Phat with Fat
After all these years, I’ve decided that right now, I’m just going to have to be okay with that…
-Melina Gerosa Bellows
“I don’t care!” I declare, crossing my arms across my chest and turning my back on my offender. I feel like launching into an “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?” diatribe but stop myself. After all, I’m talking to my bathroom scale.
After months of anti-carbing and doubling my exercise, I have yet to change my body. So I’m doing something radical and changing my mind instead.
Ever since I can remember, my response to an aggressive number blinking back at me from the dictator of self-esteem and elicited a proclamation to go on a diet. Losing weight will give me a new lease on life, I announce, and a new and better way to feel about myself.
Now, however, I’m doing something different. I’ve decided that I’m going to be fat!
Frankly, I’m just tired of the routine, which has been a spectacular and continual self-defeat fest. It starts like this: Wake up, eat a yucky healthy breakfast (like scrambled egg whites) and then Make The Exercise Happen. This is not such an easy task. Sometimes it means moving meetings around at work to carve out a gym lunch. Or banging out a run before taking the kids to school, which means enduring screaming, crying. “MOM, DON’T GO!” guilt, on top of the unpleasantness of the facing the cold, rainy morning and the unrelenting hills in my neighborhood.
I maintain my resolve through the day, opting for a grilled chicken salad and a diet Coke for lunch. By four or five p.m., I start getting cranky, and by the time I get home I am ravenous. When I finally get my kids to sleep a few hours later, I don’t give a @##$% about losing weight.
I start hearing THE VOICE. It’s says lots of things, along the lines of “You are starving! If you don’t eat EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY, you will perish! Die! And then who will take care of your children?”
Good point, I think, and start rummaging around in the fridge. I don’t have the energy to make a salad, and frankly, a vegetable at this point would be an insult. So I blow my calories on anything handy that will fill the hole inside of me. This is usually something kid-flavored, like mac-and-cheese or pizza.
After I eat whatever it is that I shouldn’t have, I get mad.
“You deserve better,” says The Voice.
I agree wholeheartedly. After all, didn’t I work out at lunch and avoid the cookie platter at the 3 p.m. meeting?
Then The Voice says, “Go ahead, you deserve a treat.”
Gamely, I look for something to make it up for me. I find a hidden Easter basket and finish all of the malted chocolate eggs, or the peanut M&Ms reserved for potty-training rewards.
After I get my fix, I go up and lie down and watch TV.
Immediately The Voice turns on me. “What did you go and do that for? You idiot!” it growls. “Start your diet tomorrow. Then maybe you will be worth something.”
The Voice is right. I promise I will do better next time. Then I start strategize of all the other ways I can self-improve: Crest White Strips! Pare down my closet to only what fits! Invite the preschool moms over for cocktails!
I get so overwhelmed that I can’t sleep. I toss and turn until midnight, then I start to worry about my six a.m. start time. In order to get a good night’s sleep, I go down and eat a bowl of Special K sprinkled with Equal.
The following day, I get up and do it all over again.
Beauty takes time. Looking fit and feeling healthy requires organization, dedication, the ability to recommit after a lapse, and a million other traits I don’t seem to possess at the moment.
For now, I am giving up the thin part.
But how? Even scarier, what if I don’t possess the capability to like myself fat.
Recently I saw a show featuring the fattest guy in the world. He holds the Guinness World Record for losing the most weight something like 1,000 pounds which he gained back, and then some. He was asked if he would be open to the bypass surgery to help him with his obesity. He said that the bypass would only work if they could perform it on his brain, because that’s where his problem truly resides.
Even though I only have ten and not 1,000 pounds to lose, I could empathize.
My goal is to put feeling better above looking better on the priority list. And that means starting with the hardest task of all, self-acceptance.