You can leave your friends behind! Cuz your friends don't dance and if they don't dance, well, they're no friends of mine!
This is me and my brother at his wedding back in 2007 -- I was hovering near the weight I am now, but not yet at my top weight, but not really at my low weight either.
That would be this:
Here I am in NYC in 1995 after going to Overeaters Anonymous and sticking with Three Meals A Day, Nothing In Between, One Day At A Time - No Sugar, No Deep Fried Food, and uh, No Alcohol.
I had a big problem with that last one. In fact, I was unable to string together more than 72 days without alcohol. I was kicking butt until my birthday party. I felt ENTITLED to tear it up, I was turning 27! The squatters on my block in Alphabet City were rioting outside my door, it looked like Les Miserables out there. If that wasn't a time to abandon my willpower and get ripped, I didn't know what was.
After that party, I slid back into my food plan, but then I couldn't go more than two weeks without drinking. Sometimes not more than a few days. Recreational drugs factored into the picture more frequently, too. I felt that if I had to give up drinking which I loved more than the air I breathed, I was ENTITLED to get hammered any way I could. My food started getting funny, too. I started cutting back even more, fueled by my excitement over my changing body. Suddenly I was undereating all week -- lying to my sponsor about what I was eating - and then using drugs that made me not want to eat as much, only to slip on alcohol, get drunk and completely forget about OA and overeat (although I managed not to eat sugar! Not that it mattered, the alcohol has plenty of sugar in it). After a crazy summer and a horrible Labor Day weekend that encompassed being totally wasted, totally rejected by a hot neighbor I threw myself at, I limped along wondering why I was thin, lookin' good and feeling like total poop on toast, pardon the expression.,
Well, isn't BEING THIN the thing I always wanted? Wasn't EVERY ONE OF MY PROBLEMS due to the fact that I was fat, the fattest girl in my posse? The fattest girl in Alphabet City?(so I thought) The fattest girl at the bar? Wasn't every bad thing that happened to me because I was fat? All my bad choices, influenced by shame about being fat? Why the boys liked me in a secret way but wouldn't walk down the street with me on their arm? Now I was thin! I was a size 12/14! I could wear cute halter dresses, like the dress at my roommate's birthday party! Why wasn't the world raining down men, cash, prizes, cute shoes, easy jobs, fame, glory, and rainbows all over me?? I was so depressed, here I thought my whole life would get better.
I learned the hard way that my HAPPINESS did not depend upon my weight, and my MISERY sure didn't come from the weight either.
It's a long story, and I'm sure I'll write about it at some point, but for today, I want to keep in mind that even though I am excited about this journey, I know for a fact that losing this weight won't change my world or my entire life.
I need to be happy RIGHT NOW, because that's where I live. I live here and now, not in some future where I am thin and people are fanning me with giant ostrich feathers while I lounge on a divan, limbs posed artfully, dipping baby carrots into hummus. I need to love my body the way it is here and now, large - round - kind of bouncy - soft and squishy - and beautiful
It is a stronger body than it was a week ago. It is an evolving body. It's a few inches smaller than it was the last time I took my measurements on '09. My back feels stronger, and I'm standing taller. That makes me happy. I am going to be spending a few months saying goodbye to some of this squishiness, and it served me well for as long as it did, but I don't need it anymore. I need more muscle, and I'm working for it.
I'm going to dance no matter what size I am, because I love dancing. I am going to wear sleeveless dresses no matter what size I am too, because you know what? Despite not being crazy about my upper arms, why should I be hot and suffer just because I am ashamed and what I *THINK* other people are thinking of me? Fat Laura 1.0 (pre 1995) never wore jeans or sleeveless shirts, or knee length skirts because that version of me thought everyone was looking at me and staring at my body, judging me. Fat Laura 2.0 - today - wears what she wants to wear because now if people are looking at me, I am assuming it's because they think I'm a funky dancer...cuz I am. A funky dancer with big arms.
There's one thing I still won't do - I don't tuck in my shirts. I am an "apple" shape and my midriff (which I have disparaged in the past by calling it "Trucker Gut") is the largest most obvious "fat" on me. While I have chosen to wear shirts that actually FIT me instead of oversized tent-like shirts like I did in the past, I still don't feel comfortable with clingy fabrics or any kind of waist definition. Empire waisted tops are my BFF. I am hoping that I one day I CAN tuck in a shirt without shame, and I hope that day comes before I hit my goal weight.
I'm still gonna dance with an untucked shirt, though.