Fat

I just resisted spending way too much money on ThreadUp. I started with $260 worth of stuff in my cart, removed a few things, and got it down to $152. Then I just closed the window. The $152 is still in my cart, but I haven’t gone back yet, so that’s something. Baby steps, right?

Anywho, back to things…

I’ve been putting this one off. I put it off with my therapist too. I think we only talked about it once. Sort of off hand. Not really digging into it. Some of that might have been because she was a size four, tops.

I’m fat. Not girth matches my height fat, but still. And this is so hard to say. I have had terrible body issues for as long as I can remember. I once told myself that if I ever reached 200 pounds, I’d slit my wrists. Well, someone hand me a razor.

To put things into perspective: I’m 5’2″, around 200 pounds (it swings between 196 and 202), and wear about a size 18W dress. Below is a pretty good representation of what I look like now (left) and what I looked like in high school (right).

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It’s hard for me to look at. I tend not to look in the mirror. I don’t want to see it. I never have. Even when I weighed 120 pounds, I thought I was fat and gross. I wish I could get back to that. But I know it won’t make me happy.

When I was in high school, I was bulimic. I wasn’t a good bulimic, but I tried. I knew the tricks–what to eat in which order, how to mask the sound and smell, the excuses to give–but I didn’t enforce them consistently. Which is probably why my weight never dropped below 120. I guess I should see this as a good thing. To be honest, though? I don’t. Even all these years later.

I’ve yo-yo dieted for years, always hating my body with about the same intensity, no matter my weight. Actually, when I dropped 45 pounds shortly before M and I separated, I couldn’t see the difference. I mean, I could tell that my clothes were looser, a lot looser, and that I could move in ways I previously couldn’t (while sitting in the car one day, I was able to put my foot on the seat and pull my knee up to my chest; very new experience for me). But I didn’t see it. To me, I looked the same. Which I just can’t wrap my head around. Because everyone else could see it.

The body dysmorphia makes sense. For as long as I could remember, every woman in my family has complained about her body. My grandmother was always complaining she was fat and watching everything she ate. My other grandmother would complain she was fat, but it was always done in a half-joking, self-deprecating manner. And my mom…

Mom is likely where I get the idea of yo-yo dieting from. She has an entire shelf of workout tapes that were only used a handful of times, if at all. She went through the Richard Simmons craze several times when I was growing up, sticking with it for maybe a month or two tops. I remember her carefully moving his meal cards around, explaining to me what each one represented. I also remember her tipping a tablespoon of white sugar into an iceberg lettuce leaf, rolling it up, and eating it. And eating sweetened condensed milk by the spoonful from the can. Ditto with frosting. Even after she was diagnosed with diabetes, dessert was something that came in two (large) helpings, whether you liked it or not (I suspect that she just didn’t want to be the only one eating so much). And yet it was a regular refrain for her to complain about her body.

Okay, so the issues with my self-image, I get where they come from. But what about this weight? I mean, my brother is a beanpole. More than once, I’ve watched him eat an entire box of Little Debbie’s in one setting, and yet he’s frequently complained that he can’t gain weight. And here I am. I know men and women have very different metabolisms, but still.

I used to watch a lot of The Biggest Loser. And Jillian would often talk about how no one gets to 200+ pounds because they just wanted a Twinkie. That there’s something deeper going on. I know I need to figure out what the something deeper is, but I haven’t yet. I’m not sure how to do that. Maybe if I work through all of my memories dealing with food, see if something sticks there. The thought is just so daunting.

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