are thin; my body image has been destroyed.  That’s when I heard the whisper.

Really, it was just a whisper, but for the past few months, my limbs have been dying to move, to break out from the grip of my sedentary lifestyle.  My sleep has gone haywire, and my mind is wandering.

The yelling voice has returned: “I DON’T WANT TOO!”  But this time, for the first time, the whisper is yelling back: “BUT YOU NEED TOO!”

 

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