When we moved back to New Jersey, I gained even more weight. Some of it was just access to good pizza and bagels again, but some of it was just because I'd lost all sense of how to eat like the short and somewhat petite person I am. And the thought of real exercise - the kind where you really sweat? Totally overwhelming.
I kept half-heartedly trying to diet, but I didn't know how to do it without turning into a scale-obsessed high school girl. Plus, the weight didn't drop off easily like it had in the past, even when I did manage to stick to 1000 calories a day. When HugMonkey came along, the 20 pounds of pregnancy stuff fell right off (especially since 9 of it was him), but nothing else did. Of course, he nursed like a champ, so I ate like a champ.
When he was 18 months old, we joined the local Y and I started seriously exercising again. I barely lost any weight, but I comforted myself with the fact that at least I had stopped gaining it. Of course, I still hid from photos, hated my body, felt the need to tell new people that I hadn't always been fat, tried to avoid people I used to know, hated meeting new people, didn't want to take my kids to the pool. . .I spent so much emotional energy hating my body and my weight that I didn't have the emotional energy to make any changes.
It was so much easier to accept myself and love myself at a normal weight. I didn't see how I could accept myself while fat, but I also knew that while I hated myself, I'd stay fat.
A rare current picture.
I think people can be lovely no matter what their size. I think you can be fat and fit, as well as skinny and unhealthy. I believe in curves. I think caring about what size you wear is stupid (especially since clothing sizes are so random). But I also think that when a short, small-boned, woman of 42 can down 4 slices of (New Jersey-sized) pizza, she's not honoring her normal weight. . .she's eating too damn much.
I'm not on a diet. Diets are, by definition, temporary. I don't think they work. Plus, they make me crazy - either I go all extreme and faint regularly, or I eat everything in sight in rebellion. What I am on, however, is a quest to remember how much food a woman of my size, age and activity level is supposed to eat. I'm trying to eat more protein and fiber, but I'm not trying to make myself eat kale every day.
I hate kale.
I've lost 8 pounds in the last month. This is the first time I've lost weight without having a baby or an operation (last summer's tonsillectomy) since I can't remember when. It feels pretty good. I'm still fat, but there's no echo of "fatty" in my head whenever I see myself.
Thanks for reading this long-ass post. Do you think I should keep blogging about this weight loss thing? I promise they won't all be so long.