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Fat (p2)
4:33 pm

Just finished lunch.  I found it a bit ironic that after obsessing about my weight all morning, I dropped my frozen dinner upside down on the floor.  I hadn't taken the plastic off the top yet, so even though the impact caused the plastic to pull off, it was still there between (most of) the food and the carpet.  I needed that food; I work my training job tonight at won't be home until close to 10:00 pm.  Luckily, I wasn't too proud to be seen scraping most of it back in.


I've been thinking about how I got here, my history of yo-yo dieting (sorry Mary, I know that's a cliche).  My "In Progress" story, while fictional, did have quite a bit of autobiographical input.  I did gymnastics for years, and my coaches talked with my mom about my "weight problem" every now and again.  My mom is overweight, she has been so for as long as I can remember.  I've seen pictures of her from way back when, though, and she was skinny in a way that I've never been.  She says that she didn't get fat until she had kids.  Of course, her youngest child would have been 31 this year and she's yet to lose the baby weight.

She was extremely concerned about her children becoming overweight at a young age, constantly telling me that she didn't want me to have to go through the struggles she had.  Now that I'm grown and I know her better, I can't help but to think that she was also concerned about appearances - how badly would it reflect on her to have a fat daughter?  Surely when we were out together in public, people would see me and think she was a terrible mother.  She took me to my first Weight Watchers meeting when I was a pre-teen.  Far from being angry about it, I was excited at the chance to finally be thin.  But WW only works for people who work the program, and I just couldn't maintain interest in counting calories and weighing every bite.  I would lose a little bit, gain it back, lose, gain ... she bought me a 10-week package and I think I lost maybe 2 pounds by the end of it.  I remember one night we were very late for the meeting, having been out of town on errands.  She wanted to skip it, but I insisted on going.  I had been ill all week with tonsillitis and had just gotten around to feeling better the day before.  Do you know what a week of tonsillitis means?  A week of not eating.  I wanted to get on that scale that night because I knew whatever loss I had wouldn't be nearly the same in another week.  I was right - I lost over 7 pounds at that weigh-in.  It took me only 3 weeks to gain it back.

I basically quit gymnastics when I was 15.  My last injury did me in; I stayed out of the gym to heal and my mom just never brought me back.  I was a sophomore in high school by then, busy with schoolwork and my first boyfriend ... I was finally willing to give up my gymnastics dreams.  I did start working out at a local club, an extremely small one that pretty much only taught younger kids.  I made a deal with the coach that I would be her assistant in exchange for being allowed to train for free.  Since I was no longer competing, my training soon turned into showing off for the other girls.  Not one of them was older than 10, and they had a mini hero-worship thing going on.  It fed my ego and helped soothe the sting of quitting.

At 16, I became pregnant.  Long story short, I had my daughter and gave her up for adoption.  She was born one month after I turned 17.  I quit going to the gym completely when I was about 4-5 months along, and I gained a very predictable 50ish pounds.  After she was born, I struggled to lose the weight.  I hadn't adjusted my eating habits, shoveling in food like I was still an athlete who needed the fuel.  The simple fact that when you go from working out 5 days a week to doing pretty much nothing, your caloric consumption must likewise decrease totally escaped me.  I ate how I ate and that was that.  Luckily, I was young and healthy and I did play a sport or two.  Nonetheless, the pounds slowly piled on. 

I can't tell you how fat I was when I graduated high school, but I know I wasn't in plus sizes yet.  I was probably in a 14 or so.  I spent my entire senior year being hounded by my mother about my weight.  I'll make another long story short and just say it didn't help; I simply stuffed my face in secret.  I didn't go to extreme lengths to get extra meals in.  I didn't have to - my parents both worked, and I had plenty of time to myself after school every day to chow down on whatever I wanted.  My favorite "snacks" were things like peanut butter and marshmallow cream sandwhiches (aka 'fluffernutter sandwhiches), buttercream frosting out of the can, 5 or so scoops of ice cream in a glass layered with peanut butter ... you get the idea.  For awhile, I would just eat slices of bread slathered butter, sugar and honey.  It was ridiculous, but I never did see that.  It's amazing how blind we can make ourselves when the truth hurts.