I’m not bad looking. Let's get that out of the way at the very start.
Not to sound all braggy, but I’ve got a mouthful of straight teeth (and I never had braces!), tiny ankles, and naturally thick, healthy nails. I only recently started seeing a few gray hairs, and I have cute little Fred Flintstone feet.
But I’m embarrassed to say that I stepped on the scale this morning and I’m exactly 100 pounds heavier than the day I graduated high school.
I'm going to let that sink in for a sec.
I’ll spare you the numbers, but this is bad. It’s very bad.
Granted, I was tiny at graduation. My mom even took me to the doctor a week or so after I graduated, because she thought I had anorexia nervosa (I didn’t).
I was one of those annoying people who could eat anything and never gain an ounce. I remember saying a little prayer of thanks to God for not giving me the weight issues that run in my family.
Which triggered the giant jinx from the universe: shortly after high school - like most kids their first semester of college - I started gaining weight. Just a little at first, but then in my 20’s it kept coming.
I really “blossomed” in my 30’s. My grandmother once said to me, in her Red River-influenced twang, “Whew-eee! I almost didn’t recognize you, you’re s’big!”
Part of the problem is my 40’s, but not in the way that you might think.
You know: most people complain about their 40’s because of their slowed metabolism, or their joints hurting, or they have to buy their first pair of readers.
The problem I have with my 40’s, is that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m happy in my marriage, I’m happy with my children, I’m happy with the work that I do. My weight and the size of my clothes is just not something I worry about these days.
I’m finally comfortable in my skin.
True, I am starting to notice a few annoyances of getting older: random gray eyebrow hairs, forehead wrinkles, and I just recently had to actually pluck a few long nose hairs (red ones, which catch the sunlight, if you must know).
AND I get such terrible hemorrhoids, it’s like walking around with a handful of ripe Bing cherries in my butt. **Oh no she di-enttt!!**
For the first years of my life, I’m not self conscious about my looks.
Here’s what’s bothering me, though:
I worry about heart disease, because it killed my dad’s dad at the age of 44. My dad has had a few bypass surgeries, and he suffered a stroke after his last one.
Supposedly, heart disease has a tendency of getting worse with each generation, and - even though medical advancements have helped counteract that, heart disease still exists, and dropping dead of a heart attack at an early age is a real fear for me.
I worry about the terrible example I’m setting for my kids. My boys both get sort-of “thick” in the middle right before they have a growth spurt. But I never had that. And my husband certainly didn’t. He was so skinny as a kid, he was put on double rations when he joined the Marines, and he looked like a little white Cambodian kid when he was even younger.
What if the fact that my boys have these “thick” phases is an indicator that they’ll struggle with weight later in life? And then there’s that heart disease worry again, only this time I worry about them having it.
Here’s another thing: I was too embarrassed recently to put my size on Facebook for my friend’s Lula Roe block party. This sounds contradictory, since I said earlier that I’m not self-conscious, but just feeling comfortable in my skin doesn’t mean I’m interested in announcing what size I wear.
Another worry is that I’ve written articles in the past about my weight loss, so I feel like a loser (except… not) for putting back on the weight (plus five pounds… why is that always the case?).
So here we go again. I dragged myself kicking and screaming to the gym this morning (yay! I remembered how to get there!) and ran on that God-forsaken treadmill. And by “ran,” I of course mean that I ran/walked. And by “ran/walked,” you know that I mostly walked.
But whatevs. I did it, knowing that if I could just push through the next two or three weeks of this working-out-bullshit, I’ll start to feel better, and I’ll start to get back in a routine of exercising.
No more pouring through People magazine’s “How I Lost 100 Pounds” issues, while shoveling in spoonfuls of peanut butter and Nutella (before you get all judgy, I challenge you to try it. It’s like Reese’s, only softer, and you don’t have the visual reminder of your lack of control via a pile of orange candy wrappers.)
It’s a struggle, y’all.
I’m going to need all the positive joojoo vibes you can send me. I need freakin’ cheerleaders, a parade, balloons, and streamers - the whole nine yards - to get me to push through, because I am just. not. motivated.
Tips, resources, words of wisdom? I’ll take’em all!