Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Not Me, It's You. (Also: Fat.)

I'm a very passionate person. I'm driven, not wholly but enough, by emotion. I feel deeply, I truly experience experiences. I'm grateful that I'm also extremely logical (and I think the qualifier "extremely" really fits there) so I'm not prone to manic arcs or bottomless dives. Nonetheless: passionate.

I'm a bit fat right now. Ok, more than a bit. I stopped exercising regularly (every other day) in September and haven't been consistent since. Ugh. It's so hard to start once you've lived without that discipline, that constant, or "given," in your schedule. It's less the activity than it is the sacrifice of time. Or something. It's a cluster, is what it is. A cluster of excuses and frustration and, well, fat.

Being overweight is a different experience for me now than it used to be. I lost about 100 lbs three years ago (diet and exercise), and since then my entire brain has been reworked about my weight and my body. Unsurprisingly. And thankfully. But I still have the exact same struggle with food - the desire to use it as a numbing device, to abuse it, to abuse myself with it. It is my drug of choice. But that's not really about food, is it?

What is different is that weight issues for me are less shame-based and almost entirely health-based. Nearly 100%. Almost. If I say that I'm struggling with my weight or that I'm fat, well-meaning friends might rush in to say that I look great, or I'm crazy, or I was really too thin before anyway. Of course, they're talking about themselves, trying to quiet their own issues, and their comments have no relevance for me at all. This isn't to say I object to being told I look great. When it's about me? Yes, please. I could use more of that. But when I now say I'm overweight it literally means I am over weight. It used to mean - I'm ugly, I'm unacceptable, I'm not good enough, no one will ever desire me, no one will ever love me.

(Pause for recognition of how deeply sad and lonely a (partially self-imposed) jail that is. So sad. And so terribly lonely.)

Now if I say, in the course of an appropriate conversation, that I'm fat, and someone says, NO YOU'RE NOT!, it's a logic issue to me - I catch myself wanting to respond like a computer. Go into discussions about BMR and RMR and such. Sometimes I even open my mouth to do that before I realize: Oh, they're not talking to me.

(And now, a rabbit trail. Stay with me. We'll come back around.)

One thing I knew when I was younger but am really learning now that I am older is how important it is for us to attend to our own issues. It's not mandatory, of course, which is demonstration of the great freedom of life. But I'm learning (over and over) that the decision to ignore our own issues and demons is actually the decision to force others to do the wrestling that is really only ours to do. You do your work or you shit on others. In big or small ways. That's what I have found to be true. Over and over. It's one thing, although probably not the biggest thing, that keeps me from getting closer to people. I have a lot of my own shit and I've been working so hard to get it sorted. So hard. I just don't have the energy/understanding/strength/time to work on your shit, too, dear loved one(s). If a person appears to be working very hard and non-delusional-ly on their own shit, it's much more convincing that I could be capable of a deeper relationship with them. Shit shrapnel is part of the bargain, another demonstrations of the great freedom. Shit showers are not.

All of this comes back, of course, to me being fat right now. Damn! It's making me so mad. I have all these cute clothes (disclaimer: I don't really do fashion, so clothes that fit well and match are really cute to me) I can't fit into, my scale is like, Are you fucking kidding me? when I step on it, my body aches with extra, energy-sapping pounds. It's physically awkward, carrying this excess. It's very uncomfortable. I never would have known that had I not lost all that weight - I wasn't aware of being awkward in movement or uncomfortable before. But I am now. I had a Come to Jesus with my trainer on Saturday . . . there were tears. Gawd. How embarrassing. I joined a gym and got a trainer last month, just a few days before my dad died, and I haven't used either much.

So I am Trying Again. Christ. Trying again - I am Always trying again. I can think of no other more fitting description of my life than: Begin. Again. It gets frustrating, feels a bit disingenuous after a while (to say the least), but it's all I know to do. My resistance to being active, losing weight, being thinner is deep and convoluted. Relationships with your drug of choice always are. But I know I need to, I hear you, fat pants and bathroom scale and personal trainer. I hear you. And so, here I go. It's time to begin. Again.


  1. Ditto to all of the above. Only, I met someone who "likes chubbies", which gave me the excuse to (over)indulge a little more. The fact that the extra weight threatens me on various medical fronts and that I don't like myself this shape… arghh….. Both of us know from experience that we CAN lose the weight. I only hope that I can do it by myself this time and then not feel like I'm walking a tightrope every day, scared to eat anything more fun than a head of lettuce.

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  3. When I first gained weight moving here I complained about it a fair bit to my friends (who hadn't seen me in a year). They always replied with "No you're not" and such. I remember even after having to go up two pant sizes they kept saying that. I finally was like I didn't mention it to get those comments. It's a fact. I am fat for my body type, if I wasn't I wouldn't be able to grab handfuls of belly and smoosh it (I am building the picture of sexy right now, rawr!). I've never used saying I'm overweight or fat as a reason to get attention. It is what it is and it frustrates me because it's never as easy to get it off as it is to put it on. Plus I'm only 25, I should not be in this much pain and I only am because of the extra padding.

    I hope your trainer turns out to be good! I didn't like the one I had (also back in CA when I probably didn't need one, just to lay off the junk food for like five minutes) because he never encouraged weight training, just running on treadmills and elliptical. But my friend had one and she was excellent and she really started getting definition from the sessions.

  4. Girl, I feel you on this. When I lost a bunch of weight in my 20's I realized the difference and ever since being heavy has felt almost worse to me. But I struggle. And god damn I begin again over and over and over. Better than giving up, right?

  5. Do you want to join our tiny little couch 2 5k group? You're probably more advanced than that, but we are training for RAce for the Roses on April 14th, and we've got some good rah rah going. It's a private FB group if you do that sort of thing.

  6. Ugh, that was my totally inept way of saying I hear you. /compulsiveproblemsolver

  7. I really needed to read this tonight.
    I've been in the shame-based head space all week and it is oh so lonely. I don't like it here. Not one bit.
    You are an old soul.

  8. I was always skinny. ALWAYS. Couldn't gain weight. Tried downing carbs and working out just for muscle, but nope. Tall, skinny, geeky. But, once I grew out of my nerdishness, I had a handsome face. Cool. I was found attractive. It was embarrassing, really. I didn't feel attractive, but other people thought I was. Freaks.

    Then I hit late-30s, and ... my lifetime of not having to be consciously active hit. My face is rounder. I have a bit of a gut. I'm embarrassed of how I look. Too embarrassed to find a gym and a trainer and feel better, because of course, the first step is how others see me. I can't get past that.

    You've gotten past that before, and I believe you can again. You've gone farther than I have. You know how it feels to conquer some of this. You'll do it, I think, because you already know the better feeling.

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  10. I feel you, on all of this. ALL. OF. IT. <3