The First Attempt
Monday, June 06, 2011
It was after my birthday, February of 2010, when my roommate at the time suggested we get memberships to one of the more expensive gyms in town. I panicked, thinking that if it was critical for my friend, then I must be hideous in comparison. She had been a cheerleader when we were in high school, and I always considered her to be very pretty. I would find out later that her pretty image was much more likely due to her overwhelming self confidence. Either way, the gym was still holding a New Year's Resolution Special, so I signed myself up. Since my friend's family owned stock in the gym, she not only had a free lifetime membership, but considered any other, cheaper, gym to be lower of her standards.
The first month was relaxing.We spent more time in the hot tub than actually working out. We also consumed a lot of "healthy" snacks at the pro-shop cafe. Sometimes we would play HORSE using the swimpool basketball hoops. After the first few weeks of dragging our feet, I decided it was time to get serious. I was having ankle issues and thyroid issues at the time, and it scared me. The moment I decided to buckle down, however, my roommate had found no more joy in the strenuous hot tub lazing, the hard work of climbing in and out of a pool. Her gym phase was over, but she didn't tell me outright. Instead the excuses to avoid the gym, the pool, and ultimately myself entirely became her choice of fun. She partied, had limitless fun with her other clubbing friends, and while they were out binge-drinking, having one night stands, and verbally abusing strangers on the street, I laid in my bed at home feeling abandoned not as a workout buddy, but as a lonely, fat, socially awkward girl who just wanted to enjoy time with a best friend.
I gained back the little weight i'd lost, and things got ugly real fast. The friend wanted nothing to do with me, but she'd not take into account the fact that she hadn't had a job for half a year, and therefore not paid her portion of the rent for half a year. I paid her way. I felt so used and depressed, and all contact was extremely passive aggressive between us. She played mind games that kept me trapped in my room where i would watch tv, eat, or cry, often all of the above at once, while her friends threw responsibility and decency to the wind at my expense.
In the end, let us just be happy to say this situation was NOT everlasting, and as much as a i hated losing a friend (I'm so socially awkward that making new friends is very difficult), there was a great sigh of relief on the day some of my more caring friends kicked her the eff out of my house. I will never get the 1,500$ she owes me in rent and bills, so as far as I'm concerned I had a great time in Vegas with a lot of money spent at the slots =).
With the cruel daily treatment done for, I could finally rebuild portions of myself, starting with my wallet, and the search of buying a house of my own with the help of my boyfriend. From May 2010 all the way until April of 2011, I would not use my Prairie Life Gym membership more than twice. I DID continue to pay the monthly dues that entire time, partly out of wishful hoping.
I do remember October of 2010 being my body image reality check moment. I've always avoided being photographed, but I had been caught at two events that month. First was in a photo taken at my Aunt's Birthday Celebration. It included my mom, sister, aunt, and I. I felt like I took up half the photo. My weight had always fluctuated in my life, but it never reached my face until now. For the first time ever my face was noticeably fat. I was even 10 lbs less than my heaviest moment, but man was my face unrecognizeable to myself. Even if I thought I was fat in the past, I at least thought I had some cute features until this photo. Two weeks later, a friend tagged me in a Halloween Party picture on Facebook. It. Was. Embarrassing. As i said, I don't take many photos of myself, and the ones I display are very, very carefully selected. Now everyone could see the shameless decline in my health, from people in highschool that knew me when I was athletic, to family members that I didn't see very often.
That was when I attained my first selfish weight goals.
One: I didn't want to wear an XL Costume next year. I had always had it in my head that SOMEday, I would put on a chainmail bikini and dress up as the Red Sonja for halloween (in my dreams).
Two: I dreaded the fact that through various facebook friends, my old roommate could see these pictures and delight in the extra fatness the inflicted depression had bestowed upon me. I also knew that she too had been putting on weight, it was matter of time before it caught up with her. I told myself that now was the time to sneak past her in physical appearance and someday surprise her, like a deserving movie underdog. I would no longer be her fat friend, or fat ex-friend for that matter.
All I could do was let these two things roll around in my mind for the next couple of months, since i was closing on a house and the holidays were coming up. There was snow outside on the ground, and driving to the gym was much too risky, especially when you have an electric heated blanket and a bed.