Monday, August 05, 2013
My leader encouraged us all to enter the celebrate success contest, so I did. I don’t expect to win—I mean 27lbs in 2 years with 100+ to go to reach goal isn’t what I think WW would like to advertise as success, but what the heck… every ounce I lose is a success to me and I’ll celebrate it when and where I want.
It’s a coolish day here in good ole St. Louis so I decided I’d take my lunch time 2 mile walk. For those of you who know STL, summers can be kind of hot and swampy so I haven’t been walking at lunch since temperatures started reaching the 80s for fear of dissolving into a puddle or keeling over from heat exhaustion.
I have been doing a workout video in a quiet corner of the building but I miss my lunch time walk. It’s a great way to get out frustration, get some much needed afternoon energy, and just have time to think. Thinking is what I did today… and it was interesting.
I went to Six Flags with my sweetie over the weekend. I’m not much of a rider-rider due to motion sickness, but I can get in a few. The past few times we went, with each new ride I was “concerned” about not being able to fit—each time I did but that did not stop me from obsessing about the next ride. This time when we went, I did not worry about fitting. I fit all of the rides so far… this is a non-issue. Except it wasn’t. We trekked our way to the top of the hill—the oldest wooden coaster at the joint, built in 1976… the coaster my 18 year old sister cried on and blurted out she was pregnant to my mother when I was 8 years old—THE Screaming Eagle. We waited in line for 30 minutes and I saw a woman my size not fit. UT Oh. I tried anyway and didn’t fit. Yeah it was slightly embarrassing, but all I did was get up and get out before having the attendant try to wedge me in unsuccessfully…I told him he could ride if he wanted too, but he left with me and it was no big deal… I mean hey he almost didn’t’ fit himself at 220lbs and 5.9—I mean should my 250lbs 5.3 rolly polly body fit? Probably not.
My “no big deal to minor embarrassment” reaction leads me to an interesting lunch inner dialog. I’ve been a big girl for most of my life. I never learned how to eat appropriately and being the youngest of 7 of a family that didn’t have a lot… when a treat came your way... you gobbled it up because if you blinked it was gone! When I was a very little girl, the doctors were concerned about me being too small, so Mom encouraged me to fatten up. As I got older, it became a problem. People made fun of me, my family made fun of me, but this didn’t motivate me… it only pushed me further down the rabbit hole.
I remember a lot of BS that happened in life.. and I’ll share some of it with you – not because I am feeling sorry for myself.. not because I want your pity either.. but because even though I let it go and I’m in a good place, this all contributed to my weight gain… and I think many of us can relate.
I remember when I was 16 I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and my mother looked at my arms in disgust. She very plainly in front of one of my friends said “oh my god look at your arms. I remember when I was 16 I weighed 100lbs soaking wet. You’re stretch marks are disgusting.” I was naturally embarrassed and shrank inside myself instead of attacking back—she wanted a fight and I wouldn’t give it to her. Later, she felt bad and we had pizza for dinner—not a veggie in sight.
I overheard my youngest brother pointing me out to one of his friends and said and “that’s my little sister—well I mean.. not “little” sister.” They had a nice laugh.
Walking down the street on the way home from school because I wouldn’t ride the bus anymore due to the ridicule I received ( I walked a 5k every day to avoid the torment—or fear of torment) there a man on a motorcycle through his soda at me and screamed at me to lose some weight… well ok since you say so.
My boyfriend in college… the mistake I chased after for 7 years—one day brought over a picture of ex-girlfriends in lingerie and said – “see this is what my dream girl looks like.” I had lost 80 lbs but I recognized I didn’t look like a single one of them.
What’s so funny (by funny I mean sadly ironic) is that if all of these people knew the cruelness they spite in my general direction wasn’t even nearly 10th of how mean I was to myself they would have just left me alone. They truly couldn’t hurt me more that I hurt myself… although they did add to my self hatred.
I felt that whatever else I was—smart, funny, talented, a good friend, daughter, girlfriend—that because I was fat, no one would ever see those good qualities I had. In a strange way, that sort of became a security blanket. I didn’t have put myself out there, and risk failure based on merit because trying didn’t matter. No one would see my worth or the worth of my work because I was fat.
Meanwhile the years roll on, and I still hold on to my security blanket like a toddler afraid of the dark. I’ve not reached my artistic and life goals because I let my weight insecurity hold me back. Why do I let the number on the back of my pants dictate success in life?
It comes back to fear. Fear that after letting go of my security blanket… what if I fail on merit and not my size? What if I really am not good enough?
Logically… I know we all fail. Failing is disappointing, but it’s all part of the bigger picture. We grow with our failures as well as our successes. The challenge is to get back up, dust yourself off and try again.
It has taken me 2 years to lose 27lbs with Weight Watchers. I have 100+ to go to reach my number out of a hat goal weight of 133lbs. I am 252lbs, a size 18w… but I am more than that.
I will not let size or fear keep me down.
I am fearless… you be fearless too.