Sunday, January 9, 2011
I've got an addiction that I wear, in the open, for all to see. Funny thing is, rare is the person who whispers or yells to me that I need help. Interventions only take place when needles and highballs are involved, it would seem. But, from my vantage point, being fat is a cry for help too. It's just so damn sensitive to talk about. Even now, my fingers aren't moving as fast down the home row.
Many of us have just made resolutions; there are a dearth of fat shows on TV now, not the least of which is MTV's "I Used To Be Fat" which has coincidentally come on twice at the gym while I'm pounding away on the elliptical; and worst of all every woman I know and love seems to feel ashamed or guilty in some regard when looking in the mirror or staring down at the scale.
I'm sick of feeling that way myself.
Marc asked me awhile ago, "Why do you binge?" (As much as I fooled myself thinking it a secret, there's really only one way to get fat.) (Sidenote: I am totally ok with the word fat; I can also use obese if you prefer. . . either way, I own it just fine.)
The answer to that question is a canvas painted exclusively with shame, and remarkably simple. I grew up with food as comfort; food as a way I bonded with my dad, as a treat or a rush and, now that I'm more conscious, as a salve. A salve really for any emotion: stress, boredom, loneliness, happiness, sadness. Sitting in emotions, after all, can seem interminable.
I've lost weight before, though not for the best reasons: boyfriend break-up, death, identity crisis. So it's like a whole new skill to do it now, when I'm happy and focused. Foreign territory and harder to do because you love yourself and know you'll be a better counselor if you're healthy; you'll have the courage to ski if you're healthy.
It's an education, pursuing it because you want to. . . not to lose weight. After all, my ideal body is Queen Latifah. Beautiful Queen Latifah. Meaning tall (though that's everpresent) and strong. Capable.
And wearing J. Crew would be nice too.
I've lost 10 pounds in the past month with that ever-so-simple formula: eat less, move more. It's not simple at all. Each day is speckled with fighting urges, and changing habits. On the block where I work, there is a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle, Jimmy Johns and Garrett Popcorn. Some days, just walking by those doors is the ultimate feat. Most days.
And on those days I resist because I love myself, I get a step closer to making the journey one propelled by my own motivation and not the need to please. The self-respect I mentioned in a previous post. Some days I'm hiking sand dunes in the Middle East, and others I'm gliding around on a lazy river, able to close my eyes and savor the warmth and health.
It's hard to write about, hard to talk about, but every journey is better when shared.