I’m a creeper on a 30 Day Challenge Facebook Group.
I don’t know the two women who started it super well, but from what I do know, I really like. It helps that they are both around my age (AKA not 22), have kids and jobs.
I’m a creeper because other than watching what I eat, I haven’t done much in the way of my goal, to lose eight pounds at the end of the 30 days.
I’ve been working from home a lot and my gym is in my office building. Oh and I also really like to eat a lot of not healthy stuff.
Anyway, I’ve been following some of the posts, checking in to see how people are doing, etc. But recently, one about choosing healthy snacks really bothered me.
Not because it wasn’t a good thing to talk about, but rather, how ALL of us so quickly chimed in on ways to FEEL FULL with LESS CALORIES and EAT HEALTHIER BETWEEN MEALS and NOT EAT CHIPS AND COOKIES.
It bummed me out that this is so ingrained, so automatic.
When I hit puberty, I started to gain weight. The first time I ever realized that my body was something to make fun of was when a boy at band camp (yes, band camp) yelled “your stomach is hanging over your shorts!” The burning shame was so surprising and instant. It never left me.
The comments would continue throughout my life. I was “too heavy to lift for cheerleading.” I was “getting chubby.” I was admonished for the amount of food I ate and how fast I ate it. Someone once shouted “SUMO” as I ran past their apartment during a 5K.
So yeah, I always knew. I was always aware.
I Am Aware.
A sad thing to note is that I really wasn’t all that overweight. My doctors did not suggest I eat less or workout. I was a fairly regular size, though of course I found it embarrassing to wear a 7/8 at 5-7-9. I lied that I was 117 pounds on my drivers license because being over 120 was TERRIBLE.
I’m at my heaviest right now, outside of the 208 pounds I clocked in at at 9 months pregnant.
I don’t like the way I look.
My therapist suggests I try to look at my body for what it is, a functioning able body. That I should congratulate it for being able to pick up my toddler and get up the stairs and walk a decent distance.
And I want to. I do. It is so absolutely draining to wake up every single day and wonder how I’m going to do in terms of eating. Will I be hungry, but pleased with myself or overly full and depressed? Will I give in at breakfast with a stop at McDonald’s or wait until the end of the day to heat up a Trader Joe’s molten chocolate cake and pile on vanilla Haagen Daas? Will I go through the drive thru when I’m out running errands? Will I get the nachos at Qdoba for lunch?
Or will I eat a 100 calorie Greek yogurt and 90 calorie fiber bar and three cups of tea and salad and berate myself into only finishing half my dinner, convincing myself that the empty feeling in my stomach is worth it and that if I can keep this up for weeks, months, my jeans will stop squeezing my middle, the band of my underwear will no longer feel like a vice grip, I’ll stop panicking that my winter coat won’t zip?
There is rarely a middle ground. Or at the very least, I will start out one way and end differently, which just means I overdid it.
The only way I can enjoy a large calorie meal is to say “fuck it” in my head, that I’m doing what I want and that that feeling is better than anything.
If only the consequence wasn’t this self loathing.
Maybe the worst part is knowing how good I felt when I was smaller. I wish that wasn’t true so I could stop trying to get there. That one moment in time where I accepted my body, showed it off, loved it. When my confidence was through the roof. You know, when I would eat half an Amy’s frozen entree and worked out with a personal trainer and counted vodka sodas as my dinner.
Instead, I’m at work, where there is a ton of leftover food from a board dinner in the fridge, including a tray of frosted sugar cookies.
I feel like I’ve already blown it and it’s only 1:30.
Getting on the treadmill in a couple of hours will not make me feel better.
But I guess I’ll do it. Since I’m here.