My greatest fear in this blog is succeeding in it. I am afraid of losing weight. I’ve been told I was overweight since I was eight years old. Whether or not those claims were true, “fat” has been a part of my identity for twenty years. It’s been my crutch. My curse. My security blanket. My excuse–“I can’t take ballet, I’m too fat.” “He’ll never like me, I’m too fat.” “I can’t wear that, I’m too fat.” I’ve lived within a certain understanding of myself for so long that I am terrified of what “skinny” actually means. Yes, I would be excited to have my cholesterol go down and to not have Acid Reflux or Plantar Fasciitis. I’d be thrilled to go to the doctor and not have my weight be their first contention of diagnosis before they listen to my symptoms, “well, you are significantly overweight, so…” I would like to do the athletic things I do normally without someone remarking, “wow, you can really move.” (I would like the record to show that athletic ability and weight are not always connected. Please see this beautiful video of a gorgeous and curvy woman pole-dancing as proof). I’d like to be able to wear even half of the things I post on my clothing Pinterest Board. But that doesn’t change a thing—I am afraid of losing weight.
Mostly this fear manifests itself in my insecurities with men…I’m afraid I’ll distrust any of my future relationships because he dated me when I was skinny and not fat. It’s like the end of The Princess Diaries when he asks her, “Why me?” and she says, “because you saw me when I was invisible.” There have been two precious men of my past who’ve “seen me ” when I was invisible, and for them I will forever be grateful–but mostly it feels as if my extra pounds constitute an invisibility cloak.
Similarly, I’m afraid of being seen. What if I do lose weight and bravely strike up a conversation with someone, but he still doesn’t ask for my number? If I can’t brush it off and blame it on my few extra pounds, then what will I do? (Probably just blame it on being too weird, too loud, too over-eager, too nerdy, or maybe bad breath–as that’s what I do after every conversation with, well anyone, anyway. I might have a social anxiety problem.)
Yes, I know all the right answers to these things, I tell them to friends and students all the time. But, nevertheless, what if I succeed in this thing? Will I be different? Will I lose parts of myself I have come to treasure, while I lose the pounds of me society has deemed undesirable? I don’t know and really I might be too scared to find out.
This Weeks Facts: Weight: 211 lbs How do you feel?: Horrible. I didn’t get paid until today, so I’ve been living off of potatoes and other bloat-inducing, budget-friendly carbs. I am sluggish and feel very pudgy. Small Victory: I didn’t even bother. I surrendered whole-heartedly in every battle–especially when I felt I had to choose between health and money. Biggest Disappointment: I ate 3/4 of a loaf of French bread by myself–in one sitting–while dipping it in potato soup. Other notes: I. Need. Help!